Never Let Me Go is that rare find, a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that's emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics.
The drama boasts a stellar cast, exquisite performances and a tense atmosphere. It is a film that the author's fans and lovers of mature, measured storytelling will embrace.
The surface blandness does not efface, and might even amplify, its disturbing qualities. Never Let Me Go is not a movie about death but, more painfully, about the consciousness of death.
Los Angeles Times
This is a moving and provocative film that initially unsettles, then disturbs and finally haunts you well into the night.
Knightley has the least screen time of the three, and her Ruth never registers as much more than a self-serving menace.
The Hollywood Reporter
Expertly acted, impeccably photographed, intelligently written, even intermittently touching, the film is also too parched and ponderous to connect with a large audience.
It's a very tony fantasy of class oppression and fascist medical exploitation (themes that may speak louder in England), but it's a lyrically inert movie.
The New York Times
Alas, what's missing is the spark of life, the jolt of the unexpected - something beyond tears - to puncture the falseness of a film world, which, by its insistence on its own beauty, obscures the tragedy that the three characters, by their nature, cannot express.
Just as its characters need a reason to live, Go needs a reason for audiences to watch. Neither find much satisfaction.
The stylistic conceit of keeping us entirely with the clones (so that we are as ill-informed as they are and never get to meet their powerful oppressors) only reveals what an empty-headed abstraction this tale was from both page and frame one