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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Stellar literary adaptation too mature for kids.

Movie R 2007 123 minutes
Atonement Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 17+

Heart Wrenching Passionate Romance

The movie was very good. But, heartbreaking. It definitely shows how one mistake can make your life miserable. And how what started as an immature romance ended as a passionate relationship. In summary: The war scenes have the violence and mostly all the swearing, such as soldiers constantly dropping f-bombs. There is one very brief sex scene in the library with the two main characters, and a flash of a rape scene by the lake. Every character in the movie is always seen with a cigarette in their mouth, and scenes with alcohol(especially a few of the war scenes.). Overall it is a passionate romance, that shows the importance of honesty, and how one mistake, could lead to a lie, that could permanently destroy your life and countless others.
age 15+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (20 ):

Knightley and McAvoy have enough chemistry to make their scenes sizzle, and McAvoy in particular breaks out as an actor destined for leading-man status. His boyish looks allow him to be forceful and vulnerable at the same time, and he's surprisingly attractive -- but not in an overwhelming Brad Pitt way that distracts from his performance. Wright and Knightley (who also starred in his Pride & Prejudice) also seem to understand each other, and if a third film results from the pairing, it will be quite clear that he's found his professional muse.

McEwan's novel isn't easy to translate onto the big screen. The book is about the power of words, the blurry line between fantasy and truth, and the consequence of not understanding the meaning of words or sexual attraction. But Atonement director Joe Wright, who made 2006's Oscar-nominated Pride & Prejudice, does an admirable job of creating a faithful adaptation that resonates with viewers, whether they're familiar with the book or not.

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