Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Never Let Me Go Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Tweed of doom. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Being human. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Just as its characters need a reason to live, Go needs a reason for audiences to watch. Neither find much satisfaction.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    It's a very tony fantasy of class oppression and fascist medical exploitation (themes that may speak louder in England), but it's a lyrically inert movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    For its delicate tone, provocative themes, impeccable craftsmanship and superb performances-by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley-Never Let Me Go earned my great admiration. I wish I'd been affected in equal measure, but I wasn't, and it's not the sort of film you can will yourself to enjoy.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    Expertly acted, impeccably photographed, intelligently written, even intermittently touching, the film is also too parched and ponderous to connect with a large audience.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Never Let Me Go reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Young people ponder sex, love, life in downer sci-fi drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romantic drama with sci-fi elements (which is based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro) is probably too offbeat to appeal to most teens, and its premise -- (possible spoiler alert) that the young people it follows have been speciallybred to provide "spare parts" for "real" people -- is quite unsettling. As the main characters grow from preteens to teens to twentysomethings, they talk and think a great deal about love and sex (there's some partial female nudity) before finally experiencing these things first hand ... and then things get even more complicated. There's very little language or violence, but the overall tone is sinister and depressing.

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts sex. The characters are very curious about sex. Do they learn about it in healthy ways?
  • Do you think the movie's overall message is positive or negative? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The essential idea behind the movie is that life, any life, is valuable. The characters learn empathy and kindness toward each other and only experience trouble when true love gets in the way of their destinies. Eventually the characters learn that, even though they may only have a short time on earth, their experiences are just as important as those with much longer lives.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character, Kathy, is a sad creature; she seems lonely and lost and always somewhat aware of everything she's missed in life. She's not very active and really hasn't much choice in anything. Eventually she experiences a brief moment of real love and learns to appreciate it; she understands that even a brief moment, fully lived, is worth a lifetime.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: There's some anger and raging, and a boy accidentally slaps a girl. Also a couple of somewhat gory hospital scenes. And there's a general sense of unease around the lives of these young people, who are trapped within the rules of a sinister organization.

  • sex false4

    Sex: At all of the three different ages they're shown -- preteens, teens, and twentysomethings -- these characters think and talk a great deal about sex. The preteensfall in love, hold hands, kiss, wonder about sex, and pine for eachother. As teens, they actually do have sex (there's moaning and onepartial naked breast), and they ponder the meaning of an adultrelationship. A teen girl also looks through a nudie magazine that has several photos of naked female breasts.

  • language false1

    Language: "Oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Teens order Cokes in a diner.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some cigarettes are found on the school grounds, and there's speculation that some of the preteens may have smoked them.