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Carnage Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Come for the stars, stay for the vomit. Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

Pour yourself a stiff drink first. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    61

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    I was put off by the acting, or more properly by the spectacle of good actors dutifully following leaden direction, and equally by the writing, which is as thin as the veneer of civilization it purports to peel back.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    In such an audience stroker, where casting is everything (on Broadway, James Gandolfini brought exciting menace to the role of Mr. Longstreet), Winslet and Waltz jell while Foster and Reilly flounder, unable to make sense of what kind of people they're supposed to be.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While the talented quartet play these hypocritical sorts with finesse, the story grows tiresome, its cynical point made early and often.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Snappy, nasty, deftly acted and perhaps the fastest paced film ever directed by a 78-year-old, this adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Carnage reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Talky play-based film examines parental woes; some swearing.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Jodie Foster/Kate Winslet dramedy based on the play God of Carnage and directed by controversial filmmaker Roman Polanski starts with a simple enough premise: Two couples get together to discuss why one pair's child hit another at the playground. But the movie is actually an intense examination of how the couples' "civil" conversation gets derailed and becomes a squabble. The subject matter and tone aren't likely to interest tweens or younger teens (though there's definitely loads to think about), but older teens might actually find it an interesting film to dissect with their parents, as it looks at issues of personal responsibility, parenting styles, and the like. The main iffy content is swearing (including "f--k") and drinking (the couples get pretty drunk as the afternoon wears on).

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays parenting. Are the characters good parents? How do they compare to other parents you've seen in the movies/on TV?
  • Are either or both sets of parents hovering too much over their kids? Or are they the opposite? Is either style better than the other?
  • Can you tell that this movie was based on a play? Do plays generally translate well to the big screen? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In some ways, the film is sort of depressing, with the couples airing their dirty laundry and parenting woes. But there is a cautionary message about the dangers of parents channeling their own issues through their children's lives.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: At times, all of the characters are insufferable and disingenuous, but they're also all quite human and are trying to make their way. They're ostensibly meeting out of concern for their kids, and you get the feeling that that's definitely true, though other agendas, known and unknown, rear their heads.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Some yelling among the four main characters and frank discussions about bullying. One couple's child hit the other's with a tree branch, injuring him, but the incident isn't shown.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false4

    Language: Relatively infrequent swearing, but words include "f--k," "bitch," "damn," and more.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The two couples progressively get plastered during the afternoon they spend discussing their sons' quarrel.

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