Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

From the talented Lynne Ramsay comes this devastating adaptation of Lionel Shriver's book, looking at the aftermath of a high school massacre committed by teen Kevin (Ezra Miller, phenomenal in this role) from the perspective of his mother Eva (Tilda Swinton). Kevin is now in prison and we shift through Eva's timeline - from her travel writing days, to meeting her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly, playing it straight), through to Kevin's birth and then basically how he grows up worse than Damien in The Omen. We also witness the aftermath of Kevin's atrocities, tactfully and not graphic but there are flashes of bright red throughout the film which is enough for the audience to imagine what happened. The most disturbing interactions are between Kevin and his younger sister Celia (Ashley Gerasimovich) - from the disappearance of her pet guinea pig to a household 'accident' which results in Celia losing an eye.
...Kevin is a masterpiece and completely captivating. It asks some extremely bold questions - was Kevin 'born' evil? Was Eva at fault as a mother? Should Eva and Franklin have done more to stop him as the warning signs were there? When the denouncement comes, it's absolutely devastating and offers one enormous shock which you don't see coming. It's also about the aftermath of mass murderers and how families have to pay for the crimes of their children - and with mass shootings happening so often now in the US, it really does provide some food for thought about the families left behind.
Watch it for: Tilda Swinton is incredible (as always)
Watch out for: We couldn't watch the poor little guinea pig