Excerpt: Two 11-year-old boys get into a violent playground fight that leads to their parents meeting to discuss how to handle the situation. Alan and Nancy Cowan (Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet) come to the Brooklyn apartment of Penelope and Michael Longstreet (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly) after their boy struck the Longstreet's son Ethan with a stick, but what starts as a friendly agreement to try to work things out turns into a angry yelling match as four very different people...
Conclusion: 'Carnage' neatly tells a messy tale as it analyzes how we interact, how we mold ourselves to fit someone's skewed vision of civilized society, and how seemingly insignificant events and minutia can trigger massive reactions and lead us to our breaking point. Director Roman Polanski respects the play's roots and keeps it confined to a single set, allowing the words and performances to speak for themselves.
Excerpt: Carnage is the (un)true story of two couples who’ve agreed to meet in a Brooklyn apartment — drink together and have their lives filmed (by Roman Polanski) — to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. If you had told me that one day I would be relating a Roman Polanski film to the opening credits of MTV’s The Real World , I would’ve told you…yeah, that sounds like something I would do.
Conclusion: Carnage is a devilishly fun little venture about adults acting like children when they confront one another over their children acting like children. It's something of a crude yet alluring voyeuristic glimpse into the deepest, darkest secrets of people the audience doesn't really know, but comes to understand through the course of the movie. It's amazing how much can be laid on the table in about 80 minutes, particularly in the company of strangers.
Excerpt: “Hell is other people.” Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that in No Exit , his 1944 play about three deceased men and women who are stuck in a room together for all eternity and left to torture each other by exposing individual fears, desires, sins and memories. The idea of exposing peoples’ true nature by sticking characters in a room together has been explored many times since, from Reginald Rose’s 1954 teleplay Twelve Angry Men to Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe ,...
Excerpt: The fragile twine of banal niceties and white lies holding polite society together frays, then gives way completely, in Carnage , Roman Polanski’s agreeably, then gratuitously, nasty adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s play God Of Carnage . As is generally the case in plays about the underlying viciousness of the human condition, it doesn’t take much to make society break down.
Excerpt: Roman Polanski's Carnage begins at what appears to be the end. Two pairs of parents, the Longstreets (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly) and the Cowans (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz), have met at the former's apartment because their two sons have had a fight. We see that inciting incident at the conclusion of the opening credits, an burst of barbaric but childlike violence.
Conclusion: A quartet of pitch-perfect performances from a cast uniformly at its career best, together with a director on shockingly mischievous top form, this is a shot of pure, exhilarating cinematic malice. And if nothing else, it contains the most surprising puking sequence since Monsieur Creosote.