Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 33
  2. Negative: 6 out of 33
Watch On
  1. 75
    The strength of the screenplay and acting provide a satisfying, although not overwhelming, two hours of romance, drama, and tragedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    The film, like the book, is clear-eyed without being clinical, reflective but never maudlin.
  3. 75
    It resonates with gleaming ferocity as it unspools a story of regret, longing and resolution in two generations of women.
  4. The constant shifting between today and years ago is, in and of itself, powerful.
  5. It's like a Harlequin romance trying to pass itself off as something deeper and more profound.
  6. 63
    Susan Minot’s resplendent novel of a dying woman…stumbles on its way to the screen.
  7. 63
    Whatever Evening is saying about life, death, and guilt isn't terribly new or interesting.
  8. It paints its world in pastels, but the subject cries out for vivid colors.
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Rather than concentrate on Ann's disappointed infatuation and providing a satisfactory reason for its failure, Minot and, one suspects, Cunningham in particular, chose to flesh out the character of Buddy.
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Individual moments are not without their felicitous touches -- mainly due to the cast, which is rich to the point of improbability.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    Despite the show-offy cast, it took me a while to warm to these people and their self-consciously idyllic settings--as well as to the slick direction of former cinematographer Lajos Koltai--but I was eventually won over.
  12. Evening is so distanced from the emotions of the story that it never breathes on its own.
  13. For all the creaminess of the sets and costumes, every character talks as if she is still made out of written words, not flesh, and each woman's struggles feel about as important as a tea dance.
  14. What a cast but what a disappointment.
  15. The film is based on a novel by Susan Minot--one of those books where the author doesn't deign to put dialogue in quotation marks for fear of dispelling the dreamlike mood. It works on paper, but Minot, who shares credit for the adaptation with fellow novelist Michael Cunningham, doesn't understand that screenwriting is the art of taking away.
  16. 50
    This is one of the rare movies that are too sensitive for their own good.
  17. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Parked uneasily between sensitive indie and studio chick-flick, Lajos Koltai's Evening makes star-studded hash of Susan Minot's beautifully written, if emotionally constricted, novel.
  18. 50
    Evening feels like one of those devil's-candy productions that aim to bring artistry to a large audience, specifically a large audience of adult women who don't often go to the movies. Even considering it in that light, I found it miscalculated and overcooked.
  19. The performances, especially by Hugh Dancy as a sexually confused rich kid, are overwrought, and the script, which Michael Cunningham ("The Hours") wrote in collaboration with Minot, is slack.
  20. 50
    High-grade cheese, the sort of highly pitched melodrama that in the 1950s would have been the stuff of a lurid, lavishly staged Douglas Sirk picture.
  21. Evening is a case study in how a subtly evocative book can elude the most well-intentioned filmmakers and some of our finest actors.
  22. Evening might be the most shocking waste of natural resources since the despoiling of the Amazon rain forest.
  23. The characters, full of blue-blood archness and angst, are partial to self-conscious speechifying.
  24. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    Evening”has so much going for it. A great cast, amazing visuals, and solid directing throughout. So why did I leave the film saying aloud to the parking lot, "I didn't like it."
  25. Reviewed by: Karl Rozemeyer
    A mistake was made: Evening is a book that would have been best left on the page.
  26. The uneven filmmaking renders Minot's ideas impossibly trite.
  27. For all of its class-act bona fides, Evening lurches between the morose and the sentimental, with occasional incursions into the absurd.
  28. 38
    There are few things more depressing than a weeper that doesn't make you weep.
  29. Doesn’t seem as if it would translate easily to the big screen. It hasn't.
  30. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Rarely have so many gifted women labored so tastefully to bring forth such a wee, lockjawed mouse.
  31. 25
    Evening proves that there are such things as mistakes, by featuring two hours of bad choices and half-executed ideas.
  32. 25
    Vanessa Redgrave spends Evening dying, and so does Evening.
  33. Redgrave still manages to inspire awe, yet a poetically prosaic moment like the one in which she goes chasing after a butterfly is enough to throw a net over the whole thing.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 8 out of 13
  1. Aug 14, 2011
    the wonderful performances and spectacular work of Elend Kaczmarek on the soundtrack should make people rethink the idea that 100% of filmsthe wonderful performances and spectacular work of Elend Kaczmarek on the soundtrack should make people rethink the idea that 100% of films should be full of action, with no time allowed for reflection or absorption Full Review »
  2. DanH.
    Jul 4, 2008
    Great Movie, Tense exciting and romantic
  3. FranceL.
    Apr 30, 2008
    Wrapping a film in luscious sets, peopling a film with gifted actors, decorating a film with lovely music, does not a good movie make if, at Wrapping a film in luscious sets, peopling a film with gifted actors, decorating a film with lovely music, does not a good movie make if, at its core, it consists of poorly written dialogue, lacks any uniting tension to justify the viewer's interest, and contains too many disjointed scenes in dire need of editing. Full Review »