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An Education (2009)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 179
Fresh: 169 | Rotten: 10

Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 2

Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 53,244

My Rating

Movie Info

It's 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny is poised on the brink of womanhood. Stifled by the tedium of adolescent routine, Jenny can't wait for adult life to begin. One rainy day, her suburban life is upended by the arrival of an unsuitable suitor, 30- ish David. Urbane and witty, David introduces Jenny to a glittering new world of classical concerts and late-night suppers. Just as the family's long-held dream of getting their brilliant daughter into Oxford seems within


Art House & International, Drama

Nick Hornby

Mar 30, 2010


Sony Classics - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on An Education

December 7, 2009:
Awards Tour: Fish Tank, Moon Win British Independent Film Awards
Duncan Jones took home the Best Debut Director award and his film was named Best British Independent...
December 4, 2009:
Sundance 2010: RT's 10 Most Anticipated Movies
Five or six years ago, the Sundance Film Festival was more famous for showing dozens of worthy,...


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All Critics (181) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (169) | Rotten (10) | DVD (7)

You may think you know where the film is going, but its ecstasy and heartbreak will stick with you afterward. It's one of the year's best.

December 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Associated Press | Comments (5)
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The centerpiece of An Education is the breakout performance of young Carey Mulligan. She is enchanting, and almost convincing as the teenage Jenny, though she can't completely obscure the (justified) suspicion that she's in her twenties and old enough f

November 22, 2009 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The combination of a literate script, an adroit cast and an economical style is simple addition that achieves an alchemical feat: the best film of the year.

November 11, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A beguiling little film that, with deceptive restraint and forthrightness, opens up worlds of roiling, contradictory emotions.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie belongs to Mulligan, whose Jenny looks like Audrey Hepburn when she puts her hair up and dons a black dress, and like every teenage girl who's had her heart broken when she cries.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An Education argues that life -- and the human heart -- are far too complicated merely to be studied. They need to be experienced.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Carey Mulligan announces herself as a major name to watch.

January 26, 2014 Full Review Source:

An Education deserves high marks. You could argue that the central relationship ought to seem sleazier, but Danish director Lone Scherfig perfectly captures the era's look and mood, Hornby's Oscar-nominated script is deft and the performances are spot on

August 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Nick Hornby's screenplay is funny and sweet and 1000 percent English in that catnip-to-American-audiences way he's so good at already.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

Mulligan possesses Audrey Hepburn-like radiance, but the 22-year-old actress looks so young, it's hard to perceive David as anything but creepy.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

You could do a lot worse than spend 100 minutes with Ms. Mulligan. Movie fans, I give you a woman worth educating yourself on.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Humility, that most educational of human qualities, is earned and wisdom is gained, making An Education not only an entertaining picture, but an enlightening one as well.

August 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

... attempts to impress audiences with its worldliness, but it comes off instead as an awkward, unformed teen fantasy run amok.

June 29, 2010 Full Review Source:

A star turn by Carey Mulligan playing a 16-year-old who gets charmed (and, uh, educated) by a suspiciously alluring older man, the excellent Peter Sarsgaard.

March 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Trite, whitewashed, simplistic, and sexless.

March 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (5)
Projection Booth

An unusually nuanced and mature depiction of one of those hoary movie fantasies: the older man who gets the much, much younger woman.

February 27, 2010 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Played with great wit and depth by the 24-year-old British actress Carey Mulligan.

February 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Odds have it, as of this writing, that the Best Actress Oscar race will probably come down to Meryl Streep versus Sandra Bullock, but neither of them carries their respective movie quite as ably as Mulligan does here.

February 2, 2010 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

An Education showcases several fine performances in this story about the dangers of youthful cleverness.

January 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

It's not a perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable one.

January 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Comments (2)
Three Movie Buffs

[Mulligan] brightens what could be considered a common lesson in youth vs. maturity, and makes it one worth sharing.

January 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Carey Mulligan deserves serious Oscar consideration for her work in An Education.

December 20, 2009 Full Review Source: What Would Toto Watch?
What Would Toto Watch?

It was hard to watch Jenny fall so easily to chaotic neutral David, but it was deliriously romantic as well. He wears down our resistance and we fall for him too.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

As a fan of the great kitchen-sink dramas and British coming-of-age films of the 1960s, I loved this throwback to that glorious time in British filmmaking.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Atlantic City Weekly
Atlantic City Weekly

The film's greatest strength may well be how Sarsgaard's David, in concert with Hornby and Scherfig, seduces the audience along with Jenny, promising the world and leaving temptingly unlocked a Pandora's Box of social ambiguity.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for An Education

One of the weakest Best Picture nominees in recent memory - though it's no Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - An Education tells of a hard lesson learned while growing up but falls short of the truly affecting story it was shooting for. And while Carey Mulligan is very good in her role, and Alfred Molina brilliant as her stodgy father, I think this movie's downfall can be pinned on this movie's leading man - if not Peter Sarsgaard himself, then the character that was written for him. He's not overly attractive, or smooth, or rebellious, or sexy, or... anything. So why does the young woman fall hopelessly in love with him? To an extent, I can see this as the point - that we'll be blind to flaws when we're infatuated, particularly when we're young - but there is nothing compelling about him not only from a love-interest standpoint, but also from an audience standpoint. The various strange things he does throughout the film don't lead anywhere in terms of setting the stage for a logical surprise ending (and I say surprise ending cautiously: I never see endings coming, I'm not sure how shocking it truly was). It's hard to play an ambiguous character, but as my interest in the lead male waned, so too did my desire to finish the film. The little details along the way didn't build suspense, they just fizzled. It's a decent film that captures a Britain in transition and has the bones of a good story, but more a nuanced lead male role could have made it much better.
December 9, 2012

Super Reviewer

The plot is not exactly satisfying to my taste but I cannot deny that you have some very good performances here. Mulligan and Molina are perfect for their roles. The rest of the characters come off as a bit flat or simply uninteresting. It feels as if a whole lot more could've come out of this.
November 20, 2012

Super Reviewer

Silly girl! Bastard guy!
October 22, 2012

Super Reviewer

Everything felt perfect while watching this film. The camerawork, the settings, the acting, the characters, and the script all felt picture perfect, kind of like staring at a work of art and not really knowing what to say. As a young girl works hard to attend Oxford School for English, she bumps into a man every now and again, eventually falling for him. He appears 40, as she states she is 17. This movie is definitely not for everyone, and I did feel uncomfortable watching it sometimes, but I can't deny that it is wonderfully directed and well-performed. Carrey Mulligan is pure and elegant in this film. In the conclusion, you will find yourself invested and ready for anything that is about to happen. "An Education" is great!
August 8, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Headmistress: Nobody does anything worth doing without a degree.
    2. Helen: Nobody does anything worth doing with a degree. No woman, anyway.
    – Submitted by Zeldagne L (18 months ago)
    1. David: I studied what they call the university of life. Didn't get a very good degree there.
    – Submitted by David H (2 years ago)
    1. Jenny: Action is character, our English teacher says. I think it means that if we never did anything, we wouldn't be anybody and I never did anything before I met you.
    – Submitted by sahil m (3 years ago)
    1. Jenny: I'm going to read what I want, and listen to what I want, and I'm going to look at paintings and watch French films, and I'm gonna talk to people who know lots about lots.
    – Submitted by Ola B (3 years ago)
    1. Jenny: If people die the moment that they graduate, then surely it's the things we do beforehand that count.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Miss Stubbs: You seem to be old and wise.
    2. Jenny: I feel old. But not very wise.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Foreign Titles

  • Une éducation (FR)
  • Una educación (ES)
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