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Atonement (2007)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 209
Fresh: 174 | Rotten: 35

Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 5

Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 224,278

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. On the warmest day of the year, the country estate takes on an unsettling hothouse atmosphere, stoking Briony's vivid imagination. Robbie Turner, the educated son of the family's housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony's headstrong older sister Cecilia. Cecilia, he hopes, has comparable feelings; all it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it


Drama, Romance

Christopher Hampton

Mar 18, 2008


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All Critics (209) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (174) | Rotten (35) | DVD (18)

Joe Wright directs Atonement with an eye to framing each performance with spectacularly vivid images, including a genuinely breathtaking tracking shot on the bloody, wreckage-strewn beach at Dunkirk.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Atonement is a film out of balance, nimble enough in its first half but oddly scattered and ungainly once it leaves the grounds of the Tallis estate.

September 22, 2008 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Atonement's extraordinary qualities outweigh any quibbles.

January 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the few adaptations that gives a novel the film it deserves.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film that instantly joins the ranks of the great screen romances.

December 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The interpretation is so painstaking and moving that almost every moment delivers a shuddering jolt to the head and the heart.

December 14, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Atonement's goal is so ephemeral that film may not be able to do it complete justice. All that said, it's still a fantastic piece of craftsmanship, benefiting from loving direction and excellent performances.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source:

An epic, grandiose, and immensely sad film, Atonement is an extremely well crafted, visually rich love story set during a tumultuous time of war, where two impassioned characters are forever torn apart by the selfish jealousy of another.

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

Figurines in a teacup set, shipped over in boxes labeled 'For your consideration'

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Frustratingly uneven, struggling to maintain momentum as it lurches through extended lulls and indulges in cliched genre affectations.

July 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

zaslu%u017Euje pohvale, ali ne onakve kakve bi trebao imati ozbiljni kandidat za "Oscara"

July 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

Players outshine the script

June 28, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

Director Joe Wright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton tap into the underlying passion and pathos from which all the absurdity, irony, and poetry follow.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Ranks among the best films of the year.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

It's a romantic epic, set in the past, featuring some beautiful imagery, high drama and terrific performances from its small, all British cast. It's also (which isn't always a given when it comes to Best Picture contenders) a great movie.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Atonement may look and sound like a Best Picture candidate, but that's all Wright's doing.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

As beautiful as it is thought-provoking and soulful.

September 2, 2008 Full Review Source:

not a Jane Austin story, but it could be, if Jane Austin hardened up her subject matter a bit

August 17, 2008 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comment (1)
7M Pictures

Few films this year were as magnificent looking and few as misunderstood.

May 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

[U]ltimately, the movie amounts to rolling lawns, lovely costumes, and characters that simply fail to resonate.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC | Comment (1)

Director Joe Wright is quickly establishing himself as a powerhouse adapter of period romance tomes.

April 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Peterborough This Week

At some points Wright appears to be simply showing off the dexterity of his visual ambitions to the detriment of the story's emotional core.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

the film actually transcends the novel at times, due in no small part to Seamus McGarvey's fluid camera work.

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Ronan has a remarkably self-possessed, haunted quality that would be impressive for a newcomer of any age.

March 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Audience Reviews for Atonement

Made me feel horribly sad, and a bit nauseous.
June 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

Joe Wright's 'Atonement' has a lot of positive things going for it, but none more brilliant and substantial than the film's cinematography and visuals. This includes, but is not limited to, a 5 minute tracking shot that never cuts away. It's pure, unadulterated filmmaking that we see less and less of. Not only filled with magnificent visuals, but each of the three leads fills their roles with great intensity and pathos, really creating something out of nothing when it comes to the script. The story feels a little blown out of proportion and the pace a little slow at times, but Wright makes sure it doesn't disappoint his audience. 'Atonement' does not have an astonishingly great story to tell, but its technical brilliance cannot be denied.
January 22, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

A faithful, well-acted, dramatic and sexy rendition of Ian McEwan's novel, which was itself an anachronism, a sort of throwback to the age of D.H. Lawrence and the kind of modernist maximalism he was known for. The film turns around the way in which the assault of a child is recounted - Robbie Turner is sent to jail, then to war, despite maintaining his innocence, and an imaginative 13-year-old is the primary witness. It's hard to go in-depth about this film without ruining the experience, but suffice to say, there is a frame here that you'll eventually get to step out of, and the story changes depending on who's telling it. All is revealed in the end, but until then just enjoy the varied and incredibly well-scored ride; there's a one-take of a war camp that's absolutely breathtaking.
December 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

Joe Wright has constructed a moving, portrait of love through war. Keira Knightley, James MacAvoy and Saoirse Ronan give towering performances not to be missed. Also featuring stunning cinematography and a fantastic, unique score by Dario Marianelli, Atonement is, if somewhat leisurely, a fantastic film that is not to be missed.
October 22, 2012
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

    1. Robbie Turner: You'd be forgiven for thinking me mad - wandering into your house barefoot, or snapping your antique vase. The truth is, I feel rather light-headed and foolish in your presence, Cee, and I don't think I can blame the heat. Will you forgive me? Robbie.
    – Submitted by Ahmed A (20 months ago)
    1. Briony Taliis aged 13: Yes, I saw him. I saw him with my own eyes.
    – Submitted by Rose B (2 years ago)
    1. Robbie Turner: [to Briony] I'm torn between breaking your neck and throwing you down the stairs.
    – Submitted by Augusta M (2 years ago)
    1. Tommy Nettle: Cheerio, pal.
    – Submitted by Brigita S (2 years ago)
    1. Older Briony: So, my sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for... and deserved. Which ever since I've... ever since I've always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I'd like to think this isn't weakness or... evasion... but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.
    – Submitted by Brigita S (2 years ago)
    1. Cecilia Tallis: [crying] I don't know how I could've been so ignorant about myself... so... so stupid. And you know what I'm talking about, don't you? You knew before I did.
    2. Robbie Turner: Why're you crying?
    3. Cecilia Tallis: Don't you know?
    4. Robbie Turner: Yes, I know exactly. [kisses her]
    – Submitted by Brigita S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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