We Need to Talk About Kevin
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell. Drama/thriller. Written by Lynne Ramsey, Rory Stewart Kinnear. Directed by Lynne Ramsey. Opened in limited release 12/9/11.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A non-linear tale, the story concerns a teenager who went on an unexplained rampage, killing several fellow students at his high school. Going back and forth in time, we learn that he was an unhappy child who despised his mother and held a secret contempt for his father and sister. Following the tragedy, the mother, an emotional basket case due to her son’s deceptive and destructive nature, is overwhelmed with grief as well as guilt, and she finds herself the target of her community's anger for raising a son who is considered a monster.

PREVIEW REVIEW: If we have to sit through a story about a Damien-like kid who returns any kind of kindness with aversion, knowing that he will grow up to commit terrorism at his high school, then shouldn’t we get some sort of explanation as to what made him go a little, well, a little funny in the head? From day one, he screams whenever his mother picks him up. As he grows, he returns affection from his mom with disdain. He even plots against her. Why? He grows up with an adoring father and sister, yet one senses his disgust for them or for anything good. Why? At the end of the film even he has no explanation for his violent and hateful nature. And we are left with a bunch of dead people and a paranoia for those we know in life who seem to reflect the same self-centered, uncaring attitudes. That’s both depressing and scary. But it doesn’t answer any questions.

It can be argued that the film is well-made, well-acted and interesting in a dark sense. But this kid is a sociopath, and perhaps even demonic. His story is depressing and frightening. I suppose if we had learned how to uncover what makes a person become soulless, there would be a reason for subjecting ourselves to this spirit draining tale. But all I learned was that nobody knows why such people become monsters. We’re just lucky if no such people pass our way.

Rated R for disturbing violence and behavior, some sexuality and language, both profane and obscene.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: Unavailable
Obscene Language: Unavailable
Profanity: Unavailable
Violence: Unavailable
Sexual Intercourse: Unavailable
Nudity: Unavailable
Homosexual Conduct: Unavailable
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Unavailable
Drug Abuse: Unavailable
Other: Unavailable
Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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