Family Movie Review: Anna Karenina (R)

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AnnaKarenina ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: R       Length: 130 minutes

Age Appropriate for: 15+. The R rating is mostly for erotic content. There isn't really any cursing; the most violence is when a man gets cut in half underneath a train; a horse has to be put out of its misery; and a suggested suicide. The rating seems mainly earned by implied sex scenes (lots of tossing and turning, close-up making out scenes, some suggested nudity, and some bare male butt) and discussions of infidelity, as well as some smoking and drug use.

'Anna Karenina' is one of Russian literature's most tortured women, tied in a marriage to a man she doesn't love and in an affair with a man she can't have. Director Joe Wright has created a visually beautiful film with strong performances, but his streamlining of the material robs it of its emotional impact.

By Roxana Hadadi

Working with director Joe Wright has been good for Keira Knightley's career. She was a quite nice Elizabeth Bennet in his 2005 adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice," and helped inspire many sob sessions as the tragic Cecilia in 2007's "Atonement." Both those roles helped cement Knightley as one of the most promising young British actresses of her generation, capable of doing upper-crust stuff without making it seem pretentious or unapproachable. But Wright stumbles in bringing "Anna Karenina" to screen, and even Knightley's starring role as Russia's most famous adulteress can't make the film feel cohesive or weighty enough.

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