We Need to Talk About Kevin ★★★★½

For my money, We Need to Talk About Kevin represents one of the most effective uses of non-linear narrative in modern cinema.  It’s not an arty cheat to conceal a threadbare script; it’s conscious, it’s knowing, and it serves the film.  Although the initial barrage of images and sounds thrust upon us are driven by the pangs of trauma, the sequencing gradually becomes more chronological - and the scenes less fragmented - as the focus sharpens toward a singular point: the final scene.

Even so, although the film benefits from Lynne Ramsey’s best casting in her ouevre (Tilda Swinton), it is also burdened by the worst (John C. Reilly).