Out now on demand, Out now on dvd/blu-ray

We Need To Talk About Kevin, Movie

We Need To Talk About Kevin 2011

Your Rating/Review

Critically acclaimed British dramatic-thriller starring Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) and John C. Reilly (Magnolia) as parents struggling to cope with their deeply disturbed, vicious son. More

Eva (Swinton) can't find the balance between her successful writing career and the attention her newborn son needs, despite her husband’s (John C. Reilly) enthusiasm for their new suburban life. Worsening her post-natal depression, Eva becomes increasingly aware that she doesn't like her son, and he doesn't like her. The effects culminate in Kevin’s teenage years (played by Ezra Miller) when he goes on a Columbine-style high-school killing spree. 

Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood provides the musical backdrop, continuing the growing trend of musicians-gone-movie-score-composers. Based on the prizewinning 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver). Hide

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly

Directed by Lynne Ramsay ('Ratcatcher', 'Morvern Caller')

Written by Rory Kinnear, Lynne Ramsay (based on Lionel Shriver's novel of the same name)

Festivals & Awards Best Director at the British Independent Film Awards 2011. Best Actress (Swinton) at the European Film Awards 2011.

Drama, Thriller | 1hr 52mins | R16 | contains violence, offensive language, sex scenes & content that may disturb | Country of Origin: UK, USA | Official Site

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86 votes / 20 comments The Talk

  • 80 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • John

      Grrr why do we have to wait so long? Australia gets it on Nov 17th!!!

    • devon

      I dont get it

    • ben

      yeah looks interesting.

    • Community

      wow that's f**d up! that toddler does a great 'creepy kid look'

    • jenny

      it looks super creepy.just how i like them

    • Bru

      We Need To Talk About Kevin is the single greatest book I've ever read in my life. I have high expectations for this film.

    • Jwow

      yes that kid does look creepy lol my nephew use to do that maybe i should be worried hahahaha but the movie looks cool

    • Chloe

      I agree with John! I have been waiting so long to watch this! This would have to be one of my fave books!

    • ben(again)

      Just saw this in Melbourne last week. Amazing film, my gut was clenched the entire movie. Highly recommend it.

    • Mark

      Just saw this in Sydney. It's a brilliant film, much deeper pathos than Elephant

    • amber

      saw the premiere in canne its so powerful makes you Love your family

    • Loo

      Brilliant movie. Wanted to see it at the cinema but it took to long to come out.

    • George Clowny

      Holy mackerel, that Swinton is one ugly ducklin.

    • Rachel

      Book was incredible. Even if the movie is not as good, worth going to the story

    • Lulu

      Loved the booked and I am interested to see how this translates on screen. Tilda Swinton is a fantastic actress.

    • crap movie

      sick movie never needed to be made waste of time watching

    • marley

      absolutely incredible film 5 stars from me, loved the book and film!

    • Miles


    • pixie

      great cast great storyline


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



comment / reply
Aaron Yap Flicks Writer

Imagine The Good Son re-dreamt by Nicolas Roeg, and you might have something close to Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, a film which uncomfortably bridges the gap between the social issues left in the wake of real-life tragedies such as Columbine and Virginia Tech and the gleefully irresponsible exploitation of trashy Bad Seed-type movies. It emerges something of an oddity, fulfilling neither departments but fascinating and occasionally startling all the same. More

There’s no doubting the bravura, inspired filmmaking on display: it’s as if Ramsay - absent from the scene for 9 years (!) - has been saving up her creative ammo and decided to let it run wild on this heavily stylized adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel.

Those who’ve seen her previous works, Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, will be familiar with Ramsay’s richly textured cinematic vocabulary, often artfully using colour and sound to heighten emotions and situations. Unfolding in narrative-jolting flashbacks and fragmented editing, the film disrupts the convention of requiring a singular horrific event to culminate in, ensuring that Eva’s experience is one of a never-ending nightmare.

Tilda Swinton is magnificent as Eva, inhabiting every despairing moment of a mother struggling to raise a child who hates her guts from the minute he exits her womb. With his predatory wolfish features and wardrobe of ridiculously undersized t-shirts, Ezra Miller’s Kevin is more cartoon than model of psychological inquiry, appealing to the film’s gallows sense of humour, which shouldn’t be discounted. Hide

The People's Reviews


3 ratings and 4 reviews


comment / reply

Read the book instead

Josef A-Lister (?)

Like most films based on novels, the book is far superior. It is masterfully written and drags you in whereas the film version was a poor attempt to do a Christopher Nolan. Only LOTR has met or bettered my expectation of a book that I have read before the movie. Other major disppointments that come to mind are Da Vinci Code and Lovely Bones. On a positive note Tilda Swanson's performance is outstanding. Like the reviewer before me, she was robbed!


comment / reply

Life changing storytelling

Ken-Burns Flicks Superstar (?)

as a parent watching this and nerve wracking. I did not read the book so didn't know what would happen. This story stands alone in the way it shows what is going on in this family's life.


comment / reply

Mixed Bag

Weds_Loafers Flicks Superstar (?)

‎Five of us saw this movie, with widely differing reactions: professional reviewers have had a similarly diverse response. "We Need To Talk About Kevin" is a British production, set in the USA; a dark horror movie about a child born with mental problems who turns into a manipulative psychopathic teenager from hell - with a climax beyond one's wildest expectations. It is the story of the deterioration in Kevin's condition as he grows, and equally it is the story of the soul-breaking ordeal of his mother obeying her instincts to foster and protect her child.
The movie is somewhat disjointed for the first hour, but becomes a easier to follow in the second half. It is an unusual film; excellent and innovative in parts, with a great performance from British actress Tilda Swinton, who has a long Oscar-winning movie career. It is largely through her eyes that the story of Kevin is told.
Not for the faint-hearted, "We Need To Talk About Kevin" contains violence, offensive language and non-explicit sex scenes.
Our voting ranged from -5 to +4, but overall we gave it 2½ stars out of 5.
(follow us on FB - Facebook.com/WednesdayLoafers)


  • Paul Hartigan

    Agree, totally. Outstanding in all respects, understated treatment, superb handling of story by actors and director - 10!

comment / reply

We need to rave about Tilda...

adamatdramatrain Flicks Superstar (?)

Along with 'Drive,' Lynne Ramsay's return to film with 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' was a stunning omission from the OSCAR's list. Tilda Swinton's performance is one of such understated majesty that it rivals Gary Oldman's Smiley in 'Tinker Tailor' for subtle portrayal of the year. Like 'Shame,' this is not an easy, popcorn-muncher. Sticking close in spirit to Lionel Shriver's brilliant and trobling novel, 'Kevin' takes on the old patriarchal myth of motherhood - head on. Why should women have to desire to give birth? Do women need to have a child to be "complete"? Or is "maternal instinct" a myth created by over centuries by male dominated societies determined to keep women down? It's a troubling and timely question played out against the backdrop of Columbine High School style violence. Stunning performances, a great script and taught direction and cinematography help to deliver a top notch cinematic treat for those who enjoy movies with something to say... but which don't say it loudly and obviously - rather leaving room for you to think. Give yourself up to it and it'll stay with you for days. Wonderful stuff and yes - Tilda was robbed! Meryl should hand over her OSCAR to her - now!

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Your review and star rating

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Press Reviews

A.V Club

Feels kind of meaningless, aside from the masterful style—which, honestly, is meaning enough most of the time. Full review.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

That the film works so brilliantly is a tribute in large part to the actors. Full review.

Empire (UK)

Guaranteed to haunt you for days, and possibly prompt a rethink on your position on parenthood. Full review.

Entertainment Weekly

The movie is creepy, but it has no texture or depth Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

This is, in a way, a real horror film about everyday things and a disconnected family. Full review.

Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy

I can only be honest in describing my reaction: watching this movie was sheer torture. Full review.

Los Angeles Times

A disturbing tale told with uncompromising emotionality and great skill. Full review.

Observer (UK)

The courageously uningratiating Tilda Swinton has never been better. Full review.

Rolling Stone (USA)

Acting doesn't get much better than the subtly brilliant display put on by Tilda Swinton Full review.


Doesn't just bring you to the outskirts of a parent's worst nightmare; this fever dream of guilt and loss takes you straight inside. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

Like The Omen without the supernatural guff, Kevin plays on all our worst fears about pare Full review.

USA Today

An arty horror movie set within the context of a dysfunctional family. Full review.