Focus Features | Release Date: December 7, 2007
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 489 Ratings
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Positive:
379
Mixed:
58
Negative:
52
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8
hanneguacamoleNov 23, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Atonement is simple, much like thirteen-year old Briony. Focusing on specific moments in time allows for these actions to speak for themselves without explanation. In its subtletly, the relationships that become important later on are alluded to but we're not quite sure why. Paul Marshall comes to visit in his yellow suit with a weird demeanor in talking to this young girl, Lola. We know there's something not right in this situation, but we realize along with Briony the truth of the rape and how wrong this relationship really is.

As "Atonement" is actually Briony's own novel, the movie is usually shown through her own eyes in two distinct ways. The childish Briony who was in love with Robbie and felt hurt, and the grown-up Briony realizing the actual magnitude of her actions and seeing these events in a new light – despite the fact that they may not even be real at all. The legal mess that Briony has gotten herself into is nearly impossible to solve with the death of both Cecilia and Robbie and the marriage and therefore immunity of Paul on Lola. This situation must leave Briony with much guilt – the emotion she shows as an old, dying woman. As perhaps the cause of much harm in many lives, she must carry on and find a way to cope, with writing.

A bit slow at times, but still beautiful in cinematography and a cohesive story lets the simplicity of one action in a life shine through with repercussions. Atonement was a single wave in the ocean, we watched its arrival to shore.
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9
primrosechillOct 22, 2015
Great movie based on an incredible book by Ian McEwan, ideally captures the spirit of the story as it was first told by the novelist, The 4-minute single shot scene on the Dunkirk beach, accompanied by beautiful music is both impressive and moving.
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6
RobertBroganSep 27, 2015
Take away the acclaim and Atonement works fine as a drama. The film looks as good as the actors. The various situations are somewhat interesting, but the film never comes together or feels completed at the end. The war scenes do almostTake away the acclaim and Atonement works fine as a drama. The film looks as good as the actors. The various situations are somewhat interesting, but the film never comes together or feels completed at the end. The war scenes do almost nothing for the story, which seems to have no main character. But overall, Atonement is fine, I just didn't find it to merit any awards. Expand
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8
SpangleJun 11, 2015
Entirely captivating from beginning to end, Atonement is a very good film that finds success in multiple areas. Firstly, the acting is stellar. Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan, are impeccable. There is a scene in which McAvoyEntirely captivating from beginning to end, Atonement is a very good film that finds success in multiple areas. Firstly, the acting is stellar. Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan, are impeccable. There is a scene in which McAvoy yells at the older version of Ronan's character and the intensity he brings in that scene is impeccable, yet the tenderness and power brought by Knightley as she brings him back down is astounding. Truly, the two of them together provide powerhouse performances that should have been Oscar worthy. The film also excels in the areas of costume and production design. A film that spans multiple decades and includes scenes on the English countryside and in the north of France during WWII, this one's production design is impeccable. The writing and directing here are also quite strong, but one of my favorite elements here was the cinematography. Coupled with the entire mise en scene, war has never looked so beautiful. Truly, every single shot is immaculately captured and absolutely ravishing. Atonement is a great film from director Joe Wright that continues to show his handle on period pieces to be second to none. Expand
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8
spollardSep 18, 2014
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 inAstonishing, 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!) Expand
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10
beingryanjudeAug 25, 2014
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.
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8
ns0lMar 26, 2014
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 endsI 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. Expand
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2
ginam5Jun 15, 2013
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 qualitiesHated 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 Expand
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8
Trev29Jun 9, 2013
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 aPowerful 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. Expand
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10
worleyjamersMay 26, 2013
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 DarioPerfect! 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. Expand
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2
csw12Mar 16, 2013
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.
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8
TheWalrus2000Mar 12, 2013
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.
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9
Jailhouse_McGeeOct 12, 2012
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.
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7
bram29May 5, 2012
movie began a bit slow, but got better later.
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9
EssenceOfSugarApr 30, 2012
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 doesA 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
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5
rotkuJan 10, 2012
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 disjointedWhile 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
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10
pinattarDec 26, 2011
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 NOTthis 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
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8
jimmytancrediMay 29, 2011
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 onlyIt 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! Expand
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10
lauraOct 12, 2009
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 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! Expand
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4
MorganF.Apr 17, 2009
This movie was so long and the plot was horribly thin. The acting was decent, but it hardly carried the film.
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9
ChrisGJan 8, 2009
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 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
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0
MegR.Dec 27, 2008
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 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. Expand
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10
CharlesM.Dec 23, 2008
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 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
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9
JimmyS.Dec 21, 2008
Redemption song
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10
RubyRubyDec 13, 2008
It's like the perfect movie.
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9
RogornM.Nov 23, 2008
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
DaveC.Nov 20, 2008
It was horrible. It was insanely slow and even more boring. Waste of time and money.
1 of 7 users found this helpful
1
ScottN.Nov 16, 2008
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 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
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9
JoseS.Aug 25, 2008
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 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
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7
KenD.Jul 26, 2008
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 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
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