We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011)

we need to talk about kevin poster 2011 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking film, Tilda Swinton is great

Dark, too dark for many

Movie Info

Movie Name:  We Need to Talk about Kevin

Studio:  BBC Films

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  May 12, 2011 (Cannes)/October 21, 2011 (UK)/December 9, 2011 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


This is my Hell

Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) has always suspected there was something wrong with her son Kevin (Ezra Miller–Teenager; Jasper Newton–Young Kevin). Her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) never believed her and her young daughter Celia (Ashley Gerasimovich) is also in danger. Kevin has done something horrible. Now Eva deals with the daily questions, did she do something wrong? Is it her fault? Could she have done something different?

Directed by Lynne Ramsay, We Need to Talk about Kevin adapts the 2003 novel by Lionel Shiver. It was met with very positive reviews and Tilda Swinton was awarded often for her portray of the mother destroyed by her son’s actions. She received a Golden Globe nomination for the role and many felt she was snubbed by the Academy Awards.


I’m just not feeling it!

The movie is a rough movie to watch. It is non-linear with no clear indicators of the correct order. One minute it is before Kevin is born and the next minute it is Eva’s life after the school attack. The only problem is, other than some hair lengths, you can’t always tell what the period is since Swinton and Reilly look the same. It helps when they have a child actor in the scene because it at least helps with time establishment.

The story is great and the filming is top notch. It really makes you think and consider when you hear about these shootings what is going on. It is easy to instantly blame the family, but the family is also trying to cope. The movie is filled with imagery of chewing, eating, touching, and trying to clean (usually red) off of things. This shows the guilt and gnawing nature of the crimes and how the events “explode” when internalized.  No matter how much you clean, you can’t rid yourself of blood (family blood and physical blood).


Yes, lets give the kid a weapon for Christmas

Tilda Swinton is amazing because the character is so interesting. She never expected to be a mother, she was free spirited and never tied down. When she was saddled with a child, she went through a period of postpartum depression. She couldn’t connect to Kevin when he was little, and Kevin also quickly found out he could use her. When she accidentally breaks his arm when he rebelled, he then got another upper hand by having a secret to hold over her. Eva just is utterly tormented by Kevin and then wrecked by his actions…but he’s still her son and even if people are destroying her home, slapping her on the street, and tearing her apart at her work, she can’t divorce him despite what he has done.  The movie makes a point of having a good moment with Kevin but shows how quickly those good moments can also change.

We Need to Talk about Kevin is a hard movie to watch, but it is important. It is very artsy and that could also be tough for some, but it does make you think about these killings and what happens to the family around them. Check out We Need to Talk about Kevin, but remember that it will kill the spirit for the night because it is a real downer.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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