User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 184

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  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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    7
    Carey Mulligan plays a naive teenager looking for fulfillment, torn between the wishes of her father, who pushes her to attend Oxford University, and an older womanizer who wants her to explore life while she is still young. The post-war English setting is great, along with all the performances, and the evolution of Mulligan's character makes the film well worth watching.
  4. Sep 17, 2010
    9
    I remember hearing about this and thinking it would be a typical British melodrama. I was wrong because An Education is actually an entertaining and romantic drama that makes a star of its young star Carey Mulligan - whose presence on screen is truly remarkable. Her performance as the 16 year old Jenny who falls for the much older Peter Sarsgaard, is simply sublime. Alfred Molina as the father, Jack is brilliant and at times, hilarious. The film itself is nicely put together and it's like a giant homage to the 60's school life. That's a good thing. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Sep 29, 2010
    9
    Within the film industry, there are types of movies that are created simply to just please the eye or take a break from the monotony of life for a couple hours of adrenaline and testosterone. While there are some that are created to inspire its audience in some positive or even a negative way. A perfect example of an inspirational movie that anyone average movie goer can relate to is Disney Pixar's Up, which depicts an elderly man overcoming his dull and boring life to reach a life filled with substance. One can say that An Education follows the same model, but instead of achieving a life filled with pleasure and glamor, it shows an individual having this coveted life, and eventually losing it.

    An Education is the screen adaptation of author Nick Hornby's, writer of About A Boy, screenplay with the identical title. It is a coming-of-age story about a high school student from London named Jenny, Carey Mulligan, who embarks on a relationship with a man twice her own age, with this relationship she receives a life that any teenager would dream to have. An Education is Carey Mulligan's breakthrough role, who has been unknown to the general audience starring in small roles such as last year's Public Enemies. This movie does a fantastic job in introducing the actress, whose maturity resembles an actress much older. Jenny then eventually comes to a dark conclusion about this rich-filled life. Spoilers set aside, the dark conclusion is very inspiring in both a dark and negative way and depicts really how life truly is.

    An Education, in simple words, does things right. Its star-studded English cast, which includes Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson, and Rosamund Pike(Pride & Prejudice), shines as they represent various types of characters. From a rich unintelligent woman, to an average instructor that one encounters in day-to-day life. It's artistic view of London, the night-life, and Paris, is simply beautiful due to it's simplicity. It's dialogue that adds to both character development and subtle humor. The soundtrack filled with vintage and classical tunes that add to the overall mood of the story. And it ultimately conveys a true life, a life that's possible, and how it possesses both good times and bad.

    Some negative aspects of the movie include racial stereotypes expressed by the author. The movie is filled with some anti-semitic feelings that are somewhat unnecessary for the film. This ambiguity towards the Jewish community is totally irrelevant to the story, and could have been left out. The only positivity of this aspect is that it portrays racial feelings expressed in 1960s London. But even at that, it could have been removed.

    Overall, An Education is one of my favorite films of 2009. I cannot really say what inspired me from this movie due to spoiler reasons, but I can say that every student should watch it. It really shows why it's all important, and that life doesn't have its shortcuts. An Education has been recently nominated for Best Picture, but will be sadly overshadowed by hyped films such as Avatar, or Inglorious Basterds. Carey Mulligan is my pick for Best Actress because her performance is truly impeccable, but I have a feeling Sandra Bullock's overhyped performance in "The Blind Side," will beat it. Anyway, awards set aside, An Education is a remarkable film, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a film with purpose.
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  8. 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
  9. Feb 9, 2011
    6
    The major failing of this film is that for much of its duration, the film is dominated by unsympathetic characters. Carey Mulligan's Jenny begins a precocious show-off that simply doesn't do enough to win the audience over in the first act to make us care about her undoing in the second. Peter Sarsgaard's David has too much screen-time with no purpose other than to reinforce his unwholesome motivations which, unfortunately, are screamingly obvious from the outset. The films soul lies with the Jenny's father and teacher (Alfred Molina and Olivia Williams on excellent form) -- underused characters the resolution of whose plotlines serve to make the film's final quarter of an hour by far its most entertaining. Half a good film.


    The underused Olivia Williams and Alfred Molina are
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  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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  13. Jan 11, 2013
    7
    I liked it. But there aren't really any great moments.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Carey Mulligan shines in a captivating performance.
  3. For all its original touches, though, An Education follows a conventional trajectory.