Focus Features | Release Date: December 7, 2007
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 486 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
376
Mixed:
58
Negative:
52
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10
CasperYDec 15, 2007
Best film of the last two years...every element serves a purpose for the whole upon close inspection.
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10
EmilyDec 15, 2007
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!
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10
AnnaP.Dec 19, 2007
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 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
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7
ChadS.Dec 22, 2007
Most readers of literary fiction would probably concur that Ian McEwan's "Atonement" was the best example of fallible narration since Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day". Both film adaptations are flawed, but at least Most readers of literary fiction would probably concur that Ian McEwan's "Atonement" was the best example of fallible narration since Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day". Both film adaptations are flawed, but at least "Atonement" is successful in capturing the limitations that a child's intelligence would pose when confronted with an adult situation(McEwan's story is a tip-of-the-hat to Henry James' "What Maisie Knew"), but then again, maybe Briony(Saoirse Ronan) knew more than she led us to believe. "Atonement" repeats scenes that involve Robbie(James McAvoy) and Cecilia(Keira Knightley) in order to show us what Briony missed the first time. As it turns out, maybe the extended information was irrelevant. When the story jumps ahead in time, Robbie is involved with the war, a tour of duty in which he encounters no action. He spills no blood. This is part of the author's atonement, too(not explicity laid out by Vanessa Redgrave, as the older Briony). There's no need for Robbie to lose a limb, or shed blood. Briony knows that he suffered enough. Expand
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10
AlexandraDec 8, 2007
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.
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10
MyriamMathieu-BédardDec 9, 2007
Beautiful in every possible way.
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10
DrewPJan 12, 2008
Phenomenal film, brilliantly acted, and the cinematography is flawless. Best movie of 2007.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
BlakeJJan 15, 2008
I'm just going to say it, I didn't really like Atonement. Overall it was a beautifully filmed movie, but I felt it lacked in places and I did not connect with any of the characters...at all.
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7
SebastianJan 16, 2008
Atonement offers plenty for the eyes, but the soul is left wanting. Flatly, what's missing in Atonement is atonement. Sure, a good 1/5 of the movie addresses some manner of recompense, but the movie's focal point is desire turned Atonement offers plenty for the eyes, but the soul is left wanting. Flatly, what's missing in Atonement is atonement. Sure, a good 1/5 of the movie addresses some manner of recompense, but the movie's focal point is desire turned inexplicably to love and then crushed under betrayal, war, and a lot of other just generally evil stuff. The subsequent struggle for "atonement" is ostensibly deep but the viewer never really gets underneath the skin of the character's anxiety. The movie would stick more to the viewer's spirit if the "atonement" would have been more naked. Instead, we are left with a beautiful bunch of evaporating sadness. Expand
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10
charmaineh.Jan 16, 2008
This movie was so beautifully done, everything about it was stunning.
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10
RubyRubyDec 13, 2008
It's like the perfect movie.
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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
DanG.Jan 29, 2008
Haunting, sweet, and beautiful. That art can not only imitate life, but destroy it: that's an interesting conclusions, well-rendered by the film.
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10
ThulaniF.Feb 15, 2008
It's the intriguing British true story movie I have ever come across and it has a lot of character.
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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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7
PatG.Dec 11, 2007
Much about this film was very interesting, but I am amazed that not one person, professional or amateur, has mentioned what troubles me the most. That is that I find it VERY hard to believe that Robbie would have made the dumb mistake he Much about this film was very interesting, but I am amazed that not one person, professional or amateur, has mentioned what troubles me the most. That is that I find it VERY hard to believe that Robbie would have made the dumb mistake he made. It is just not credible. And, of course, the whole plot rides on that move. Sigh. . . . I did like the movie overall, but it has to be in spite of that glaring flaw. Talk about the need to suspend disbelief! Expand
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10
MiriamYDec 12, 2007
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 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!!! Expand
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10
SimDec 15, 2007
While the movie had won me over long before then, the five-minute, single-take scene overlooking the beaches at Dunkirk is perhaps the most beautiful piece of cinematographic mastery I have ever seen, and it is for such elegance that this While the movie had won me over long before then, the five-minute, single-take scene overlooking the beaches at Dunkirk is perhaps the most beautiful piece of cinematographic mastery I have ever seen, and it is for such elegance that this movie deserves Best Picture. Expand
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10
SeanDec 16, 2007
Pat, the letter wasn't a mistake, as far as which one Robbie intended to put in the envelope. Remember him giggling as he gave it to Briony? It was an intentional joke that he changed his mind about a few seconds after giving it to Pat, the letter wasn't a mistake, as far as which one Robbie intended to put in the envelope. Remember him giggling as he gave it to Briony? It was an intentional joke that he changed his mind about a few seconds after giving it to Briony. But when he actually put it in the envelope, that was on purpose. Anyway, beautiful film. Weirdly, many critics are having reservations about the second half, but I loved those parts the most. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AdamL.Dec 29, 2007
Ah, more humor from the Metacritic peanut gallery. Let's take a look at some choice quotes from the user "reviews" by those who rated this film poorly: "This is the worst film I've ever watched in years." "Some scenes were visually Ah, more humor from the Metacritic peanut gallery. Let's take a look at some choice quotes from the user "reviews" by those who rated this film poorly: "This is the worst film I've ever watched in years." "Some scenes were visually brilliant, but except for one hospital scene..." "But I can't say it better than William Arnold, so I will quoate instead..." Apparently, the above users are unfamiliar with the intricacies of English syntax, grammar, and basic spelling. What are you three doing up this late anyway? You need your rest. Third grade is tough enough as it is. And then there's this juicy little nugget of witticism: "She looks great on the red carpet, but said carpet would be a better actress." So apparently, red carpets are female! Who knew? Rug anthropology is criminally misunderstood, so thank you Scott S. for enlightening us all. Listen, all comedy at the expense of stupidity aside, this is a phenomenal picture well worth the emotional effort you're willing to put into it. It is powerful and heartwrenching, and only the pretentious (see A.O. Scott) and soulless will find themselves unaffected by its majesty. With the exception of "No Country for Old Men," this is the best picture of the year. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JimmyS.Dec 21, 2008
Redemption song
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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