We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
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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Critic Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin
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.
Fragmented, dreamlike, a whir of memories and misery, We Need to Talk About Kevin is unsettling, but also somehow unnecessary.
"We Need to Talk About Kevin" is confrontational cinema that will leave you speechless.
Director Ramsay makes Kevin's impact all the more felt by coming at it from all angles.
It's a hallmark of "Kevin's" emotional bravery and intellectual honesty that the questions haunt us long after the end credits roll.
Audience Reviews for We Need to Talk About Kevin
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.
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.
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.
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