7.5/10
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319 user 394 critic

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

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Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kevin, Toddler (as Rocky Duer)
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Kenneth Franklin ...
Soweto
Leslie Lyles ...
Smash Lady
Paul Diomede ...
Corrections Officer Al
Michael Campbell ...
Corrections Officer
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Prison Boy (as J. Mal McCree)
Mark Elliot Wilson ...
Eva's Lawyer
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Dr. Foulkes
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Storyline

Eva Khatchadourian is trying to piece together her life following the "incident". Once a successful travel writer, she is forced to take whatever job comes her way, which of late is as a clerk in a travel agency. She lives a solitary life as people who know about her situation openly shun her, even to the point of violent actions toward her. She, in turn, fosters that solitary life because of the incident, the aftermath of which has turned her into a meek and scared woman. That incident involved her son Kevin Khatchadourian, who is now approaching his eighteenth birthday. Eva and Kevin have always had a troubled relationship, even when he was an infant. Whatever troubles he saw, Franklin, Eva's complacent husband, just attributed it to Kevin being a typical boy. The incident may be seen by both Kevin and Eva as his ultimate act in defiance against his mother. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violence and behavior, some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Tenemos que hablar de Kevin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,587 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Gross:

$1,738,692 (USA) (18 May 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of two films starring Miller widely considered to be a major Oscar snub. The other is "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (2012) See more »

Goofs

At the Christmas party in Eva's workplace a cigarette is put out by sticking it into a Christmas cake. At first we see it being put right next to an elf figure but then after the camera zooms out we see it on the other side of the cake. See more »

Quotes

Eva: Why would you have something like that?
Kevin: I collect them.
Eva: Doesn't it a weird thing to collect?
Kevin: I don't like stamps.
Eva: Then what's the point?
Kevin: There is no point. That's the point.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tephra
Written by Helena Gough
Performed by Helena Gough
Licensed courtesy of Entr'acte
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Guilt trip
21 October 2011 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Lynne Ramsay's film is a tour de force of economy. There's not a single shot wasted. Not a moment goes by that isn't informing, telling the story, adding to the cumulative exploration of a dysfunctional mother- son relationship and its purgatorial fall-out. It's also a rather gentle film (dare I say it, a feminine film): the narrative is constantly split between past and present, the tone moving between all-pervasive paranoia, drudge and romance. The movement isn't jerky though, with regular pacing of the flashing back and forwards, meticulously edited cuts and a very clever original + co-opted soundtrack that often works in contrary motion to the tone, smoothing it out.

This is a film about a mother confronting motherhood across an overlapping three-act structure: before Kevin's birth, with Kevin, after Kevin's crime. Tilda Swinton is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination for her assumption of the role, her selection of uncomprehending thousand yard stares far removed from the opaque look favoured by many other actors working to this level. It helps that the three Kevins who play the title role are all uniformly superb as well - hideous, sly, handsome.

It's the visuals that pulled me up and pressed me back down over and over. The opening 5 minutes or so are worth more than many hours of mediocre film making that I'm perfectly happy to sit through as a general rule in a cinema: the Boschian Tomatina fight, with the equivocal vision of a blissed out Eva buried in the blood red Sartrean- viscous filth is a particularly arresting opening statement (think of the bleaching-white flour of Morvern Callar). It's not an easy watch, although there is no sensationalism. It is, however, always poetry. 9/10


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