7.8/10
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672 user 307 critic

Atonement (2007)

Trailer
2:37 | Trailer
Thirteen-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director:

Joe Wright

Writers:

Ian McEwan (novel), Christopher Hampton (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
600 ( 66)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 50 wins & 149 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Saoirse Ronan ... Briony Tallis, aged 13
Ailidh Mackay Ailidh Mackay ... Singing Housemaid
Brenda Blethyn ... Grace Turner
Julia West Julia West ... Betty
James McAvoy ... Robbie Turner
Harriet Walter ... Emily Tallis
Keira Knightley ... Cecilia Tallis
Juno Temple ... Lola Quincey
Felix von Simson Felix von Simson ... Pierrot Quincey (as Felix Von Simson)
Charlie von Simson Charlie von Simson ... Jackson Quincey (as Charlie Von Simson)
Alfie Allen ... Danny Hardman
Patrick Kennedy ... Leon Tallis
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Paul Marshall
Peter Wight ... Police Inspector
Leander Deeny ... Police Constable

Through the Lens of 'Darkest Hour' Director Joe Wright

See how director Joe Wright uses his signature tracking shots to set up a visual narrative for his films, including Atonement, The Soloist, and Hanna.

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Storyline

When Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), thirteen-years-old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) at the fountain in front of the family estate, she misinterprets what is happening, thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola (Juno Temple) is raped, she tells the Police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A forbidden love. A secret letter. A child's imagination. A false accusation. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the opening movie of 2007's Venice Film Festival. Director Joe Wright, at thirty-five, is the youngest director to have a movie open this prestigious event. See more »

Goofs

When Briony walks in on Cecilia and Robbie in the library from Briony's perspective, there is a shadow of a boom visible off in the distance behind her before she enters the room. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Briony Tallis, aged 13: I finished my play.
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Crazy Credits

The title types itself out like on a typewriter. See more »


Soundtracks

Miss You
Written by Charles Tobias, Harry Tobias, Henry H. Tobias (as Henry Tobias)
Performed by Flanagan and Allen
Courtesy of The Decca Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Mixed bag
30 September 2017 | by begobSee all my reviews

At a gathering in a country house a jealous little girl meddles in her sister's love life, and things will never be the same ...

From an interesting novel that had an engrossing first half but, for me, trailed off in the second. So I had a different experience with the film adaptation, where the country house scenes are not quite satisfying but the following war story is brilliantly told. The narrator is a fascinating little character, but looking back I think her motivation needed to be colder and her atonement more problematic. In the end the story is wrapped up with a talking head, which I guess was unavoidable but not the mark of a great movie.

The long tracking shot on the beach at Dunkirk is amazing - not only a technical marvel (the amount of ground covered, the multiple interactions) but it creates a great sense of chaos and despair.

Performances are good, and it's no wonder people raved about Ronan. The music is excellent and plays about with the rhythm of a tapping type writer. Photography too, although I didn't get the sense of oppressive heat in the first act.

Overall: interesting and impressive, but some big flaws.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

11 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atonement See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$784,145, 9 December 2007

Gross USA:

$50,927,067

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$131,016,624
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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