Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In the post-war, pre-Beatles London suburbs, a bright schoolgirl is torn between studying for a place at Oxford and the more exciting alternative offered to her by a
    charismatic older man. (Sony Pictures Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    This happens in 1961, when 16-year-old girls were a great deal less knowing than they are now. Yet the movie isn't shabby or painful, but romantic and wonderfully entertaining.
  2. 100
    An Education captures the very limited possibilities for female liberation in early-'60s London -- with massive social change on the distant horizon, but not here yet -- in exquisite detail.
  3. 91
    An Education shares with Hornby’s best work trenchant insight into the way smart, hyper-verbal young people let the music, films, books, and art they love define themselves as they figure out who they are and what they want to be.
  4. Disarming and unexpectedly poignant, An Education contrasts the knowledge learned in school with that learned from life.
  5. Watch Mulligan's face as she goes from weary to awakened, and see it all come together.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Carey Mulligan shines in a captivating performance.
  7. Lone Scherfig directs it all as if it were a breezy lark, so a third-act tonal shift makes for an incongruous, excessively moralistic fit with everything that’s preceded. Most insulting, though, is the way in which the climactic passages miraculously tidy up every frayed edge of Jenny’s life.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. Nov 4, 2011
    10
    An Education is a nice coming-of-age tale with an important message that may resonant with a lot of young people. And it sports an impressive cast and a star-making performance from Carey Mulligan. 4/4 stars. Expand
  2. Sep 5, 2010
    10
    An Education is a great movie. Carey Mulligan could be the next Natalie Portman. It's one of the best British films ever made. I loved it. Be sure to see it. Expand
  3. May 14, 2013
    9
    There probably aren't enough words to outline how beautiful, enjoyable, emotionally driven and often humorous the fantastic An Education is,but lets try anyway.
    Taking place in 1962, we meet Jenny, a 16 year-old schoolgirl, played very convincingly and warming by Carey Mulligan, we see Jenny being swept off her feet by the mysterious and confident David, (played by Peter Sarsgaard), in a time when an Oxford education is sought after, but a wealthy husband will do just fine.
    Jenny is introduced to a world alive and full of colour when she is in David's company, joined by his friends Helen (Rosamund Pike) and Danny (Dominic Cooper), they embark on a journey throughout the lives of free-spirited individuals, concerts, late night suppers, trips throughout the country and beyond. The film really outlines just how different life was in 1960s Britain, it was perhaps more acceptable for the events that unfold in the film, but with such a sunny outlook there are of course clouds in the distance.
    As common sense would go, its natural for people to be concerned about the blossoming relationship, simply for how much brighter the other path seems, its a difficult and thoughtful concept of educational needs over living life through your own accordance.
    Peter Sarsgaard puts in a fantastic performance as the classy and forthright David, someone who gets what he wants, and knows just what to say, but without ever seeming deceiving or over-bearing about it. Sarsgaard perfectly captures someone who easily sways those around him to live life in the fast lane.
    Mulligan puts a superb performance in as the smart, witty and beautiful schoolgirl Jenny, a girl who loves to think for herself, but rarely sees a life outside of her books and overbearing yet kind-hearted father (Alfred Molina).
    The era that the film is set in is perfectly handled by the superb writing and wonderfully acted gem of a film, that never tries to aim too high above what story it is telling, it never claims to be something it isn't.
    While the ending was a little weak and too expected after the last half hour, this is a wonderful film that takes a risky subject but in a way opens up the eyes of the younger generation to all sorts of opportunities, outlining that not everything is black and white.
    Expand
  4. Jan 19, 2011
    8
    This movie is just utterly amazing. Carey Mulligan displays such passion in this role, I truly believe that she is someone to watch in the future. I have never been a huge fan of Peter Sarsgaard especially after watching the orphan the previous night, but this film restored my faith in him as an actor. The only downfall I felt that this film had was its ending, I left feeling unsatisfied, I wanted a bigger ending, I wanted to know more about Peter's character. However in hindsight this movie is truly inspirational and I wish that my age group saw films like this instead of the trashy movies advertised on MTV. Expand
  5. Apr 14, 2012
    8
    Crammed with great acting and powerful storytelling, An Education rises above the normal romantic film by providing a realistic sense of life and a bold point to make sure it stands out. Although the second half falls low in character; it is no secret that An Education is an excellent film. Particular praise to Carey Mulligan, who offers a strong and diverse performance. Expand
  6. Sep 25, 2011
    8
    An Education is a tastefully crafted movie with good characters, acting and a meaningful story to important life lessons. The film makers did a good job not over complicating the story, unneeded conflict is far too common in most modern films and this movie manages to get a good balance. I felt cultured and that I had learnt something after watching this movie, the female lead also plays a fun and interesting character worth remembering. Recommended Expand
  7. Jan 26, 2011
    2
    Having missed this in theaters was glad to see it on Netflix instant - anticipated an excellent film. Boy was I disappointed and weirded out. The premise is absurd - older guy semi-stalks 16 yr old and then gets her parents' permission to not only date her but etc. So on that level quite pervy and bizarre. Add to that the older guy is "a Jew" who is rather shady on several levels, and his Jewishness is made a central theme. So we have a pervy older Jew corrupting a beautiful young thing with her parents' blissful encouragement. Please - this is supposed to be charming? It's perverse. Yuch. Expand

See all 51 User Reviews

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