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The Age of Innocence (1993)


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 36
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 10
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 23,174



Movie Info

In Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel, romance between an upper-class gentleman and an ostracized lady is doomed by 19th century New York society. Shortly after his engagement to blandly genteel May Welland (Winona Ryder), Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is reacquainted with May's scandalous cousin Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). As the head of an esteemed family, Archer initially uses his standing to try to rehabilitate Ellen's reputation, but he finds himself … More

PG (for thematic elements and some mild language.)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Martin Scorsese , Jay Cocks
In Theaters:
Nov 6, 2001
Columbia Pictures


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Critic Reviews for The Age of Innocence

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (9) | DVD (10)

I don't know any of those [prior] versions, and I wonder how (which means I doubt that) they avoided the snare that Wharton unwittingly set for her adapters, the snare that, for all his gifts, caught Scorsese.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Manages to be both personal and true to its source, though it never quite comes together.

Full Review… | February 1, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

An extraordinarily sumptuous piece of filmmaking.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
Top Critic

Spurning Masterpiece Theatre twittiness, Scorsese cuts to the primal passions of Wharton's tale.

July 22, 2006
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Mr. Scorsese has made a big, intelligent movie that functions as if it were a window on a world he had just discovered, and about which he can't wait to spread the news.

Full Review… | July 22, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Scorsese's most poignantly moving film.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Day-Lewis and Pfeifer are on top form with Ryder giving the performance of her career.

Full Review… | February 1, 2010
Empire Magazine

Gorgeously shot, deceptively genteel period drama. Day-Lewis, Ryder and in particular Pfieffer give performances as polished as the silver and the result is slow, subtle but irresistibly powerful.

Full Review… | February 1, 2010

It shows that while conformity can stifle honesty and love, acting in mere self-interest can be even more destructive.

September 20, 2007
Looking Closer

The Age of Innocence drags through some of the usual costume movie elements, but Scorsese's exuberance carries the show.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

The movie seems a departure from Scorsese's turf of violence and lower class men, but Wharton's depiction of rigid milieu with its restrictive mores and emotional repression bears resemblance to Little Italy's male subculture.

Full Review… | December 1, 2005

A stylish but fairly forgettable Scorsese effort

May 27, 2005
Lawrence Journal-World

The great tragedy is that the hypocrisies that Newland and Olenska work to reveal are the very same ones that ultimately destroy everything passionate and human within them.

Full Review… | April 23, 2005

A moving and impassioned work from one of the foremost filmmakers today.

Full Review… | January 2, 2004

Scorsese must stay away from period pieces.

October 3, 2003

Scorsese brings to stuffy New York society the same keen regard for the rules of social games that characterize his earlier films.

Full Review… | July 30, 2003
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The story lacks the depth of emotion needed to engage the interests of the audience.

Full Review… | March 23, 2003
Laramie Movie Scope

Quite fascinating.

Full Review… | October 4, 2002

[Age of Innocence] is a veritable feast for the eyes, but the story's about as entertaining as a fourth grade adaptation of a Neil Simon play.

September 25, 2002
Reel Film Reviews

Thanks to Scorsese's directorial prowess, the film completely immerses the viewer.

Full Review… | June 2, 2002

Audience Reviews for The Age of Innocence

Atmospherically, it's a wedding juxtaposed against a funeral.

Full review coming to on 6/12

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer


A well-acted, if occasionally boring and long-winded study of 19th century New York and how a young upper-class man (Daniel Day-Lewis) slowly begins to detach himself from his wife (Winona Ryder) in hopes of starting a relationship with her cousin (Michelle Pfeiffer). If not for Day-Lewis's convincing, arresting turn as a man deeply troubled by what he should do and what he truly feels, this movie would probably be lost on me. Instead, it is quite good, in addition to Scorsese's firm direction which includes some original camera tricks to spice up the story every once in a while. It goes on a little too long, and sometimes you question if you should even be caring about these snobby upper-class people. However, the characters are given the proper color and depth they need, in addition to the plot being able to keep the story going in the second half, when you do not know what Day-Lewis's character will decide to do. The end result is a fine film, a minor entry into Scorsese's resume, and one of the few chances audiences around the world get to see the brilliance that is the actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Of course, this film doesn't allow for the usual Scorsese violence, but coming from him, I expected something a little more...intense. The look of this movie is amazing, with its gorgeous cinematography, it's as if you are watching a 2-hour long painting. But, apart from the aesthetic aspect, it also resembles a painting in the fact that nothing happens. Sadly, The Age of Innocence is terribly boring. I never thought I'd see Daniel Day-Lewis in such a plain role, he did what he could with what he was given. Winona Ryder was good in her own, puppy-like way. The film's best was Michelle Pfeiffer. Her performance was flawed, but she was the one who kept your interest alive. Loved the narrator. Martin Scorsese should stick to what he does best: blood.


I'm okay with the movie because I liked the book. The direction is a bit odd. It seems like Marty Scorsese toned down his usual flashy cool to fit a staid period piece - the quick cuts to the food, the letters read to the camera.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

The Age of Innocence Quotes

Ellen Olenska:
Don't make love to me. Too many people have done that.
– Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
Ellen Olenska:
I must go where I am invited or I would be too lonely.
– Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)

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