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148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CARNAGE is a razor-sharp, biting comedy centered on parental differences. After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the "victim" invite the parents of the "bully" over to work out their issues. A polite discussion of childrearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage.Directed by Roman Polanski (The Pianist), Carnage stars Academy Award®-winner Kate Winslet (Best Actress, The Reader, 2008) and Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor, Inglourious Basterds, 2009) as husband and wife Nancy and Alan Cowan, opposite Academy Award®-winner Jodie Foster (Best Actress, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991; Best Actress, The Accused, 1988) and Academy Award®-nominee John C. Reilly (Best Supporting Actor, Chicago, 2002) as Penelope and Michael Longstreet.

As a director, Roman Polanski has always had a genius for finding the divide between civility and blunt self-interest, and then merrily Evel Knieveling over it. (John Huston's line in Chinatown about people being capable of anything at any given time says it all, really.) Carnage, Polanski's follow-up to the genially wicked Ghost Writer, can't entirely transcend its stage-bound origins (Yasmina Reza's Tony-winning God of Carnage), but it works as a fantastically nasty showcase for some immensely talented performers to get down with their bad selves. Think a mixed-doubles tennis match, with cherry bombs. Kicking off with a deceptively placid shot of kids at play, Reza and Polanski's screenplay follows the thermonuclear differences of opinion that occur when an upper-crust New York pair (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly) invite another couple (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) into their apartment in an attempt to resolve a scuffle between their children. Verbal dustups of all shapes and sizes quickly follow. For all of Reza's celebrated dark wit and way with a punch line (the running gag involving a hamster just kills), there's a rather flowcharty feel to her scenario here, with the various escalations and shifts in allegiance between the four coming at fairly predictable intervals. Thankfully, Polanski keeps things moving at an expert clip, mainly by taking his cast's most distinguishable characteristics (Reilly's cuddly everyman quality, Winslet's repressed earthiness) and cinching them all a few notches too tight, particularly in the case of Foster, who delivers a merciless lampooning of her own intelligence. (The most outwardly reprehensible of the lot, Waltz's Blackberry-obsessed lawyer, somehow comes off the best, simply by being self-aware.) First-daters may want to stay far, far away, but in Polanski's hands, Carnage delivers a brisk, blackly hilarious 79 minutes in the presence of some wonderfully bad company. --Andrew Wright

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly, Elvis Polanski
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Producers: Said Ben Said, Saïd Saïd
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,442 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carnage" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Randy M on January 15, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This was a great and fun/funny film. A drama where two kids parents meet at ones apartment to decide "how to handle" the situation where one of the boys hit another boy with a stick, knocking out teeth. Who's fault was it? Who should apologize to whom? Should the parents get involved? Should they also take responsibility for their kids aggression and the others timidness? We learn the issue of aggression and short comings might be more so with the parents, than with the kids. And that poor hamster? A film by Roman Polanski, more so a short dinner theater type play brought to film. The shortest film I've seen in a theater. 1 hr 15 min. But great stars, fun plot. Things go from simple casual attempt(s) between two sets of parents with coming to an agreement concerning responsibility for their kids actions, to the parents engaged in something close to total WWIII. With a little apple cobbler tossed in (and up) along with way, plus way too many social cocktails in the mix. And a busy cell phone adding to the never ending comedy-drama.
With stars this wonderful, this film is a must see hit. And again... that poor hamster.
There are great court room dramas that keep you engaged. This is not a court room drama, but equal to such as a social drama between agreeing/disagreeing, then agreeing then back to disagreeing sets of parents.
With everyone carrying, then unloading, a lot of psychological baggage.
And YOU are the fly on the wall.
Great! Very fun! Interesting! Too short. I wanted more, a lot more. But what Roman Polanski gives us is totally worth experiencing.
Great directing mixed with great actors/acting really does make the difference.
NOTE: And just who was that peeking out the next door apartment at all the ruckus going on in the hall way?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Fechter on March 26, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
"Carnage" opens like a play which it was adapted from and is tautly directed by Roman Polanski. Penelope Longstreet (Jodie Foster) along with husband Michael (John C. Reilly) invite the Cowans to their apartment; Nancy (Kate Winslet) and her work-consumed husband, Christoph Waltz. The Longstreets feel it necessary to discuss the reason why their "victim" son was struck, and badly hurt, by the "maniac brutalizer" Cowan's son. Michael would simply appreciate an apology from their child although Penelope seems to have her own agenda and intends to push it.

Penelope and Nancy have a tremendous amount of tension between them which is palpable from the onset. Michael appears personable, overly generous and friendly ... at first. On the other hand, Mr. Cowan is aloof about the subject, on his cell phone constantly as a pharmaceutical lawyer who is much more absent in the genesis of the conversation.

The 'go-around' all plays out mainly in one room, the living room, with a small scene in the hallway and if you are quick, you just may see a 'guest' appearance. You can literally feel the air suck right out of the space. It becomes claustrophobic and dizzying as the couples begin wildly talking, accusing, and definitely getting far off the subject of their sons. In this obvious stress inducing situation, especially for Nancy and then Penelope, anxiety builds and the topics get verbally and emotionally out of control. The discussion of the children's situation is quickly set aside while personal marital issues insidiously invade the conversation. More like spouting-offs!

The husbands slowly get involved by first defending their wives, arguing with each other, and then challenging each other.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eugenia on May 29, 2012
Format: DVD
So what happens in NYC when parents of two boys decide to have a private meeting in order to resolve a conflict between their children? Meet two couples, who are equally concerned about well being of their 11 year old sons. Two boys got into a fight and the fight got physical. Before long, one boy is grounded and another one nearly looses his tooth. Surely, these young people need to be punished and thought a lesson; so - their parents decide to meet and assess what to do next.

The entire movie is entirely set in a NYC apartment of one of the couples. It starts as civil and cordial meeting between two pairs of concerned parents and turns into, well - carnage. In nearly two hours, we see these four people fighting it out with each other in words. It starts as one pair of parents against the other, but then lines become blurry as aliences between them start to shift. Every now and then, pairs would re-group, but then things would fall into a chaos again. It is witty, contemporary story about modern life, alienation between people, parents and their children; greed, glutony, assessment of our priorities and purpose in middle life. Great cast of actors, wonderful verbal duels. I truly enjoyed this movie. I always loved Roman Polanski's movies and this one adds to the wonderful collection of his already prized work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John H. Macdonald on September 9, 2012
Format: DVD
I though this was one of those slasher movies until I saw the names of the stars. This is actually very similar to the classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Two-Disc Special Edition). All of the action takes place during one afternoon after a schoolyard fight between two boys leads to a meeting between both sets of parents to settle the tiff. Very different socially, the two couples at first perform the usual polite dance of parents everywhere, trying to remain polite and civil. A bottle of single-malt scotch, and some expensive cigars, lead to a loosening of social norms and shifting alliances among the group. I found this to be among the most intelligent films that I have seen in quite some time, especially since it is not an "art film" and is readily accessible to a mass audience. This is like attending a well done one act play right in your living room.
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