We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: We Need to Talk About Kevin is a masterful blend of drama and horror, with fantastic performances across the board (Tilda Swinton especially, delivering one of her very best).

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Movie Info

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's innate evilness. -- (C) Oscilloscope

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Cast

Ezra Miller
as Kevin (Teenager)
Jasper Newell
as Kevin (6-8 Years)
Rocky Duer
as Kevin (Toddler)
Polly Adams
as Mary Woolford
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Critic Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (45)

It becomes a film about her [Swinton] scattered mind. That produces wonders from Swinton, but it ignores the plea in the title. What about Kevin? Kevin deserves so much more attention-indeed, he deserves being played by Tilda Swinton.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Fragmented, dreamlike, a whir of memories and misery, We Need to Talk About Kevin is unsettling, but also somehow unnecessary.

Full Review… | March 9, 2012
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

"We Need to Talk About Kevin" is confrontational cinema that will leave you speechless.

Full Review… | March 9, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Director Ramsay makes Kevin's impact all the more felt by coming at it from all angles.

Full Review… | March 9, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

It's a hallmark of "Kevin's" emotional bravery and intellectual honesty that the questions haunt us long after the end credits roll.

Full Review… | March 8, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Some movies punish you, but you take it because you're getting something out of the bargain: an insight, a performance, art, adrenaline. Then there are the movies that punish you for the heck of it.

Full Review… | March 8, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin

½

A disturbing, emotionally devastating and terrifying drama that examines how evil in people can grow from the conditions in which they are raised - and Tilda Swinton is wonderful in an Oscar-deserving performance as a mother who doesn't know at all how to raise her son.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

A mother whose life is ruined by her son's violent act struggles to make sense of his actions and move on. A slow and meandering film, Lynne Ramsay's contemplative drama asks many questions about parenthood, violence, and sociopathy but offers very few answers; for such high topics, one can't blame it for that. For example, we don't get easy answers like gratuitous child abuse or violent video games to saddle Kevin's behavior on. The flashback moments of Kevin's early childhood are all unsettling, and while the multiple storylines don't always mesh to a consistent narrative, Ramsay succeeds in creating an oppressive and tense mood. Overall, if you're tied to the traditional three-act narrative, this film isn't for you, but it is a strong character-based mediation.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Basically the Anti-Boyhood, this film hints at a horrible crime carried out by a teenage son and then tells us in flashbacks about his upbringing and the mother's coping with the tragedy. That's quite a demanding task for Swinton who aces her role in every aspect. She's the center of attention. While we get glimpses of Kevin's childhood and how things already went badly there, we're never told why or what exactly went wrong. In the end, his final act of violence is so unadulterated evil and shocking, that it feels like you have been watching a horror film all along. Of course the director was out for that, while refusing to give a comfortable explanation. But it also takes away some of the realism and leaves you so disturbed you're wondering what you've been watching for two hours. A film that is hard to love but should be viewed at least once. I bet some of the images will stay for a very long time.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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