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Anna Karenina (2012)

HD   R

Joe Wright

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About the Movie

Academy Award® nominee Keira Knightley, Academy Award® nominee Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson dazzle in this stunning new vision of Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story. At the twilight of an empire, Anna Karenina (Knightley), the beautiful high-ranking wife of one of imperial Russia’s most esteemed men (Law), has it all. But when she meets the dashing cavalry officer Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson), there is a mutual spark of instant attraction that cannot be ignored. She’s immediately swept up in a passionate affair that will shock a nation and change the lives of everyone around her. From acclaimed director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) and Academy Award®-winning writer Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) comes this visually enchanting masterpiece hailed by critics as “ecstatic” (Time), “rapturous” (MSN Movies) and “a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed!” (The Huffington Post)

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 180
  • Fresh: 114
  • Rotten: 66
  • Average Rating: 6.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The metaphorical force of this conceit-insisting on the artifice of the social world that frowns on rapture-is not hard to grasp, but its frailty unsettles some of the actors. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Nov 26, 2012

Fresh: It's a half-success -- a baldly conceptual response to the Leo Tolstoy novel, with a heavy theatrical framework placed around the narrative of girl meets boy, followed by girl meets train. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Nov 30, 2012

Fresh: It's hard not to admire Wright's bold approach to Anna Karenina's story of longing and jealousy and societal condemnation. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 21, 2012

Fresh: Thank goodness for Domhnall Gleeson's gentle turn as Oblonsky's friend Levin. The ginger-haired landowner is the movie's warmest figure. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Nov 21, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Most people won't understand

This movie isn't for everyone. It's very stylized and abstract, and requires imaginative thinking to see the settings taking place. The concept of filming the movie in a theatre to depict Russian society is a unique one that I thought was achieved with grace, and was benefitial to the story.

Many people would not like this film, but then again, many people would not like the novel, either. But if you understand and appreciate the writing style, the filming style, and the concept, you will love it. It is truly a film for art lovers and those who enjoy subtlties in film and stories in general. It is a love story that achieves greatness through all the small, precious moments the characters share. It is also a great drama in the way your heroine really isn't a heroine. She is confused, self-destructive, paranoid, and cryptic, and I think Keira does a great job bringing the spirit of Anna to life.

It is a hard movie to fall into if you are not at all understanding of the very stylistic way in which it was made, and it is in no way a film for someone just wanting to watch a movie. It is intellectual, deep, and something to concentrate on, because if you don't pay attention as you should, you really won't understand what is going on.

This movie is brilliant.
Sad that most people won't see that.

Absolutely breathtaking

This movie is incredible. I love the fact that it was shot in a theatrical way. The set and scenery was beautiful and the costume design is Oscar worthy. The movie stays true to the novel which I deeply appreciated . The dialogue was executed with perfection especially by Keira Knightly, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Jude Law. You should definitely give the movie a chance it's unique and beautiful.

Brilliant & Beautiful

"Anna Karenina" isn’t just my favorite Tolstoy novel, it’s my favorite novel, period. This is the first time a film has done justice to it—and what justice! I can’t judge whether someone who hasn’t read the book will appreciate the beautiful complexities of this film, but they are there in spades. The reviewer who said it references too many styles—opera, ballet, tragedy, comedy, etc.—might be missing the point of doing that. Like life, this story contains it all. And as for the director dropping the stage setting at times: this, too, mirrors reality in my mind. How often do our own lives veer from the mundane, contained “stage” of daily routine to more vibrant moments—to something larger than life, operatic, balletic? Most film renderings of this monumental work consign Levin to the edges or leave him out entirely, which guts the story’s essential core. Because it is about choices: Anna makes the agonizing/common choice to follow passion, while Levin opts for the agonizing/rare choice of a spiritual path. I could write a treatise on how this film manages to convey the essence of Tolstoy’s work—from the breathtaking ballroom scene that captures the mesmerizing, no-one-exists-but-us connection between Anna and Vronsky to Levin’s epiphany scything wheat with the workers—but there isn’t room for that here. If you love the novel and can open your mind to a uniquely cinematic telling of the story, you will not be disappointed in the Stoppard/Wright version of "Anna." It’s a brilliant example of how film can capture more than the literal meaning of a book. It engages our imaginations, stimulates our minds and feeds our senses through an art form that, like life, is capable of getting our full attention.