I saw this film in the UK a couple months ago, but I saw the NY Times pan today, so it looks like it's finally being released in the US. I think the British newspapers all went ga ga over the picture, and I know Adam S has spoken very highly of it. So here are my thoughts. The elegant camera moves and long takes of Wright's Pride and Prejudice has probably come even further in Atonement. There is one spectacular take late in the film that traces our lead character on a war torn beach. It's utterly stunning, but I agree with AO Scott that it's also a technical show off, rather than a genuine emotional powerhouse. The film loses focus after the Big Accusation (you'll understand if you see it), and meanders too much for my tastes. I don't deny the end of the picture is moving. Vanessa Redgrave is fine, but I don't she should be nominated for her supporting role. I would not be surprised if James McAvoy is recognized during the awards season. As a technical exercise, it's quite good, from the cinematography to the very integrated Dario Marianelli score (an approach not frequently enough take by film composers). The biggest problem I had with the film was the casting of the teenage Briony. The young actress who plays the pre-teenage Briony has a light in her eyes. She is a bright and canny character. But, by the time the older Briony shows up, she is saintly and without wit. I understand the idea is for her to feel the shame and to atone her sins, but the two actresses are not playing the same character. By the time Redgrave shows up, I could identify her more with the younger actress. I think it would have been more interesting if the teenage Briony was cast as a sharper woman, making her atonement especially felt. In the picture now, it's as if Mother Teresa had come to recognize her wrongfulness, and it's less powerful because of that.