THE ROLE Knightley plays Cecilia Tallis, the eldest daughter in a well-to-do British household, who falls for the Tallis housekeeper's son with disastrous consequences (thanks to a fib told by her younger sister, Briony).
WHAT EW SAID Lisa Schwarzbaum: Treacheries committed in the name of art and expiation sought are McEwan's themes at their grandest, but director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice) and screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) are convinced that what a moviegoer wants from a literary adaptation is refinement and good breeding...[Keira] Knightley and [costar James] McAvoy don't have much chemistry between them, but they do share handsome, planed features, they speak a richly clipped, 1930s-movie-style English-from-England, and they look positively Abercrombie & Fitchalicious together.
Image Credit: Alex Bailey
Before ''Atonement,'' Keira Knightley was Merlin's daughter, Elizabeth Bennet from ''Pride & Prejudice,'' and a bounty hunter. Look back at her diverse roles