7.5/10
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338 user 398 critic

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

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Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous 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.

Director:

Lynne Ramsay

Writers:

Lynne Ramsay (screenplay), Rory Stewart Kinnear (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
985 ( 359)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 27 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tilda Swinton ... Eva Khatchadourian
John C. Reilly ... Franklin
Ezra Miller ... Kevin, Teenager
Jasper Newell ... Kevin, 6-8 Years
Rock Duer ... Kevin, Toddler (as Rocky Duer)
Ashley Gerasimovich ... Celia
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Wanda
Alex Manette ... Colin
Kenneth Franklin Kenneth Franklin ... Soweto
Leslie Lyles Leslie Lyles ... Smash Lady
Paul Diomede Paul Diomede ... Corrections Officer Al
Michael Campbell Michael Campbell ... Corrections Officer
J. Mallory McCree ... Prison Boy (as J. Mal McCree)
Mark Elliot Wilson Mark Elliot Wilson ... Eva's Lawyer
James Chen ... 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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mummy's little monster...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

We Need to Talk About Kevin See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,587, 11 December 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,738,692, 20 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The initial scenes from La Tomatina, the tomato festival in Buñol near Valencia in Spain, is referenced later by a poster advertising for Buñol in the travel agency on the wall behind Eva. See more »

Goofs

The poster that appears in the Agency of travel behind Eva is of Buñol, the city where the war of tomatoes in the beginning of the movie takes place. The name is misspelled as "Bunôl" See more »

Quotes

Eva: So daddy and mommy were looking for him the whole night. And you know why we couldn't find him? Because Snuffles has gone to live in the garden! He's living in the garden now, with a whole bunch of new animal friends! So, they're having a big party tonight... with the chipmunks, and the squirrels, and the coons and they're eating nuts and berries...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in We Need to Talk About Kieran (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Everyday
Written by Buddy Holly & Norman Petty
Performed by Buddy Holly
(c) 1957 Peermusic International Corp. (USA)
Courtesy of MCA Records Inc
Under license from Universal Music Operations LTD
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cupid's Arrow
4 March 2012 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The Brady Bunch, this isn't. It's also not the place to look for helpful parenting tips. In fact, the story revolves around Eva, a woman (Tilda Swinton) who apparently didn't want to have a child ... at least not at this time, and certainly not THIS child. If you have seen The Omen, you probably gave thanks that you didn't have a child like Damien. At least we knew Damien was the spawn of Satan. Eva's son Kevin, is instead a good old fashioned psychopath. One who has an inherent need to cause pain and misery for his mother.

What a pair Eva and Kevin make. From day one, Kevin seems to sense his mother's lack of joy in parenthood. And he seems to have a genetic disposition of making her pay. As with many psychopaths, his above average intelligence makes him even more dangerous. He is tricky enough to keep his dad (John C Riley) clueless as to his nature, while causing much doubt in the dad's mind as to the stability of his wife.

My favorite part is actually how director Lynne Ramsay structured the storytelling. It goes beyond non-linear and actually bounces throughout three key periods: Kevin as a baby/toddler, Kevin as a 6-8 year old (Jason Newell), and Kevin as a teenager (Ezra Miller). Each age is progressively more frightening and disenchanting, and the film begins with what is an undetermined catastrophe. This event is slowly revealed over the course of the movie, though we witness events leading up to it, as well as the resulting fallout.

There are a few scenes where Eva is scrubbing the exterior of her house in an attempt to remove the red paint that was purposefully splattered. As a viewer, we understand that she has blood on her hands and she seems resigned to the fact that she is now a social outcast, even a pariah. We spend much of the movie in Eva's jumbled thoughts as she tries to piece together what has happened and why. Of course, there is no answer. The title explains what was missing all along. There was no communication and no willingness to confront the problem ... a psychopathic son. To say they all paid the price is an understatement.

This film has a very limited audience, though my claim is that Ms. Swinton was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination. She wears defeat like a mask and lives in isolation better than most could. Even the music is offbeat and unusual in its use ... thanks to Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. As filmmaking, this is high art. As storytelling, it's a bit muddled and quite a downer.


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