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An Education Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Art auctions with handsome strangers = DANGER. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    85

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This happens in 1961, when 16-year-old girls were a great deal less knowing than they are now. Yet the movie isn't shabby or painful, but romantic and wonderfully entertaining.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This tale of an English schoolgirl's hard-won wisdom is thrilling --for the radiance of Carey Mulligan's Jenny, who's wonderfully smart and perilously tender; for the grace of Lone Scherfig's direction, and the brilliance of Nick Hornby's screenplay.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Through stellar performances, clever writing and exquisite cinematography, the story is fresh and thoroughly captivating.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter James Greenberg

    Topped by a fine cast, a first-rate script by Nick Hornby and tight direction by Lone Scherfig, the film is a smart, moving but not inaccessible entry in the coming-of-age canon.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Afterward, you'll want to listen to the Beatles sing ''She's Leaving Home.'' It might be a girl like Jenny the lads had in mind.

    Read Full Review

  • See all An Education reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Intelligent period drama tackles mature teen topics.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this smart 1960s-set drama written by popular author Nick Hornby explores a teenager's efforts to define her future, which includes making a mess of her well-laid plans -- most notably by becoming involved in a relationship with a sophisticated man nearly twice her age. Virginity, education, class -- they're all up for discussion and questioning. These are mature themes, but older teens should get a lot out of the movie. There's some sexual content (implied nudity and intercourse, kissing, and some risque discussion), as well as some era-accurate social drinking and smoking.

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays teen sexuality. How different do you think that depiction would be if the movie was set today, instead of in the '60s?
  • What is the movie saying about the value of education? Does book learning always trump real-life adventure, or is life not that simple?
  • What do you think of Jenny's apparent change-of-heart about pursuingOxford? Why does she seem ready to forgo what she's worked for topursue a fling with a much older man (who may, in fact, not be exactlywho she thinks he is)?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The film pits classroom education vs. real-world experiences -- but in the end, life demands a far more complex solution. Nevertheless, the importance of knowledge-seeking is made very clear, especially in the way it elevates the status of women.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Jenny is admirable in many ways, especially her thirst for knowledge and respect for book learning. Realistically for a teenager, she's also impulsive and drawn to what is mysterious and possibly dangerous -- perhaps not literally, but emotionally (she'll also fib to get what she wants sometimes). Still, she's able to face her mistakes and herself when necessary. Her parents are both permissive and controlling, which contributes to the situation in which she finds herself -- but they clearly love her.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A couple argues loudly; two guys pilfer a map from a house and brusquely instruct their girlfriends to jump in the car.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A man in his 30s courts a 16-year-old virgin. In one scene, he asks to see her breasts, and she acquiesces -- there's no nudity, but she's shown opening her blouse. Later, they have sex, though they're only shown after the fact. Some kissing and much flirting. There's also a somewhat frank discussion about intercourse and a risqu joke about a banana.

  • language false2

    Language: "Bloody hell," "idiot," and "stupid."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Car, cigarette, and perfume brands (like Chanel) that evoke luxury are mentioned or shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A 16-year-old smokes French cigarettes (Gauloises). Some social drinking.

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