Anna Karenina (2012)



Critic Consensus: Joe Wright's energetic adaptation of Tolstoy's classic romance is a bold, visually stylized work -- for both better and worse.

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The third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright, following the award-winning box office successes Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's timeless novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard. The story powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness and marriage, change comes to all around her. -- (C) Focus
R (for some sexuality and violence)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Keira Knightley
as Anna Karenina
Jude Law
as Karenin
Ruth Wilson
as Princess Betsy Tverskoy
Olivia Williams
as Countess Vronsky
Emily Watson
as Countess Lydia Ivanovna
Theo Morrissey
as Grisha Oblonsky
Cecily Morrissey
as Lili Oblonsky
Freya Galpin
as Masha Oblonsky
Octavia Morrissey
as Tanya Oblonsky
Beatrice Morrissey
as Vasya Oblonsky
Marine Battier
as Mlle. Roland
Carl Grose
as Korney
Bryan Hands
as Mikhail Slyudin
Oskar McNamara
as Serozha
Luke Newberry
as Vasily Lukich
Michael Shaeffer
as Doorkeeper
Steven Beard
as Elderly Waiter
Pip Torrens
as Prince Shcherbatsky
Susanne Lothar
as Princess Shcherbatsky
Alexandra Roach
as Countess Nordston
David Wilmot
as Nikolai
Joseph Macnab
as Guards Officer
Nick Holder
as Stationmaster
Claire Greenway
as Austrian Princess
Mike Shepherd
as Wheel Tapper
Arthur Nightingale
as Oblonsky's Servant
Buffy Davis
as Agafia
Gala Wesson
as Kitchen Maid
Eros Vlahos
as Boris
Kyle Soller
as Korsunsky
Sam Cox
as Kapitonich
Max Bennett
as Petritsky
Jude Monk McGowan
as Tuskevitch
Antony Byrne
as Colonel
Michelle Dockery
as Princess Myagkaya
Emerald Fennell
as Princess Merkalova
Sarine Sofair
as Anna's Friend
Thomas Howes
as Yashvin
Raphaël Personnaz
as Alexander Vronsky
Bill Skarsgård
as Makhotin
Cara Delevingne
as Princess Sorokina
Bodil Blain
as Princess Sorokina Senior
Hera Hilmar
as Varya
Kenneth Collard
as Prince Tverskoy
Steve Evets
as Theodore
Conor McCarry
as Young Peasant
Giles King
as Stremov
Martin Wimbush
as Anna's Doctor
James Northcote
as Princess Betsy's Footman
Duncan Wisbey
as Shopkeeper
Jamie Beamish
as Opera House Husband
Shirley Henderson
as Opera House Wife
Simon Muller
as Opera House Manager
Nikolai Lester
as Piano Prodigy
Tillie-Bett Grant
as Baby Anya
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Critic Reviews for Anna Karenina

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (42)

So can we somehow make a bargain with the film world: no more Anna Kareninas? You're making idiots of yourselves.

Full Review… | June 14, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

It's a half-success -- a baldly conceptual response to the Leo Tolstoy novel, with a heavy theatrical framework placed around the narrative of girl meets boy, followed by girl meets train.

Full Review… | November 30, 2012
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

In this adaptation, director Joe Wright, plus screenwriter Tom Stoppard, are determined to tame the untameable. And they do.

Full Review… | November 29, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

"Anna Karenina," lush as it is, fails to strike a fully human chord.

Full Review… | November 29, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

The very picture of noble failure, it's a bright red heart without a beat.

Full Review… | November 29, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The metaphorical force of this conceit-insisting on the artifice of the social world that frowns on rapture-is not hard to grasp, but its frailty unsettles some of the actors.

Full Review… | November 26, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Anna Karenina


A gigantic novel impressively adapted to a little over two hours of sumptuous experience - the production design is splendid -, with the action brilliantly placed on a theater stage representing society and a powerful story that benefits from amazing performances.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Two problems with this movie: (1) the source material is deadly boring and (2) Keira Knightley. She's just not the elegantly tragic figure that the central role needs to generate an audience's empathy. On the bright side, I really liked the whole "stage thing" that the director threw in to throw an element of movement in a storyline that mostly treads water. (yawn)

Jason Robinson
Jason Robinson

Super Reviewer


Setting this sprawling, aristocratic tale of social and literal suicide on a stage is at first gimmicky, later mindfucky, and on the whole, an interesting choice with uneven but admirable execution. I especially liked the backstage/wings/galleys used as the seedier parts of Moscow/St. Petersburg and the breaking of the opera house's fourth wall during the disastrous horse race. Keira Knightley is fine; I have come to not hate her anymore. Alicia Vikander sparkles as the spoiled and naive Kitty. Domhnall Gleeson is romantic but severe as the smitten Levin. Blond pretty-boy Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) sticks out like a sore thumb as Vronsky, the object of Anna's affections. Movie-mate, Jim Hunter, suggested that in keeping with the magical realism of the set design concept, Jude Law should have played both Aleksei, the cuckolded husband, and the hapless "other man." That would have been bomb-diggedy. In terms of story, I'm disappointed that this version of Anna Karenina is so visually vanguard but still entrenched in the tradition of representing Anna as merely an adulterer, then hot/crazy harpy, then cautionary tale.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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