User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 195 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 195
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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. 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 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.
  3. GrafZ
    Feb 8, 2010
    5
    It's well made and well acted, but after 40 or 50 minutes everything just falls apart. Or maybe it's just me tired of dumb moralizing.
  4. 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.
  5. JamesL
    Nov 9, 2009
    3
    Did I miss something or did I just see 2009's equivalent of "Happy Go Lucky"? There was nothing fresh, original, or interesting about this film. We have seen the plot before and the ending was a let down. The entire film was a big let down. An 85 review. I do not see how!
  6. NormG
    Nov 7, 2009
    8
    Geez, is Carey Mulligan ever going to look old? She pretty much looks 14 as she did five years ago in Bleak House. Here she plays a saucy smart 16 year old on her way to Oxford. You have no problem guessing where the story ends, but along the way Jenny, and her family, get a little different education than you
  7. Mila
    Mar 14, 2010
    1
    "Mulligan was perfect"? What came over you, people?! She doesn't develop a character at all
  8. 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.
  9. 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 hisHaving 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
  10. 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 isWithin 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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  11. 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 hisThe 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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  12. Ryan
    May 2, 2010
    9
    I loved this movie. Carey Mulligan was amazing, she should have won the Oscar, in my opinion.
  13. JamesH.
    Apr 7, 2010
    9
    95/100. This film works on every level. It
  14. DanaM
    Oct 20, 2009
    9
    A film that keeps you thinking, about your own upbringing, and the direction of the story. At times uncomfortable, and at times humorous, this film should be on everyone's must-see list
  15. GeorgeM
    Oct 9, 2009
    9
    An almost perfect film. I generally despise coming of age tales and really hate older-man/young-girl stories. However, joy and energy pulsates from the screen. Will transport you back to the optimism of your youth before the hard truths start to pile up.
  16. EggyG
    Feb 15, 2010
    8
    Carrey Mulligan was perfect...delivered wonderful performance. Love the movie style and pace, but kinda disappointed with weak ending...felt anti climax. Overall still a nice movie.
  17. HashimN.
    Feb 17, 2010
    10
    education is very important for life and also for death After providing background on the characteristics of
  18. AndyG.
    Jan 13, 2010
    6
    Started wonderfully, but seems to cop-out on its 'there's more to life than education' tale and instead opts for a startlingly (Time Out New York said it best;) 'moralistic' ending - That men are pigs and girls should stay in school 'because'. I'm also amazed that her teachers and headmistress had no insight into the purpose of education. Worth a Started wonderfully, but seems to cop-out on its 'there's more to life than education' tale and instead opts for a startlingly (Time Out New York said it best;) 'moralistic' ending - That men are pigs and girls should stay in school 'because'. I'm also amazed that her teachers and headmistress had no insight into the purpose of education. Worth a watch for the performances. Expand
  19. JohnM
    Feb 13, 2010
    10
    An absolutely charming film about an era we will never see again. Carrie Mulligan's performance as an old teenager is spot on, while Alfred Molina hits a high mark as a father with doubts and fears that gets through life on stubborness. A MUST SEE FOR TEENAGERS, PARENTS, AND THOSE WHO LIVED IN THE '60'S.
  20. KennethS
    Feb 15, 2010
    9
    An Education is acted out wonderfully, and newcomer Carey Mulligan is sharp and witty playing Jenny. Though it has a familiar plot, An Education never feels cliched or dull. It could have a better screenplay; the ending was a little too abrupt and blunt.
  21. LindaL
    Feb 7, 2010
    5
    I'll remember the lovely face of the winsome lead actress, and not much else. It's a coming-of-age story that yields some rather wary laughs before turning into a morality tale.
  22. SB
    May 16, 2010
    6
    An average feel-good film you'll soon forget.
  23. DebraKK
    Jun 6, 2010
    10
    Have just run across this dvd. what a wonderful zany movie! Carey Mulligan as the scheming Jenny (scheming, as she angles for a trip to Paris --& gets it!) is funny; Sarsgaard as David is wonderful; Rosamund Pike is hysterically funny as Helen (in one sense, not bright, but, in another sense, able to light up a room with her smile); Alfred Molina and ? (forgive my memory) were like my Have just run across this dvd. what a wonderful zany movie! Carey Mulligan as the scheming Jenny (scheming, as she angles for a trip to Paris --& gets it!) is funny; Sarsgaard as David is wonderful; Rosamund Pike is hysterically funny as Helen (in one sense, not bright, but, in another sense, able to light up a room with her smile); Alfred Molina and ? (forgive my memory) were like my parents. You even get Emma Thompson and Olivia Williams. This is first-rate casting. The movie is based on British journalist Lynn Barber's memoir of her real life romance in the 1961 to 1963 period. Maybe the movie's release on dvd and the deserved Oscar nominations will allow more people a chance to see this. (You probably had to drive a long distance to see this on the big screen.) Please see this if you haven't already! (Second effort at posting as first effort resulted in script error message.) Expand
  24. AndresU
    Nov 1, 2009
    8
    Absolutely excellent film. One of the best films I've seen this year
  25. DeanR
    Oct 18, 2009
    9
    Subtle and disarming. Her parents WERE my parents. Brilliantly acted, written, and directed.
  26. PeterG
    Dec 22, 2009
    8
    If the movie had been about 1 minute shorter, stopping immediately after the scene where she asked her former English teacher for help, I would have rated it more highly. The last minute wraps things up too quickly, neatly and simply, making sure we know everything turns out all right. A typical ending for an American script, not a good European one.
  27. Happy
    Dec 6, 2009
    10
    Wonderful, faithfully recreated tale from a bygone non-pc era.
  28. roberti
    Dec 6, 2009
    9
    Spot-on evocation of a time, but more importantly, an achingly poignant, pitch-perfect portrait of an ultrabright young Englishwoman's coming of age. Hits you like a tidal wave, despite its conventional plot.
  29. KevinA
    Feb 14, 2010
    8
    Excellent performance from Carey Mulligan, a few weaknbesses in the script was the only thing stopping this from being rated a touch higher.
  30. DarleenO
    Nov 16, 2009
    4
    This film raises and then skates breezily over some interesting feminist history. Ultimately, the motives of the main characters aren't believable. Carey Mulligan is wonderful, though.
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.