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Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, 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)
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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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 50 wins & 147 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
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Storyline

SPOILER: When Briony Tallis, 13 years old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner 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 is raped, she tells the police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Joined by love. Separated by fear. Redeemed by hope. 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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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

11 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Expiación, deseo y pecado See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,634,065 (United Kingdom), 9 September 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$796,836, 9 December 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,927,067

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$129,266,061
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Briony's appearance next to the stained glass window featuring Saint Matilda, may also be a reference to the saint's status as patron of falsely accused people. See more »

Goofs

When Briony walks in on Cecelia 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.167 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep the Home Fires Burning
Written by Lena Guilbert Ford (as Lena Ford), Ivor Novello
Performed by The Dunkirk Soldiers
Courtesy of Universal Studios
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Atonement - a feast for the eyes.
16 September 2007 | by jayceeteesSee all my reviews

My wife and I went to see the movie last night and were totally blown away by the whole experience. So brilliantly directed and acted. The movie time just flew by and we were drawn in and captivated by each dramatic moment. Never having read the book or been an expert on WW2, I had a truly open mind on what to expect and I'm not one of those who count every rivet or go looking for technical inaccuracies however small. This was truly a masterpiece of cinematography. We were treated to wonderful performances, lavish sets, shocking and thought-provoking moments and haunting themes. I had the privilege of being an extra in the Redcar, Dunkirk scene and once seen in its full glory and effect on the big screen I was simply in awe and glad to have been a part of it. Walking along Redcar beach from now on will never quite be the same again. I am quite sure that the movie will win a number of awards within the next 12 months, but that is not what really matters. Movies are there to entertain, tell a story and affect you emotionally and by God this did it in spades! If you have not seen it yet, you must!


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