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Carnage (2011)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 81,640 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 174 user | 362 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.

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Title: Carnage (2011)

Carnage (2011) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In Brooklyn Bridge Park, eleven year old Zachary Cowan strikes his eleven year old classmate Ethan Longstreet across the face with a stick after an argument. Among the more serious of Ethan's injuries is a permanently missing tooth and the possibility of a second tooth also being lost. Their respective parents learn of the altercation through Ethan's parents questioning him about his injuries. The Longstreet parents invite the Cowan parents to their Brooklyn apartment to deal with the incident in a civilized manner. They are: Penelope Longstreet, whose idea it was to invite the Cowans, she whose priorities in life include human rights and justice; Michael Longstreet, who tries to be as accommodating as possible to retain civility in any situation; Nancy Cowan, a nervous and emotionally stressed woman; and Alan Cowan, who is married more to his work as evidenced by the attachment he has to his cell phone and taking work calls at the most inopportune times. Although the meeting starts ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A new comedy of no manners.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 November 2011 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

God of Carnage  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski:  The neighbor who opens the door to take a look at what is happening in the hallway. See more »

Goofs

After Nancy attacks the tulips in the glass vase, the water sloshes violently for a long time, but after a brief cutaway to show the ringing Cellphone, the water movement has stopped completely. See more »

Quotes

Alan Cowan: Nancy, it's absurd to drink in your condition.
Nancy Cowan: What condition?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #10.23 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A breath of fresh air
29 April 2012 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

In the face of such classics as Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby it would be a hollow statement to label Carnage one of Roman Polanski's best films; it's shockingly minimalistic compared to the rest of his catalog, and almost anachronistic in its old fashioned filmmaking style and stripped-down production. Many were probably disappointed by the film purely because of Polanski's name; it might have been better received if it was directed by a young newcomer. Case in point: 12 Angry Men and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, directed by young newcomers Sidney Lumet and Mike Nichols, respectively. Both are still considered among the best each director achieved, but also as experimental debuts that would lead to bigger and more ambitious things. Obviously this is not the case with Carnage, which is a veteran director returning to his roots, to a minimalism not seen in his work since the 50's. And yet, it's so much better than any of the more ambitious films he made in recent years - The Ghost Writer, Oliver Twist, The Pianist and The Ninth Gate all having their merits, but none a real classic or any kind of a surprise.

Not to say that Carnage is as good as 12 Angry Men or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, masterpieces of minimalism and cinematic landmarks. Carnage isn't any real news, cinematically speaking, but it's a wonderful exercise in acting and interaction, and if you're a fan of minimalistic cinema like I am you're bound to find interest in it. I never found it boring for a second - uncomfortable, yes, grating even, but never dull, I was completely drawn in by the wonderful performances of the leads - Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly - who manage to covey four complex, fascinating, repulsive and very realistic characters, and by the ever-shifting relationships and alliances between them. While it's clearly a filmed play - and Polanski let the original text shine - he makes excellent use of the possibilities the film format allows, from the bombastic and melodramatic to the quiet and subtle, neither of which is possible on stage, at least not in the same way.

Carnage isn't necessarily a masterpiece but it's a wonderful intellectual exercise and one of my favorite films of 2011. For fans of Roman Polanski or for anyone who loved minimalistic films with compact casts, from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf to Tape and Cube, it's highly recommended.


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