Hollywood Reporter - 09/01/2011
"Snappy, nasty, deftly acted....[CARNAGE] fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece..."
Box Office - 10/04/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "CARNAGE has many familiar Polanski elements running through it, exhibited with a career's worth of pared-down precision."
Film Comment - 11/01/2011
"It's an entertaining, cathartic fantasy of bad manners....A grimacing Foster goes for it, and Reilly's easygoing routine holds the attention..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/16/2011
"Not only is Polanski very much in his comfort zone with this material, he also has cast it impressively..."
New York Times - 12/15/2011
"[A] swift and spry adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play....Ms. Foster is frighteningly intense..."
Movieline - 12/15/2011
"[T]he picture is a brisk, disciplined exercise: For the most part the performances are precise and cutting, and the writing has a sharpness that we don't often see in contemporary movies..."
A.V. Club - 12/15/2011
"CARNAGE bristles with tension in its superior first two acts, as conversation about the children's misbehavior morphs unmistakably into a fevered debate about seemingly everything else."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/01/2012 3 stars out of 4 -- "Polanski brings a great deal of skill to its staging, and it looks as if the actors enjoy themselves."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2012
"Here the power and the glee are in the uniformly excellent playing. Jodie Foster's Penelope is a revelation....John C. Reilly adds a note of misanthropic menace..."
Total Film - 04/01/2012 3 stars out of 5 -- "The cast are excellent...and the film whizzes past in peaks of exasperated laughter....CARNAGE is an acting masterclass from four of the best in the business..."
Uncut - 03/01/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "It is well performed by the leads....[CARNAGE] has a barbed and vicious undertow."
Director Roman Polanski teams with playwright Yasmina Reza to adapt Reza's Tony Award-winning play about four New York parents who gather for a civilized discussion that becomes anything but after their children get into a scuffle at a local park. Alan (Christoph Waltz) and Nancy (Kate Winslet) are the parents of Zachary, a young schoolboy whose recent fight with classmate Ethan resulted in two of Ethan's teeth being broken. Convinced that they can find an amiable solution to the problem rather than dragging lawyers into the picture, Ethan's parents Penelope (Jodie Foster) and Michael (John C. Reilly) invite Alan and Nancy to their home to discuss the matter in a comfortable setting. At first the conversation is cordial, with both sets of parents stating their own perspectives over coffee and dessert. But once the booze starts to flow and the guards come down, things begin to turn combative. As the evening wears on, both sets of parents are slinging venomous insults and engaging in underhanded behavior that makes their kids' tooth-chipping tussle look like child's play.
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