A mischievous girl accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit, only to find that her words have irrevocably and permanently changed the lives of all involved in a film that re-teams the filmmakers behind Pride & Prejudice to adapt the best-selling 2002 novel by author Ian McEwan. The year is 1935, and as the summer heat takes hold, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis watches her older sister, Cecilia (Keira Knightley), get undressed and go frolicking in the garden fountain on her family's country estate. The housekeeper's son, Robbie (James McAvoy), a childhood friend and recent Cambridge graduate, also witnesses the innocent act. When Robbie and Cecilia subsequently cross a particularly sensitive boundary and the scheming Briony accuses Robbie of an unspeakable transgression for which the boy is wholly innocent, the repercussions of her unfounded claim threaten to affect all three for decades to come. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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Amazing movie overall. Cinematography was brilliant, the director did an amazing job conveying the story. As most people seem to note on here, the movie does move along slowly at points. It is truly a drama and for those who are able to understand it (a fair amount of thought and sympathy is required here) the story is quite powerful. I would imagine the confusion most people have with the story is because they aren't understanding that we see it two very different ways - through the eyes of Briony and then small glimpses of reality. For those watching it the first time make sure to pay close attention to Briony, this is her story which is told how she sees the world and the events that build the story. The beach scene is great but certainly not for the faint of heart.
I read some of the member reviews. "confusing", "hard to understand", "boring". What were you people expecting a romantic comedy where there is a happy and joyous ending with singing at the end? It you don't have the patience to watch a drama then I suggest another category for you. Not all movies are made to make you feel good at the end. Sometimes life doesn't have a happy ending. Sometimes there are horrible lessons to be taught and I thought that was the point of the movie. The only issue I initially had was the title of the movie "Atonement". But as I thought about it "Atonement" is in the view of the author not the people watching the movie. So in the end I was okay with the title. It made sense. This movie is tragic and sad but such is life sometimes.
not impressed. i really thought this was going to be a fabulous movie but after 5 minutes, i was looking around my living room for something else to do. i gave it about 30 minutes but was done with it at that point. i would probably enjoy the book but this movie did not live up to my expectations.