Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
Watch On
  1. 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.
  2. This tale of an English schoolgirl's hard-won wisdom is thrilling --for the radiance of Carey Mulligan's Jenny, who's wonderfully smart and perilously tender; for the grace of Lone Scherfig's direction, and the brilliance of Nick Hornby's screenplay.
  3. 100
    This is a performance, and a film, to cherish for this year and always.
  4. 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.
  5. Hornby is a fine craftsman and his dialogue sparkles, though occasionally the scenes are too calculated.
  6. 100
    It is, in its quiet, precise, classical way, nearly perfect.
  7. The combination of a literate script, an adroit cast and an economical style is simple addition that achieves an alchemical feat: the best film of the year.
  8. Afterward, you'll want to listen to the Beatles sing ''She's Leaving Home.'' It might be a girl like Jenny the lads had in mind.
  9. 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.
  10. Bracingly perceptive about the human comedy.
  11. Topped by a fine cast, a first-rate script by Nick Hornby and tight direction by Lone Scherfig, the film is a smart, moving but not inaccessible entry in the coming-of-age canon.
  12. Reviewed by: Elias Savada
    90
    Technical elements are among the best this year. Photography, editing, music, production design, and costumes all add seamless period flavor to the puritanical stew that was London almost a half-century ago.
  13. A distinctive story with universal appeal.
  14. 88
    An Education is remarkable for the traps it doesn't fall into. Jenny, for all her naive impulses, isn't a victim.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    Through stellar performances, clever writing and exquisite cinematography, the story is fresh and thoroughly captivating.
  16. 88
    Despite the lingering aroma of Victorian rot shrouding 1961, An Education is excitingly young.
  17. 88
    In the end, this is more a character study of Jenny than a tale of tortured love, and a reminder that any education worth having comes with its share of trauma.
  18. The film version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” came out in the year in which An Education is set, and beyond the hairstyles, there’s something of the willful, gleeful Golightly reinvention expert about Jenny.
  19. Disarming and unexpectedly poignant, An Education contrasts the knowledge learned in school with that learned from life.
  20. 88
    The film wouldn't work at all, though, if Sarsgaard didn't strike the perfect balance between snaky predator and love-struck fool.
  21. It's a career-making performance that relies as much on charm as on acting ability -- and Mulligan has both.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    Director Lon Scherfig orchestrates his french maturity movie "An Education" with consistency, maintaining the tone of the movie pretty classy.Director Lon Scherfig orchestrates his french maturity movie "An Education" with consistency, maintaining the tone of the movie pretty classy. Other than that, Peter Sarsgaard also does a superb performance throughout the movie. It's a film that deeply troubled teens will watch and understand. Full Review »
  2. JoelM.
    Mar 31, 2010
    2
    Overrated creepy, unbelievable film. Parents pimping their daughter portrayed as comedic. Film is as manipulative and puerile as the central Overrated creepy, unbelievable film. Parents pimping their daughter portrayed as comedic. Film is as manipulative and puerile as the central male character. Typical of the director's approach: if we don't like the schoolmaster's point of view, make her an anti-semitic monster. Heroine's wisdom at the end amounts to "been there, done that" as an epiphany. Full Review »
  3. 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 impressiveAn 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. Full Review »