An Education 2009

Critics score:
94 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, At the Movies: The next Audrey Hepburn? The new Kate Winslet? British actress Carey Mulligan has drawn some pretty bold comparisons for her performance in the charming new coming of age story An Education. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: It's a pleasure -- which I don't mean entirely as a compliment. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: Lone Scherfig directs it all as if it were a breezy lark, so a third-act tonal shift makes for an incongruous, excessively moralistic fit with everything that's preceded. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Lone Scherfig's direction is glum. We're so clued in to what's really going on that we never share Jenny's authentic excitement at being introduced to art, music, and exotic locales. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: No movie I've seen in a very long time has touched me so deeply, or bestowed so much pleasure. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: The movie belongs to Mulligan, whose Jenny looks like Audrey Hepburn when she puts her hair up and dons a black dress, and like every teenage girl who's had her heart broken when she cries. Read more

Jonathan F. Richards, The centerpiece of An Education is the breakout performance of young Carey Mulligan. She is enchanting, and almost convincing as the teenage Jenny, though she can't completely obscure the (justified) suspicion that she's in her twenties and old enough f Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: An Education shares with Hornby's best work trenchant insight into the way smart, hyper-verbal young people let the music, films, books, and art they love define themselves as they figure out who they are and what they want to be. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: An Education is just what the title promises, and a delight, as well. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: A star may or may not be born in An Education, but an actress most surely is. Read more

Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader: As a dual portrait of low-level criminality and lower-middle-class insecurity, it's unique and indelible. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The film is gentle with its judgments. Or most of them. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Invariably funny and inexpressibly moving. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: An Education argues that life -- and the human heart -- are far too complicated merely to be studied. They need to be experienced. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: I have a feeling that Sarsgaard could have stretched the role a lot further if the script had allowed him to, but, still, what he does is surprising. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Watch Mulligan's face as she goes from weary to awakened, and see it all come together. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Despite the lingering aroma of Victorian rot shrouding 1961, An Education is excitingly young. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Captivatingly written, directed and acted with sensitivity and nuance, this is one of the best films of the year. It lives up to its title in more ways than one. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: One of 2009's finest motion pictures -- an open and honest look at sexual politics and a woman's place in the world during the early1960s. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: [Mulligan] makes the role luminous when it could have been sad or awkward. She has such lightness and grace, you're pretty sure this is the birth of a star. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: A quiet miracle of a movie that quickly disabuses you of the idea that you've seen it all before. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, An Education captures the very limited possibilities for female liberation in early-'60s London -- with massive social change on the distant horizon, but not here yet -- in exquisite detail. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Hornby's humane and humorous screenplay is true to the film's title: In short order, young Jenny finds out important truths about identity, glamour and how adults really think and live. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: As with first love, so with the movies: The right girl makes it all worthwhile. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The combination of a literate script, an adroit cast and an economical style is simple addition that achieves an alchemical feat: the best film of the year. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: An Education is, as the title suggests, about Jenny exploring her own desires and shortfalls, and it's too smart a film for easy answers. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The point here is not to judge past missteps by modern standards, but rather to point out how easy it is to allow dreams to overtake reality. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Mulligan is the film's headline, pulse and revelation. In its blithely subversive way, her starmaking performance is a co-conspirator with the movie. Both of them win you over with smart talk and pretty feelings, then kick you in the heart. Read more

Hank Sartin, Time Out: Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Danish director Scherfig and star Mulligan give the film considerable weight by surrounding this lightly played, strange romance with both an acute understanding of Barber's endearing screen alter ego. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Through stellar performances, clever writing and exquisite cinematography, the story is fresh and thoroughly captivating. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: An Education is a wonderful film. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: Playing a character who is herself a rare bloom in a field of mediocrity, Mulligan has a star quality they can't teach in acting school. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A beguiling little film that, with deceptive restraint and forthrightness, opens up worlds of roiling, contradictory emotions. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: You may think you know where the film is going, but its ecstasy and heartbreak will stick with you afterward. It's one of the year's best. Read more