Atonement - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Atonement Reviews

October 18, 2008
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.
September 22, 2008
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.
January 29, 2008
Sweeping, showy, and stiff, Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's pedigreed bestseller traffics in florid staging and callow emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
January 18, 2008
Atonement's extraordinary qualities outweigh any quibbles.
Read More | Original Score: 4/6
January 14, 2008
One of the few adaptations that gives a novel the film it deserves.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 20, 2007
A film that instantly joins the ranks of the great screen romances.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
December 14, 2007
The interpretation is so painstaking and moving that almost every moment delivers a shuddering jolt to the head and the heart.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 14, 2007
This is a film that might have contained itself better, but it still stings with bitter truth.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 13, 2007
In its first 45 minutes, Atonement achieves a kind of perfection rare even for big Oscar-bait movies. Every facet of the filmmaking is the equal of any picture released this year. The rest of the movie isn't so bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 10, 2007
Atonement has hints of greatness but I think it falls just short of Oscar contention.
December 7, 2007
It ranks with the best novel adaptations of recent times.
December 7, 2007
As good a film as one could imagine having been made from a great work of contemporary fiction.
December 7, 2007
Atonement is not only too polite but maddeningly orderly, resulting in a prettily cast, professionally performed, impeccably mounted bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2007
On paper and on screen, Atonement is a story of rare beauty, both wrenching and wise.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 7, 2007
Atonement takes a familiar movie environment, a setting that we think we know, and uses it for an examination of a host of dark impulses, such as jealousy, lust, cruelty and deceit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 7, 2007
A gripping film.
December 7, 2007
Director Joe Wright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton not only blow the Merchant-Ivory dust off the British period movie, they transform Ian McEwan's interior novel into a sweeping epic that speaks to the 21st-century soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 7, 2007
It is an amazing story, filled with quiet moments of profundity and more surprises than you could imagine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2007
Christopher Hampton's screenplay respects the literary focus of Ian McEwan's novel without falling into the trap of becoming uncinematic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2007
These performers not only have the looks for a sweeping love story, they also have the skill to throw themselves into the proceedings like they really mean it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 7, 2007
It is mindful art doubling as unapologetic entertainment, an ode to eros and errors assembled with vision and meticulous care.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2007
Craft is everywhere in the film, in many touches that make it elegantly forceful.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2007
Atonement does what a tragic romance is supposed to do.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 7, 2007
Given the difficulties in transferring Ian McEwan's trickily structured 2001 novel Atonement to the screen, director Joe Wright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton have done a commendable job. Commendable but not electrifying.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 7, 2007
The movie never goes as deep as the novel (no movie could), but it's a worthy approximation: a Merchant-Ivory movie that turns in on itself with a lucid and painful sigh.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2007
This is one of the year's best films, a certain best picture nominee.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 6, 2007
Wright has made a film that honors the imaginative responsibility of an adapter.
December 6, 2007
The arc and resolution don't feel nearly as absorbing and devastating as McEwan's masterful novel.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 6, 2007
Atonement is an almost classical example of how pointless, how diminishing, the transmutation of literature into film can be.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
December 6, 2007
Now and then you find a period picture that affords this sort of rightness of scale and satisfaction.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 6, 2007
Screenwriter Christopher Hampton and director Joe Wright have smartly dramatized the book's wartime romance and tragedy.
December 6, 2007
In the almost spookily capable hands of 34-year-old director Joe Wright, the film version of Atonement has achieved that to which every literary adaptation should aspire.
December 6, 2007
With the Ian McEwan novel adaptation Atonement, it's obvious that Joe Wright -- who made his big-screen debut with 2005's deft, affecting version of Pride & Prejudice -- knows how to shepherd a novel to the screen.
Read More | Original Score: A-
December 6, 2007
Part highbrow British drawing-room drama, part gritty war film, all entertainment almost all the time, Atonement is a masterful study of both the hurtful and redemptive effects of imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 6, 2007
An impeccable craftsman in the tradition of David Lean, Wright possesses the late director's considerable gifts for drawing out his actors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 6, 2007
Where McEwan whispers, Wright shouts.
December 5, 2007
It's just exceptionally well-crafted.
December 5, 2007
The film is gorgeous to look at, well paced (especially during the first half), and by turns touching and sad. The ending packs an emotional punch, which is what one would expect from any movie developed from a McEwan novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 5, 2007
One of the most successful adaptations of a distinguished novel I have ever seen.
December 5, 2007
Atonement is everything a true lover of literature and movies could possibly hope for. It is unquestionably, without any reservations, my favorite film of the year.
December 3, 2007
No two-hour film could ever capture all the riches of McEwan's masterly novel. But Wright and Hampton's Atonement comes tantalizingly close, while adding sensual delights all its own.
December 3, 2007
I hardly believed a word of it.
December 3, 2007
The film is absorbing and evocative.
November 28, 2007
[This] movie is abundantly attractive, every scene serenely composed, and every character so fair in love and war that, when the lights come up, it's too easy to say, ''That was good and sad and romantic and classy, now what's for dinner?''
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 28, 2007
It's some kind of miracle. Written, directed and acted to perfection, Atonement sweeps you up on waves of humor, heartbreak and ravishing romance.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
September 19, 2007
Atonement is an intelligently, evocatively directed movie in every aspect...
Top Critic
September 6, 2007
There's much to admire about this adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel, enough that its occasional faltering can be easily forgiven.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 30, 2007
Rarely has a book sprung so vividly to life, but also worked so enthrallingly in pure movie terms.
April 19, 2007
A noble, well-made, superbly performed and photographed (by Seamus McGarvey) semi-failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6