User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 414 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 414
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  1. C.B.
    Dec 30, 2007
    4
    OVERRATED. What a snoozefest.
  2. DaveC.
    Nov 20, 2008
    2
    It was horrible. It was insanely slow and even more boring. Waste of time and money.
  3. JaredC.
    Mar 27, 2008
    4
    I'm not dissapointed, except for the fact that it won an oscar for best music for motion pictures written directly for the screen, original score. I was hoping that Sweeney would win. But right from the get go I hated it. I saw it last night and thought it would be one of those critics-35, users-4.7 movies such as 10,000 BC or Jumper. That's exactly what I got. A dull and dreary I'm not dissapointed, except for the fact that it won an oscar for best music for motion pictures written directly for the screen, original score. I was hoping that Sweeney would win. But right from the get go I hated it. I saw it last night and thought it would be one of those critics-35, users-4.7 movies such as 10,000 BC or Jumper. That's exactly what I got. A dull and dreary dry picture with no excitement or brilliance what so ever. It takes a good story and twists it into a bad one by over-extending the scrpit with much stupidity said enough in this film. I can't say I didn't like it because it isn't my taste, it's just that it felt like all it was was some continuous random sex scenes that were unesecary, escpecially the one sex scene when they were standing up. Now what'd so wrong about having sex in yer bed huh. But, anyways, it wasn't good. Expand
  4. JeffJ.
    Jan 5, 2008
    3
    Vastly overrated, with goofy storytelling, odd pacing, bizarre editing, less-than-convincing acting and a ridiculous ending. Given all the "100" ratings, I guess I was expecting something like Dr. Zhivago or Romeo and Juliet. Yawn.
  5. Chad
    Feb 4, 2008
    3
    I have really been extremely disappointed with this years nominations for best picture. I've seen no country for old men, there will be blood, Michael Clayton, and the latest one, atonement, was BY FAR the biggest let down. The main problem with atonement is that you are never emotionally attached to the characters and therefore never really care what happens to them. On top of that I have really been extremely disappointed with this years nominations for best picture. I've seen no country for old men, there will be blood, Michael Clayton, and the latest one, atonement, was BY FAR the biggest let down. The main problem with atonement is that you are never emotionally attached to the characters and therefore never really care what happens to them. On top of that the movie is just slow paced and uneventful throughout, and trust me, the ending does not help or justify sitting through this dull movie. If anything the ending is icing on the cake as to how bad atonement truly is. I can assure you that everyone walking out of the theatre was saying "wow, how did THAT win best picture." or "we really should have seen Rambo". Atonement gets a 3 out of 10 for having decent acting and decent camera work with some good looking shots. But nothing in this movie will give you the slightest implication that maybe just maybe it should have gotten a nomination or win for best picture. You WILL be disappointed and you WILL wish you had seen something else. DON'T waste your time. Expand
  6. urbanbushwoman
    Jan 3, 2008
    3
    the final two thirds of the movie are completely anti-climatic knightley falls flat script is empty of substance directing is overwrought and heavily decourous painful to sit through! 3 points are merely for some interesting aesthetic shots/visuals and some interesting costumes. but cant we expect more from the film medium?
  7. NigelM.
    Mar 25, 2008
    1
    Don't believe the hype. This film is dull, dull, dull. Lot's of over acting and meaningful staring into the middle distance. No substance whatsoever and rubbish dialogue. A case of the emporers new clothes as far as the awards it has won. Don't waste your time and money on this.
  8. AlexS.
    Jan 16, 2008
    0
    Overrated Oscar bait.
  9. FredB.
    Mar 23, 2008
    4
    Another slooow movie, with a ridiculous premise (the writing and delivery of a very obscene note), in a story told in annoying flashbacks. The beach scene with its ferris wheel, animal cruelty, and exhausted, injured soldiers, was confusing and went on and on. The only good thing I have to say is that the ending is imaginative and slightly redeeming to the rest of this tedious picture.
  10. Wayne
    Apr 25, 2008
    3
    This was a particularly boring movie. I couldn't tell what was going on and it was filled with inappropriate material. I left 3/4 of the way through.
  11. Mar 16, 2013
    2
    Atonement is a slow, boring and un-compelling film with not a single character that was remotely interesting. Nothing came to life and that's mainly to blame from poor storytelling.
  12. L.P.
    Jan 19, 2008
    1
    I wished I had listened to someones warning at this to stay home and go for a nap. boooooooring!
  13. MB.
    Feb 10, 2008
    0
    Plot Spoiler. The plot is dumb: Girl writes book about how she messed up, and everybody whines about it.
  14. ChrisT.
    Feb 20, 2008
    1
    terrible, contrived, manipulative nonsense. AVOID.
  15. JosephM.
    Mar 10, 2008
    2
    Aside from Keira Knightly, there was very little to like about this movie. The out-of-time sequences were useless. No new information was ever uncovered or revealed so shooting them out of sequence was stupid and unnecessary. Whatever grandiose ideas brought about the extravagant beach scenes apparently never got out of the director's head. Scenes were thrown in at random to add some Aside from Keira Knightly, there was very little to like about this movie. The out-of-time sequences were useless. No new information was ever uncovered or revealed so shooting them out of sequence was stupid and unnecessary. Whatever grandiose ideas brought about the extravagant beach scenes apparently never got out of the director's head. Scenes were thrown in at random to add some sort of grit but it all came off as very amateur. This movie was not worthy of any awards or praise. Between this and 'There Will Be Blood' I wasted two evenings I can never get back. Expand
  16. Jamie
    Mar 24, 2008
    1
    Quite possibly the most boring film ever made. Yes I admit it was shot beautifully but you can't just rely on that. It just dragged on for too long and there was no real story. It didn't feel like it was going anywhere at all. Way too over-rated. Don't get your hopes up.
  17. JonB.
    Mar 2, 2008
    2
    It's a romantic movie. You should'nt expect any action or tension when you go see Atonement. But, holding in mind that this movie was ment to be romantic, it still is an extremely boring experience. The story is about a girl who feels guilty. She talked someone into jail and when she grew older she realized she was wrong. That's the story. Nothing happens. No suprises, no It's a romantic movie. You should'nt expect any action or tension when you go see Atonement. But, holding in mind that this movie was ment to be romantic, it still is an extremely boring experience. The story is about a girl who feels guilty. She talked someone into jail and when she grew older she realized she was wrong. That's the story. Nothing happens. No suprises, no weird plot changes,... its boring as hell. Even for a romantic movie. And of course, Keira Knightley acts great, and so do most other actors and actresses. But in a movie where nothing happens, great acting doesn't compensate. Just don't go watch this movie people. Its boring, the end sucks (granny nagging about her book), and the beginning and middle suck as well. There are a lot of other movies in cinema right now that are really worth your money (there will be blood, no country for old men,...). Pick one of those. You wont regret it. Expand
  18. BoredViewer
    Mar 30, 2008
    1
    Once again, movie critics have proven how out of touch they are with the casual moviegoer and have given this film rave reviews. This movie is simply long and boring, nothing more. If you like long and boring movies, then Atonement will be right up your alley, and you probably are already a professional movie critic. But for those of us who actually like to be entertained, Atonement did Once again, movie critics have proven how out of touch they are with the casual moviegoer and have given this film rave reviews. This movie is simply long and boring, nothing more. If you like long and boring movies, then Atonement will be right up your alley, and you probably are already a professional movie critic. But for those of us who actually like to be entertained, Atonement did nothing but shave 2 hours off of my lifespan. If you're looking for things like action, suspense, intrique, go elsewhere. How on earth did this "movie" win awards? The competition must have been pretty thin. Expand
  19. ChrisS
    Mar 5, 2008
    1
    This has to be one of the worst, most overrated movies I have seen in my life, and I have watched quite a few. I can not remember the last time I actually wanted to leave the movie theater half way into a movie. As others have said, take "Masterpiece Theatre", make it trash and you have the movie "Atonement".
  20. Nathan
    Mar 6, 2008
    1
    Has got to be one of the most boring, lackluster movies I have ever seen. The beginning half hour started off okay, but it grew worse as it went along. I had to pretty much keep myself from dozing off....and Keira Knightley does that thing where her mouth is partly open, and her cheeks are sunken in...(or maybe it is just her face). I can't believe it has received such critical Has got to be one of the most boring, lackluster movies I have ever seen. The beginning half hour started off okay, but it grew worse as it went along. I had to pretty much keep myself from dozing off....and Keira Knightley does that thing where her mouth is partly open, and her cheeks are sunken in...(or maybe it is just her face). I can't believe it has received such critical praise. It is definitely not the ravishing romance movie I had hoped it would be from all the previews and reviews. I don't know if I would even bother renting it. Any time me and my friend see a that sucked we compare it to Atonement and Atonement always sucks more.....I think I might have even enjoyed watching the last half of Norbit on HBO last night more than I did watching Atonement. Expand
  21. BellaW
    Mar 8, 2008
    1
    Many pointless, over the top scenes saturated with melodramatic music that simply fail miserably to engage the viewer emotionally and intellectually. Overall very boring and contrived. Should have stayed home and watched TV instead.
  22. SteveC
    Apr 23, 2008
    1
    After all the critical praise, I had a hard time accepting how incredibly bad this film was. Had I watched it in a theater, I would certainly have walked out. It's a 120 minutes of drawn out melodrama unnecessarily edited into a schizophrenic timeline to tell 20 minutes worth of story. Beyond that, the entire thing hinges on a plot point suitable for a bad TV sitcom. The opportunity After all the critical praise, I had a hard time accepting how incredibly bad this film was. Had I watched it in a theater, I would certainly have walked out. It's a 120 minutes of drawn out melodrama unnecessarily edited into a schizophrenic timeline to tell 20 minutes worth of story. Beyond that, the entire thing hinges on a plot point suitable for a bad TV sitcom. The opportunity to gaze upon Keira Knightly was the only redeeming factor, hence my rating of 1 instead of zero. Expand
  23. John
    Apr 7, 2008
    0
    What a dog! With apologies to dogs everywhere. Who paid these 'reviewers'? I got the DVD from Netflix and feel screwed. The screenwriter can't figure out what the hell he wants to write, a love story, crime novel, war movie, or personal memoir. Oh wait, let's throw them all in! Then at the end we'll have somebody say onscreen 'hey, just kidding.' Who What a dog! With apologies to dogs everywhere. Who paid these 'reviewers'? I got the DVD from Netflix and feel screwed. The screenwriter can't figure out what the hell he wants to write, a love story, crime novel, war movie, or personal memoir. Oh wait, let's throw them all in! Then at the end we'll have somebody say onscreen 'hey, just kidding.' Who thought that was a good idea? How the hell do the people with the money ever approve a film like this? Anyone have their number? I have a script and it's reallly, really good... Expand
  24. PhyllisM.
    Dec 6, 2007
    3
    In a word, ponderous. The 3 rating comes from getting in on a free pass.
  25. ScottN.
    Nov 16, 2008
    1
    Wow, if this movie was voted "Best Picture" in 2007, then the box office is really hurting for good material. This movie has a thin plot and is painfully boring to try and sit through. No dramatics to speak of. No, I do not need to be spoon fed with alot of blood, guts, and action. Try watching the movie "Amadeus" and you will see how a movie can be interesting and dramatic without having Wow, if this movie was voted "Best Picture" in 2007, then the box office is really hurting for good material. This movie has a thin plot and is painfully boring to try and sit through. No dramatics to speak of. No, I do not need to be spoon fed with alot of blood, guts, and action. Try watching the movie "Amadeus" and you will see how a movie can be interesting and dramatic without having any action, gore, language, violence, etc. I'm sorry folks, but simply creating a movie with a WWII theme and 2+ hour run time does not make a movie "epic". A complete waste of time, and a laughably overrated film. Expand
  26. MartinB.
    Jan 20, 2008
    2
    Slow and borrrrring!
  27. DaveK
    Jan 22, 2008
    4
    AO Scott nailed his review of this film.
  28. PauA.
    Feb 18, 2008
    4
    Flirting with the ridiculous. An example of over-explained narrative, too obvious. I don't believe it at all.
  29. AndyC.
    Feb 22, 2008
    0
    Absolutely the worst romance film I have ever seen, the story is magnificent, but is directed with a dull touch, a dreary, and dry feel. They drag on with so many sex scenes that are so pointless that it is so stupid. This movie is crappy and not even entertaining.
  30. VictoriaP.
    Feb 24, 2008
    0
    One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Totally stupid, unbelievable plot. Definitely to be avoided.
  31. G.aryW.
    Mar 25, 2008
    4
    I liked about an hour of it. Unfortunately it was 2 hours long. Meandering, and, ultimately pointless. Keira Knightley though is absolutely spellbinding.
  32. CraigA.
    Apr 10, 2008
    4
    Very disappointing ending. Pointless red herrings.
  33. Maude
    Dec 19, 2007
    3
    Beautiful to look at but ultimately emotionally empty. The film perhaps relied too much on emotional memory from the book and did not establish the necessary relationship between the main characters to feel much for their separation, either by Briony's act or by the war itself. Both were horrible for any individual, but I felt more sadness for Robby and none for Robby and Cecilia. Beautiful to look at but ultimately emotionally empty. The film perhaps relied too much on emotional memory from the book and did not establish the necessary relationship between the main characters to feel much for their separation, either by Briony's act or by the war itself. Both were horrible for any individual, but I felt more sadness for Robby and none for Robby and Cecilia. Too bad. I wanted to love this film. Expand
  34. JDA
    Dec 29, 2007
    4
    beautiful to look at; Something was wrong --was it the editing? I found it very loose, and not connected; It might have worked better for me if V redgrave's appearance happened in the beginning and end setting up the story and givng the final stroke.. Loved James!!! I would tell people wait for HBO on this one.
  35. JohnO
    Dec 30, 2007
    1
    Pure Chick Flick...If you have any doubt about whether or not you will like this film, then don't pay to see it. All of the critical plot turns are heavily foreshadowed in the first ten minutes. The second hour drags terribly. None of the characters are developed enough to care about.
  36. GlenJ.
    Jan 27, 2008
    0
    A very droll movie; should've known it would be a waste of time since "critics" liked it! My idea of being entertained is not to have my brain drained by a slow and dark movie. Entertainment is cheer; this was not. If I want to watch something tragic all I have to do is turn on the 6 o'clock news.
  37. Duke
    Feb 16, 2008
    1
    So over the top I thought I was at a drag show!
  38. MH.
    Feb 16, 2008
    1
    Dull nonsense, don't bother watching.
  39. kr
    Feb 22, 2008
    1
    Boresville. Don't even bother. See "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" or "There Will Be Blood" or "No Country For Old Men" or "Superbad" or dozens of other better movies.
  40. PG.
    Mar 24, 2008
    2
    it's really boring. other than the high cost of production- i see no other reason to actually sit through 2 of the longest hours you can possibly have. this is not entertainment- it's self indulgence of the movie maker who obviously cares nothing for the audience.
  41. MorganF.
    Apr 17, 2009
    4
    This movie was so long and the plot was horribly thin. The acting was decent, but it hardly carried the film.
  42. MarkG.
    Dec 13, 2007
    1
    This movie feels like an utter fake from beginning to end. Instead of emotion, we get direction more appropriate for a musical (or a bad rock video) as well as acting that feels stilted and bizarrely disjointed. A truly bad movie.
  43. Andrew
    Dec 27, 2007
    2
    This is the worst film I've ever watched in years. The storyline is almost completely disconnected from one another just like jigsaw pieces, the director intentionally confuses us by jumping from one scene to another when he's just trying to tell a simple story. The only good thing about it is the musical score which really grabs people.
  44. LB
    Dec 29, 2007
    2
    long, boring and depressing. Not that you even care by the time the ending finally comes.
  45. MegR.
    Dec 27, 2008
    0
    I am a big movie fan and love deep films. But this one not only made me fall asleep, but in the middle of the theater I cussed out the movie because it was so rediculously over rated. Knightly looks gaunt and ugly and it is rediculous in it's attempts to be edgy. A bad porn that is too gaudy.
  46. Jun 15, 2013
    2
    Hated this movie. I was surprised at how awful it was considering how much I normally love the actors. Skip this movie. I rarely disagree with my favorite critic, Wall Street Journal's Morgenstern, but I can't see any redeeming qualities in this film
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. An unforgettable examination of a host of dark impulses.
  2. With compelling and charismatic performances by Keira Knightley and James McAvoy as the lovers, and a stunning contribution from Romola Garai as their remorseful nemesis, the film goes directly to "The English Patient" territory and might also expect rapturous audiences and major awards.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    The movie never goes as deep as the novel (no movie could), but it's a worthy approximation: a Merchant-Ivory movie that turns in on itself with a lucid and painful sigh.