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Carnage (2011)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 November 2011 (Spain)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 89,778 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 180 user | 367 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.



(play), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Elvis Polanski ...
Zachary Cowan
Eliot Berger ...
Joseph Rezwin ...
Walter (Telephone Voice) (voice) (as Joe Rezwin)
Dennis (Telephone Voice) (voice)
Tanya Lopert ...
Michael's Mother (Telephone Voice) (voice)
Secretary (Telephone Voice) (voice)


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Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A new comedy of no manners.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 November 2011 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

God of Carnage  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was chosen to be the opening night feature at The New York Film Festival in September, 2011. See more »


At the beginning of the film, just before Alan and Nancy try to leave for the second time, there is a camera visible in the mirror. See more »


Alan Cowan: Mrs. Longstreet, our son is a maniac!
See more »


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


A Bushel and a Peck
Written by Frank Loesser
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The carnage left over after a verbal battle of wits
11 February 2012 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Carnage" is about the carnage that is left over as two couples get together to discuss their sons' recent altercation. It's a play. Not just based on a play, but I'm pretty sure it is the play, word-for-word, scene-for-scene. But make that just one scene. One room, one afternoon, four characters. What makes it even more unique, is that it's a comedy. I don't think I've ever seen a comedy this simplistic in its setting.

Jodie Foster plays Penelope, she's the passive-aggressive wife and mother; her husband is played John C. Reilly and he just wants to make nice; their son was the victim. Kate Winslet's Nancy also just wants to make nice; her husband is played by Christoph Waltz and he's the aggressive-aggressive one; their son was the abuser.

I know what you're thinking. Is it really that easy to declare one 11 year-old boy the victim and the other the abuser? Aren't they both somewhat to blame for whatever occurred? Well, you try telling that to Foster's Penelope. After the 1 hour and 20 minute straight verbal battle, I am staying clear.

"Carnage" is funny because we know what each character is really thinking under their sincere, or false-sincere, passive cover. Eventually, once a bottle of scotch gets consumed, they admit to their feelings, and surprisingly, it still remains funny. That is where the brilliance of the writing comes in. You could apply the old adage, "it's funny because it's true." But there is something to these movies about the real human and family relations accurately displayed beneath a comedy banner.

Being a comedy, "Carnage" fared well enough getting Golden Globe nominations, but I am a little miffed at the lack of screenplay nominations. Then again, that's what happens when it is written and directed by Roman Polanski. I don't blame Hollywood for not always wanting to award him. If you don't want to reward him either, then find the play version of "Carnage". I'm sure it's just as good.

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