Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Atonement

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Keira Knightley as Cecilia Tallis
James McAvoy as Robbie Turner
Romola Garai as Briony - 18 years old
Saoirse Ronan as Briony Tallis - Age 13
Brenda Blethyn as Grace Turner
Vanessa Redgrave as Older Briony
Juno Temple as Lola

Directed by Joe Wright

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Bringing the Past to Life: The Making of Atonement
From Novel to Screen: Adapting a Classic
Feature Commentary with Director Joe Wright

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"From the award-winning director of 'Pride & Prejudice' comes a stunning, critically acclaimed epic story of love. When a young girl catches her sister in a passionate embrace with a childhood friend, her jealousy drives her to tell a lie that will irrevocably change the course of all their lives forever.

"Atonement" is rated R for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality.

Mini-Review:
I'll probably get trashed for this in the comments, but I have to break ranks with the other critics and say that "Atonement" was just OK, not great. There, I said it.

I'm a big fan of Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. I love seeing them on the screen. And they have great chemistry in "Atonement." The film is also beautiful, the costumes are first rate, the sets are stunning, and the cinematography is absolutely fantastic (particularly in an amazing long, single shot during a scene at a beach in France). It's just the story that is so-so. It takes a long time to develop and it's rather depressing. A twist at the end delivers somewhat of a payoff, but it's not enough to make you glad you sat through the rest of the film.

If you like bittersweet love stories (with a bit of sex thrown in), then "Atonement" might be right up your alley. Uber-fans of Knightley and McAvoy might be more open to sitting through the slowly paced story as it develops. But don't just go in expecting the 'best movie evar' just because the critics told you it was great.

You'll find your standard "making of" featurette here along with a commentary and deleted scenes. There's also a video on adapting the novel for the screen.

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