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. Sep 18, 2014
    8
    Astonishing, thought provoking film with brilliant cinematography. Guilt can impact someone's life in the most severe way possible. Having to live with the fact that it is your fault is difficult to bear. This movie captures this lesson in the best way possible. I rated this movie a 82.4 (Great Movie!)
  2. Aug 25, 2014
    10
    Rarely does a film adaptation hold much more weight than the novel which it is based on. Compelling from start to finish, Keira Knightley along with her wonderful cast paint a tale which spans decades of heartache and love.
  3. Mar 26, 2014
    8
    I used to prefer reading books on watching movies because i found them much enjoyable. This movie really gives me the impression that I'm reading an endless fabulous romance story that I can't stop reading. Unfortunately the story ends tragically. But it will remain one of the memorable books I've read.
  4. 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
  5. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    Powerful storytelling. The way the movie unfolds with all of its hidden secrets and betrayals is great. A very moving picture with scenes so effortlessly done. It isn't a joyous film, but one with great performances, art direction, and a surprising ending.
  6. May 26, 2013
    10
    Perfect! A brilliant film. Great performances from Kiera Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, but especially James McAvoy who completely carries this film. Breathtaking cinematography. Sweeping musical score from Dario Marianelli. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Atonement is one of the best films of 2007.
  7. 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.
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    8
    An extremely eye-catching film and above all the best film Joe Wright has ever done, Atonement's mystery and strong drama can make it both an extremely good film and at the same time an unbearable film to watch.
  9. Oct 12, 2012
    9
    This is a very good blend of acting, visuals, music and storytelling. It will leave you with some great pictures in your mind... Just falls a little, little bit short because of some parts that are stretched a bit to long for my taste.
  10. May 5, 2012
    7
    movie began a bit slow, but got better later.
  11. Apr 30, 2012
    9
    A sweet film. The lives entwined by childhood innocence, love and consequences enlivened by the beautiful natural surroundings helped it become more bearable. This film was naturally emotional, instead of forcing yourself not to cry, it does it for you. It also has one of the most haunting endings you could ever have in such a drama. If the film is that good, I will have to read the bookA sweet film. The lives entwined by childhood innocence, love and consequences enlivened by the beautiful natural surroundings helped it become more bearable. This film was naturally emotional, instead of forcing yourself not to cry, it does it for you. It also has one of the most haunting endings you could ever have in such a drama. If the film is that good, I will have to read the book as well. The acting in this is also particularly significant, such as the traumatic performance of the life of Briony. Expand
  12. Jan 10, 2012
    5
    While I can appreciate why some people would enjoy this movie I felt it was more of a period drama and was annoyingly slow moving. There were no surprises in the movie so why they chose to drag out the scenes is beyond me. Also the disjointed plot involving the second world war scenes only further distanced me from the movie. Although it was all brought together at the end I struggled toWhile I can appreciate why some people would enjoy this movie I felt it was more of a period drama and was annoyingly slow moving. There were no surprises in the movie so why they chose to drag out the scenes is beyond me. Also the disjointed plot involving the second world war scenes only further distanced me from the movie. Although it was all brought together at the end I struggled to keep my interest from waning. Expand
  13. Dec 26, 2011
    10
    this is one of my favorite movies of all times. i had heard of this film a few years ago, but was put-off by the plot or what i thought the plot was from the trailer, i never really knew the actual plot (by the way i would recommend you NOT reading the plot of the movie, it might ruin it). Keira Knightley, and James McAvoy have great chemistry and act really well, i personally didnt thinkthis is one of my favorite movies of all times. i had heard of this film a few years ago, but was put-off by the plot or what i thought the plot was from the trailer, i never really knew the actual plot (by the way i would recommend you NOT reading the plot of the movie, it might ruin it). Keira Knightley, and James McAvoy have great chemistry and act really well, i personally didnt think that Saoirse Ronan was as good as knightley or mcavoy but thats my opinion. the story is amazing, you could really watch it only for that. Expand
  14. May 29, 2011
    8
    It can tells you how Joe Wright is talented. He directs with flair and sensitivity. A nice highlight for the sequence that takes us along the beaches and streets, a scene very exciting and sad at the same time, shows us a view of the war only a camera, a job very well done and accurate. It is an excellent film, great direction, beautiful photography, acting, soundtrack, everything is greatIt can tells you how Joe Wright is talented. He directs with flair and sensitivity. A nice highlight for the sequence that takes us along the beaches and streets, a scene very exciting and sad at the same time, shows us a view of the war only a camera, a job very well done and accurate. It is an excellent film, great direction, beautiful photography, acting, soundtrack, everything is great in this movie. I recommend it! Collapse
  15. laura
    Oct 12, 2009
    10
    One of the best romances i ever saw! the end is so emotional and i have to cry nearly everytime i´m watching the movie. it´s true, that it´s not one of the easiest movies to watch, but i think if you like movies which are different than all the mainstream-movies you´ll love it!
  16. 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.
  17. ChrisG
    Jan 8, 2009
    9
    Atonement is a beautiful wonderous original experience from begining to end. Knightly and McAvoy are quite good in their lead roles, but the films three great performances are all those of a single character, Brioni, at different stages in her life. The seamless way she's depicted in these three stages makes this a great film. The ending is surprising and very powerful. And the Atonement is a beautiful wonderous original experience from begining to end. Knightly and McAvoy are quite good in their lead roles, but the films three great performances are all those of a single character, Brioni, at different stages in her life. The seamless way she's depicted in these three stages makes this a great film. The ending is surprising and very powerful. And the cinematography and score are nothing short of spectacular. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. CharlesM.
    Dec 23, 2008
    10
    First of all how can someone even review a movie without even seeing the whole movie. Now let me warn you, this movie is barely a romance. Its a look at the life of Biorny played by three different people (Saoirse Ronan,Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave whos acting is oscar worthy). Its a look on her life and how a lie she told ruined the life of her sister and her sister lover and how First of all how can someone even review a movie without even seeing the whole movie. Now let me warn you, this movie is barely a romance. Its a look at the life of Biorny played by three different people (Saoirse Ronan,Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave whos acting is oscar worthy). Its a look on her life and how a lie she told ruined the life of her sister and her sister lover and how the guilt effects her whole life. The movie for me was wonderful paced, but as i see it wasnt for others. Do take time with the movie cause its truly worth it. Expand
  20. JimmyS.
    Dec 21, 2008
    9
    Redemption song
  21. RubyRuby
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    It's like the perfect movie.
  22. RogornM.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Cleverly structured (both in book and film), the sequence of revelations makes up for a few bits in which the story, wanting to pause for gorgeous and moody photography, plods a little. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy are superb, and Vanessa Redgrave's scenes to close the film are the definitive clincher. Tremendous adaptation.
  23. DaveC.
    Nov 20, 2008
    2
    It was horrible. It was insanely slow and even more boring. Waste of time and money.
  24. 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
  25. JoseS.
    Aug 25, 2008
    9
    This unforgettable story deserves higher ratings than its getting here. It has that "classic novel" feel of a great 19th century romance novel. Loved the 5 minutes of Vanessa Redgrave, she blew me away, she's still terrific. The scene of Dunkirk is one of the great war scenes of all time, an incredible tracking shot that follows the arriving soldiers for about a mile along the shore. This unforgettable story deserves higher ratings than its getting here. It has that "classic novel" feel of a great 19th century romance novel. Loved the 5 minutes of Vanessa Redgrave, she blew me away, she's still terrific. The scene of Dunkirk is one of the great war scenes of all time, an incredible tracking shot that follows the arriving soldiers for about a mile along the shore. Also kudos to the entire cast, the beautiful green dress, and the original novelist, this was an unforgettable story. Expand
  26. KenD.
    Jul 26, 2008
    7
    Wright is plainly a great technician, but it's hard to escape the feeling that he'd swap art for art direction given half a chance. Great films leave gaps into which you can insert yourself. This one seems more interested in making its characters and themes understandable to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention, so it loses some power in the process. You do admire it but Wright is plainly a great technician, but it's hard to escape the feeling that he'd swap art for art direction given half a chance. Great films leave gaps into which you can insert yourself. This one seems more interested in making its characters and themes understandable to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention, so it loses some power in the process. You do admire it but you don't ponder it. Expand
  27. TomH
    Jun 22, 2008
    10
    Beautifully photographed, scripted and acted. The performances, the writing and the photography are all great. What could anyone find wrong with this film?
  28. TennisMenace
    May 27, 2008
    9
    Very creative.
  29. Bridget
    May 24, 2008
    10
    I loved this movie! the acting was great and I loved it. Those who gave this a bad review obviousley have not read the book, this movie is just as good. If you read the book first it will give you a better insight into the movie, Overall i loved it and will watch it over and over again. Great ending too.
  30. CynthiaH.
    May 13, 2008
    10
    A beautifully made, multi-layered adaptation of McEwan's fabulous novel. Don't believe the NY Times and the New Yorker on this one!! And Jeff Beresford-Howe must have eaten a bad clam before writing his review.
  31. 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.
  32. TonyB.
    Apr 25, 2008
    7
    "Atonement" is a beautifully designed and photographed film featuring some exceptional acting. What prevent it from being the gem it had the potential to be is its too frequently slow pace and its occasionally jarring narrative structure.
  33. MikS.
    Apr 24, 2008
    10
    Shame on those people who voted five below on this movie! Do they have emotions??
  34. 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
  35. DelilahB.
    Apr 20, 2008
    7
    This movie has some amazing acting and a heart-wrenching story, but none of the characters have much substance besides James McAvoy's. It also goes on a little too long, and some one of the opening England countryside scenes get a little boring. But it is a good story despite it's flaws.
  36. Angie
    Apr 20, 2008
    10
    Loved it!
  37. Akispapas
    Apr 13, 2008
    9
    great movie...
  38. CamL.
    Apr 13, 2008
    9
    This was a fantastic film. Not having read the book, the story arc took my breath away.
  39. CraigA.
    Apr 10, 2008
    4
    Very disappointing ending. Pointless red herrings.
  40. 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
  41. JasonS.
    Apr 4, 2008
    8
    I feel as though many of those below me were a bit harsh to this movie. as a guy who really detests chick flicks, this had more than enough character development and plot twists to keep me interested. don't get me wrong, i would still rather watch no country for old men a 6th time.
  42. DavidM.
    Apr 4, 2008
    9
    In a time of dry cinematic ideas and redundant story lines this movie shines. This movie makes you think one thing and goes back and explains it and really gives a good feel for perception
  43. Mr.Mickey
    Apr 1, 2008
    10
    Genius! This is probably one of the best films I have seen in a long time. The complexety of the romance and storyline were nothing short of grandeur. All people who have given this a low rating either went into the movie with a horrible attitude, or just can't appreciate magnificent filmaking.
  44. RJ
    Mar 31, 2008
    10
    Amazing emotional story. There is some very honest acting in this film.
  45. 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
  46. DanP.
    Mar 28, 2008
    10
    An epic of wrenching emotion.
  47. Hollyc
    Mar 28, 2008
    5
    I agree with A.O. Scott's review--almost completely. The beginning starts off fairly well---predictable--but everything is firing perfectly in just about every area --acting, set, direction, DP, etc (maybe dialog isn't perfect). But holy heck does it take a detour to lost-muddy-mess. I haven't seen this level of navel gazing cinematography since Terrence Malik kept the I agree with A.O. Scott's review--almost completely. The beginning starts off fairly well---predictable--but everything is firing perfectly in just about every area --acting, set, direction, DP, etc (maybe dialog isn't perfect). But holy heck does it take a detour to lost-muddy-mess. I haven't seen this level of navel gazing cinematography since Terrence Malik kept the camera on grass for the first 10 minutes of "The New World". The ending of course, is suppose to grab you and leave you with the very real feeling of sadness, guilt and atonement---which is very much a part of the novel it's based on---in fact I think Vanessa Redgrave's last 5 minutes on screen was some of the best acting in the film ( Keira sure is pretty though)--however Redgrave and the heart-wrenching reveal can't save the mess in the middle. I'm a little shocked so many critics praised this film at the level they did. Expand
  48. Kayleighms
    Mar 28, 2008
    5
  49. 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
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. SimonJ>
    Mar 24, 2008
    9
    Well acted, stylish, good soundtrack. If you don't like this film you don't like movies.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. CJ
    Mar 23, 2008
    9
    A beautiful romantic film. The historical drama genre is given an edgy and contemporary feel complemented by superb acting. The orgasmic long take on Dunkirk beach is amazing.
  57. SebastianV.
    Mar 20, 2008
    10
    Best movie of 07 and it got robbed from best picture. No country for old men didnt deserve it i gave that one a 6. but anywways this movie is brilliant, intriguing, fascinating, beautiful, clever, funny, sad, disturbing, haunting, romantic, EPIC, grandiose, sensational, and so many other things. amovie that will change u forever and of of the best EVER! A MASTERPIECE!
  58. M.C.
    Mar 19, 2008
    10
    I thought the movie was perfect in everything, the acting, music, the direction of the scenes, how deathly close it was to the book, and the ending. Another stunning performance from the lovely Keira Knightley and an equally impressive performance from James McAvoy. And another thing that this movie seems to be criticized about is the ending; I feel that the ending was very appropriate I thought the movie was perfect in everything, the acting, music, the direction of the scenes, how deathly close it was to the book, and the ending. Another stunning performance from the lovely Keira Knightley and an equally impressive performance from James McAvoy. And another thing that this movie seems to be criticized about is the ending; I feel that the ending was very appropriate and unexpected. Of course it wasn't a happy ending but that's what makes 'Atonement' different from all the other romantic, mushy love stories. And in response to the negative reviews, I feel that you people just can't appreciate and recognize good movies when you see them, but you'd rather see movies with mediocre acting with horrible storylines like 'Meet The Spartans' or 'Step Up,'... please. And also, don't see a movie with the thought that you're not going to like it because most likely you wont. You must see a movie with total disregard of other people's thoughts and reviews on it. Expand
  59. 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
  60. 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.
  61. JayH.
    Mar 6, 2008
    7
    The quality of the film is exceptional, art direction, cinematography, costumes and score. Very well written, acted and directed. Saorise Ronan is great. It can be a little slow at times, but it is most always interesting. A bit too long as well.
  62. 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
  63. 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".
  64. AlexandraB.
    Mar 3, 2008
    10
    It is an amazing film i loved it. Great acting from James McAvoy, Keria Knightley. I love the green dress Keria wears. Beautiful love story and such an unexpected ending. Overall a awesome film.
  65. 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
  66. LuisG.
    Feb 27, 2008
    8
    McAvoy was snubbed at the oscars in this classic film. Knightley shines as always. Redgrave was perhaps the biggest dissapointment. Garai eerily resembled to a trouble misguided teen. Beautiful score and cinematography.
  67. ScottW.
    Feb 26, 2008
    5
    Vastly overrated. As of right now, there's a full 15 point difference between the critics score, 85, and the people's score, 70. This ALWAYS should raise the alert. Critics tend to have their heads up...well you know. (see "Lost In Translation"). Mediocre movie, decent ending, better than bleeding to death in a bathtub but not as good as a grilled cheese sandwich.
  68. WayneC.
    Feb 25, 2008
    9
    Good love story but the ending seems stilted because it could leave viewers feeling as if the rest of the film had not been playing "honestly"' with them or their emotions.
  69. VictoriaP.
    Feb 24, 2008
    0
    One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Totally stupid, unbelievable plot. Definitely to be avoided.
  70. SeanC.
    Feb 24, 2008
    9
    Nice story line with not your typical predictable ending. Great acting by James McAvoy!
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. ColinB.
    Feb 20, 2008
    7
    In it's own right, a very good film. Kiera Knightly performs with the kind of British swagger reminiscent of "Masterpiece Theatre," and James McAvoy sits high on a pedestal alongside her. It's beautifully shot and expertly directed, with some of the best cinematographic shots of the year. Truth is though, in the end, it's still just another well-made, WW2 period piece to In it's own right, a very good film. Kiera Knightly performs with the kind of British swagger reminiscent of "Masterpiece Theatre," and James McAvoy sits high on a pedestal alongside her. It's beautifully shot and expertly directed, with some of the best cinematographic shots of the year. Truth is though, in the end, it's still just another well-made, WW2 period piece to add to the continuously growing list of the genre. There's nothing truly different or new presented in "Atonement." Best picture worthy? There are certainly more deserving movies this year, but I still respect this very entertaining film. Expand
  74. ng
    Feb 20, 2008
    6
    The whole story feels like a made-up and most of the scenes are so *** unnatural. Yet somehow it is heart touching maybe because of the girl who's the only intense character here. A good thing to see but only once.
  75. KY.
    Feb 20, 2008
    10
    Brilliant movie!
  76. ChrisT.
    Feb 20, 2008
    1
    terrible, contrived, manipulative nonsense. AVOID.
  77. PauA.
    Feb 18, 2008
    4
    Flirting with the ridiculous. An example of over-explained narrative, too obvious. I don't believe it at all.
  78. MH.
    Feb 16, 2008
    1
    Dull nonsense, don't bother watching.
  79. Duke
    Feb 16, 2008
    1
    So over the top I thought I was at a drag show!
  80. ThulaniF.
    Feb 15, 2008
    10
    It's the intriguing British true story movie I have ever come across and it has a lot of character.
  81. AmyS.
    Feb 15, 2008
    10
    Favourite movie of all time. love it.
  82. WilliamM.
    Feb 13, 2008
    10
    No the atonement bit was not 'tacked on and empty' and if you didn't realize this was an adaption of a book then do a bit of research before you review. Another point is that people who expect the passion to equal that of say Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale in pearl harbour will of course be disappointed with a more interesting story of poignantly repressed English emotions No the atonement bit was not 'tacked on and empty' and if you didn't realize this was an adaption of a book then do a bit of research before you review. Another point is that people who expect the passion to equal that of say Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale in pearl harbour will of course be disappointed with a more interesting story of poignantly repressed English emotions during the second world war. then again maybe you should stop watching explosions and kisses between nubile film stars and appreciate film and literary quality (although i am quite certain you wont as i have come to realize that half the world is not only as thick as pigsh#t, but takes pride in not improving). Expand
  83. DaleM
    Feb 13, 2008
    5
    If you liked the English Patient, then you'll like this. Unfortunately, I am not so patient. The plot in this movie is not strong enough to hold anyone's attention. If you don't like costumes and period piece scenery, there isn't a lot in this movie. The war scene was good and was the antithesis of everything else in the movie.
  84. TomekC.
    Feb 11, 2008
    10
    Wonderful movie, I didn't expect that it would be possible to translate book into the film so perfectly.
  85. MB.
    Feb 10, 2008
    0
    Plot Spoiler. The plot is dumb: Girl writes book about how she messed up, and everybody whines about it.
  86. 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
  87. SuzanneL.
    Feb 3, 2008
    6
    Disjointed, disappointing, slow. I had high hopes for an epic love story. It didn't deliver. Definitely not the best picture of the year.
  88. DianaO.
    Feb 1, 2008
    9
    Random Thoughts: Very nicely done period piece. It has something for everyone. It's a romance, a war picture, a costume drama. The Dunkirk scenes are amazing. The acting and production values are first-rate.
  89. DanG.
    Jan 29, 2008
    9
    Haunting, sweet, and beautiful. That art can not only imitate life, but destroy it: that's an interesting conclusions, well-rendered by the film.
  90. NancyH
    Jan 29, 2008
    8
    Well done. Vanessa Redgrave is always amazing to watch.
  91. LindaL.
    Jan 27, 2008
    6
    What I was hoping for: Something like "The English Patient." What I got: Something like "Masterpiece Theater."
  92. 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.
  93. GregM
    Jan 24, 2008
    9
    Those who refer to it as boring (as many do) are probably the same people who would choose McDonald's over a homecooked meal. It's sad when no one has the patience anymore for character development and the subtleties of real stories, of real life. And I guess you can also blame Hollywood for training us to want bullets flying every three seconds. I vote a 9 because, while the Those who refer to it as boring (as many do) are probably the same people who would choose McDonald's over a homecooked meal. It's sad when no one has the patience anymore for character development and the subtleties of real stories, of real life. And I guess you can also blame Hollywood for training us to want bullets flying every three seconds. I vote a 9 because, while the ending has been lauded, I found it a little manipulative, actually, though haunting all the same. Expand
  94. LuísD.
    Jan 23, 2008
    10
    Atonement is a wonderful film which shows an incresing story of love and subsequent tragedy and a sad mixture of feelings that makes us sad and horrified for the untimely ending of the story. For those who had read Ian McEwan's book, the film appears as a wonderfully faithful adaptation of the book which is able to surprise and to touch those of read it and those who didn't and Atonement is a wonderful film which shows an incresing story of love and subsequent tragedy and a sad mixture of feelings that makes us sad and horrified for the untimely ending of the story. For those who had read Ian McEwan's book, the film appears as a wonderfully faithful adaptation of the book which is able to surprise and to touch those of read it and those who didn't and in the end we are left with this question: if it had happened to us, could we bring ourselves to forgive someone like Briony Tallis? Is it possible to find the titular Atonement after all those years? Acting-wise, Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave receive my praise as Cecilia Tallis, Robbie Turner and a 70-year-old penitent Briony Tallis. Expand
  95. DaveK
    Jan 22, 2008
    4
    AO Scott nailed his review of this film.
  96. R.A.L.
    Jan 22, 2008
    5
    Starts and ends well, but the rest is a by-the-numbers epic populated with cliches and gimmicky cinematic devices and ostentation. The film becomes hollow and forced... until Vanessa Redgrave appears and redeems the whole thing somewhat.
  97. RonC.
    Jan 22, 2008
    6
    The central problem with this film and too many films made over the past 15-20 years is that the editing becomes the most important character. The is one more story told out of time sequence, not because it is a dramatic need of one of the characters (say a character with amnesia who remembers only bits of her past and we take that journey of remembrance with her), but because it is a The central problem with this film and too many films made over the past 15-20 years is that the editing becomes the most important character. The is one more story told out of time sequence, not because it is a dramatic need of one of the characters (say a character with amnesia who remembers only bits of her past and we take that journey of remembrance with her), but because it is a structural need for the screenwriter to achieve his plot twist at the end. The writer simply cannot take us on a worthwhile journey starting us at A and ending us at Z, and so flashes us backwards and forwards in time until we're so good and seasick that anything he present in the last 15 minutes of the movie will be a stunner. The interesting thing is that Atonement would have been a good movie without the manipulation. The direction is spot on and the performances compelling. But because I know I was being led around by the nose by the writer, it kicked up all my authority issues and I just refused to be moved. Expand
  98. MartinB.
    Jan 20, 2008
    2
    Slow and borrrrring!
  99. MollyW.
    Jan 20, 2008
    9
    Bound to get Oscar nods; cinematic turns splendid; subtleties for those who get them; beautifully presented; most decent acting; heartbreaking at the end.
  100. 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!
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.