Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: September 15, 2010
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 226 Ratings
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187
Mixed:
21
Negative:
18
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8
filmtrashreviewJun 27, 2011
A simple love story. Still films like Atonement and this one bring new elements, twists and turns to the table. Making for a more enjoyable experience as we continue to think about the human condition. There is no need for a screenplay onA simple love story. Still films like Atonement and this one bring new elements, twists and turns to the table. Making for a more enjoyable experience as we continue to think about the human condition. There is no need for a screenplay on this one, the director of this film took it page by page through the story. Refreshing and new, this film will please all fans of the award winning novel. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
RyanGeeSep 28, 2010
Creating a haunting yet provocative science fiction piece of art, director Mark Romenek creates a film that will consume its audience with heartbreak and despair. Never Let Me Go is best approached with little information of the sequentialCreating a haunting yet provocative science fiction piece of art, director Mark Romenek creates a film that will consume its audience with heartbreak and despair. Never Let Me Go is best approached with little information of the sequential plot in Ishiguro's novel. In trying to simplify the premise, the film follows the life of three students deriving from Hailshaim school. The highlight of the film is the performance by Carey Mulligan. She creates so much pathos in her character, it is surreal how real her emotions are. Mulligan executes this film with so much poise; Even her subtle facial expressions create goosebumps. This film is a masterpiece. The cinematography in the film is memorizing; The natural shots and the exposure of the characters reactions add to the chilling manner of the film overall. Moreover, the emotions that are enabled by the casts performances are simply haunting and heart-crushing. I have never seen so many people cry in one movie theater, it is really a defining film in combining drama with science fiction. Technique-wise, Romeneks film is the pinnacle of perfection; But many of its small flaws keep it from being an overall unblemished film. The films pace is much too slow and it some times experiences a directionless path, where it seems that the film is heading towards nowhere. At times there was a lack of forwards which negatively influences the films effectiveness. In addition, while the film does create some great heartbreak, there is somewhat a distance between the characters and the audience. While the cast is not at fault, the plot and given details make the characters only somewhat relatable, it seems as if they derive too much from an alternate world to be one of our time. But in the end, the film is an emotion-provoking film that will strike the heart of its audience in a way that is devastating yet memorable. It does not quite reach perfection, but the beauty, heart, and thought of the film covers its small blemishes. Expand
8 of 10 users found this helpful82
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10
TrophysuckaNov 7, 2010
This movie was excellent. The premise of the story intrigued me so I purchased my ticket and entered the theater with a skeptical expression. I had seen the island but I knew that this movie was approaching it from a wholly different angle,This movie was excellent. The premise of the story intrigued me so I purchased my ticket and entered the theater with a skeptical expression. I had seen the island but I knew that this movie was approaching it from a wholly different angle, providing the aesthetic foresight accompanying the characters and their destinations. I felt immensely invested in the characters; suffice it to say Carey Mulligan's performance gripped me and elicited a strong sense of nostalgia as she progressed through the film. I seldom cry I'm movies but the story of this film, the tribulation they undergo is one that connects to the innermost rivers of emotion we experience as we face the end of something, namely life, and by the end of the film tears streamed from my eyes. The premise of the film sits on the assumption that society accepts the system presented to us in the film, and many elements of the film allow that assumption to flow quite nicely. I look forward to the novel and I encourage all to watch the movie. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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8
StevieGJDOct 23, 2010
This is a melancholy and brooding movie with very good acting. There are two stories simultaneously going on. The first has to do with the Orwellian government's purpose for the existence of the main characters. The second is about aThis is a melancholy and brooding movie with very good acting. There are two stories simultaneously going on. The first has to do with the Orwellian government's purpose for the existence of the main characters. The second is about a jealous and petty girl who intentionally thwarts the development of a relationship involving her friend, only to try and make up for it later in her life. The contra-position of these two stories is very interesting. The movies Coma and The Island both dealt with the Orwellian part of this movie's story, both in a completely different (and I would say less successful) way. Those movies assumed that what was happening was so horrible that all one has to do is expose it for it to stop. This movie assumes that it is accepted by society. It ends up being a fresh and unique take on the subject. Well worth seeing and very thought provoking. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
PeterWertzOct 11, 2010
I'm overwhelmed. After a summer of crude, overly-budgeted nonsense, the last three weeks have found me in the theater watching films that were thoughtful, mature, and perhaps most resonantly, emotionally razing. It's exciting to arrive atI'm overwhelmed. After a summer of crude, overly-budgeted nonsense, the last three weeks have found me in the theater watching films that were thoughtful, mature, and perhaps most resonantly, emotionally razing. It's exciting to arrive at this time of year as the mood starts to shift along with the caliber, but it's also important to be prepared for it, and I can't say that I have been. I've gone head first into these films with little more than excitement to safeguard me. Today, this trilogy of despair came to its logical conclusion with the lovingly crafted and deeply heartbreaking Never Let Me Go.

The film is based on Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel of the same name, and follows Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley), three individuals cloned for the purposes of organ donation. As they brave their short lives in lamentable innocence, they must too deal with the complexities of a love triangle and the absence of so many things the rest of us take for granted. There is no real emphasis on becoming an adult, because it's simply not something these donors will have to worry about. Their lives have been planned to the last detail by people they will never meet.

The story comes in three phases: youth at the Hailsham House boarding school, post-adolescence, and adulthood, which for our characters means the beginning of donations and moving toward "completion," this world's harmonious euphemism for death. While the first phase of the film feels a little numb, this is due more to the hesitant performances of Director Mark Romanek's child actors than anything else. Generally the story rides a line of exposition and elision, handling both fairly well. There's a whole lot of story happening in the world at large, and conveying bits and pieces of it without too glaringly divulging everything is a feat Romanek mostly accomplishes. It's once the film arrives at its second phase and into the hands of its wholly capable adult performers that we see its real strength. This young trio is strong, and Mulligan and Garfield together are phenomenal.

To appreciate what they're doing, it's important to appreciate the complexity of these characters. In a way, these three (and the many others stricken with the plight) are entirely unrelatable. It's not just their inevitable demise and the special circumstances, but the characters utter lack of control and general resignation. While the rest of us would go kicking and screaming through this scenario, these three were born and bred to be forgiving victims. That's not to say they don't have moments of self pity, but these moments are so sparse and so quiet, you occasionally forget the horror of the truth. Kathy in particular has relinquished so entirely her anger, her frustration, her sense of the pure wrongness of this situation, she is somehow simultaneously immensely sad and magnificently strong. Garfield's Tommy though is the truly pitiable character. His innocence is pure and while it lends itself to the notion of Tommy's simplicity, his utter lack of offensiveness in any way makes him perhaps one of the most sympathetic and saddest characters you'll ever witness. Further, the love these three have for each other, though occasionally romantic, is more often simply the kindred love of a family. The kind of undiluted love a person will never be rid of.

As much as death is the most universal conceit known to humanity, Never Let Me Go must be a universally affecting story. Death plays like a merciless, omnipresent villain or the deal-striking devil waiting to take his souls back. Once the film has made its grand reveal, death or "completion" become a part of everything. It all becomes a countdown and while there are no questions of "will it happen?" there is plenty of concern as to what our characters can accomplish before it does. Certainly we hope that they can love, but more than this we simply want their "completions" to feel complete. We want them, like us, to have the opportunity to not regret. Sadly, this seems altogether impossible given Kathy, Tommy and Ruth's perpetual greenness. Paradoxically, their innocence is the thing that keeps them from admitting their innocence. To explain: it's in that space just after childhood and before adulthood that we feel the most confident with our take on the world. It's a flaw and a fluke, but every fresh teenager quite simply knows what's right and what's wrong, what's true and what's false. These characters may be dressed up in naivete, but their sense of duty gives them too a false sense, an undeserved sense of life lived, when in fact they haven't really lived at all. This may just be a fact of life: we foist upon ourselves the idea of wisdom whether or not it exists so as to feel more like the adults we knew as children. With time this wisdom (hopefully) grows into itself, but sadly, maybe too sadly, the children in Never Let Me
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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7
Mary7Mar 1, 2011
I love rare films. This is the significance of this film, rareness. When I say this film is rare I mean that you don't see this drama in movies very often. I loved the performances of the actors and the setting. Not to forget how they turnedI love rare films. This is the significance of this film, rareness. When I say this film is rare I mean that you don't see this drama in movies very often. I loved the performances of the actors and the setting. Not to forget how they turned a love triangle to a friendship to last in their memories forever. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
shepardnFeb 5, 2011
i will be adding this movie to my library. it was not like all your other vampire flicks that are out their. one you can sit down and enjoy. has a good story line that can be fallowed easy so is a good movie for a crowd of adults. or justi will be adding this movie to my library. it was not like all your other vampire flicks that are out their. one you can sit down and enjoy. has a good story line that can be fallowed easy so is a good movie for a crowd of adults. or just snuggled up on the couch on a snowy day. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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7
KismetKatSep 26, 2010
First, I must explain that I read the book prior to seeing the movie. I thought it was well acted and caught the mood and tone of the book precisely. Also, it was cast well and I felt Andrew Garfield's performance as Tommy was fabulous.First, I must explain that I read the book prior to seeing the movie. I thought it was well acted and caught the mood and tone of the book precisely. Also, it was cast well and I felt Andrew Garfield's performance as Tommy was fabulous. The reason for a bit lower score is due to (2) reasons: changes in significant events in the book -- don't worry, I won't tell. And, the oversimplification of the dialogue and lack of nuances that are in the book. I realize in order to adapt any book to a movie, much must be cut. But a couple of significant things could have been included and not added too much to the running time. Regardless, I think it's a compelling movie that will leave you with questions for days. And, I recommend you read the book first. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
DalemNov 7, 2010
A friend of mine who saw this movie encountered a woman after the movie in the woman's restroom crying uncontrollably. It is a sad movie. Though the temptation is to classify this movie as science fiction, I don't think it is. It is moreA friend of mine who saw this movie encountered a woman after the movie in the woman's restroom crying uncontrollably. It is a sad movie. Though the temptation is to classify this movie as science fiction, I don't think it is. It is more an allegory about live and life and death. The young folks in the movies are raised to literally give of themselves and the search for love is the center of their lives. The only thing that is certain is the inevitability of death. Death brings all the characters closer together, encourages them to love, but also separates them. Life in all is beautiful but sad. Unless we are stone cold and ungiving, we are very much like the characters in this movie. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
nutterjrJan 18, 2011
so many questions unanswered in a script which tends to linger on details rather than the essence. But the beautiful photography and the masterful performances (especially from Mulligan) make the film worthwhile watching.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
brewsterOct 8, 2010
A superbly crafted and thoughtful movie. While skeptics will decry the suspension of disbelief required to accept the film's underlying premise, you will leave this movie in quiet, deep thought. My wife had read the book, for which I wasA superbly crafted and thoughtful movie. While skeptics will decry the suspension of disbelief required to accept the film's underlying premise, you will leave this movie in quiet, deep thought. My wife had read the book, for which I was grateful to obtain a few additional layers the movie omitted. The movie proposes ethical dilemmas of which stem cells are the tiny tup of the iceberg which our planet and our country will soon face. This film forces us to consider these dilemmas, although in a way in which the choices are made too obvious. As technology advances, and our choices become more complex, how will the simplistic sound bites presented by talking heads ever help us understand and choose wisely? Expand
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7
wishmasterJun 9, 2011
waoo an argument he had not seen, I liked, strong and sad movie with a heartbreaking social contrast. good interpretation, especially Carey Mulligan, I have to say I love it xDD
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7
jimmytancrediAug 29, 2011
Great movie, beautiful, of an amazing subtlety, and with two of the best actors from the new generation, Andrew Garfield and the ever-wonderful Carey Mulligan. If the outcome is hardly surprising, at least itâ
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9
j30Sep 22, 2011
A near great science fiction movie with a great up and coming cast. Andrew Garfield is explosive (See the Part 1 of the Red Riding Trilogy), I'd expect him to win some serious awards in the future.
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8
rafael14Aug 10, 2012
this movie is so **** good, whow the actrors are fantastic, the history is very beautiful even i cried, and for me is one of the beutiful films ever do. i really love
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
altdrsmoothopOct 7, 2011
the most common criticism I see of this movie is that nobody subjected to this treatment would accept it as it is, but as a work of fiction it's trying to say something, so put that aside for a moment. but after I saw the movie it lingeredthe most common criticism I see of this movie is that nobody subjected to this treatment would accept it as it is, but as a work of fiction it's trying to say something, so put that aside for a moment. but after I saw the movie it lingered in my head and I spent the rest of the night thinking of it. never let me go is about cruelty and apathy, on a macro and micro level. It's about the cruel things we do to each other, and that are imposed on us by society, and the cruelty inherent to humans. and for that to come through you have to be with these characters and feel almost like you want to turn it off, because you know what's coming. and, more profoundly, as is explicit in the movie's closing, it's about losing what makes life worth living, and feeling, all the time subjectively when faced with the inevitable peril of vanishing from consciousness, that it is somehow unfair that we have not had much more time to revel in what we have, and that it has been taken or we have lost it somehow. very good and thought provoking, but I would not suggest it if you are one of those people that can't sustain a fiction because you keep trying to superimpose the reality you're used to and because you have trouble with metaphor. you know who you are. Expand
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8
EssenceOfSugarDec 18, 2011
A touching, heart-rending movie - although depressing in parts. There's so many aspects of this movie that has so much to do with real life - it triggered my sense of morality and set off my tear duct. It wasn't a cheesy movie designed toA touching, heart-rending movie - although depressing in parts. There's so many aspects of this movie that has so much to do with real life - it triggered my sense of morality and set off my tear duct. It wasn't a cheesy movie designed to just make you cry - it wasn't even a cheesy movie at all. This movie touches on so many things, so many sensitive things that you wouldn't even think about. The plot thickens as the story continues and learn of 'completions' and 'organ donors'. This movie is a movie about real life and looks at the more sensitive and harder to touch aspects of movie aspects. Expand
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9
vini1904Aug 14, 2012
My favorite drama movie with a gripping story that makes us wonder about ourselves, a very sad end, almost impossible not to cry watching. The acting is also impeccable.
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8
CinemaNoirNov 6, 2011
A nicely shot, very effective social commentary film on the human ethics. This well acted drama had an interesting plot carried out through an effective (if mediocre) screenplay.
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10
hellyNov 20, 2011
Beautiful, fresh, good approach. I think it can't be a coincidence that good movies are mostly based on good books. I mean, the scripts have to have a good base. Gripping and wonderful.
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7
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
A powerful look at dystopia--carried with great performances from an astonishing cast and a well-written script. Never Let Me Go is non-traditional as far as dystopian dramas go--not that dystopia is at all typical.
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9
SpangleMar 4, 2016
A beautiful and moving film, director Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go is a fantastic film that really nails its thematic elements. Speaking on mortality, humanity, classism, and free will, Never Let Me Go is a beautiful film with many touchingA beautiful and moving film, director Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go is a fantastic film that really nails its thematic elements. Speaking on mortality, humanity, classism, and free will, Never Let Me Go is a beautiful film with many touching elements. The world created here is incredibly interesting and fits the "dystopian" billing perfectly, but only if you are the unfortunate group who has to see that underbelly of society. The romance, cinematography, and score, of the film are beautiful and really give the film a period piece type feel, even though it is not a period piece. Despite the lack of similarity in genre, it is clear that somebody on the creative team here has seen some period pieces in their time. As a person who loves the look and feel of those films, it was much appreciated. Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield, are phenomenal and have fantastic chemistry between them. Finally, the script from Alex Garland is strikingly written, thought provoking, and just absolutely wondrous. Overall, Never Let Me Go is a stirring and beautifully made film that will get you thinking and move your heart. Expand
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7
marcmyworksDec 20, 2016
Another slow paced Carey Mulligan film (surprise) with a lot of heart and beautiful scenery. The concept brilliant was let down slightly by the acting ability and connection of the characters.
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10
Sam1234Nov 15, 2013
Amazing movie, If you have a open mind and let it, it will move you no have you thinking for days, It does go abit slow so anyone with ADHD will problem find in boring and not be into it, Was a great watch though defiantly worth a watch ifAmazing movie, If you have a open mind and let it, it will move you no have you thinking for days, It does go abit slow so anyone with ADHD will problem find in boring and not be into it, Was a great watch though defiantly worth a watch if you like to be moved Expand
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8
VictorBuenoJul 28, 2014
Although has passive characters who do not arouse any interest in the viewer, the film has a good message and has story enough to arrest those who are watching and stay in memory for long days story.
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8
RobertBroganOct 5, 2015
Never Let Me Go is a surprising film, with a strange blend of sci-fi, mystery, romance, and atrocity that I've never seen before. The film's style, especially in the first act, is quite good and gives the sense it takes place in an alternate,Never Let Me Go is a surprising film, with a strange blend of sci-fi, mystery, romance, and atrocity that I've never seen before. The film's style, especially in the first act, is quite good and gives the sense it takes place in an alternate, but very real world. The lead actresses play their parts well, as one would expect. The main strike against the film is the lead actor, who is fine, but not on par with his co-stars and it detracts from the tragic strain the film is going for. But overall, Never Let Me Go is a memorable film and is quite good. Expand
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7
rosstheboss2000Aug 8, 2016
Not a feel-good movie at all, which isn't a bad thing. The plot was very good, and this movie did a good job of presenting it clearly. I just wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light-hearted film.
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