Directed by:
Written by: ,
Starring: , ,


We Need To Talk About Kevin


Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Siobhan Fallon Ezra Miller


Lynne Ramsay


DVD: 1 hr 52 mins
Blu-ray: 1 hr 52 mins


Certificate 15


What is it all about:

Based on the million-selling Orange Prize winning novel by Lionel Shiver and directed by acclaimed film-maker Lynne Ramsay, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is an emotional thriller starring Academy Award Winner Tilda Swinton, Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly, & Ezra Miller.

Eva (Tilda Swinton) puts her ambitions and career aside to give birth to Kevin. The relationship between mother and son is difficult from the very first years. When Kevin is 15, he does something irrational and unforgivable in the eyes of the community. Eva grapples with her own feelings of grief and responsibility. Did she ever love her son? And how much of what Kevin did was her fault?


 The Hughes Verdict! 



Best film of 2011?…….yes!

When we counted our votes for the HCF Movie Awards of 2011, from the loyal readers there was only one choice and that was Drive, which I am not going to deny and say that it was a worthy winner for our first award.  Now I am going to break rank here and say that we the critics of HCF also voted and while I will not say what films the others voted for, I will say what film I decided on and it was The Shrine a film which I still believe was the best horror film of last year.

It was a close call though with Kill List, the brilliant British horror was something else, a total dark horse that came from nowhere and has found instant love with nearly all who have seen it.  I was happy with those two films, I thought nothing else could beat them, could even match them for style and scares, until of course I saw We Need To Talk About Kevin, a film that if I saw in 2011 and not in 2012, then it would have been my number one choice. 

We Need…..or shall I put for short WNTTAK, is a powerhouse of a film.  Having read the book by Lionel Shriver before I set eyes on this film, I thought the story would be hard to adapt to the big screen, yes its a dark story about a mother with a very bad son but it was told in a series of confessional letters and yet director Lynne Ramsay in what is hard to believe her only third feature, some how changes the structure of the novel and makes it something else, something unique, something scary and probably the best contraceptive pill you could ever have in your hands.  Believe me watch this film and you will never have a one night stand again, simply because you may give birth to the bastard that is Kevin (Rock Duer, Jasper Newell, and Ezra Miller in the freaky older role that will give you chills up your spine).

Just like The Sixth Sense, the colour red is heavily featured in this film and like the Bruce Willis flick its a sign of death, but here its in a different context.  Now the best thing you could do is not know nothing WNTTAK before you sit down and watch the film.  If you lucky not to know nothing then good luck with the experience, you will feel drained from watching.  If you like me and know what the plot is all about then please do not worry, its still a stunning journey even though you will know the outcome of what the film is building too.

I will write this review for those who do not know anything because I would love to know your reaction when you get to the sucker punch ending, but before I even talk about endings lets talk about beginnings and the film starts like a scene from the film Society.  A mass of bodies covered in blood will leave you shaking your head at what your are seeing until its explained that its some kind of bizarre festival and its here we meet up with Tilda Swinton who SHOULD HAVE WON AN AWARD FOR THIS FILM.  I am sorry but sod you Oscars and all those who have ignored Tilda’s performance in this, she carries the film from beginning to end and oh boy you are with her every step of the way.

What we have is three timelines, one present, one past and one sort of in between.  If that sounds confusing then its not really, its easy to follow even though the dread is totally unbearable coming from the screen.  The past sees Eva (Swinton) have a drunken one night of sex with  Franklin (John C. Reilly in a straight role) and nine months later Kevin is born.  The present sees her alone and a broken women, she can not even walk the street without getting a slap from a stranger who calls her all the bitches under the sun.  Why?  Well all is revealed at the end!

The in between shows glimpse of something bad happening.  Its only flashes but it builds when the film moves along, and believe me the wait is worth it!

The truth is there is something wrong about Kevin.  As a baby he cried constantly, would not talk as a toddler and even annoys his mother by shitting his nappy on purpose.  The boy is just an awful child but is it because Eva never wanted him in the first place and that the boy feels neglected?  It could be, but the film not once offers any sympathy for any of the characters, instead we have a film full of intelligence because it actually gets the viewer to make their own mind up,  Yes, this is adult film making and not one for the date crowd.

As Kevin gets older, his attitude gets worse even masturbating towards his mother will a smile on his face and while the character comes across more evil in the book, here its still played to perfection and I really do not think I have seen such an evil child on the big screen.  Its important to understand that there is no back story here, its not a film that tells you that Kevin was born evil because there was a burial ground underneath the hospital or something like that.  This is a story of no motive, no evil lurking under the bed.  The simple fact is, evil is born for no reason and in some cases in loving families who have no idea that one of their siblings is an evil bastard who wants them all to suffer. 

Like Billy said in Scream “Its more scary when there is no motive!”…

As the flashbacks come more longer, the full scale comes apparent to the viewer and yet you still won’t be able to take your eyes off the whole thing and even though you may guess the outcome, there is still a huge shocker to await you that will probably make the film not leave you for days.  The most scary moment is the final shot that for the only moment of the film may make you sorry for those left standing.  Its an uncomfortable “sorry” on your part because you really do not want to think it.  Its like a tragic love story between two people who should have been in love from the start and it took a massive gesture to get them together.  You understand what I mean by that once you watched the film

Filmed with a vivid style of colours and confidence, WNTTAK is a powerful film that will make two sides of the audience do different things.  The parents will go home and cuddle their children and tell them how much they do love them.  Those will no kids will probably thank their lucky stars and decide there and then not to have any.

Its that kind of film………..


                                                                                               Rating: ★★★★★


Check out David’s Cinema review of WNTTAK right here:


                                                                                Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About Ross Hughes 1929 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!


  1. We Need to Talk About Kevin was a ‘baw’ hair away from being my best film of 2012 also. Swinton’s performance was exceptional and should have grabbed the Best Female Oscar. I beautiful film to look at but an ordeal to sit through. Drive, The Skin I Live in and this were my top 3 of 2011.

  2. Finally got round to seeing this and for once I agree with the general view around here; a near masterpiece, with stunning filmnmaking [reminded me very much of Nic Roeg in its editing] and stunning performances.

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