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.
Bob Mondello, NPR.org, 2008-10-18
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.
Christopher Orr, The New Republic, 2008-09-22
Atonement's extraordinary qualities outweigh any quibbles.
David Fear, Time Out, 2008-01-18
One of the few adaptations that gives a novel the film it deserves.
Kenneth Turan, Newsday, 2008-01-14
A film that instantly joins the ranks of the great screen romances.
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, 2007-12-20
The interpretation is so painstaking and moving that almost every moment delivers a shuddering jolt to the head and the heart.
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 2007-12-14
This is a film that might have contained itself better, but it still stings with bitter truth.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2007-12-14
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.
Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News, 2007-12-13
Atonement has hints of greatness but I think it falls just short of Oscar contention.
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper, 2007-12-10
It ranks with the best novel adaptations of recent times.
Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter, 2007-12-07
As good a film as one could imagine having been made from a great work of contemporary fiction.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2007-12-07
On paper and on screen, Atonement is a story of rare beauty, both wrenching and wise.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2007-12-07
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.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2007-12-07
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.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post, 2007-12-07
It is an amazing story, filled with quiet moments of profundity and more surprises than you could imagine.
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News, 2007-12-07
Christopher Hampton's screenplay respects the literary focus of Ian McEwan's novel without falling into the trap of becoming uncinematic.
Review, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2007-12-07
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.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2007-12-07