User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 413 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 413
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  1. DeniseS.
    Jan 6, 2008
    9
    I suppose you can call me a clean canvas since I didn't read the novel, so I really didn't know what to expect. Although the movie is visually stunning and the acting exceptional (especially James MacAvoy), it left me cold at first. As time went on and I had time to reflect, I became haunted and captivated by the story. A clever and brilliant way to tell a story and hold us to I suppose you can call me a clean canvas since I didn't read the novel, so I really didn't know what to expect. Although the movie is visually stunning and the acting exceptional (especially James MacAvoy), it left me cold at first. As time went on and I had time to reflect, I became haunted and captivated by the story. A clever and brilliant way to tell a story and hold us to view it again to answer more questions. Expand
  2. AustinB.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Unfortunately for Andrew, he appears to lack enough of a brain to simply piece together the fact that you see the same events happen twice, once from the young sister (Briony's) eyes, and once from the older sister (Cicilia); that is the "disconnection" Andrew talks about. It is a very very good movie; full of emotion and great acting and I would recommend it!
  3. 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
  4. AmyS.
    Feb 15, 2008
    10
    Favourite movie of all time. love it.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. SimonJ>
    Mar 24, 2008
    9
    Well acted, stylish, good soundtrack. If you don't like this film you don't like movies.
  8. DanP.
    Mar 28, 2008
    10
    An epic of wrenching emotion.
  9. 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.
  10. Akispapas
    Apr 13, 2008
    9
    great movie...
  11. MikS.
    Apr 24, 2008
    10
    Shame on those people who voted five below on this movie! Do they have emotions??
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. TennisMenace
    May 27, 2008
    9
    Very creative.
  15. 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?
  16. WhitneyL
    Dec 10, 2007
    10
    Oscar worthy. The acting is outstanding. the score is incredible. As a whole it is the best movie of the year by far. PERFECT!
  17. Keith
    Dec 13, 2007
    9
    Surely one of the best of the year. I suspect some will criticize if for its high style and grand approach to technique. But, it is the sort of story that calls for it. For the most part, I thought it excellent and impeccably made. The score, though beautiful, can be a little intrusive at times. Knightly is very good in the opening third of the film, but I found her not passionate enough Surely one of the best of the year. I suspect some will criticize if for its high style and grand approach to technique. But, it is the sort of story that calls for it. For the most part, I thought it excellent and impeccably made. The score, though beautiful, can be a little intrusive at times. Knightly is very good in the opening third of the film, but I found her not passionate enough the rest of the way. She can't seem to match McAvoy's fervor, who is first-rate. I thought the screenplay and direction vivid, surpringly so, for a story that could have been confusing or heavy to the point of drowning. In the end, the movie (and certainly the book) works as a lovely, bittersweet metaphor for how art "rights" life, how it gives happiness to us by imagining things as they should have always been. As Redgrave intimates in the end, reality is fine where we live. But sometimes it's nice to imagine life turning out how we we wished it. Expand
  18. Fantasy
    Dec 14, 2007
    10
    Saw the movie on opening evening and thought it was tremendous. In all seriousness, for the short time Vanessa Redgrave is on the screen, it makes one realize that she is in a league all of her own. Defintely Oscar worthy.
  19. CasperY
    Dec 15, 2007
    10
    Best film of the last two years...every element serves a purpose for the whole upon close inspection.
  20. Emily
    Dec 15, 2007
    10
    A very captivating film with a GREAT story and a wonderful cast - especially James McAvoy. It was beautifully filmed; many of the images resonate with me even several days after seeing the film. I highly recommend it!
  21. AnnaP.
    Dec 19, 2007
    10
    Astounding, moving, heartbreaking, life-affirming and unutterably sad all at once. What a fantastic movie, definitely one of the best of the year. The cinematography is breathtaking, the acting amazing, and the story has just enough twists and turns to satisfy. I haven't read the book, it's now on the top of my Christmas list, but I just can't say enough good things about Astounding, moving, heartbreaking, life-affirming and unutterably sad all at once. What a fantastic movie, definitely one of the best of the year. The cinematography is breathtaking, the acting amazing, and the story has just enough twists and turns to satisfy. I haven't read the book, it's now on the top of my Christmas list, but I just can't say enough good things about this film. Expand
  22. Alexandra
    Dec 8, 2007
    10
    Phenomenal. I have not read the novel, but from a purely cinematic point of view, it was excellently done. A very powerful and moving story. The most affecting, wonderful movie I've seen in a while.
  23. MyriamMathieu-Bédard
    Dec 9, 2007
    10
    Beautiful in every possible way.
  24. DrewP
    Jan 12, 2008
    10
    Phenomenal film, brilliantly acted, and the cinematography is flawless. Best movie of 2007.
  25. charmaineh.
    Jan 16, 2008
    10
    This movie was so beautifully done, everything about it was stunning.
  26. RubyRuby
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    It's like the perfect movie.
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. MiriamY
    Dec 12, 2007
    10
    Astonishing movie. Beautiful and deeply emotional. The performances are brilliant, especially by Knightley and McAvoy as the star-crossed lovers. This move has made me feel what I haven't felt in ages when watching a movie. A definite standout from the rest of the films out there now. Brilliant, gorgeous and captivating. Bravo!!!
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.