100 movies: We Need to Talk About Kevin

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

We Need to Talk About Kevin We Need to Talk About Kevin (07/07/12)

Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious 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.

If there’s ever a film that could do more for teen pregnancy, then this is the one. I defy anyone not to sit through this film and then have second thoughts about having kids. It just gets under your skin!

This film is incredibly tense. From the beginning, every scene is tinged with a ridiculous amount of tension. I don’t think I’ve been this tense while watching a film since I saw Black Swan. From the start you’re made very aware that Kevin is not your average kid and in the future Kevin does something amazingly wrong and bad and just plain evil. Though all you can do is watch, scene by scene, as the past unfolds with the present rolling on, watching through the mother’s eyes.

Speaking of which, Tilda Swinton is fantastic as Eva. From the beginning, seeing her struggle with the infant Kevin, right through to his adulthood. I could feel her pain and frustration. Though, being a mother, she just takes it. Everything that Kevin throws at her.

Kevin himself… just despicable. Ezra Miller freaked me out completely. As Kevin, he just had a complete disregard for anything or anyone around him. Every moment I was wondering what his real motives were. Chilling.

I loved the colour scheme of the film. The red splashed across almost every scene. Reminding us, that all is never going to be right.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

56 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
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  • http://www.myfilmviews.com Nostra

    Stunning film. Unfortunately a colleague spoiled what would happen in the end for me, which took away a bit of the tense feeling, but it’s a very good movie and Swinton shows what a great actress she is.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Such a shame! While I knew something heinous was going to happen at the end, not knowing exactly what definitely upped the tension.

  • http://www.ilovethatfilm.blogspot.com Pete

    Probably my favourite film of 2011. Only thing I’d add to your review is another 1 to the 4/5.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      I was wondering whether I should give it 5. I want to give it 4.5, because it’s definitely better than just 4. But … no half points! ARGHH!

  • http://www.muitsunphotography.co.uk/blog.html Mui Tsun

    Have not see this but will now have to after seeing your review and what the others have to say. Thank you.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Do. It’s a tricky film to watch. I think being a mother, you might find some of it a bit more uncomfortable to watch. I know a lot of parents out there who’ve seen this film and thought it was great, but felt totally uncomfortable throughout it.

      Don’t let that put you off. Brilliant film.

  • http://www.frontroomcinema.com Scott Lawlor

    A truly amazing film, probably one of my fave from last year. Stunning performances, direction and theme. And my god the RED!!


    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Ahh yes, lots of RED. Right from the beginning. You just knew.

  • http://Theflickersblog.com Dave

    Happy to see that I’m not the only one who agrees this is possibly the best film of 2011. I’m a parent and it’s horrifying to watch, which makes it all the more raw and visceral.

    Glad you dug it, and dammit, throw in the half-star! Your blog, your rules! :-)

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      But but but no! I gotta be strict with all those half stars. As soon as I let in half stars, I’ll be letting in quarters. And then if I try and compare it to other films, I’ll be all confused because it’ll throw the whole scale outtawack! What are you trying to do to me here, Dave!!


      I am somewhat glad I’m watching this as a single person with no kids of my own. If I was a parent, I’d probably start looking at my kids a slightly wary way!

      • http://theflickersblog.com Dave

        Get a grip on yourself, woman!

        • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

          Now I need a slap.

  • http://twscritic.com/ Eric

    “Tense” is definitely an accurate term to describe this viewing experience. Just caught it recently, and wow, what a film. I could not believe how purely evil Kevin was.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Soulless some would say about him. So without remorse. Can’t even imagine it.

  • http://aidyreviews.net Aidy

    Thinking about it, the film would indeed make for an effective promotion against pregnancy! After seeing this movie, it was a little weird to see Miller being so enthusiastic and upbeat in the trailer for ‘Perks for Being a Wallflower.’

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      It’s good he can be a bit versatile. But I think not matter what else I see him in, he’ll always creep me out.

  • http://flixchatter.net ruth

    Haven’t seen this yet but I read 2 reviews of this in a week, I’m more curious about it now.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      It’s a great film. Just… make sure you’ve got something fun to watch after.

  • http://www.dtmmr.wordpress.com Dan O.

    Now this is a real miserable and psychological trip from hell that really high-lighted how great of an actress Tilda Swinton can be. She’s so strong here and it was a total damn surprise that she didn’t even get a nomination for an Oscar. The whole “red” symbolism was a little too obvious, but it didn’t bother me too much because this film had me on the edge of my seat at all times. Good review Jaina.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      This film’s too dark for the Academy. There’s no silver lining in it. Frigging Oscars.

  • http://www.jenkakio.com Jen

    This is my kind of movie!!! Kinda sounds like “The Good Son”. Have you seen that movie? It’s not exact, but it’s similar in the fact that it makes you not want to have a child whatsoever. LOL

    Great review. If I see it, I’m so going to watch it. Cheers!

    • gEORGE

      Psychotic Ritchie Rich!

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      I’ve not seen The Good Son, what’s it like?

      Definitely look it up!

      • http://www.top10films.co.uk Dan

        The Good Son isn’t up to the standards of Kevin. It is more cliched thriller territory than this character piece.

  • http://cinematiccorner.blogspot.com/ sati

    So glad you liked the movie. For me it was just incredible – felt a bit like something Lynch could have made if he focused more on character development and not surrealism. Swinton was fantastic, though I liked her more in Julia and Michael Clayton.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Not seen Julia, but Michael Clayton is a fantastic film. Loved her in Burn After Reading too.

  • http://cinematiccorner.blogspot.com/ sati

    She was hilarious in BAR. Julia is pretty good film but her performance is seriously one of the best ones I’ve seen.

  • http://niels85.wordpress.com niels

    I knew what was going to happen at the end of the film from watching an interview of Charlie Rose to Tilda Swinton but I generally wouldn’t think the ending is THAT surprising considering the sad fact that the evil act perpetrated by Kevin has become familiar in headlines at least once a year it seems.
    I have prepared a review of “We Need To Talk About Kevin” too, and will be posting it in the coming days. We differ a little on the merits of the style of delivery, but overall, I thought it was very chilling and well-made. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller steal the show.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Agreed on the ending. Not a surprise. But the slow reveal was great to watch.

  • http://www.top10films.co.uk Dan

    Really captivating film. I agree with all your points Jaina – the performances, the mother’s struggle. I really liked the idea that Tilda Swinton allows herself to be punished for her son’s act…almost encourages it…it was really powerful.

    • http://time-wellspent.com Jaina

      Very powerful. I guess it’s as a mother you feel an obligation to your children. And she must have had some guilt, thinking that her treatment of Kevin as a child, was partly responsible. Even though, as the viewer, you know that wasn’t the case.