Three and a half stars (R)

Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright offers an epic British romantic tragedy, based on Ian McEwan’s 2002 best-seller. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy star as lovers whose relationship is blunted when her younger sister tells a lie that lands him in prison. The first 45 minutes are dull as dishwater, but when the film finally gets rolling it pays off. Fine acting, impressive visuals (especially the scene on the beach during the war), solid movie. 123 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available. One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the feature for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include a commentary track, deleted scenes and two featurettes.

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