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Atonement (Rental)

3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stagey but spellbinding! 12 July 2008
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
I personally found this a spellbinding movie, though I understand why critics would object. The literary origins are retained through the artifice of a structure essential to conceal the twist in the plot. The downside is that the film is somewhat stagey and stylised, though the author conceals shocks brilliantly. You are somehow aware of the artifice throughout, the reasons for which become apparent at the end.

The country house scenes look very chocolate box, and could easily have been the start of a familiar romantic drama of the Camomile Lawn ilk, but all is thrown into disarray in rapid succession by the use of a taboo word, an act of witnessed passion, the violent rape of a young girl and a false accusation.

What follows is the unfolding drama and the story of the atonement, told in several chapters and centred around the character Briony at three ages - 13, 18 and 77. To give each credit, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave each give a sparkling turn and look precisely like an older version of their younger selves. Ronan in particular makes a magical job of competing for screen time with the likes of McAvoy, Knightley, Cumberbatch, Kennedy and Walter - and frankly, wins hands down most of the time!

The finest set piece is however Dunkirk. There is a single, intricate shot weaving in and out of the huge and complex array of activity on the beach as McAvoy's Robbie and his two companions try to find their way around. This is masterly film-making and worth the price of the DVD on its own.

The denouement is left in the hands of Vanessa Redgrave, and what a smashing job she makes of it too. Fragile yet playful, wistful yet leaving no doubt of the sincerity of her regrets, this is a fine performance.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 28 Jun 2010
By Audrey
It is a delightful film, well paced, with a beautiful background, strong emotions and remarquable actors. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I found it just as enjoyable as the book it was adapted from.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's what makes us human... 29 Jan 2011
Whew! I've just ordered yet another copy of this film for a friend who hasn't yet seen it, and thought I'd glance at the reviews while I was at it...half an hour later, I'm left with such a sense of how very different each one of us truly is, and how differently we view & experience movies! I suppose that we're all looking for different things from them.
I hadn't read the book before seeing this film way back in September '07. I've read it since, and despite the immaculate crafting and writing it leaves me cold like so many of Ian McEwan's novels (I keep trying but...sorry)
That I've seen the film 12 times now probably speaks volumes. I remember when I left the cinema after the first time, I felt raw...I couldn't bear anyone to talk to me for about an hour afterwards as I needed time to 'come down' from the emotion. I saw it 4 times on the big screen in total (this isn't unusual for me...if I love a film, I'll watch it several times to squeeze every drop from it - ergo, I've seen The King's Speech 4 times already!) and I have to be careful about watching it now as it can affect me quite strongly still - I just find the emotions, characters, acting so powerful & moving. I wasn't a fan of Keira Knightley before particularly, but after this, The Edge of Love and The Duchess I cannot wait to see her again. James McAvoy is & will continue to be one of our greatest new acting talents...I see only great things ahead for him. Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch - their body of work before & since 'Atonement' speaks volumes for them too.
Much has been said and debated in these reviews on the story, the cinematography, the accents, the period details...I'm not going to add to that.
Reviews are so, so personal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to watch 22 Jun 2013
By alison
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Brilliant performances from Kiera Knightley, James McAvoy and Romola Garai as Knightley's jealous younger sister.

This is a great film, tragic yet entertaining, and offers a moral lesson on the destructive power of jealousy.

A must see for lovers of drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 26 May 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Absolutely beautiful and finely crafted film. IMO Knightley has never been better.
James Mcavoy's performance was similarly excellent.
I watch a lot of horror films, but they are nothing. THIS is the film that actually distresses me for some reason. A great watch, and a film that plays on your mind for days afterwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 22 Mar 2013
By Helena
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a lovely film but so sad. couldn't stop crying at the end but lovely. Well worth watching again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good film 11 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As usual, excellent service and product, very pleased with it, I shall order more from the same site in the future
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 17 Feb 2013
An absolutely perfect adaptation, while Keira Knightley is often thought for beinpoor her performance in Atonement is faultless as are the rest of the casts. I'm a big fan of films that are stylistically and visually pretty and Atonement fulfills any aesthetic expectations. The story is one of how the misinterpretation of events through the eyes of a thirteen* year old girl determines the course of so many lives. In a sense Atonement is almost epic with it spanning many years, locations and characters. Do not put one the film looking for a light period drama however, the story is heart wrenching as well as beautiful you feel thoroughly drained by the end but i highly doubt you'll regret watching it and may well put yourself through it again and again saying as the film will always be saying 'come back to me'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Review from the happily ignorant to the pompous arrogance and self-...
I bought this from amazon a few months after coming out of a coma and divorce (you can't make this stuff up! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Buff the amazon slayer
1.0 out of 5 stars Pass
Bought as a gift so cannot review in any shape or form, wouldnt be fair to anyone thinking of buying
Published 2 months ago by Mr. S. Dempster
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, beautiful and heartbreaking
Great film- normally not a fan of Keira knightly but she was really good in it- and great soundtrack and stunning visuals
Published 2 months ago by miss EH Kristiansen
5.0 out of 5 stars I built it up to be more.
I have raved to people how good this film is, only for them to be disappointed.
Personally I think it is a great story and a great film.
Published 3 months ago by Back in the day
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine
It was okay, not as good as I hoped but not too bad a film.

Worth purchasing, or perhaps better to rent as watched it once an in no rush to watch it again.
Published 4 months ago by Richie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull
James McAvoy. Is a fabulous actor, I cried during and after watching this film. Never so deeply moved. This is one that I will never forget. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. Margaret L. Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing James Mcavoy!
A hauntingly beautiful film that resonates with you long after the credits have finished rolling. The ripple effect of one small event can tear at lives and change them forever. Read more
Published 5 months ago by lisa michelle beddoe
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful edition ,my dream came true
This digit book edition IS the one to keep,a quality production i longed been waiting for,as a big fan of this movie,i am totally satisfied.
Published 6 months ago by andrew wang
5.0 out of 5 stars Cried Like Never Before
For some reason the characters really got to me. I'm not one for crying at a film, but this beauty had me in hysterics. Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. Hepburn
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film!
Not a film you will want to see over and over again but still worth seeing. Beautifully acted and directed.
Published 7 months ago by BOB
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