Focus Features | Release Date: December 7, 2007
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 501 Ratings
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390
Mixed:
59
Negative:
52
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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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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
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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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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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
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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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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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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7
bram29May 5, 2012
movie began a bit slow, but got better later.
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7
avr50May 12, 2017
The first act of Atonement is brilliant, but the second act is not good because of the change of tone, it appears that is not the same movie. The third act is good and helps the movie not to collapse. In the end Atonement is not a bad movie,The first act of Atonement is brilliant, but the second act is not good because of the change of tone, it appears that is not the same movie. The third act is good and helps the movie not to collapse. In the end Atonement is not a bad movie, but i will never see it again Expand
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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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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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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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8
BillyS.Jan 10, 2008
If you want to take an average story and turn it into a movie with an undeniable knock-out ending just hire a Redgrave to deliver it. A couple of years ago Lynn Redgrave gave a performance at the end of Kinsey that elevated that film from If you want to take an average story and turn it into a movie with an undeniable knock-out ending just hire a Redgrave to deliver it. A couple of years ago Lynn Redgrave gave a performance at the end of Kinsey that elevated that film from being a so-so biopic into a riveting study on human behavior, and it was only a 5 minute scene! In Atonement, it's sister Vanessa in a 5 minute scene at the end that transforms the movie from a typical English Merchant-Ivory style love story into a epic story of love, lies, despair and redemption. It hooks you into a love story torn apart by a single lie and follows the plotline through the years ending at a beautiful and totally unexpected place that only Vannessa Redgrave could take you to. She is truly one of the worlds great actors. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy are excellent as the lovers torn apart and Saoirse Ronan & Romola Garai are perfect as the younger stages of the Redgrave character. The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey is brilliant, in the league of Roger Deakins and Robert Elswit this year (you'll see those three names when Oscar nominations are announced!) Atonement is an old fashioned love story that becomes an epic movie going experience the minute Vannessa Redgrave defines Atonement! Expand
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10
LuísD.Jan 23, 2008
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, 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
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10
KY.Feb 20, 2008
Brilliant movie!
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10
AngieApr 20, 2008
Loved it!
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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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9
SeanC.Feb 24, 2008
Nice story line with not your typical predictable ending. Great acting by James McAvoy!
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10
RJMar 31, 2008
Amazing emotional story. There is some very honest acting in this film.
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10
CynthiaH.May 13, 2008
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.
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10
CharlesDec 10, 2007
An amazing work of cinematic art. The best film I have seen in the last five years. Better than Gosford Park.
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10
ErickB.Dec 7, 2007
The best picture of the year the cast is a wonderful Keira and James beautiful the direction is magnificent is an Oscar through.
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9
BarbaraP.Dec 7, 2007
Have read the book 3 times and went to Toronto to see the film at the Festival. It's an almost excellent translation of the book, other than the last scene being "MIA". Wonderful acting, great cinematography and score. I can't wait Have read the book 3 times and went to Toronto to see the film at the Festival. It's an almost excellent translation of the book, other than the last scene being "MIA". Wonderful acting, great cinematography and score. I can't wait to see it again Expand
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7
carolJan 1, 2008
A fine piece of eye candy. Each frame a visual feast of color, light and brilliant production. But, ultimately, one is left wanting more substance. I can't help but feel the film's heart was too over dressed. Still, a beautiful A fine piece of eye candy. Each frame a visual feast of color, light and brilliant production. But, ultimately, one is left wanting more substance. I can't help but feel the film's heart was too over dressed. Still, a beautiful piece worth seeing on the big screen. Expand
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10
GSJan 2, 2008
One of the best movies I've had the pleasure of seeing in quite some while. The meta-reality twist at the end of the film is what really makes this worth watching. The musical score is also phenomenal, cheers.
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9
GregMJan 24, 2008
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 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
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8
NancyHJan 29, 2008
Well done. Vanessa Redgrave is always amazing to watch.
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9
TheDudeJan 4, 2008
Great movie. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it at first. Probably only really went because of Keira Knightley, but I was sure glad I did. It is very dark, but very interesting and very well done. Definitely for adults only, though, Great movie. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it at first. Probably only really went because of Keira Knightley, but I was sure glad I did. It is very dark, but very interesting and very well done. Definitely for adults only, though, don't take your kids to this one. Overall, though it was top-notch. Very interesting story, very well acted and very well made. I was super impressed. Expand
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