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.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 2012-11-30
In this adaptation, director Joe Wright, plus screenwriter Tom Stoppard, are determined to tame the untameable. And they do.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, 2012-11-30
Even more than most versions of "Anna Karenina," this chamber piece is heated by two combustible characters, not by the winds of war and peace.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2012-11-21
Thank goodness for Domhnall Gleeson's gentle turn as Oblonsky's friend Levin. The ginger-haired landowner is the movie's warmest figure.
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, 2012-11-21
It's hard not to admire Wright's bold approach to Anna Karenina's story of longing and jealousy and societal condemnation.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2012-11-21
Knightley and Law are what salvage Wright's interesting stab at something different, taking an interesting, if flawed, experiment and turning it into something better than it probably ought to be.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, 2012-11-20
You don't merely watch Joe Wright's sumptuous "Anna Karenina," but you waltz with it, run with it, whirl with it.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2012-11-20
This multilayered movie is not your average Tolstoy adaptation.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday, 2012-11-20
This story has been filmed many times, but never with this kind of erotic charge. Knightley is glorious. My advice is to let Wright's Anna Karenina work its strange and marvelous spell.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 2012-11-19
A handsome, grandly theatrical reimagining of the Tolstoy novel starring his muse, Keira Knightley.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post, 2012-11-16
Wright's "Anna Karenina" sings, dances and finally soars, even as its legendary heroine plunges to her most self-destructive depths.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2012-11-16
An intoxicating spectacle that breathes new life into the classic Tolstoy novel, incorporating the notion that all life's a stage -- at least for imperial Russian society.
Claudia Puig, USA Today, 2012-11-15
So can we somehow make a bargain with the film world: no more Anna Kareninas? You're making idiots of yourselves.
David Thomson, The New Republic, 2013-06-14
"Anna Karenina," lush as it is, fails to strike a fully human chord.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2012-11-30
The very picture of noble failure, it's a bright red heart without a beat.
Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2012-11-29
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.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2012-11-26
Often deliberately arch and formal, the performers have been instructed to emphasize the overwrought theatricality of Anna's disapproving social set. What doesn't emerge is Anna's passion. Panic is more like it.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2012-11-16
Without Tolsoy's profound interior narration, Anna Karenina is just a soap opera, and for some reason director Joe Wright has decided to compound this problem with deliberate, showy artifice.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2012-11-16
For "Anna Karenina" to truly work, you have to look at this two and think, what a tragedy. Instead you look at Anna and think, what a fool.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, 2012-11-16
Wright made the movie he wanted to make, and he made it well. It just wasn't worth making.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2012-11-15