Parent reviews for Atonement

Common Sense says

Stellar literary adaptation too mature for kids.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 29 reviews
Adult Written bysarge123 February 4, 2015

Superb film, some mature content.

Great movie. Moderate violence and sex, strong language (mostly seen, not heard).
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 July 23, 2014

Sweeping tale of love and misery

This isn't a happy movie at all. The title itself is trying to redeem yourself for a sin you have committed, which Briony Tallis tries to do in this film, after having falsely accused her sister's lover of something awful. The movie is like a butterfly effect of sorts: every thing happens leading up to something bad happening, and only, if only, had Robbie not given Biony that letter. James McAvoy broke out as a leading man here, leading to the great roles like "X-Men" and "Wanted" he'd get later on. Knightley is also great as the love of his life, and, even though you hate her and her character has waaaay too many blank, long stares, every actress who plays Briony through the years is commendable. This is a lush period piece with a great score, beautiful cinematography and acting. It gets a lot right, thanks to Mr. Wright.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 10 and 14-year-old Written bycookbooknic January 5, 2012

Watch without the kids and enjoy.

Beautifully shot, paced and acted film but disturbing for most children.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byBeckstar October 29, 2011

not for kids

NOT FOR KIDS. A guy is killed, a woman drowns, horses are shot (not for real though), sex scenes...would not let any of my kids watch if they were under 16 if I had kids. I found the whole film disturbing to be honest. I would take the advice of someone here and watch it first to see if you think it would be ok

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byTonyTheJet April 3, 2011

Very heavy film for younger kids, but what an amazing movie!

Excellent movie, but surely too slow of a pace for most kids. The message of atoning for one's youthful mistakes is a great one to have, but just a gut-wrenching film for kids.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Adult Written bysmnicole93 December 23, 2010

older kids

this is a good movie, for people over 15. there is sex witnessed by a little sister, the c word, and a rape of a young girl. if you still feel this is something you are ok with you kid watching i still advise you watch it first or watch it with them

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bychemicalfire April 9, 2008

A well-written, entertaining movie!

Atonement is a story of a young girl, Briony Tallis, who loses her innocence, and in turn commits a terrible sin against her sister and her sister's lover. The guilt of this act eats away at her for years, so she tries to atone for what she has done in the only way she knows how. This movie contains graphic sexual language and sexual situations, including scenes of pedophilia. The movie also contains some blood and violence, including animal violence, and may be very disturbing for younger viewers. I recommend this movie for mature viewers.
Adult Written bymerlez April 9, 2008

A lesson in misunderstanding

This was a beautifully filmed epic type picture. I enjoyed looking at it. but it's time shifting story telling was a bit confusing at times. For me, in the end it wasn't quite satisfying. But I really liked the originality of it anyway. I also had a hard time "buying into" the use of the controverial word, it seemed out of place to me. Because of the brief but fairly graphic sexual content I would not recomend this for those under 17.
Adult Written byzx1200rgreen April 9, 2008

original and thoughtful

A great movie. Very little swearing, one "steamy scence" which really did not need to be in the movie. A great film. Well thought out, a romantic story, that has a very realistic feel to it.

Not really a feel good movie, but it does move you.
Adult Written bynanny April 9, 2008

I was sooo bored

It was not at all what the hype on it intimated. Basically boring and a little gruesome. Didn't like the horses being shot. Don't waste the price of a ticket.
Adult Written byGearMaven April 9, 2008

Not worth the hoopla!

My friends and I attended the SF free screening. About 1/2 hour into the movie, I felt as if I had sat through 2 hours already. The beginning sequences dragged on unnecessarily and interminably. Found the entire dysfunctional family depressing and uninteresting. By one hour, I couldn't care less about any of these characters except the young man unjustly accused. Kiera looked like an emaciated "Kate Moss" lookalike; what an example! Seemed another big boost for the tobacco industry with all lighting up when they could! The cinemotography was beautiful at times, but the full complement of unnecessarily drawn out scenes made the whole thing not worthwhile.
Parent Written bythemoonglow April 9, 2008
Adult Written byapedigo08 April 9, 2008
Adult Written bydtakle April 9, 2008


The movie portrayed far too much evil without so much as a hint of redemption. It was hard enough to watch from the beginning, but the ending left me felt as if I had been crapped on. The story line was monstrously sick and completely devoid of moral value. Giving it the title "Atonement" was deliberately deceptive, a horrible attempt to pretend that evil can be given some other face that what it has. There was nothing atoning about it, and the viewer is violated almost as much as the characters in the movie. I am appalled at the actors who agreed to do this, and shocked that people think it worthy of awards. It may well be the worst experience I have ever had in a theater.
Adult Written bytdcal April 9, 2008


While I agree this film is NOT for children, I do think it had some moral discussion points. There is much to be said about the young sister who thinks she knows something and while her feelings have been hurt, she intentionally sets someone up to be wrongly accused. This spirals into an unbelieveable nightmare that she had no idea she was creating. When she matures and realizes what the consequences of her actions are, she tries to atone for it. Troubling, violent war scenes and sexual situation. Overall a very good adult film.
Adult Written bybroadwaybaby April 9, 2008

This certainly had the potential to be a masterpiece...

...Until James McAvoy pinned Keira Knightley up against a book shelf, effectively making himself vaguely resemble a mad scientist and she his long-limbered and oddly flexible Frankenshteen.

Parents, be warned: this isn't for the kiddies. Language, sex, language, more sex, violence, more language, more violence. And more sex.

The acting is brilliant, the music is brilliant, the characters are brilliant, and the plot is brilliant, but there's just something about this flick that doesn't ring true to me - it might be the melodrama. But it is on the verge of being something very amazing, it just doesn't hit that point.

When critics called it the Titanic of this year, be warned: that's just what it is. You either leave the movie sobbing from the sentimentality or you leave the movie sobbing because it was so bad.

Sound familiar, Titanic fans?