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Never Let Me Go (2010)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 167
Fresh: 118 | Rotten: 49

With Never Let Me Go, Mark Romanek has delivered a graceful adaptation that captures the spirit of the Ishiguro novel -- which will be precisely the problem for some viewers.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 11

With Never Let Me Go, Mark Romanek has delivered a graceful adaptation that captures the spirit of the Ishiguro novel -- which will be precisely the problem for some viewers.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 36,019

My Rating

Movie Info

"Never Let Me Go" is a poignant love story, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's bestselling, Booker Prize short listed novel of the same name. Kathy, Tommy and Ruth live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but they are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love,


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Alex Garland

Sep 21, 2010


Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Never Let Me Go

September 17, 2010:
Critics Consensus: Easy A and The Town Are Certified Fresh
This week at the movies, we've got a would-be harlot (Easy A, starring Emma Stone and Stanley...
September 15, 2010:
Mark Romanek Talks Never Let Me Go
With "Never Let Me Go" opening this weekend, now is the perfect time for director Mark Romanek to...


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All Critics (169) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (118) | Rotten (49) | DVD (3)

Pretty, empty, and immediately forgettable.

February 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never Let Me Go is gorgeous. And depressing. It's exquisitely acted. And depressing. It's romantic, profound and superbly crafted, shot with the self-contained radiance of a snow globe. And it's depressing.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Oddly cold and detached, as if director Mark Romanek and screenwriter Alex Garland couldn't decide precisely how to interpret Kazuo Ishiguro's popular novel and so they just laid it out flat. And flat it feels.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never Let Me Go, director Mark Romanek's introspective adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, is a work of subtle beauty -- a melancholy meditation on the finality of life and the choices we make as our time shortens.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never Let Me Go is strangely moving and mournful, but I wish more had been made of the beauty these people are relinquishing, if only as a counterweight to all that artful drear.

October 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The emotional impact creeps up on the reader only gradually. Then, bam, it hits forcefully, memorably, and, yes, never lets us go.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Emotionally stunted at times, Never Let Me Go gets lost in its own melancholy and fails to live up to its potential.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

a beautifully acted and heartbreaking story of young love, but it opens up more thoughts that just from that angle of storytelling

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Melancholy, poignant and chilling

January 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

I came to this film knowing nothing about it, except that it was based on the highly-acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguru. I had no foreknowledge of its story or premise-and I'm glad...

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Leonard Maltin's Picks
Leonard Maltin's Picks

Melancholy and futility define this subtle future-set drama about three children who grow up knowing that they'll never own themselves or their own bodies.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Although [the] film adaptation does indeed fall short of the brilliance of the source material (and will likely distance viewers even more than the book ever did), it manages to convey the novel's most important themes, and most affecting moments.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Mark Romanek manages to make that very real(ish) world look and feel totally alien and hermetically sealed, a gray/blue/green/brown tragedy terrarium that both perfectly colorless and incredibly, inescapably sad.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

It's also a film which affirms what is valuable about life. I think this film is a must-see.

April 1, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Though often moving at a glacial pace, this mood piece -- aptly described as a refined romantic drama with a cerebral sci-fi twist -- rarely stays in the same place for long.

April 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

We are rewarded with many scenes of poignant beauty and touching performances in the central roles.

April 1, 2011 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) gives the slow-burning adult drama a nostalgic, almost lyrical glow where hope and acceptance override any impulse to rebel or even question.

March 31, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Whilst I was intrigued by certain elements, I left the theatre with a feeling of disappointment. It was like I hadn't seen the whole story.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

As a triangular love story, this doesn't really soar either, despite good performances from a hip young cast, and the end result is that a story that should have been terribly affecting, isn't.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia) | Comment (1)
At the Movies (Australia)

Real men will see this and weep, as I did. It is one of the most moving and profound films in a long time.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

It is a downer -- a heavy downer -- there's absolutely no denying that. I recommend it highly, but not if you're looking at something light to cheer you up.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

Driven by terrific lead performances, this achingly beautiful work challenges audiences emotionally and intellectually.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

While it's not exactly uplifting, this touching tale effectively tackles confronting questions for mankind with nothing but grace.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Sunday Mail (Australia)
Sunday Mail (Australia)

Never Let Me Go offers an awful, enduring insight into what it must be like to have your entire being dismissed as well.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

Never Let Me Go is such a curiously muted viewing experience. Everything is there for a three-tissue weepie, but it never quite comes together.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Trespass

It's a subtle film of nuances, played out as an emotional journey of three people in not a future setting but the reinvented recent past.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Never Let Me Go

A sad tone poem about the lives of clones developed purely to harvest their body parts.
Can't say more than that, can one?
But I'll try.
Good performances, solid production values and yet ...
the whole movie's like getting a bowl of hot, melted ice cream at your dearly beloved grandmother's funeral.
Like taking a group of puppies to the animal shelter.
Like being the only one to work on Christmas Day and finding you have to do a double cause yer relief's not coming in.
You get it. I kept asking myself: " How long can this go on?"
April 14, 2014

Super Reviewer

I can understand that the message the film gives is pretty awesome. However, I couldn't really connect with the movie as much as I wanted to. I felt most of it was forced and too dour to be relatable.
February 11, 2014

Super Reviewer

Great cast. Three friends grow up in an institute where they are future organ donors. Similar story to the island.
December 28, 2013
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

    1. Kathy: What I'm not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.
    – Submitted by Phillip L (2 years ago)
    1. Kathy: It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I'd known, maybe I'd have kept tighter hold of them and not let unseen tides pull us apart.
    – Submitted by Mati M (2 years ago)
    1. Madame: You poor creatures.
    – Submitted by Kathy M (3 years ago)
    1. Miss Emily: We didn't have to look into your souls, we had to see if you had souls at all.
    – Submitted by Theta S (3 years ago)
    1. Kathy: It had never occurred to me that our lives, so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I'd known, maybe I'd have kept tighter hold of them.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
    1. Kathy: "We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time."
    – Submitted by Edward C (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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