User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 122
  2. Negative: 16 out of 122
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  1. Sep 1, 2014
    7
    Joe Wright's direction is as beautiful as always. Although it may not be as heartfelt as Pride & Prejudice or Atonement, it is another wonderful collaboration with his muse, Keira Knightley.
  2. Dec 9, 2012
    7
    I was pleasantly surprised by this film - it's much more interesting and artistic than I thought it would be, given the source material. I love the use of the theater convention in telling the story. Knightly is terrific, but her supporting actors carry much of the load and do a wonderful job in the process.
  3. Mar 26, 2013
    7
    Stunning! I might have preferred a more conventional period piece similar to Wright's other works (Atonement, P&P) that used actual shooting locations, but the aesthetic choices made for this film are incredible. The production design, costume design, and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous and really make the film one of the most beautiful you'll ever see. The performances are allStunning! I might have preferred a more conventional period piece similar to Wright's other works (Atonement, P&P) that used actual shooting locations, but the aesthetic choices made for this film are incredible. The production design, costume design, and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous and really make the film one of the most beautiful you'll ever see. The performances are all solid and Knightley gives one of her best and most mature performances to date. The film is a bit emotionally cold at times due to the horrendous casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky, but overall Anna Karenina is a good period piece. Expand
  4. Dec 9, 2012
    9
    Visually sumptious - The production design and costumes are truly beautiful and the film does look a million dollars - this version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a triumph. Imaginitively and boldly directed within a theatre setting, Joe Wright elicits a good performance from Keira Knightley (who always seems to walk a tightrope between good and bad in her films) and a scene stealingVisually sumptious - The production design and costumes are truly beautiful and the film does look a million dollars - this version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a triumph. Imaginitively and boldly directed within a theatre setting, Joe Wright elicits a good performance from Keira Knightley (who always seems to walk a tightrope between good and bad in her films) and a scene stealing performance from Jude Law as her betrayed husband. Beautiful and underrated the film rewards an audience prepared to wait for the gradual unfolding. Knightley certainly gets better the longer she inhabits the character. Another plus is the lush music score by Dario Marianelli which quitely adds volumes to the atmosphere of what is taking place on screen. Collapse
  5. Aug 31, 2013
    8
    Beautifully shot using a very theatrical style. In fact the majority of the action uses a theatre as its backdrop and I even spotted a section of stop-motion animation at one point. Sumptuous costumes, for which it won an Oscar, and some brilliantly choreographed set pieces are the backbone of this production. Of course we must not forget it is a drama and there’s plenty of that with someBeautifully shot using a very theatrical style. In fact the majority of the action uses a theatre as its backdrop and I even spotted a section of stop-motion animation at one point. Sumptuous costumes, for which it won an Oscar, and some brilliantly choreographed set pieces are the backbone of this production. Of course we must not forget it is a drama and there’s plenty of that with some really excellent performances to back it up. Keira Knightly went up in my estimation with this one; as did Jude Law; they both put in great performances. Also worthy of note was Aaron Taylor-Johnson; who I have watched with interest over the past few years and is rapidly growing into a very fine actor yes, he is that guy from ‘Kick-Ass’). I was a little concerned that it may be a case of ‘style over substance’, but as it wore on I became more and more engrossed in the characters and the storyline. I guess this shows that the drama did manage to shine through (at least for me). The only thing that let it down was the fact the sub-plot involving Levin and Kitty didn’t really have a lot to do with Anna and Vronsky by the time we saw the last of them; it seemed a little disjointed. Over all though, a very worthy watch and one, I’m sure my sister would definitely enjoy!

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.7/10.
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  6. Feb 26, 2013
    7
    Per mettere in scena l’ennesima versione del romanzo forse più conosciuto di Tolstoj, Joe Wright e il suo sceneggiatore Tom Stoppard seguono una via che, pur non originalissima in sé, si dimostra assai efficace nell’evitare il pericolo della banale rilettura. Tutto il film idealmente ambientato in un piccolo teatro di provincia, in cui va in scena la rappresentazione di una societàPer mettere in scena l’ennesima versione del romanzo forse più conosciuto di Tolstoj, Joe Wright e il suo sceneggiatore Tom Stoppard seguono una via che, pur non originalissima in sé, si dimostra assai efficace nell’evitare il pericolo della banale rilettura. Tutto il film idealmente ambientato in un piccolo teatro di provincia, in cui va in scena la rappresentazione di una società ottocentesca basata sull’apparenza e sull’ipocrisia, tanto che solo a Levin (un bravo Domhnall Gleeson), l’unico che rifiuta la parte già scritta per lui dall’ambiente in cui vive, concesso di uscirne. Per farlo, utilizza la grande porta che si apre, con bella intuizione, sul fondale del teatro, mentre gli ingressi laterali consentono agli altri personaggi di accedere agli ambienti privati; la platea, invece, di volta in volta stazione ferroviaria, sala da ballo oppure ippodromo (e i treni in viaggio sono dei modellini come quelli con cui gioca il figlio di Anna, Serhoza). Malgrado qualche sbandamento (e mugugno) tra il pubblico, il marchingegno funziona, in special modo nela prima parte in cui l’unità di luogo mantenuta con più rigore: vi contribuiscono il ritmo regalato dal bel montaggio (Melanie Oliver) e ravvivato da un’attenta cura del colore e delle musiche (dell’italiano Dario Marianelli, candidato all’Oscar ma battuto da Mychael Danna per ‘Vita di Pi’). Un’operetta come dice con chiarezza Vronskij in cui spicca il vitalissimo ma amorale Oblonskij di Macfayden, infedele in amore e dispotico sul lavoro; quando esplode la passione tra Anna e Vronskij, la storia accentua invece il lato drammatico dirigendosi verso la fine che tutti ben conosciamo almeno quanto l’incipit che, però, non viene citato ma senza riuscire a sfuggire al minuetto sociale dominante. Anche qui prosegue il lavoro sul colore, che dai toni chiari dei primi, entusiasti amplessi si va sempre più scurendo con l’incupirsi della situazione: la crisi fra i due amanti culmina fra tappezzerie in blu elettrico e un’incapacità di fissarsi dritti in volto che lascia spazio solo a sguardi lanciati attraverso gli specchi. Una considerazione sulla coppia protagonista, quest’ultima, che ci porta alle dolenti note. Se appare inevitabile, e non particolarmente fastidioso, che molti aspetti del romanzo vengano semplificati capita quando si cerca di infilare un librone in poco più di centoventi minuti di film ciò che davvero funziona assai poco la chimica fra i due personaggi principali, che proprio non riesce a scattare: un passaggio a vuoto che danneggia una tematica importante come quella della passione nonostante le regole e la cui responsabilità ricade su di un’interpretazione che delude per più di un motivo: Nella sua divisa bianca, Aaron Taylor-Johnson un Vronskij più che altro decorativo in cui non si sa se siano più incongrui i capelli biondi o i baffetti posticci mentre Keira Knightley tende, come altre volte, ad andare sopra le righe in un ruolo già di suo abbastanza sovraccarico quando basterebbe lavorare sulla sua bellezza irregolare (dev’essere l’unica attrice di primo piano senza il sorriso ortodontico standard). Per fortuna che, accanto a loro, il resto del cast funzioni senza sbavature a partire dalla brillante prova di Jude Law che, dietro a barba e stempiatura, regala una bella intensità all’amarezza e ai dubbi di Karenin. Expand
  7. Nov 30, 2012
    10
    This adaptation of Tolstoy's novel is neither literal nor reverent--it is inspired. Using stage sets (the Maryinsky Theatre in Petersburg, I think) to represent the strictures of society and bureaucracy, the film allows its characters to break out only through passion (Anna and Vronsky) or dedication (Levin and Kitty). This method allows Stoppard (script) and Wright (direction) to serveThis adaptation of Tolstoy's novel is neither literal nor reverent--it is inspired. Using stage sets (the Maryinsky Theatre in Petersburg, I think) to represent the strictures of society and bureaucracy, the film allows its characters to break out only through passion (Anna and Vronsky) or dedication (Levin and Kitty). This method allows Stoppard (script) and Wright (direction) to serve Tolstoy's genius without suppressing their own. This could seem too schematic, but the actors bring it all to life. Beautiful, brilliant, unforgettable. Expand
  8. Dec 8, 2012
    7
    I think this was a well done adaptation. It is very conceptual and as fantastical as this story could have been. Each scene transition took them back into a theatre as if we were watching a play, and then it would often transform into real life from a stage with backdrops. There's also many scenes where the characters are in a theatre audience, but are in a setting that wouldn'tI think this was a well done adaptation. It is very conceptual and as fantastical as this story could have been. Each scene transition took them back into a theatre as if we were watching a play, and then it would often transform into real life from a stage with backdrops. There's also many scenes where the characters are in a theatre audience, but are in a setting that wouldn't actually be in a theatre, eg the horse race scene. I think the point of this was to keep it interesting and intriguing, since this could have been a very boring movie. They did a good job keeping it from being boring. I loved looking at all the beautiful costumes, which is always the best part of a period movie. I would recommend the movie, just don't expect to come out of it in a cheery mood. It's far from a comedy. Expand
  9. May 21, 2013
    9
    We have already seen 'Anna Karenina' done straight at least a dozen times, so why not take a different approach? In this case, the filmmakers impose Brechtian distancing devices (e.g., the theatrical settings) to challenge the audience's expectations. Apparently, lots of people don't want to be challenged.

    Also, I think Joe Wright is an underrated director whose work always surprises
    We have already seen 'Anna Karenina' done straight at least a dozen times, so why not take a different approach? In this case, the filmmakers impose Brechtian distancing devices (e.g., the theatrical settings) to challenge the audience's expectations. Apparently, lots of people don't want to be challenged.

    Also, I think Joe Wright is an underrated director whose work always surprises and astonishes me. This film, which is often breathtakingly, deliriously beautiful, is no exception. (Watch for the stunning, horrifying horse race scene.) Of special note are the film's exquisite costumes, music, art and production design, and cinematography. And superb acting; Keira Knightley makes a worthy and memorable Anna.
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  10. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    Storyline: This is a period drama set in 19th century Russia. Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) starts an affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) while Anna's husband (Jude Law) starts to see the signs and hear rumours of it. The style and way this film has been made is a really good idea as it's a sort of movie/stage-play hybrid with sets being changed on screen but the effect isStoryline: This is a period drama set in 19th century Russia. Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) starts an affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) while Anna's husband (Jude Law) starts to see the signs and hear rumours of it. The style and way this film has been made is a really good idea as it's a sort of movie/stage-play hybrid with sets being changed on screen but the effect is great to watch.

    Acting: Keira Knightley appeared to be in her element playing Anna. Aaron Tylor-Johnson is a very versatile actor and looks as good playing a Russian count as he does a super hero. Matthew Macfadyen who is better known in the UK than the US seemed very comfortable in his role as Oblonsky. I really liked Jude Law as the long suffering husband and think he just gets better with each film. Kelly MacDonald as Dolly was also good, in fact there is a lot of well known talent in minor roles but everyone is performing as if it's the role of a lifetime.

    Direction: Joe Wright has clearly put his stamp on this with creative long takes and plenty going on like the ballroom scene which was amazing to watch. The music was used to great effect to and together made this a true Joe Wright movie.

    Production: The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey (Avengers & We Need To Talk About Kevin) was brilliant and the Oscar nomination is well deserved. The wardrobe and make-up are also particularly good as you would expect on a movie like this but they were above par I would say.

    Conclusion: I don't normally watch this type of film but Kelly MacDonald in a Joe Wright flik made this a 'must see' for me and also nominated for an Oscar. I'm so glad I did. Recommended Score: 7.5/10
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  11. Dec 5, 2014
    8
    Keira Knightley and Jude Law gave some stellar performances . I don't know how much Joe Wright gave justice to Leo Tolstoy's epic novel .
    I enjoyed the movie up to some extent keeping in mind that it has mixed reviews irrespective of the fact that I'm haven't read the novel itself.
    The dollhouse version of screenplay was enjoyable , Tolstoy's was very lengthy and in parts so it was tough
    Keira Knightley and Jude Law gave some stellar performances . I don't know how much Joe Wright gave justice to Leo Tolstoy's epic novel .
    I enjoyed the movie up to some extent keeping in mind that it has mixed reviews irrespective of the fact that I'm haven't read the novel itself.
    The dollhouse version of screenplay was enjoyable , Tolstoy's was very lengthy and in parts so it was tough to get the right emotions in just 2 hours .
    Jude Law as Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin was some extraordinary character a true inspiration a true man .
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  12. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    While the movie was completely different than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a work of art rather than just any other movie. It was a true film! Wright executed the story perfectly and incorporated the personality of the time period of Russia perfectly. His approach put a wonderful spin on the film. With every passing second I felt like I was the most fortunate human aliveWhile the movie was completely different than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a work of art rather than just any other movie. It was a true film! Wright executed the story perfectly and incorporated the personality of the time period of Russia perfectly. His approach put a wonderful spin on the film. With every passing second I felt like I was the most fortunate human alive to be watching such a masterpiece. Expand
  13. Nov 22, 2012
    10
    Keira Knightley and Jude Law are extraordinary. Wright's unique and beautifully conceived version of the film, using Tom Stoppard's intelligent adaptation, struck me as perfect for rendering the depth and complexity of the story. The "artifice" of the setting, design and art direction are brought forth with sensitivity and satisfying wholeness. Highly, highly recommended for adults whoKeira Knightley and Jude Law are extraordinary. Wright's unique and beautifully conceived version of the film, using Tom Stoppard's intelligent adaptation, struck me as perfect for rendering the depth and complexity of the story. The "artifice" of the setting, design and art direction are brought forth with sensitivity and satisfying wholeness. Highly, highly recommended for adults who want to participate in the construction of a wonderful film and story. Expand
  14. Feb 10, 2013
    8
    I love Russian literature, read the book long time ago and was very much looking forward to see this movie. To set the story in a theater was a risk that I don't think paid of. It made the movie kind of busy in an unpleasant way. On the other hand the cast especially Vronsky was great. To me Aaron Johnson IS Vronsky.
  15. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    Keira Knightley, Aaron Johnson and Domhnall Gleeson give great performance and the costumes are beautiful but the film is not as good as Pride&Prejudice or Atonement. It's kind of claustrophobic because it is basically set in one location and this does not help the movie.
  16. Nov 25, 2012
    9
    Wonderful idea in the filming of this A.K. and I really enjoyed something new to give me pause to think for a few moments if I liked it. Result! I loved it. If your not into change then don't see it as it will turn you upside down.
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 30, 2012
    60
    That storytelling, however, is uneven, ranging from something approaching tedium to moments that are downright wonderful (such as the sweetest of scenes, involving two young lovers -- played by and Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson -- and a stack of children's blocks).
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 29, 2012
    50
    The arc of the 800-page novel, crammed into 130 minutes, becomes a line as flat as the heart monitor of a dead patient. A story that ought to possess the mad grandeur of an opera acquires the tedious regularity of soap opera.
  3. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Nov 29, 2012
    75
    Wright's film is visually stimulating to be sure, but he never loses sight of the raw human emotions that make Anna Karenina a classic.