Directed by Mark Romanek
This adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s piercing novel is “philosophically provocative and achingly sad,” said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press. Directed by Mark Romanek, Never Let Me Go is both a sci-fi fable and a coming-of-age romance that “manages to touch the mind and heart at once.” It’s set in a mildly dystopian version of late-20th-century Britain, said Stephen Farber in The Hollywood Reporter. Three boarding-school mates (Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield) gradually learn—spoiler alert—that they’re clones raised to provide organs for transplant. Part of the pleasure of the book came from figuring out the characters’ unusual existence, but screenwriter Alex Garland reveals the secret relatively early. Even then, he “never completely lays out” how this fictional society is supposed to work. Though gorgeously shot and finely acted, this film feels “more conceptual than real,” said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. Kept at a “regrettable distance” from the characters, audiences contemplate Ishiguro’s bleak vision without being made to feel its tragic force.