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Adoration (2008)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 98
Fresh: 60
Rotten: 38

Critics Consensus: A complex and thought-provoking work, Atom Egoyan's Adoration works well as both mystery and engaging drama.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: A complex and thought-provoking work, Atom Egoyan's Adoration works well as both mystery and engaging drama.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 2,141


Movie Info

Director Atom Egoyan explores the concept of cyberspace as a place for redemption in this drama about an adolescent boy named Simon (Devon Bostick) who reinvents his life on the Internet. Before long, Simon's deeply personal journey provokes strong reactions from around the globe. Rachel Blanchard and Scott Speedman co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

R (for language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Atom Egoyan
In Theaters:
May 30, 2009
Box Office:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Adoration

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (38) | DVD (4)

Unfortunately the elaborately unspooled plot delivering these ideas in dramatic form is so scraggy and effortful it defeats the cast and rather compromises our involvement.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

A gimmicky, sad and beautifully acted mystery that keeps its secrets even when it loses its grasp of the logical.

Full Review… | July 29, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

After a promising start, this ambitious but ultimately clunky and unwieldy movie dissolves into a pile of ideas in dire need of dramatization.

Full Review… | July 24, 2009
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Egoyan is nothing if not low key; and as dramatic as passages are here, he keeps the tone under control and the story believable.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

Bostick turns in a quietly mesmerizing performance, capturing Simon's sense of loss without slipping into pathos.

Full Review… | July 16, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

In Atom Egoyan's disconcerting and unpredictable Adoration, a young man's attempt to make sense of himself and his family's history turns strange when his re-imagined version of that history becomes a combustible topic for online chatter.

Full Review… | June 26, 2009
Seattle Times
Top Critic

In Egoyanland it's always winter, but that can be reassuring.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
East Bay Express

Uneven enigmatic social drama that's framed like an imaginative mystery story.

Full Review… | October 1, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A chilly intellectualism sucks the dramatic life out of Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan's Adoration.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010

Though Egoyan, as usual, frequently strains credibility he at least manages to weave all of this into a fairly absorbing detective story that explores the roots and damaging implications of prejudice with unexpected grace.

Full Review… | March 16, 2010

Without the constrictions of an adapted text, Egoyan's creativity turns towards intellectual exercise.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Empire Magazine

The most positive thing you can say about Atom Egoyan's latest film is that it is well-intentioned. But the most honest thing that you can say is that it's a painfully misguided and pretentious folly.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Times [UK]

A pretty fatuous equivalence, made much more implausible by the clotted structure, some wince-makingly unconvincing scenes and truly terrible acting.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010

Atom Egoyan is up to his old tricks with this fractured, elusive drama, resembling but never measuring up to the ones which launched his career.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Daily Telegraph

Populated with rich, complex characters, Adoration's impressive array of ideas is matched by its visual beauty and narrative ingenuity.

February 2, 2010
Little White Lies

If you can buy into the improbable, this ultimately pans out as a wise and rather poignant story.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Sky Movies

A complex, compelling brew, enhanced throughout by Egoyan's hypnotic style. Sadly, it's also weirdly remote and agonisingly slow.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Total Film

An ill-judged crack at a mainstream thriller.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Radio Times

A characteristically skewed but cerebral look at a dysfunctional family in a movie much easier to admire than actually like.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Daily Mirror [UK]

Theme is all-powerful, with characters verbally fondling their histories and identities - and, in one typically po-faced scene, intellectualising vomit.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Financial Times

Egoyan has hold of serious material...but it is untidily stitched into the narrative, crushing any illusion of spontaneity and loading the dialogue with heavy-duty didacticism.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010

But when he turns from intellectual debate to the way human beings actually speak and behave, you might feel that he'd be better off writing essays himself.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Independent on Sunday

Too self-conscious by half and often unnecessarily complicated. It's as if Egoyan, who wrote and produced it as well as directed, has so much on his mind that he can't sort it all out.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
This is London

A stylish, muddled but oddly interesting movie/moral debate, this is ultimately a reflection (I think) on post-9/11 hysteria.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Daily Record [UK]

Seamlessly marrying the personal and the political, Adoration plots a labyrinthine course through all manner of millennial issues...

Full Review… | January 27, 2010
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Adoration

With Atom Egoyan, you can almost always expect a challenging film accompanied by realistic characters and dialogue, some heavy and complex themes, and no easy answers or payoff. "Adoration" is no exception. This is a multifaceted character study with a (slightly convoluted) web of a plot that goes in unpredictable directions along with it's unpredictable characters. It is definitely a good film, but it's intentionally abstract narrative was frustrating at times and it lacked the memorable characters, conversations, and overall cohesion of some of Egoyan's other (superior) films. Still, a good film that built itself up to a strong finish.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

Cast: Devon Bostick, Scott Speedman, Arsinée Khanjian, Rachel Blanchard, Noam Jenkins, Kenneth Welsh, Aaron Poole, Katie Boland, Duane Murray

Director: Atom Egoyan

Summary: Assigned to translate a terrorism-related news story for his French class, teen Simon (Devon Bostick) weaves personal details into his tale, which soon leaves the Internet swirling with rumors that Simon's dead father was an actual terrorist. Acclaimed auteur Atom Egoyan's haunting and lyrical drama -- cleverly structured as a mystery -- also stars Scott Speedman as Simon's caretaker uncle and Arsinée Khanjian as Simon's persistent teacher.

My Thoughts: "The story is a dialogue driven film with discussions surrounding terrorism, religion and prejudice. This boy Simon, has, with some help from his french teacher, fabricated a story into making his father out to be a terrorist. It was suppose to be a french assignment about putting the story into your own words as the teacher is reading it aloud. SImon writes it as the third person, as if he was apart of it. His french teacher encourages him to go further with it as a drama piece and to not reveal that it is all fabricated. But as Simon continues telling the story, his own story gets tangled within it and the lines of truth and lies become a bit blurred. Also the french teacher has her own secret and reasons for having him explore this lie/story, but you will have to watch the film to figure it out. The whole film is completely absorbing. It can also be confusing at times with the flashbacks. But definitely worth the rental."


Super Reviewer


Adoration is a film written and directed by Atom Egoyan, which of course means that conventional story telling is not in the forcast.

Primarily dealing with a high school student, his French (and drama) teacher, his uncle and his grandfather, the film delves into several topics, including race discrimination, religion and religious discrimination, and terrorism.

With Egoyan you get a plot line that likes to double back on itself, showing the interconnectivity of people and their reactions. This often makes for a disjointed narrative, and in the case of this film, gives a very surreal tone, as if the time and place of the story are inconsequential - so the foundation on which most films are built is, in this case, a bed of quicksand, shifting in time and for me, never quite giving a feel for where in the world this story was taking place (which, given its subplots, should matter a great deal).

Adding further to the surreal tone, and putting distance between the film and the viewer are some incongruities involving money. The uncle and his ward, the student, are suffering some financial difficulties, and yet the student has tons of expensive toys in his room (computers, cameras, electric guitar and amp, etc). Along the same lines, the teacher at some point loses her job, and yet is throwing cash around like she has some kind of trust fund. All of which gives the viewer the feeling that the director was saddled with a script that should have been thought through a bit more - but since Egoyan wrote the script himself, he only has himself to blame for the cardboard feel of the characters and the clumsy introductions to obvious set pieces (where with a good script and direction, these things become seamless).

There are some inventive touches on display here, specifically the partial telling of the story through the student's video camera, and the use of an internet chat room to give Egoyan the opportunity to riff about terrorism and the net itself. I found it interesting that Egoyan had the more impassioned dialogue coming from the chat room where people were venting their feelings concerning an abstract topic - as if the caring about theoretical topics was more real than what was going on outside in the real world.

I wanted to feel a certain pity for the student's uncle, who ended up being the student's ward, but the acting was very uneven and the script had so many set pieces that weren't fully realized that the only time I really felt for him was when some snooty woman commented that he was "only a tow truck driver"; as if his occupation defined who he was as a person.

I also wanted to feel something towards the student, but again, the story line kept getting in the way, as if Egoyan had so many plates spinning on all these varied topics that the characters, instead of being breathing beings were reduced to mouthpieces for the topics, leaving the last third of the film, where truths are revealed and where emotion was supposed to run high, feeling flat and somewhat trite. The final shot, concerning the scroll of a violin was supposed to hold some great emotional weight, but seemed simply a contrivance. Further, the film holds a twist of sorts, (more of a surprise revelation), which was presented as meekly as the supporting argument for the twist's plausibility.

I admire the writer/director attempting to say something relevent and attempting to say it in a non-formula way, but the end result is that the film fails for those same reasons.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

It doesn't happen very often, but I must sadly add this to my Walter-inspired Movies I Can't Watch All the Way Through list. Borating painful. Like hip replacement surgery -- although I did go through that all the way. Twice. Hey, Roger Ebert, aloha! I know you're not a writer, so I got a little piece of insight for you. The reason why it appears to be such a tangled web is because the writing sucks. The overall script writing is as lousy as the kid's precious composition writing. It's a meta thing. And don't even get me started on the the acting and the directing. Borat me. Don't mention it, Roger. Glad to help you out.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Adoration Quotes

Maybe people should stick to their own kind.
– Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
If my friends found out it isn't true, it wouldn't be the same.
– Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
Innocence is a hard thing to describe. It's like a scent.
– Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
The first thing you have to realize about my mother is that she was extremely trusting.
– Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)

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