The Sense Of An Ending (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sense Of An Ending (2017)

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Critic Consensus: Anchored by a strong starring performance by Jim Broadbent, The Sense of an Ending proves consistently gripping even as it skims the narrative surface of its literary source material.

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Movie Info

Tony Webster (Broadbent) leads a reclusive and quiet existence until long buried secrets from his past force him to face the flawed recollections of his younger self, the truth about his first love (Rampling) and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago.

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Cast

Jim Broadbent
as Tony Webster
Billy Howle
as Young Tony
Freya Mavor
as Young Veronica
Charlotte Rampling
as Veronica Ford
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Critic Reviews for The Sense Of An Ending

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (25)

This is a mature film that asks us to bring a lot of ourselves to it.

April 10, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Broadbent and Walter are perfectly paired...

March 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Watching The Sense of an Ending, I was struck by the realization that this should have been a good movie.

March 18, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Director Ritesh Batra's adaptation of Julian Barnes's my-theme-is-memory novel serves as a grand showcase for star Jim Broadbent as a sour old soul who is ever so gently forced to reckon with his past.

March 17, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Beyond Broadbent's rich portrait of Tony's wide-eyed surprise and bumbling reassessments, Batra has found various deft ways of making Barnes's points about time and memory ...

March 17, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Broadbent, so often a supporting player, is a treat in the lead role, soft and mournful, but with a youthful gleam in his eye.

March 17, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sense Of An Ending

The sense of a compromise: this looks something that started out with an idea of substance and was then taken over by lesser considerations. Its theme is how we see ourselves, and how blind or wrong we can be: an ageing, self-satisfied man finds out, maybe in time to change. Had the film made full use of its fine cast and drilled down into that problem, it might have delivered its message effectively. But it gets distracted - if you have the likes of Broadbent and Rampling, why waste them on long silences and vacant, unsatisfying dialogue? It resorts instead to unnecessary twists and incongruent bits of prurience. The latter is an annoyingly frequent feature of otherwise good quality British shows, and this one was not immune. The subject of sex is dealt with clumsily - the infantile lasciviousness of the girl's family, the unlikely and ambiguous car back seat scene, the tossing in of gratuitous references to the genitals including an awkward one about childbirth, which seems anatomically wrong in light of the preceding childbirth scenes. There are gaps and non-sequitors: was the girl's mother really such a foolish character, or was that how the boy saw her? Why didn't his smart university friends pull him up on his poor behaviour, and did he cause the tragedy, or not? Just as the slow-paced story seems, finally, to be approaching a reasonable denouement, it doubles back and relies for its ending by talking about events between characters whom we never see actually meeting in the film. This destroys what momentum it had. The worst of the prurience however is the explicit and detailed discussion of the method by which a youth took his own life, the information delivered by a likeable boy: this is utterly uncalled for, and inadvisable in circumstances where there is concern about rates of youth suicide and the publication of methods. Families might well attend this unawares, thinking that it will have an worthwhile discussion of some big life issues: the mature and stellar cast, and the title promised as much. Not as intelligent as it looks. And mind your young folk.

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