We Need to Talk About Kevin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

We Need to Talk About Kevin Reviews

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½ December 31, 2016
On the cusp of breeding? "Should I or shouldn't I?"
Well, this movie might be an scary argument against such a move.
It is a very dark story about a bad boy, a very bad boy, actually a monstrous boy. He starts out as Baby Nihilist and devolves from there. He hates his mama who is in a very much trapped-with-HIM situation that is made even worse when clueless dumb guy hubby has them all move to an enormous mansion in the 'burbs even after she says she loves the city and does not want to move. It's a beautiful house of the type that can look like an isolated death trap to some city folk, like me.

I have heard this story before, literally, years ago via a multi-part BBC Radio 4 drama adaptation of the novel. Around that time I also heard of read interviews with Lionel Shriver about her novel.
Because of that I knew the story. I knew where it was going so the structure, back and forth on the timeline of events, didn't throw me at all. (I read IMDB reviews where people found this confusing.) I really liked the BBC play, the movie, not so much. It's really is kind of like a monster movie, or the old movie The Bad Seed. I remember Shriver saying in the interview (which is to say I don't know if she actually said this or if it is just my memory) that she wrote the novel as a compilation to decide to try to have a child or not.
She did not. the contemplation, this story, goes to the worse scary direction possible, so she scared herself childless. It might be helpful generally if more people thought about this, thought through what the decision of having a child would or could mean rather than just enter in with flared hormones and distorted notions of idealized "love", the thoughtless emotional pull, or the thought geared to emotions.

Anyway, the movie is dark, relentlessly bleak, rather over the top and not trusting that we got the idea that he is a bad boy after too many scenes illustrating such.
The radio version was, I think, just the voice of the mother mostly. The film is mostly the mother's story. I kind of wish that Kevin wasn't in it so much that so we could more see him through her eyes rather that explicitly on screen so much. But this is a movie so they have to show stuff which can be a major storytelling downside in comparison to more text based media, the book or the radio play.
Tilda Swinton is fine in the mamma role. John C. Reilly plays the hubby who is more a problem than a help, a thankless role, but a paycheck for the actor who like them all has to make hay while the sun is shining.
It seemed long. There are better and worse movies to watch than this.

Possible Spoiler:

I didn't buy the kid's final act at all. Didn't get how the target to ammo ration worked and how he could pull it off, not just get rushed and knocked down. But that choice will definitely not ruffle the NRA crowd.
December 31, 2016
Gripping and tense. Powerful film making.
December 28, 2016
Tilda Swinton gives a masterful performance as a tormented mother slowly driven insane by her unmitigatedly evil son since his birth. This movie shifts seamlessly between the present and past through flashbacks and keeps you on your toes throughout.
We Need to Talk About Kevin is cinematic birth control.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2016
A disturbing, terrifying and emotionally devastating drama that examines how evil can grow inside people from the way they are raised - and Tilda Swinton is wonderful in an Oscar-deserving performance as a mother who doesn't have any idea how to raise her son.
December 18, 2016
"We Need to Talk About Kevin" is one of the most disturbing, upsetting films that I have ever seen. Had I known what lied within, I would have chosen not to watch. Maybe it hit me so hard because I am a new father, but the concept and delivery of this parenting nightmare is scarier than any horror film. This is the story of a mother whose inability to connect with her son progressively destroys her life. The scariest part is that she doesn't really do anything wrong - he just seems to be a bad seed. The story is told through an extensive flashback that is frequently interrupted by images of Kevin's mother in the present. These interruptions are very brief but drive home the point that her life is in ruins because of Kevin, hinting at some sort of school tragedy but saving the full revelation for the very end. The upsetting script is impressively interpreted by the actors, particularly Tilda Swinton. She goes beyond the expressions of happy and sad as her character experiences many different degrees of sadness. Her acting is so raw that you will feel your own world spiraling out of control alongside hers. Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, and Rocky Duer portray Kevin from a toddler to a teenager. They capture the inherent wickedness that lies within the character and make it clear that it is always present, even when he pretends to care about anyone. The psychology behind Kevin is disturbing but entirely believable as he lives a mischievous life without remorse. He shows a complete lack of sympathy, compassion, respect, and remorse despite the efforts of his mother. You need to be warned that this film is relentless. It does not have a moment of comic relief. There is no sentimental moment or sense of hope. It is a 2-hour downer whose tone is bleak from start to finish and I was mortified for most of the final 20 minutes. This film reminds me of "Requiem for a Dream." On the surface, it doesn't seem like it will be that bad but once you see what is inside, you will never be the same. I'm not trying to talk you out of seeing "We Need to Talk About Kevin" because it is very well-written and has stunning performances by the entire cast; however, this film exists in a very dark place and you need to realize that it will take you there for two hours of your life.
December 16, 2016
Um denso, cru retrato da complexidade da mente humana. Kevin é a maior representação do mal no cinema desde do Coringa de The Dark Knight. Tilda Swinton numa atuação simplesmente devastadora.
December 4, 2016
How do you define a parenting failure!

The film was based on the book of the same name, directed by a Scottish director. A psychological thriller, one of those what some people feel uncomfortable watching it. The film holds a suspense from the past event, it is not going to be revealed until the final quarter. Till then makes us to keep guessing it. Followed by the pieces of flashback, the story of a mother who struggled to raise his first born, a boy named Kevin was told.

It takes us to show how happy she was before. Once she got pregnant, everything changed in her life forever. She failed to understand her son. Ever since he was a baby, he had given her a lot of trouble. When he reaches his teenage, it becomes even more complication to her to handle him and events around him. But a big blow is what shocks the entire neighbourhood and her life turns a hell.

Shot within a month. Tilda Swinton's one of the best, maybe the best of all the bests. She should have been nominated for the Oscars. I think that's one of the greatest snub ever. The supporting cast was amazing too, including John C. Reilly in a small part and particularly those Kevins from different ages. The overall tone was great, the atmosphere was created perfectly to the kind of story it dealt.

I should have watched it earlier, but you know the type of film we look for and moods, all some times influence to miss a film narrowly. Anyway, it was on my watch list and I am finally going to scratch that off. It was a good film, but there's nothing special. The theme was strong, and seems like straight out of a real event, particularly these things are common in the United States. So if you are an American or familiar with the American culture, it will interest you.

This is not as inspiring film, but kind of factual film like parenting failure. The end was disturbing, yet there's nothing bold revelation in the narration. Definitely an interesting take, though blaming parents, especially the mother was kind of disappointing, as well as depressing. That's why the tale was commenced since pregnant till the final twist. Actually, it was the editing tricks that make the film to have a twist. Otherwise, it is a straightforward story. Not bad for viewing once. It was slow and too long, if you think you can manage that, then you could try it.

November 27, 2016
Seen this movie. One of the greatest psychological thrillers I've seen.
½ November 20, 2016
Visceral and unnerving. That's what I would call this movie. From the beginning Lynne Ramsay makes you want to know what the hell is going on. For me, I was all in at the twelve minute mark. You always have a clear understanding what the protagonist is thinking (portrayed incredibly by Tilda Swindon) but you really want to know why. It's uncomfortable the whole way through and Tilda's character is has so much to feel miserable about. But the film isn't depressing, most likely due to its mystery framework. Ezra miller and the younger actors are terrifying. Also, it had to be noted the wonderful use of primary colors, especially red. Such a good film.
November 15, 2016
I'm not gonna try sound super educated about films or use metaphors and references from a long history of literature study. I'm just gonna give my opinion. So bear with me if you disagree.

Firstly I found the cinematography contrived at the start, self indulgent perhaps. We aren't shown what the character is feeling. Just shown a feeling. Also, the blood motif really starts getting old quite early in. But most disturbingly is how disturbed Kevin is from the start. He's clearly evil from age 5 and no one's really bothered about the reasons why. A hearing specialist seems to think he' so i guess he must be. Kids arent born evil, there are reasons why they do what they do, genetic or otherwise. And it doesn't seem to run in the family because Lucy is an absolute angel. What are Kevin's influences? A violent video game and Robin hood? Surely there were a few more books he read or movies he watched to push him to the point of mass murder. It like it was just sort of game. It really didn't sell.

In my skewed opinion Ursula delivers a better performance than Tilda. Oh and why John C Riley? He hardly suits the role. His performance isn't bad. It's just weird seeing him trying to be serious. Also young Kevin doesn't convince as he seems to have some Asian blood in him which neither John nor Tilda seem to share.

I guess I'm not as concerned story as I am with characters. But it really bothers me how oversimplified the story is especially as it's about such a real epidemic that has hit the US so recently. Usually these kidsmare withdrawn, bullied, dealing with deep internal struggles. Kevin is just a psychopath through and through. His parents know it but just don't do anything about it. He shot his kid sister. He doesn't deserve that hug at the end. But perhaps that was just mom trying to make herself feel better because she kind of thinks it's her own fault. She's not entirely innocent.

If there's one truth this movie conveys, it's that bad parenting creates bad kids. But I guess it doesn't help if your child was born a psychopath.

Apologies for rant. I'm quite happy if you disagree ;)
November 9, 2016
Tilda Swinton sublime, suspenso y terror psicológico sobre el origen de la maldad
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2016
Americans are fascinated with criminals, and most films about them either focus on the criminal or on the people who are trying to catch them. With the recent uptake in school shootings, the one element that is often overlooked is the parents and what, if any, their role is in all of this. That is the focus of award winning film, We Need To Talk About Kevin. Kevin (Ezra Miller) has always been an angry, troubled kid, brought up by an upper middle class family. Kevin had a loving family, everything he could ever want, but still orchestrated a horrific mass shooting at his school. Despite all evidence to the contrary, his mother (Tilda Swinton) can't help but think that somehow everything is her fault, and by and large the community agrees. This is far and away one of the strongest performances I've ever seen Tilda Swinton give, and that's saying a lot, because she has always been terrific. Watching this was almost difficult, as one could actually feel her pain and see in her eyes the emotional toll everything had taken on her. She did nothing wrong, but everyone from the press to the owner of the local grocery store, blames her for the actions of her son. The film flashes between before, during, and after the event to show the differences in the lives and personalities of the characters, in a way that I've never seen before, it was really ingenious. This film delves deeper into the heart of darkness and into the eyes of the unseen victims in one of the most powerful films I've seen in years. We Need To Talk About Kevin may even be too emotionally overwhelming for some, but by in large it is one of the hardest hitting and most realistic dramas you may ever find.
October 20, 2016
I thought I wanted kids until I saw this film
½ October 13, 2016
This is a hard film to watch. But I highly recommend it. Took off a star and a half because it depressed me.
½ September 28, 2016
The movie that introduced me to Ezra Miller. It's such a deep and disturbing movie, with amazing acting.Tilda is the real protagonist here and she is flawless, portraying a frustrated and lonely mother, and so is Ezra with the unnerving and unforgetable Kevin. We Need to Talk About Kevin is definitively a haunting work.
September 24, 2016

We Need To Talk About Kevin provides a slow burning and intense tale of psychopathy in a very unconventional way that makes the whole experience not as trascendental as it would want but very shocking and heartfelt nonetheless.
September 19, 2016
disturbing, intense, beautiful. feels like one of more accesible haneke films. a masterpiece.
September 15, 2016
Kevin is one little shit...
September 8, 2016
In this movie you witness such great acting by Tilda Swinton; as a difficult relationship between a mother and her son has led to a tragic and unexpected event.
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