Plaudits and Praise for Keira's performances

The Children's Hour - Last Night - London Boulevard - Never Let Me Go - The Misanthrope - The Duchess
Atonement - Silk - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Pride & Prejudice - Domino - The Jacket - King Arthur - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Doctor Zhivago - Pure - Bend It Like Beckham - The Hole - Princess of Thieves

The Children's Hour

There's only one question to which everyone wants the answer: can Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss cut the mustard? The short answer is that they prove as potent a combination on stage as at the box office... Keira Knightley has the equally challenging task of making Karen more than the cipher she first appears. But she is excellent in her climactic encounter with her fiance, well played by Tobias Menzies, when her lean, elegant frame suddenly seems rigid with physical anguish. And, when she claims "everything I say to you is made to mean something else", Knightley radiates a lonely despair.
- The Guardian

Knightley's... remains an accomplished, committed and ultimately moving performance that will win her both kudos and respect.
- BBC News 

An actor needs a great role to show what he or she is really made of. Keira Knightley earns her acting chops with an impressive performance... Things begin to go wrong when Mary Tyler (Bryony Hannah), a damaged and manipulative student, tells her grandmother that the two teachers are having an affair. That’s when we see what Knightley can do when given dramatic meat to chew. Her anger, despair and frustration stew, each bubbling to the surface in turn, as she struggles to hold her life together. She squirms when physical comfort is offered. Reactions to every kind word or cruel taunt flit across her face with the speed of thought.
- Bloomberg

Knightley... is competently schoolmarmish as Karen, gaunt yet sprightly in dowdy outfits and side-parting.
- The Times

Knightley's Karen begins as a focused, professional woman, looking elegant in period bob and pencil skirt.  Knightley's performance is at its best in the difficult scene with her loyal fiancé (Tobias Menzies) when she realises that she will never be sure that he has managed to overcome all doubt and that she is not prepared to marry him on those terms. The actress's manner here wavers most convincingly between angry touchiness and tearful tenderness as, in passages of poor man's Ibsen, she released them both to their separate freedoms. 
- The Independent

Keira Knightley really does deliver as Karen Wright, from the minute she establishes a strong-willed rather petty vein in punishing the habitual liar, Mary Tilford, who proves to be her nemesis by spreading rumours of lesbianism in the staff room. Keira’s acquired added stage confidence, though not many extra pounds, since The Misanthrope, and is totally believable as a charismatic teacher and someone with whom her teaching partner, Martha Dobie, might fall just a little bit in love.
- WhatsOnStage

Knightley... displays confidence throughout before rising in the final act to dramatic heights that are shattering in their intensity and deeply affecting. The result is that in the bleak last act the play seems to move beyond melodramatic entertainment into something approaching genuine tragedy and Knightley's final abandoned despair is harrowing to behold. This is a powerful night in the West End and Knightley has impressively won her theatrical spurs.
- The Daily Telegraph

Keira Knightley, playing well outside her comfort zone in a startling slow burn of a performance that pays off big time by the play's end. 
- The Arts Desk

Ms Knightley delivers what can only be described as a fiercely talented performance. Although most of her experience lies in the film world she adjusted her techniques to the stage and her final moments are powerful and touching.
- Daily Express

Knightley poised and elegant as a woman unaware of her own appeal beyond that Joe loves her and Martha is a great friend. Moss makes Martha stiffer, still attractive but capable of holding back to observe with something like resentment the way her friend responds to her man. Menzies does well to convey how insidious suspicion becomes, and all three go beyond the words in the play to make poignant and memorable scenes of incomprehension and revelation.
- The Hollywood Reporter

Knightley follows up her debut on this stage just over a year ago in The Misanthrope with another performance that shows diligence, intelligence and subtlety... Knightley, however, plausibly plays a character slightly older than herself, and finds truth in unexpected places
- Financial Times

Knightley is also convincing as Karen, opening with a show of brittle charisma which crumbles dramatically when the impact the rumours have had on her relationship with her husband-to-be are made clear. 
- The Londonist

Knightley, too, is a revelation, going to a far darker, more intense place than she was called to in her debut play The Misanthrope.
- The Stage

In the event, the more compelling of the leads is Knightley. Returning to the theatre that a little over a year ago witnessed her first West End appearance, she makes a strong impression... there is no denying the darkness of her performance and her ability to convey an intriguingly brittle sort of charisma.
- London Evening Standard

The acting contains some real highlights and pleasingly, the largely unproven stage skills of Miss Knightley are now exercised far more extensively than they were in The Misanthrope and she comes through with flying colours.
- British Theatre Guide

The overwhelming surprise to me was Kiera Knightley.  Though I loved her in Bend it Like Beckham and Atonement, I never really saw the depth of her talent until this performance.  She completely channelled Katherine Hepburn in this role, as she is about the same size and her Connecticut accent was impeccable.  She reminded me of KH’s performance in Stage Door, critically acclaimed, but not very popular.  Her character loses everything in this play, and Ms. Knightley nails the death of her spirit and the tragedy of the ending brilliantly.
- AmericanExpatInLondon

Last Night

Knightley proves she isn't simply best fit for period pieces as she fits into her role here as Joanna better than any other modern film she's had in her career. She bounces from one emotional high to the next with ease.
- RopeofSilicon

Though Knightley might be passionate about her period pieces, she's never better than in modern moments, and as Joanna, she shows a real sense of maturity and presence. In scenes with Canet, their chemistry oozes from every shot. A look or gentle, off-hand touch speaks volumes about their connection. You want to cheer for cheating, because their connection feels so real. 
- MovieFone

The mega star of international cinema Keira Knightley charmed the other hand, still with a trace of irony combined with sensitive vulnerability. The undisputed queen of costume drama shows once again that they can not only shine in opulent historical robes. 

But the star of the movie was Keira Knightley. It’s difficult to say in such a movie that relies so heavily on the dynamic between the four leads, but there was just something about her in the movie that stood out head and shoulders above anything else I can remember her in from recent memory. She had the most weight to carry in the story and it wouldn’t have been nearly as well executed without her.
- Empire Movies

With Keira Knightley in (dare I say) the best performance of her career as the lively and multifaceted Joanne

Knightley is in top form as Joanna, whose conflicted mix of betrayal and longing is heartbreaking to watch.
- Cinema Blographer

London Boulevard

Keira Knightley is suitably fragile in the role; the hollowness she feels seeming to echo her own 'real' life of celebrity.
- DigitalSpy

Keira Knightley gives one of her better performances, making a starlet seem very convincing and very human
- Den of Geek

Knightley gives a decent and fragile performance that must surely (and painfully) draw on real-life experiences with the media
- Movie Vortex

I thought Keira Knightley's performance would garner her her first Oscar. 
- BoardwalkCinema

Never Let Me Go

The performances are of the highest caliber. Kiera Knightley's portrayal is more brittle than what we have become accustomed to from her, but she softens toward the end. Knightley does a great deal with a poorly developed character.
- ReelReviews

Much praise must go to director of photography Adam Kimmel, but you mustn’t overlook the uncanny abilities of Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, who respectively play Kathy, Ruth and Tommy with such intimate delicacy that their tears will likely bring on some of your own.

Later Knightley, in one of the best performances of her career, brings back the empathy for a young girl grabbing desperately at a chance to belong.  Knightley's physical transformation is impressive - watch how she turns her hands into claws grasping onto a walker.
- ReelingReviews

 The acting efforts from the cast are marvelous, with Mulligan, Garfield, and Knightley making meticulous use of their close-ups to communicate a specifically contained frustration in the lives of their characters
- Dark Horizons

After they become adults, the fraught relationship between Kathy, Ruth and Tommy becomes the focus, and is helped greatly by the expert acting of Mulligan, Knightley as the grown-up Ruth and Garfield as grown-up Tommy. Knightley is always convincing as the manipulative Ruth...
- L A Times

Knightley's... gives a good performance and even makes us pity her.
- ShowbizCafe

Ruth, as played by Knightley is believable, as one could easily see her as someone that could alienate one's affections from the person they should actually be with. Knightley's role initially comes off as two-dimensional, until the final act of the film, where she's the only character that I truly felt sympathy for, as she's the one that seemed the most human.

Keira's great. Her long walk along a hospital corridor, aided by a walking frame and the brilliant line: "I think I look a little bit broken", which she serves with a stiff laugh, is probably the best scene she's ever done. I gently mentioned this to Atonement director Joe Wright after the premiere and he magnanimously agreed.
- The Guardian

...Knightley’s startling performance... here she has the juiciest part and gives the only performance that doesn’t disappoint. She also provides the electricity for one of the film’s only interesting scene. 
- BoxOfficeProphets

The three leads are all terrific... Knightley builds on her work in Atonement and The Duchess to create a study of a fragile and complex young girl, unsure of everything in her life...
- EyeForFilm

Knightley, dark-haired and deliberate, brings nuance and humor to what could have been a brittle role.
- Philadelphia Enquirer

Knightley is terrific in what is essentially a supporting role
- BoxOfficeMagazine

Knightley, in the smaller role of Ruth, pulls off her complicated hospital scenes with more persuasive technique than she may have ever displayed
- Daily Telegraph

...strong support from Knightley and Purnell, who manage to convey Ruth's capriciousness without making her unlikeable.
- ViewLondon

Knightley... is the most complicated of the three. She loves Kathy, but she loves getting her way with Kathy more. This makes her quite unlikable, but that just means that Knightley is doing it right.
- Bullz-Eye

They all do worthy work with largely uncommunicative characters, but it’s Knightley, with her slow waking to bitterness, who stuns in a secondary role.
- Austin Chronicle

Knightley is given the tougher role to work with... her raven-haired character’s trajectory is perhaps the most desolate of the three, and while the character of little Ruth would have been a write-off in the hands of a lesser actress, Knightley gives her the glow necessary to flourish.

Keira Knightley was great in the first role I’ve seen her in where her character wasn’t necessarily the hero.
- Empire Movies

Knightley is wonderful as the fragile and sexually dominant Ruth. She faces the challenge of playing a character who isn't all too likable and who would rather struggle to fit in with the crowd, rather than explore her own identity. She does a fantastic job of tackling the role with careful commitment in a way that avoids any potential alienation in the grand scheme of the narrative. Ruth isn't as empathetic as Kathy, nor as innocent as Tommy, but that doesn't mean she isn't worth caring about. The honesty of the character keeps her afloat and such success owes a lot to Knightley's performance.
- AwardsDAilyForums (Aaron)

Keira Knightley is superb. Knightley avoids turning Ruth into a wretch or a villain, bringing added layers of grief and remorse to a young woman who knows she's made mistakes and hopes it's not too late to fix things with Kathy as she faces her perilous third donation.
- TheMovieBoy

Knightley manages to create a three-dimensional villain.
- Hollywood Reporter

Knightley does a marvelous job at being pissy and detestable and still sympathetic. 

Knightley, playing the fragile, unsympathetic Ruth from under a blunt-cut fringe, has rarely been better. Her tabloid-inflaming “kiss” with Mulligan’s Kathy is a piece of emotional vampirism, as if she’s feeding on the tears.
- ThisisLondon

...haunting, underplayed performances from both Mulligan... and the oft-maligned Keira Knightley, strong and subtle as the greedy, petty and finally penitent Ruth.

Keira Knightley digs in to give the most interesting performance of her young adulthood
- TheMovieMinute

Keira Knightley is very good as Ruth who's betrayal has ramifications thoughout their lives. Ms. Knightley infuses the character with vitality as well as deep remorse.

Keira Knightley too delivers a engaging performance. Her character is extremely important to the relationships throughout the story and Knightley does a unsurpassed job evoking all the right emotions. Knightley is so good, she could very easily warrant herself a nod for Best Supporting Actress.
- SchoFizzyMovieReview

The surprise for me was Keira Knightley, shedding her good looks and dirtied up to tremendous effect. She has the most heart wrenching(literally) scene of the entire film. 
- PunchDrunkCritics

Keira Knightly also gives a great performance as the manipulative and selfish Ruth. In lesser hands Ruth would’ve seem like a straight forward villain, but Keira Knightly brings a sense of likability and humanity to the roll that makes us sympathize with her. Her performance creates a misguided Ruth that desperately attempts to find redemption before completion. 
- EnterNechoplex

Keira Knightley... comes out of this one with an impressive level of commitment and honesty.
- Climbing Higher Pictures

Knightley... demonstrates surprising depth and feeling in the role."

Knightley is no stranger to this sort of role, and strikes the perfect balance between innocence and good-intentioned villainy.
- Cary Citizen

Keira Knightley ... gives an admirable performance.

Keira Knightley delivers one of her best performances to date as the scheming Ruth

Knightley on the other hand gets to play a bit against type as she plays sort of a mean spirited and conniving individual, but still has a heart.  Knightley hits both ends of the characters spectrum with bite and grace and it’s always great to see how strong an actor she is.

When they become adults in the story, Keira Knightley’s performance as an insecure person, is the only one the audience can revel in.

Mulligan as Kathy and Keira Knightley as her best friend Ruth are excellent, as always, on screen

When it comes time for a late second-act confession, Knightley gives us an upwelling of emotion and regret that puts the barely present reactions of her co-stars to shame
- CentreTownNews

Keira Knightley gives what might be the greatest performance of her career as the constantly jealous Ruth, who tries to spend her remaining days atoning for her childhood betrayal.
- Pegasus News

Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan achieve very masterly performances and they take the film to the emotional heights the screenplay can’t reach.
- CultureMob

Knightley gives a strong performance, making Ruth more than a plot-propelling series of sins and stratagems.
- MSN Movies

I was amazed at the full range from notably Keira Knightley’s Ruth. Confused, angry, bitter and sometimes crass, Knightley’s Ruth becomes sympathetic and sweet. At times cunning and spiteful, you do feel the full weight of Knightley’s performance as she shines in this supporting role.
- CriterionCast

Keira Knightley is impressive in essentially the villainous role as the girl who steals her best friend’s love...  her character’s emotional range is more broad than the others.
- ScreenDaily

As Ruth... Keira Knightley is superb. Knightley avoids turning Ruth into a wretch or a villain
- Dustin

The acting is uniformly excellent. Keira Knightley breaks your heart as Ruth, an insecure brat who never gets to fully atone for the folly of her youth. 
- Baltimore Magazine

The Misanthrope

Keira Knightley declared that she fully expected to be "burned by the critics" for this, her first West End debut but,... the Chanel-clad Keira more than holds her own. Her American accent is faultless and she delivers the rhythmic lines with the skill and authority of a seasoned stage performer... Forget being burned alive; our take on Keira Knightley and The Misanthrope is that they're smoking!
- Glamour magazine

Knightley, of course, is Jennifer. And she is perfect in the role, clearly enjoying the portrayal of her character’s shallowness, a seductive mix of flirtatiousness and vulnerability... [s]he does save her best for last. So, at the very end of the show, she suddenly seems to grow, and you leave the theatre won over.... So while cynics have been carping about the irony of having a Hollywood star acting in a satire of, among other things, Hollywood stardom, there is no need to feel deflated. Instead, spread the news: Keira Knightley rocks.
- TheArtsDesk

Knightley's stage debut, playing an empty-headed film star, is a creditable and convincing one in a hugely enjoyable modern adaptation scripted by Martin Crimp.
- David Lister, The Independent

Though the cast is strong and Keira Knightley shines, Martin Crimp is the true star. His writing is poetic, reactionary, fluid and like all brilliant writing has a true, original beat to it. Knightley outwits her critics by taking on her role with guts and strength and even in my opinion overshadows Damien Lewis.
- Aussie Theatre

When I went to see the play last week the audience spoke more of Knightley than Lewis – she has the better lines and delivers them with style. Indeed I wonder whether critics are so keen not to look starstruck that they have been harsher on Keira than the rest of the cast. I believed in her character as the spoilt American celebrity. She had resonance as well as wit and I really could not tell which way she would jump at the end of the play. Famous actors and actresses add to that lustre of a show, so long as they can act. Keira Knightley can.
- Sarah Sands, The Independent

If I were like the critic character in Martin Crimp’s Molière adaptation, I would now sneer at Keira Knightley’s performance in her stage debut. But the fact is that she does a good job in the role of Jennifer, an American film star beloved by the title character, Alceste, who in this version is a prominent writer. After a tentative first scene, in which her natural bodily ease seems to be suppressed by an excessive awareness of the scale and mechanics of stage movement, Knightley gives a confident and nuanced reading of the role... All in all, she did very well for her stage debut. The major papers had mostly complimentary things to say about her. But what were we expecting, she is a very good actress after all.
- Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

Two lessons were learned during one of the biggest opening nights of the year. One was that Keira Knightley is a very good actor.. But there is real courage here in making her stage debut at the grand old age of 24. For this she has stepped out of the comfort zone of a career that has propelled her from the British indy hit Bend it Like Beckham to Hollywood A-list status. And she passes the test superbly well... When Knightley is on stage she is the only one you watch, not only because she is beautiful to look at, but because she has stage presence too. As Jennifer, she is utterly convincing as a ruthless flirt who can reduce a grown man to a salivating pup at will, or dismiss him with a flash of almost unthinking cruelty. She is equally hurtful turning well-meaning
advice from her mentor Marcia (Tara Fitzgerald) into hidden jibes about middle-age. Sometimes the backbiting here is done face-to-face. Yet although Lewis and Knightley are individually excellent, together the couple only generate a low-voltage sexual charge." And the answer is that Keira Knightley is very good indeed.
- John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle

Keira Knightley amply proves herself as an actress to be reckoned with on stage as well as screen. Made for the part of the vain young thing, she brings the character to life completely, and reveals in more ways than one that she certainly isn't playing herself in this role.

Knightley [has] a stage presence that much more experienced actresseses would envy. But it is her eyes that really have it. As Jennifer, she is required to run a gamut of emotions, from the passionate, to the wounded, and ultimately to the lost. Knightley registers all of that not vocally, but with a kind of wide-eyed expressiveness, letting feelings chase across her face. It seems to me that this is a film actress’s ability, and to see it used so effectively on stage is very powerful... But the greatest compliment that can be paid to Knightley is that she holds her own as part of an ensemble of actors in Thea Sharrock’s sharp and enjoyable production.
- Sarah Crompton, UAE National

Keira Knightley is a pretty damn good stage actress... Knightley, on the other hand fairly radiates star quality. She starts a little uncertainly, but once the script has given her time to warm up – no one really shines doing exposition – the near-perfection of her casting comes into its own. In part it’s the game it plays with reality – any actress could have stood there and looked beautiful, but virtually no one else could have brought so much of the baggage of fame with them... Knightley’s combination of shimmering intelligence, beauty, defiance and fear is about as effective as you could hope for.
- Andrew Haydon,

But no one would say Knightley is just another Jennifer. The great difference is she’s got talent. She conveys Jennifer’s brittleness and Machiavellian coolness wonderfully, as well as her malicious flair...  witty character assassinations... All in all, it’s a world Knightley must know well at first hand, and a very canny choice for a first foray on stage it is too. The result is wholly convincing. She can cut it.
- Christopher Hart, The Times

With the draw of the elfin Keira Knightley, Thea Sharrock's updated revival of Martin Crimp's cynically sharp version of the Molière classic did not need to be good to sell out. However, it has turned out to be one of the highlights of the season, if not the year. The only question on most people's lips was whether the indisputably gorgeous Hollywood icon would embarrass herself in making a belated stage debut. After a nervous opening, the Atonement and Pirates of the Caribbean heroine really comes into her own, as her film starlet character gets angry with her insufferably jealous lover after the interval. From that point, she acts as if to the (West End) manor born in very strong company.
- Philip Fisher,

Could Keira cut it? She could, and she can, though one comes away from Thea Sharrock’s revival of Martin Crimp’s 1996 Moliere update admiring the girl’s wittiness in playing a stick thin Hollywood starlet trapped in a career cul-de-sac more than dying to see her again in Congreve or David Hare. The readiness, if not the reediness, is all. Keira Knightley is just 24, although it seems she’s been around for decades. And Crimp’s Jennifer in the hotel hothouse … is a perfect role for her … She is driving Damian Lewis’ splendidly angry playwright Alceste to distraction … Crimp preserves the five act shape, and his rhyming doggerel ‘feels’ like Moliere … Crimp was certainly prophetic in narrowing the play down to a showbiz satire … The references are sometimes strained beyond the perimeters of character, but Knightley sails serenely through, pretty as ever, her limited technique no bar to total comprehension of where she’s coming from.
- Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

Excellent play with an outstanding performance of Damian Lewis and Keira Knightley.

There’s only one thing you want to know about this revival of Martin Crimp’s 1996 translation of Moliere’s greatest comedy, and that’s can Keira Knightley act on stage? And the answer? Aside from a voice that is almost as thin as she, yes, she can.
Her Jennifer is the embodiment of the superficiality of celebrity from the physical surroundings (living in the temporary accommodation of Hildegard Bechtler’s stunningly-designed hotel room), to her career (in which she is accused of swapping her integrity for pornography) and her relationships. She plays her with an arrogant strength, within which Jennifer’s self-belief is strong enough to banish any awareness that life is one big act. During a newspaper interview Jennifer bitches about others in front of her friends and her friends in front of others, playing up to a the stereotype of a starlet, safe in the knowledge that their needs tie them to her with binds stronger than friendship. This is all undertaken in rhyming verse, which stage newcomer Knightley takes in her stride.
- Jeremy Austin, The Stage

At the end of this fine revival of Martin Crimp’s witty update of Moliere’s great comedy I wanted to rush round to the stage door and seek an immediate audience with its star, Keira Knightley. Partly to offer my congratulations, for after a hesitant start in her eagerly awaited stage debut she gets better and better in the admittedly not especially stretching role of an American film star, but more importantly to press some food on her. She is undoubtedly beautiful and the camera loves her, but in the flesh she seems almost scarily skinny... [s]he reveals both power and poignancy. She also makes you realise why Damian Lewis’ splendid Alceste is so obsessed … There is a mystery to Knightley’s allure, and an endearing streak of mischief. Thea Sharrock’s production … bubbles with malicious wit. This stinging, zinging play would be a hit without Knightley. With her, it becomes unmissable.
- Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

A play about the perils of celebrity and falsity of the media seems the perfect platform for Keira Knightley’s West End debut, and the star of Pride and Prejudice and Pirates of the Caribbean radiates knowingness and elegance as — of all things — a cosseted American actress... No character in the play is likeable, but Jennifer is arguably its most toxic presence. Keira Knightley brings a glossy self-possession to the part. She doesn’t project sufficiently, but overall convinces as a smart young woman cocooned in what Alceste dubs ‘an ante-room to hell’.
- Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

In Thea Sharrock's excellent, platinum-cast revival ... The production was in danger of breaking the play's own implied moral code by casting Keira Knightley ... The critical knives were unsheathed and quivering. So it's a tonic to report that Knightley finesses all this ethical fussing by turning in a performance that is not only strikingly convincing but, at times, rather thrilling in its satiric aplomb. It's not just that she cuts a stunningly beautiful figure here; it's that she has real stage presence and knows how to use it ... In the hallucinatory Molière-period costume orgy at the end, Knightley rises from the ashes of her wrecked name not so much like a phoenix as like an incorrigibly shameless languorous lizard who can suborn anyone with her manipulative sexiness.
- Paul Taylor, The Independent

[Knightley] catches the waywardness, occasionally the steel behind the velvety manner, the narcissistic love of attention.
- Benedict Nightingale, The Times

Knightley brings to the role fine, sculpted features, palpable intelligence and a nice mix of faux-innocence and flirtiness. Even if she doesn't always know what to do with her hands, she gives a perfectly creditable performance... Knightley's Jennifer is also no mere airhead. Floating around in a silky black jumpsuit, she looks terrific. But, more to the point, she shows that Jennifer's withering attacks on superbrat actors, greedy agents and power-mad drama coaches are simply a bitchier version of Alceste's own truth-game.
- Michael Billington, The Guardian

Is it almost impossible to get a ticket for this revival of "The Misanthrope" because it's updated Moliere in the West End? No, it's because it features the stage debut of Keira Knightley. And the good news is that in the role of a beautiful, willful movie star she's perfectly fine... Gaining in strength throughout the show, Knightley has a spot-on American accent and a nice line in disdain that turns tough as events overtake her. Producers may not yet be making lists of further theater roles in which to cast her, but Knightley silences the media doom-mongers and will ensure a financially successful run.
- David Benedict, Variety

Keira Knightley, who performs with great assurance... Interestingly, my energy levels soared whenever Keira was on stage. In this contemporary adaptation, she plays an American movie star who is a bit of a bitch. She does this well and, best of all, she sends herself up - and she's funny.
- Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail

It was truly ingenious to cast Keira Knightley in Martin Crimp's updated version of The Misanthrope. Knightley plays a Hollywood actress, a magnified version of her public self. The less she acts, the more she becomes the part.
- Susannah Clapp, The Observer

FOR HER theatrical debut, Keira Knightley plays a Hollywood starlet accused of the same beauty-over-talent deficiencies with which Knightley herself is regularly charged. And boy does she give it back... [i]t’s Knightley’s symbolic presence at the heart of it that gives it piquancy. She rises impressively to the occasion, dishing out acid sarcasm and honeyed insults with real poise. The play is so thick in irony, cynicism and knowingness that it becomes a pretty superficial thing itself, but that’s just one more in-joke in many. Still, it’s an enjoyably witty chamber piece, and for Knightley, a satisfying V-sign to the naysayers.
- TB, City AM

The following are personal reviews from audience members of The Misanthrope, gathered from forums, blogs or by submission to KeiraWeb.

Knightley embodies Jennifer's contradictions with skill and subtlety... But overall, she and Lewis make a formidable duo.
- gayasxmas

Keira was of course the stand out performance. Billed not as the main character but as focus of the plot i found her performance completely believable and intelligent. Her american accent was to me pretty good and her interaction with the stunning set was a feast for the eyes. Her character (Jennifer) is on the surface, vein self indulgent and utterly aware of her sexuality and damming affect on men but as the play went on Keira was able to turn a seemingly one dimensional, dislikable character in to something innocent and naive, turning raw overbearing sexuality into something flirtatious and endearing. There was light and dark to her performance leading to an emotional outburst that left a lump in my throat. I have always been a fan of hers and during a particular scene between her and the protagonist Alceste (Damian Lewis) the tension and emotion in her performance was truly overwhelming. It felt real to me, almost verging on an insight into how things must be for somebody in the characters position. i was totally taken by her acting and the sincerity behind it...
- J Clark,

Miss Knightley was, in my mind, very very good (especially 2 moments in act 2). She DID hold the stage, as a previous post noted she did in the past at the Young Vic. Her American accent is excellent, and, when the audience weren't sitting in silent scrutiny and finally relaxed a bit, they laughed at her jokes, and reacted well to her. She will INDEED prove the doubters wrong.
- paultheatre, forum

Keira was extremely good. I thought she was even better than Damian Lewis, which was a real surprise to me. She did a wonderful job.
- Dee Jeffrey, Evening Standard

In this production I would say that she easily held her own and didn't look out of place -in what was a good cast...

You never know what you are going to get when you go to a play starring a big movie star. Theatre is so different and sometimes they get it wrong, but Keira was expressive and I think she really worked in the role. People have obviously said before the performance that she would not do very well but clearly she can handle all that pressure and did a really good job on the night.
- Joan Jove, ditto

She was amazing. We're so used to seeing American actors come to the West End and pretend to be British and it's more unusual to see a Brit doing an American accent — but she did it brilliantly. She was so confident throughout the whole performance. I didn't come specifically to see Keira perform but I've been a big fan for a long time and she didn't disappoint.
- Melanie Hamelle, ditto

I was surprised by just how good Keira Knightley actually was. She was incredibly confident and carried off the performance very well.
- Martin Kercher, ditto

If you’ve come here expecting to see the Whingers littering the place with phrases like “displaying more wood than Tiger” you’ll leave disappointed. This is her stage debut (and a very early preview) and she copes with the spotlight with surprising confidence and a pretty convincing American accent.
- West End Whingers

The Duchess
Keira Knightley, who is fast becoming at home in period pieces, gives Georgiana spirit and grace. 

Knightley ably embodies Georgiana's easy wit, occasional naivete and ahead-of-her-time common sense

For Knightley the part fits like a corset - it’s an enigmatic, free-spirited turn and a role she’ll be remembered for, probably her best role to date in a film not directed by Joe Wright.
- Empire Magazine

The Duchess is saved from being a mere historical wallow by the central performance of Knightley. Her Georgiana is a complex character, mindful of her place in society but not above pushing the envelope. 
- Toronto National Post

That's not to say that Keira Knightley doesn't do quite well as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the 18th century "it" girl known as the Empress of Fashion, who lived a soap opera life centuries before soap operas even existed... In almost every scene, having to deal with hair as big as the Ritz ("People kept shouting 'timber!' as I walked past," the actress reports) as well as 30 costumes so elaborate that her trailer had to be enlarged to contain them, Knightley manages all her challenges with admirable aplomb.
- LA Times

But in telling the true (enough) 18th-century story of young Georgiana... the filmmakers plugged in a live wire. That would be Keira Knightley, an actress with a gift for bringing humor and heat to period pieces (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice). Knightley meets every challenge of the role as the Duchess becomes a devoted mother, an infamous fashion plate and a favorite of the common people. Make no mistake, the film belongs to Knightley. There's a fire in her eyes that won't be extinguished, and it keeps us in her corner despite, or more likely because of, the mischief she sparks. It's Knightley who makes The Duchess a royal treat.
- Rolling Stone

Knightley, being the star of the show, really takes the cake in terms of imparting a superb sense of anguish. Essentially a reacting machine, Knightley gives the camera her all, running through the gauntlet of emotions as Georgiana’s life circles tragedy at an alarming pace. It’s a true leading-lady performance, and it shows amazing versatility on Knightley’s part that she can play her umpteenth tea-n-scandal role and have it feel fresh again. 

Knightley's alluring charm and vivacity have carried every character she has played -- from "Pride & Prejudice" (2005) through two "Pirates of the Caribbean" versions (2006, 2007) and "Atonement" (2007) -- and serve her well here. 
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It is a slow movie but it is well acted with Knightley and Fiennes suited to their roles
- Film Ireland

Keira Knightley, after her amazing work in Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, probably seemed like the only choice for Georgiana. The actress, beautiful and fashionable, looks the part, but more importantly, she convinces us of Georgiana's stance on politics, fidelity and love. She's not just being made up here; she fully embodies Georgiana's values and we're able to empathize with her.
- BoxOfficeProphets

Keira is wonderful in the role as she expresses her pain as much with her eyes and face as with words.
- Teen Hollywood

And if there's any justice in this industry, Duchess will score nods for Rachel Portman's elegant score and for leading lady Keira Knightley, who delivers the most mature, versatile, and devastating performance of her young career (can you believe she's only 23?)

Keira Knightley was made for costume dramas; her slender frame, chiseled cheekbones and cool demeanor beg for wigs and corsets. "Duchess" is classic Knightley...
- Palo Alto Online

Keira Knightley perfectly embodies the eager-to-please young bride with stars in her eyes
- Urban CineFile

Keira Knightley quickly became a star on the strength of the charming 2002 film "Bend It Like Beckham,"... But since then, we've all been waiting for her to make that Great Leap Forward in her career, where she goes from appearing on magazine covers to becoming a really compelling actress. "The Duchess" isn't quite that big of a career progression. But it is an encouraging step forward for Knightley, whose credible performance is definitely one of the best things about this handsome looking-but-inconsistent biographical drama.... This might be Knightley's best work to date, and she more than holds her own with the always-solid Fiennes...
- Deseret News

Knightley gives a nuanced and often very moving performance...
- Daily Telegraph

And still, there's life at the center of "The Duchess," in the form of Keira Knightley. She carries the weight of the movie around her effortlessly -- and this is a rather slender girl to be bearing a historical parade float of this size... Knightley doesn't let them down. I've come a long way with Knightley over the years, from finding her almost unbearable to watch (I just couldn't get past the skeletal planes of her face) to falling in love with her circa "Pride and Prejudice." Knightley's performance here veers gracefully from the charming to the devastating: One minute she's giggling as she plays cards with her cherubic little offspring; the next, she's crestfallen when she realizes that her husband is determined to choke off all her life's happiness.

Knightley’s surprisingly subtle performance, where slight gestures and briefly shifting expressions speak more eloquently than grander scenes of upset and outrage. If the script portrays her as an admirable, even noble, victim of a terrible (or at least terribly self-pitying) man, Knightley does something else, intimating that G made deals with herself, followed her mother’s depressing example, and, still, pursued what she wanted until she couldn’t. 
- PopMatters

Knightley deserves Oscar consideration given how powerful a woman she is able to foster from a rather emptily-written role. By the end of the picture, the viewer feels the kind of unity with the protagonist that distinguishes a great performance.
- Bucket Reviews

Keira Knightley, today’s reigning queen of the costume drama, is radiant in the title role... The 23-year-old Knightley proves again that she has the beauty, poise and acting chops to carry a film...

Dibb leads Knightley to give her most sensuous performance to date. She makes Georgiana's desire for Grey palpable. The camera comes in close on her face, revealing the best set of cheekbones since Katharine Hepburn's....Knightley's scenes with Fiennes up the ante.
- SF Chronicle

Keira Knightley plays the duchess winningly with a convincing zest for life. Pride & Prejudice established her talents as a period-piece heroine, and she seems the ideal choice for the clever fashionista character.
- USA Today

The performances are powerful—Knightley’s vivacious, wounded romantic does a great deal to carry the film on sheer personality.
- Metromix Chicago

Keira Knightley plays her with the kind of strength tinged with femininity she often brings to her leading roles, from Cecilia in Atonement to the feisty Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise... Fiennes and Knightley are exceptional in their roles...
- Toronto Star

Knightley has parts like these down pat. Still, I think The Duchess is one of her best performances yet -- maybe even of Oscar caliber. She artfully takes Georgiana through every emotion imaginable while reexamining her life, time and again.
- ReelTalkReviews

Ms. Knightley was bound to struggle, but with her strangely old-fashioned beauty, she at least looks the part, and the pathos she successfully brings to her performance reinforces the aura of victimhood without which no romantic heroine is complete.
- NY Sun

What is it about Keira Knightley that seems better suited to the past than the present? As the star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "King Arthur" and the more serious "Pride and Prejudice," Knightley has starred in her fair share of period pieces, and "The Duchess" shows why. She breathes real life into the role of Georgiana Cavendish, an 18th century aristocrat with striking parallels to another, more modern, British notable... 
- Newsday

Knightley looks ravishing while underneath the costumes, the wigs and the makeup—this is a controlled, measured and mature performance that finds much of its spirit in her special relationship with Lady Bess Foster 
- Box Office Magazine

Knightley... being the most pestered of contemporary English actors she is well cast as the eligible daughter of Charlotte Rampling's terrifyingly haughty Lady Spencer.
- Irish Times

We may not really see how Georgina affects the people of Devonshire on a cultural level, but as an emotionally wrecked figure Knightley captures her essence wonderfully.
- CineSnob

This is the second film in which Keira Knightley... has proved to be more than a chin. Pride and Prejudice, though good, was not enough to convince; Atonement demonstrated that Joe Wright knew how to get a performance out of her, and now The Duchess, very much her film, shows that she actually can act and what’s more can carry a picture.... I must say again how impressive I found Knightley in this role. Her depiction of motherly love and devotion is utterly convincing...
- Future Movies

Much has been made of Keira Knightley's performance in The Duchess, and rightly so. She is terrific in this role. All the emotional highs and lows of the story are conveyed through her character-- and across her face, for that matter -- and Knightley never puts a foot wrong. 
- Jam Movies Canada

As she is in most period pieces, Knightley is superb, and this is clearly her film.
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Knightley gives a heart-breaking performance as the title character... Knightley proves that she’s more than just a pretty young face through her subdued yet convincing portrayal of Georgiana. As the film progresses, you’ll watch her character change from the playful, naïve young woman to the lonely, betrayed wife. But instead of talking about it, she shows it—and you’ll see it all quite clearly in both her facial expressions and the way she carries herself. Knightley gives Georgiana surprising depth—so much so that you’ll find yourself captivated by the character and caught up in her story.
- Nights &

Dibb keeps things moving, although without the sparkling Knightley, this movie... would have had a long uphill climb. She is in almost every scene and completely carries the film. I’ve seen most films in which she’s played, starting with “Bend it Like Beckham,” and she just gets better each time.
- Tony

What saves this movie from utter conventionality is its acting. Keira Knightley, as Georgianna, exudes sexuality even though she's pencil-thin. She's an ideal movie actress, and here she's in her prime: If a great director writes with his camera, a great physical performer like Knightley writes with her body, even when it's encased in billowing gowns. 
- Baltimore Sun

But Knightley shines in her sometimes didactic role. I can't think of another modern actress who can wear period costume without subconsciously stiffening inside her dress-up clothes. (Can you imagine her in the vinyl and latex of a sci-fi movie? It can't be done--there's something about her that's born to vintage couture.) Her talent could be in danger of being overshadowed by her good looks, but both wither in comparison to the indefinable x-quality that illuminates her face from within. Of all the A-list beauties working today--Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, even her doppelgänger Natalie Portman--not one could be photographed à la George Hurrell without seeming precociously retro--except Knightley. She occupies that tight circle of Garbo and Deneuve and Seberg, of actresses who dominate the eye not because of their histrionics but because of the inescapable gravitational pull their incandescent faces exert on everything else inside the screen.
- Baltimore City Paper

Dibb pays as much, if not more, attention to the private stresses of the bedroom as he does to the public rituals of dinners and balls. He’s also helped enormously by a mature, restrained portrayal from Knightley,
- TimeOut London

Directed by Saul Dibb, "The Duchess" shows that if Dibb knows nothing else, he knows what he's got in star Keira Knightley: She seems to get as much close-up time as Bette Davis got in her entire career. We're not complaining. Knightley is magnetic. She can also act. Hollywood probably doesn't know what to do with her. She's a beautiful, heroic and engaging Georgiana...
- Washington Post

Knightley should be applauded for raising the emotional temperature to the level of Di’s greatest performances.
- The Sun (UK)

Keira is stunning. It takes someone very special to deliver the level of intimate exposure we get from her in this film.
- Heart FM (UK)

The humiliations of the marriage culminate in tragedy, which Knightley carries off pretty convincingly. She has eliminated much of the pouting and petulance that characterised her early screen roles, and she wears the costumes with grace.
- The Independent (UK)

The film's real power lies with Knightley. She easily could have gone over the emotional top, but instead gives a measured performance that increasingly draws you in...  Knightley... has already grown as an actor since 2007's astonishing Atonement - a movie that belonged just as much to James McAvoy. The Duchess, however, is all hers.
- FilmInk

The Duchess is clearly Knightley's movie, ultimately rising or falling on her performance. She's up to the task, capturing both the charm and grace that made Georgiana so captivating...
- AZCentral

Knightley looks ravishing in corsets, bodices and wigs, yet she does not let her costumes get in the way of her performance. She breathes a determination, a sense of dignity and much vulnerability into her characterization.
- Bob Bloom

Smart and charismatic as always, Knightley charts Georgiana's development from a naive teenager to a disappointed and worldly woman without a stumble. 

Knightley thrives in the role of the repressed Duchess, showing the steel behind the beauty.
- Worcester Telegram

Keira Knightley is a terrific choice to play the 18th century socialite, and she captures all the wit, intelligence and high-born manners of a woman given little choice other than to pursue pleasure in a world engineered for and by men. 
- Hollywood Reporter

It's easy to joke about Knightley's fondness for period dramas. But we shouldn't underestimate her ability to channel the historic and modern into one compelling figure — or her grasp of the power of dress-up to free performance. 
- Denver Post

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is really splendid as Georgiana, she captures the youthful enthusiasm of this remarkably talented woman...
- ABC (Australia)

Hollywood can’t seem to get enough of Keira Knightley, treating her like some sort of thoroughbred athlete whose most productive years are right now. With the The Duchess, Knightley has now appeared in more than 20 films... And like a fourth-quarter tailback, the more she runs, the better she gets as she convincingly demonstrates in The Duchess.
- Paste Magazine

The most pleasing surprise is Knightley, whose impeccably groomed petulance sank into the frostiness of Atonement but who here makes Georgiana an affecting mix of fashion plate, ballroom wit and covert tragedienne. Knightley is alert to her character's growing understanding of femininity as an outlet of expression and rebellion, and for the first time the actress's porcelain cheekbones become flushed with emotion.
- Slant Magazine

Knightley gives her character her all as we feel her small joys and pain throughout. And while on the first viewing, it's Knightley's show all the way and I'd be extremely surprised if this didn't garner her at least an Academy Award nomination,
- Film Intuition

The Duchess is her best performance to date. It's a difficult role — Georgiana is the centre of the film, and as such is in almost every scene. Yet she carries it off with applomb, bringing a mix of nobility and vulnerability to the screen. You can sympathise with her plight, yet respect the grace with which she deals with the situation.

Knightley is excellent, delivering several stinging lines and putting all her frock-wearing, lip-quivering skills to good use. 
- View London

Not only is Knightley most excellent, her starved-supermodel look adds an affecting subtext: that the economic impact of male disapproval still inhibits women’s freedom. 
- NY Mag

Knightley and Atwell work wonders with parts that are dimensionally challenged, at best.
- Seattle PI

This is the second time that Knightley has collaborated with Wright. She played Austen’s heroine in his Pride and Prejudice. They work well together, and Wright at least is willing to push her as an actress rather than treat her like a prop in franchise.

Wright and Knightley (who also starred in his Pride & Prejudice) also seem to understand each other, and if a third film results from the pairing, it will be quite clear that he's found his professional muse.

Glamorous Cecilia Tallis (a stunning...Keira Knightley)

Knightley has never looked better as she holds herself throughout the proceedings with a curious strength, a minute's worth of which is more sensuous and embraceable than everything she did in the Pirates trilogy
- FilmStew

Knightley has never seemed more adult and invests Cecilia with a careless style and elegance that hardens into cold despair. 
- ReelingReviews

Knightley is electric. We've never seen her do anything like this; Cecilia is fascinatingly intricate, haunted, even fierce. 
- Shadows on the Wall

Cecilia, as played by Knightley with stunning style, speaks rapidly in that upper-class accent that sounds like performance art. When I hear it, I despair that we Americans will ever approach such style with our words, which march out like baked potatoes. She is so beautiful, so graceful, so young,
- Roger Ebert

The lovers are acted with profound sincerity by McAvoy and with a snappish hauteur that surpasses itself by Knightley. Both actors enlarge our sense of them, much as Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon did so long ago in “Wuthering Heights.” 
- San Diego Tribune

Knightley and McAvoy...thoroughly convince with taut, luminous performances as the lovers cursed just as passion blossoms.
- Sky Movies

Wright has found the pitch-perfect cas... radiant, sylphlike Knightley, who says little but conveys volumes as a woman in the throes of longing.
- Washington Post

As the society swan Cecilia Tallis, Keira Knightley has never looked more iconic than she does in the chic, slouchy fashions of the mid 1930s; the clipped, brittle accent of the period suits her chalky Englishness.
- The Times of London

And it’s true, too, that Knightley is exquisite shouldering the kind of old Hollywood glamour that we still long for in romantic heroines...
- FlickFilosopher

Knightley... is again perfectly cast as the mercurial beauty Cecilia
- FilmJournal

Knightley, a miracle of adult confidence at 22, brings an appealing directness and certainty to Cecilia
- San Francisco Chronicle

But, ultimately, "Atonement" belongs to the two leads Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Knightely, still in her early 20s, is quickly emerging as a supremely talented and beautiful leading lady of the first rank, smoothly navigating between mindless popcorn movies like "The Pirates of the Caribbean," opposite Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, classy literary films such as "Pride & Prejudice," and actioners such as "Domino." If "Atonement" is as critically acclaimed and commercially successful as I think it will be, Knightley may get her second Best Actress Oscar nomination in two years.
- Emanuel Levy

Knightley, obviously, was born to these sorts of roles and fills the screen with old-school movie romanticism. 
- Detroit News

Knightley, in a role more mature than many she has played, takes Cecilia's brittleness and makes something brave from it. 
- Seattle Times

 Knightley, star of Wright's 2005 "Pride & Prejudice" adaptation, doesn't have a huge role in "Atonement," but she certainly holds the screen each time she appears.
- Sacramento Bee

Knightley is the very picture of fiery, fading aristocracy 
- Orlando Sentinel

Ms. Knightley's Cecilia is not merely beautiful, though that's hardly a bad thing; she's quick-tongued and beautifully pensive.
- Wall St. Journal performances from his leads, James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. 
- Channel4

Knightley gives a performance of clear-eyed grit and determination
- Fresno Bee

it’s Knightley who finally stakes her claim in a grown-up part. Those cut-glass tones are exactly posh enough to fit Cecilia, a more brittle role than the feisty grrrrls she’s played before and one more suited to her delicate beauty. She might want to specify that Wright direct every film she makes in the future. 
- Empire Magazine

Joe Wright who, after his crash-zoom take on Pride & Prejudice, draws another memorable performance out of Keira Knightley. 

Cecilia, played by Keira Knightley with an imperious air of privilege. She's excellent and doesn't beg the audience's sympathy for a second.
- Chicago Tribune

Knightley, costumed to the nines, gives her most mature performance to date
- COntraCosta Times

Knightley... the young Brit star seems to relish embodying this kind of character and she does so well.
- CriticizeThis

Knightley delivers a performance that is certainly on a par with her work in Wrights previous film, the enjoyable adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Cecilia isn't necessarily the warmest, or even the most multi-faceted character, but there is a sense that there's more to her than good breeding. She's a passionate person constrained by her circumstances, and that's something Knightley brings out incredibly well. Her performance is at its strongest during Cecilia's most uninhibited moments.
- Film Judge

Smoldering with desire as Cecilia, streamlined and shiny Knightley suggests the chrome hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce. She radiates a steamy cool that sets the film's temperature

Keira Knightley and James McAvoy create exceptional sexual chemistry that makes their characters heartfelt, credible and keep us spellbound to their plight.
- ReviewExpress

Whether vamping in a ballgown, sunning herself in a bathing suit or emerging soaked from a garden fountain, Knightley’s sizzling allure has never been better captured.
- TotalFilm

Knightley dares to be unreadable and unlikable - which makes her progress into courage and transparency all the more moving.
- Baltimore Sun

Could Keira Knightley be director Joe Wright's muse? After starring in his superb version of Pride & Prejudice, she reteams with the Brit helmer for another excellent adaptation, this one based on Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. Knightley's elegance and just-under-the-surface smolder again complements Wright's sensuous, painterly compositions.
- E! Online

Knightley's star has never shone this brightly.
- RollingStone

To put a story like this across, the actors must be in complete sync with the project and each other, and McAvoy and Knightley, whom the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies turned into an international star, are able to do just that. These performers not only have the looks for a sweeping love story, they also have the skill to throw themselves into the proceedings like they really mean it. 
- LA Times

Knightley is again in top shape, showing that her Oscar nomination for Pride & Prejudice was no accident, though her character is very different here. She has not a whole lot of material to work with but fills the screen with a magnetic presence (reminiscent of the Hollywood stars of the 1940s and 1950s) that nevertheless leaves her enough room to simply be the character. 

Keira Knightley, Oscar nominated for “Pride & Prejudice,”  brings it all back home in her most intense and demanding work to date. 
- Monsters & Critics

It is always instructive to note how the camera responds to certain actresses and actors. Keira Knightly is one of those actresses. She looks luminous on screen. I met her at a recent reception, and she is certainly pretty, especially when she becomes animated in conversation. However, beyond that, the camera magnifies these qualities and she becomes a very special on-screen presence, which is certainly reflected in “Atonement.” 
- Wolf Entertainment

Knightley is an angular beauty -- there's nothing soft or welcoming about her. But that slightly off-putting air of resilience and fortitude may also be her great strength as an actress: She's like a willow capable of withstanding the most treacherous windstorm. Her eyes express doubt and devotion with equal conviction; when she looks at Robbie, there's no doubting the fierceness of her loyalty to him

In leads Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, Wright evokes what may be the best performances of both young careers.
- Bucket Reviews

Both Knightley and McAvoy finally justify the ink spilled declaring them movie stars,
- TimeOut

Keira Knightley -- echoed by co-thesp James McAvoy --proves every bit as magnetic as the divas of those classic mellers pic consciously references.
- Variety

Keira Knightley enlivens what is really a supporting role as the object of Robbie's affection with a sublime mix of posh and beautiful unattainability
- Tiscali

Knightley and McAvoy make as handsome and sympathetic a pair of young lovers as you could find. Both invest plenty of passion into their roles as the characters chafe at their constraints
- Creative Loafing

The talented Keira Knightley shines as Cecilia, bringing determination, loyalty (to Robbie) and tenacity to her character. 
- Cinema Pendant

Keira Knightley fans will have much to rejoice about, though they may be surprised at how little she is in this film. She gives a fine performance and does for that green dress what Monroe did for the MTA
- Eddie On Film

Keira Knightley...  has delivered a tour-de-force, understated performance. Her beauty is undeniable, but she has successfully crossed over to playing complex, adult roles.
- Reel Reviews

Knightley is stunning in this movie. Graceful is a word for it. 

Knightley delivers an unyielding, emotional, and alluring turn as Cecilia,... she is beautiful as usual, and she establishes an electrifying and instantaneous connection with any co-star who shares the screen. 
- 411Mania

Keira Knightley has at last found a part which exercises her natural hauteur. Miss Knightley was almost bred for thirties films- she conveys stiffness hiding sensuality brilliantly.

terrific acting from Knightley
- Cinema Blend

Knightley, all porcelain and silk and clad in dresses so light and transparent that they hang like a second skin, undulating at the slighted breeze, deliriously captures both detached reserve and heartbroken yearning.
- CinemAttraction

Atonement is unfailingly well-acted, with stirring performances from Knightley and McAvoy
- Philadelphia City Paper

Cecilia gives her the role she was made for. To her credit, she does a lot more here than just look great in a ball gown and conveys real emotion and feeling in the small time she is actually on the screen. It’s a pivotal, important role though and she does not disappoint.
- The Screen Directory

Keira Knightley is equally good, although she's not really required to do very much other than a bit of sighing and crying. Still, she throws herself into the numerous sex scenes with her customary aplomb, proving once again that she's no fan of the no-nudity clause.
- View London

Keira Knightley brings spirit to the role
- The Times of London

a radiant Knightley is reduced to mere background decoration
- Slant Magazine

Knightley, though all too obviously a 21st-century woman, manages to stay watchable and maintain the pretense of a carefree 1870s wife.
- Journal Sentinel

Fans of the vastly talented Knightley will be disappointed with her performance in "Silk," though I don't think it's her fault.
- Emanuel Levy

Who knows what Knightley was thinking when she agreed to play a spurned wife who's both barren and consumptive; to her credit, Hélène remains uncannily photogenic even on her deathbed.
- FilmJournal

the audience would rather spend more time with Hélène, who can at least speak and is capable of emotion.
- Toronto Globe & Mail

Knightley's natural appeal is a plus -- she sparkles onscreen
- PaloAlto Online

Knightley, on the other hand, rarely disappoints and her performance as the suffering wife is very good
- Criticize This

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
 Kiera Knightley continues the ascendancy she began in Dead Man's Chest, evolving from damsel in distress to full-fledged pirate and swordswoman. Is there anything sexier than a woman with a naked blade?

As far as the lovely Elizabeth Swann, Miss Knightley finally finds solid ground to stand on with the big boys, she more than holds her own when sharing the screen with larger than life actors such as Depp, Rush and Chun Yao Fat. When she is required to command the screen she reaches down and finds a pair of brass ones.

Verbinski once again piles on the CGI to the level of overkill, which only makes it more difficult for Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and the rest of the actors to shine through with their noble performances.

"End" devotes much of its time to Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), who finally completes her journey from damsel in distress to strong-minded swashbuckler. Knightley gives this woman an appealing sort of prim ferocity: Elizabeth is gutsy and daring, yet traces of her aristocratic upbringing remain. 

Only one actor manages to rise through the flotsam... [M]ore Keira Knightley than you were expecting -- so much so that the actress becomes the movie's indisputable star. .....Surprise: It's Knightley. Her character, Elizabeth Swann , started the series as a winsome maiden in distress and has only gotten leaner and meaner. In "World's End," the actress looks positively feral as Elizabeth at last assumes the aspect of classic female pirates of yo-ho-ho yore, rising to prominence in battle and barking out orders to make a bos'n quail. She could be Anne Bonney or Mary Reade -- all right, if they had been supermodels -- and the movie plops a Chinese corsair's hat on her head and stands back in unalloyed admiration.

Knightley, similarly, lights up the screen and reminds us how we've missed that gorgeous face these last two years (since "Domino"). In her tight raiments she fights as though she were Joan of Arc, and reminds us of her slender, flat figure, which adds a note of doubt despite her spirited eagerness to convince us of sword-wielding prowess.

Keira Knightley stepped up her game this time around, exuding more sexuality than before, but also a harder edge.

Knightley puts in her best performance in any of the three movies as she is the one character who has grown and changed the most, and gets a chance to show her fire and romantic abilities in this installment. 

Knightley plays Elizabeth with tough-girl attitude and enough guns to outfit an entire ship. Indeed, you wish Elizabeth could just duel and connive without being saddled with a ho-hum romance with Will Turner (Orlando Bloom).

Keira Knightley's damsel in distress is reborn as a steely action heroine, with Brooke Shields' eyebrows and a glowing tan.

Knightley is surprisingly feisty, finally becoming an interesting character after the blandness of the first two episodes. 

That said, it's a joy to watch Rush eat up the scenery and Knightley really comes into her own as a swashbuckler.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Keira finally has a couple of scenes where you just want the film to suddenly turn into PIRATES OF THE REAR-END: NO MAN’S CHEST. Absolutely smoldering and sexy. - AintItCoolNews

Bloom is adequate, and his legion of fans will have plenty to squeal about, but he is often overshadowed by Depp and/or Knightley. -

Keira Knightley... rallies as the plucky Liz.... When it comes to stamping her foot in period dresses, she has no peer. -

Knightley has the great advantage of intelligence. She brings an alert energy to her scenes, but most of the time she's the only alert thing in them. - San Francisco Chronicle.

Faring much better is Keira Knightley, here given the most substantial growth of the three leads. In "Chest," Swann gets her prized moment to join up with the pirates, and with it is born a more impassioned and assured performance from the actress. While the boys slosh around in their established personalities, Knightley gets to play it all: sexy, feisty, and heroic -

Knightley is one of the few redeeming features of this film. She is more beautiful in this than she has been in any of her other films, and her acting is much improved. - Tony Medley

Keira Knightley, whose swashbuckling wit and confidence as Elizabeth so far outpace her fiancé, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) it's no surprise they decided to push a Jack/Elizabeth romance. - Seacoast

Knightley, meanwhile, as talented as she is beautiful, is fast becoming one of filmdom’s most impressive heroines. -

Knightley has become known for her empowering roles that simply show how strong a woman can be when cornered, and she impressed me again in this movie (as if there was any doubt). She ends up stealing the screen from Depp when they share it, and brings even more to this one than in the original. - epinions

Elizabeth's participation in the final quarter of the plot's events allow Knightley to forget her dazzling natural beauty and play it down and dirty when the going truly gets rough.  Yet Elizabeth remains very much a woman in love, portraying that particular brand of strength in a solid, more strenuous performance than her prior aristocratic manners allowed. -

Best of all is what the filmmakers finally do to Elizabeth. For all of the first and almost 90% of the second she seems to be more along for the ride than anything else, her character a one-dimensional blank slate whose only reason for being remotely likable is due to Knightley sprightly efforts in bringing her to life. But near the end of “Dead Man’s Chest” she does something so totally unexpected, yet so totally within character, it changes Elizabeth irrevocably giving her a depth and a passion she’s heretofore not known. The actress plays the scene magnificently, reminding the audience she really is more than a pretty face and that Oscar nomination for “Pride and Prejudice” wasn’t a fluke. -

Keira Knightley has lost none of her wit and spunk, but also now shows a quiet desperation that results her making morally difficult decisions, and doing so in a quite believable manner. -

Speaking of beautiful, Keira Knightley, who has permanently proven herself to be one tough chickbabe that can absolutely hold her own with any of the biggest and baddest boys of film, is back as Ms. Swann, giving little girls at tangible truth that beauty doesn't have to be synonymous with wimpy. Hurrah! -

Knightley’s exceptional skills as an actor - buoy the picture. - The Edge, New York

Pride & Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice perfect showcase for Keira Knightley's talents... Keira Knightley as a freshly irresistible incarnation of Elizabeth Bennet. Miss Knightley proves a lovely choice as Lizzie, simultaneously delicate and mischievous, powerfully susceptible to headstrong misapprehension and humbling reassessment.... Miss Knightley's large eyes, slim figure and delicately chiseled profile give her Lizzie an immediate photogenic magnetism, enlarged by a watchful, humorous, tenderhearted temperament that matches the prototype admirably. This young actress authenticates the idea of a witty and headstrong girl whose cleverness leaves room for self-reproach and correction, especially when she discovers that her first impressions have been grievously shortsighted. - Washington Times

Knightley does Austen proud... Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen bring a refreshing take to this classic battle of the sexes... Knightley and Sutherland are lovely together. - Associated Press.

Keira Knightley's spirited Lizzie Bennet is a delight... Knightley imbues Austen's beloved heroine with just the right blend of humor, intensity and intelligence - USA Today

Knightley's avid, ball-of-fire characterization of "Lizzy" gives the movie its propulsive zest... It's a measure of how vibrant and composed Knightley is in the movie that the only ones who can share the screen with her without fading are Sutherland and the redoubtable Judi Dench as imperious, bullying Lady Catherine. -

What could have been dreary and old-fashioned, this potential montage of bodices and balls sure to glaze the eyes of the moviegoer has the zing and sting of the au courant -- and surely much of that has to do with Knightley as Lizzie, who's more beautiful than Austen imagined, which all the more amplifies the heroine's spark, scorn and wit. Why would such a beauty settle for the ghastly Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander), the ecclesiastic who promises Lizzie and her grotesquely social- climbing mother (Brenda Blethyn) a lifetime of middling wealth, when she can snare Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), whom she claims to loathe but so clearly loves? Knightley's Lizzie is all the more threatening because of her looks; a bright sun as this clearly doesn't live in the shadows, as Lizzie has been wont to do in other adaptations. - Houston Press

Knightley delivers an exuberant portrayal of a young woman who fears she's falling for a snob. - Houston Chronicle

In wash-and-dry hair and sacklike brown dresses that highlight clavicles you could slice cake with, Knightley's beauty has been gamely toned down to bring Lizzie to life as a sharp, playful colt with a well-developed sense of the absurd.... It would be tempting to call her a modern heroine if modern heroines weren't such vapid saps.... Knightley does much better than that: She animates Lizzie's laserlike wit without dampening the righteous frustration from which it springs.... Like all great satirists, Austen knew to couch her barbs in humor, and Knightley's vibrant performance eloquently expresses the ignominious, but often funny, position Lizzie and her four sisters have been placed in by fate, gender and circumstance. -

Knightley is the best thing about this enjoyable adaptation, immediately owning the wardrobe and the words and the weather as if she were born to the manner - and manor. She shoots sparks when called upon, glows when necessary, and lights up every corner, afire with the spirit of Austen. - Denver Post increasingly effective Keira Knightley... The fine-featured Knightley, usually not the most animated actress on the planet, surprises here as the foil to the arrogant-seeming aristocrat Darcy, - San Francisco Examiner

”Pride & Prejudice,” on the other hand, establishes Knightley as the most enchanting leading lady of her time.... In one sequence set inside Darcy’s ducal home of Pemberley, director Wright places the obscenely photogenic Knightley beside some magnificently carved Greco-Roman statuary and silently asks us to decide what is more beautiful - these silent alabaster effigies or this living, breathing, miraculous girl. At other times, Knightley’s Lizzie looks like some sort of ferocious imp, a shockingly carnivorous hamadryad. Later, in her longing for love, Knightley burns with a hard, gemlike flame. - Boston Herald

Keira Knightley is effective in emphasizing Elizabeth's inexperience: She's coltish, often slightly dishevelled, giggly, and an impertinent tease - Toronto Globe & Mail

With that fearsomely square jaw of hers, Knightley will never be mistaken for a straight-up glamour puss. (In my dreams, she'd have Elizabeth Bennet smoking in the girls' room.) But those of us who put ourselves through ''King Arthur" and ''Domino" looking for signs of a great actress can leave ''Pride & Prejudice" ecstatic. We finally get what we paid for. - Boston Globe.

Much of the delight and most of the heart comes from Keira Knightley... Knightley's performance is so light and yet fierce that she makes the story almost realistic; - NY Times Union

A confident and lovely performance by Keira Knightley as the heroine Elizabeth Bennet. Younger than many other screen Elizabeths, the actress brings a fetching and often fiery exuberance to the role. It's the best work she's done on film. - Seattle Times

Keira Knightley makes a dazzling Lizzie, on par with Jennifer Ehle's interpretation. Knightley is at times playful, at times tempestuous, and at times vulnerable. And she speaks every line of dialogue with conviction. -

Knightley is just the gal to bend it to such purposes. Ehle became a star as Lizzie, but an art star, intellectual, almost spectral. Never mind how Domino toppled, Knightley arrives as a true movie star, hot to trot. The 1940 version had its flaws, too—who wants to fuck Mrs. Miniver? Knightley is a Lizzie for our profane time. - Seattle Weekly

The much-derided Knightley carries the film so well, revealing depth she's never hinted at in past films, that it's clear she should start shopping for awards gowns. - Arizona Daily Star

But because Ms. Knightley is, in a word, a knockout, the balance has shifted. When this 20-year-old star is on the screen, which is much of the time, you can barely take your eyes off her. Her radiance so suffuses the film that it's foolish to imagine Elizabeth would be anyone's second choice. - New York Times

Pride & Prejudice does for Knightley what all those magnificent Merchant Ivory films did for Helena Bonham Carter. It establishes her as a true movie star as she makes Lizzie an unforgettable heroine. -

After seeing Knightley's appealing turn in Pirates of the Caribbean and Domino, audiences get a chance to watch Knightley at her shining best. She beautifully conveys Elizabeth's natural ability to stand apart from the silliness of the moment. - Rocky Mountain News

Knightley and Macfadyen give inspired, vibrantly alive performances... Knightley demonstrates that she has the acting chops for such a demanding role. -

Keira Knightley's Elizabeth offers a hard-to-resist vision of an Austen heroine as a protomodern girl, fierce in her perceptions, inexhaustible in her wit, and unyielding in her standards of friendship and romance. Knightley has always been a charming performer, but in Pride and Prejudice she demonstrates the deeper seductiveness of an actor who can show the play of thought and instinct on her face. - Baltimore Sun

Keira Knightley, in a witty, vibrant, altogether superb performance - Entertainment Weekly

Waifish Keira Knightley, as Elizabeth, shows dramatic weight that has been missing from her plucky work... And Knightley makes her Lizzie Bennet a distinctly broader and feistier version of Elizabeth... - Orlando Sentinel

Knightley plays Elizabeth as a clever, verbally athletic tomboy who has no idea how sexy she is - Detroit Free Press

In this regard, no one in "Pride & Prejudice" is busier than Knightley. Several scrapbooks full of Kodak moments could be filled with her gallery of rolled eyes, devilish grins, and angrily furrowed brows. Knightley boldly creates Elizabeth's most modern-seeming incarnation. She's a coltish tomboy, but she hasn't given up on girlishness. She just refuses to entertain Dream House Barbie aspirations, which has been true of the character since Austen came up with her in 1813. The actress just brings out more of her edge.  - Montpelier Times Argus

Knightley, meanwhile, fits into Austen's era so perfectly it's hard to believe the actress ever wore a soccer jersey in "Bend It Like Beckham." - Kane County Chronicle

Knightley stretches herself in the role, and at times shines, but she has a tough time shedding her own star persona. - Seattle PI

Knightley plays the prideful heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, with a luminescence that puts the movie's frequent shots of sunrises and sunsets in the shade. Her thin Lizzie is thoroughly grounded in the 18th century, and yet Knightley never allows the second eldest Bennet sister to seem less than fully alive and freshly drawn. - San Jose Mercury

Knightley is radiant in a role that truly suits her... Knightley perfectly fits the period, and the part; she delivers her dialogue with well-timed irony. - Davis Enterprise

But now, in an exhilarating new version of Pride and Prejudice, Knightley has found her stride as Austen's Elizabeth. Despite her physical charms -- which make her somewhat overqualified to play a woman the author describes as "the second prettiest" of the five Bennet sisters -- Knightley inhabits the character as if to the Austen manor born. This is a star-making performance.... Playing a character who leads with her mind, not her looks, is no small feat for someone who looks like Knightley. Yet there's nothing prohibitive about her allure.... -

"...worth watching is the exquisite Keira Knightley for her portrayal of Austen's heroine Elizabeth. Director Joe Wright has left no opportunity to capture Knightley's beauty by taking in each of her expressions with some stylish camera work. Elizabeth's confusion comes across clearly in her performance. -

Focusing primarily on Elizabeth Bennet, Wright needs an actress that can carry the film, and he finds a gem in British actress Keira Knightley... Smartly cast at the right age for her character, Knightley blossoms into a star here, portraying the most lively Elizabeth yet and displaying remarkable range. While we'd expect her to cover the emotional spectrum with co-star love interest Mathew Macfadyen (as Darcy), Knightley distinguishes herself by standing up as the equal of both Donald Sutherland (Mr. Bennet) and Judi Dench (Lady Catherine de Bourg) in emotionally charged scenes. Elizabeth's private scene with her father is exceptionally poignant, demonstrating understanding and mutual devotion, but her confrontational scene with Lady Catherine is a total knockout—either scene generally being sufficient to attract the attention of Oscar voters. -

It's Keira Knightley who steals the show. Already a dab hand at the romantic lead (see Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur and Love Actually), she is enchanting and perfect as the headstrong, witty and intelligent Elizabeth Bennet, thus cementing her star status. -

Lizzie is not your typical corseted heroine; she's a fiery character who speaks her mind and feels everything more deeply than most with her youthful enthusiasm – Keira Knightley is perfect for this part. -

The appealing Knightley goes in a promising young actress and comes out a star... - TV Guide

Keira Knightley in her first truly dignified, memorable performance - Slant Magazine

Keira Knightley carries the film's emotional weight on her shoulders and does it with aplomb, her sulky intelligence contrasting with that impish smile. - urbancinefile

...this girl is a good actress, and the longer I watched her as Lizzie, the more she struck me as exactly right for the part.. -

Yet, Wright knows when to pull back and let his actors do the heavy lifting, using close-up shots later in the film when the emotions become particularly intense. It's here that Knightley fulfills her promise, letting us feel Elizabeth's conflicting emotions in ways that are palpable and true. She also has a beautifully touching father-daughter scene late in the film with Sutherland that, in and of itself, should win both actors Oscar nominations. -

This is a worthy platform for actress Keira Knightley, who gives one of her better performances here as Austen's heroine... Knightley is the right combination of spunk and spite as Elizabeth - Deseret News

Wright loves Knightley’s face, and, by often simply training his camera on her, Knightley is allowed to make the role a fascinatingly introspective one, with Elizabeth often stifling her true feelings in favor of prepared ones. Knightley is marvelous in “Pride,” giving a full-bodied reading of Austen’s heroine, and finding those crucial moments of doubt in her performance that connect the film’s lengthy story together. -

Knightley and MacFadyen both provide solid and heartfelt performances that more than match anything previous actors have brought to oft performed roles.  - Christian Critics

Keira Knightley radiates intelligence and awareness as Elizabeth in one of the finest performances of the year. She thoroughly inhabits the role as Elizabeth's perceptions of Darcy shift and responses to him change with changing circumstances. -

Marvellous ensemble acting, headed by the talented Keira Knightley, who at 20, emerges as a major international star. -

But the entire production is carried by the superb performance by Keira Knightley as the acerbic, headstrong, romantic, and judgmental Elizabeth - Spirituality &

The role of Elizabeth fits Keira Knightley like a glove. Her posh accent and saucy flirtatiousness are perfectly suited to this character and the dialogue rolls off her tongue in such a way that it makes you wish that you'd taken elocution lessons. -

Keira Knightley...yeah, she's great. Not just because she's beautiful and nice for us men in the audience to look at, but because she so inhabits the role of Elizabeth that you believe everything that comes out of her mouth. You'll want to applaud when she stands up for herself and her family no matter the cost, and you'll smile or well up at appropriate moments as well because she will evoke those reactions...she's great in this film -

She is exceptionally well played by Keira Knightley, coming over as both enchanting and too clever for her own good.... It is a pleasure to see Keira Knightley as Elizabeth. - Hampstead Express

Knightley manages the complex Elizabeth beautifully, projecting intelligence and humor and acting rashly while seeming to be thoughtful.  Her dawning recognition of her feelings for Darcy inspire heart-stopping suspense in our desire to see the lovers united. -

As for Keira Knightley who plays her, she's slight, she's slender -- a mere wisp of a girl in those long period garments. Yet, is there another actress who can so command the screen? When she's not on it, I yearn for her return. Partly for her intoxicating beauty and to enjoy how cinematographer Roman Osin's light takes advantage of its nuances, but also because it's on her emotions and the countenance that so animatedly expresses them that the story resides. She's the drama, presence and punch of it, the soulful, emotional core. -

Keira Knightley, who has been little more than a pretty face in most of her films, is winsome as the headstrong second daughter of the eccentric Bennets, capturing both her fierce individualism and the vulnerability that hides behind her façade of confidence. - Arizona Central

Proving that there's life after "Domino," she turns in a layered performance that belies the fact that she was still a teenager when this was filmed.... Keira Knightley's spirited Lizzie Bennet is a delight... Knightley imbues Austen's beloved heroine with just the right blend of humor, intensity and intelligence - USA Today

Keira Knightley, who has always been pleasant if unspectacular, shows unsuspected depth as the sassy and vibrant Elizabeth, a woman ahead of her time and one of English literature's most beloved characters. In one scene, Knightley saucily cuts the socially irreproachable man she currently hates, and as she strides away the corners of her mouth curl up ever so slightly in triumph before giving away to an expression of shock in realizing what she has just done. As she flickers through these emotions, she shows us acting at its best. - Times Dispatch

...this one will be known as the "Keira Knightley" because it's her joyful performance, and her joyful qualities as a person, that centers and defines the film. -

erily, I say unto ye, dedicated Audience readers, as (verily some more), I have said it before: Keira Knightly is a new Goddess of Cinema, unmatched in style, talent, charm, energy, and, in her own special way, looks. There is no other actress working—especially none so young—who combines all of these attributes in such potent measure; I would watch her reading the phone book, as the old saying goes, and be enthralled. Particularly if she were reading my number.

Knightley is radiant enough for both of them. Drolly ironic one moment, girlishly giggly the next, Knightley gives a star-making performance. She even holds her own in a scene with Dame Judi Dench - Access Atlanta

Knightley is too vast a force of nature to be contained by tiny rooms. Lord God, can she take control of a scene, dominate a movie, project to the last seat, radiate power and personality unto the rafters. It's a great performance... I love the way Knightley's eyes light with furious intelligence when she cuts the pompous Darcy a new something or other. - Washington Post

Looking every bit a star, Knightley, who's shown more spirit than acting smarts so far in her career, really steps up to the plate here, holding her own against the more classically trained Macfadyen (as well as vets like Blethyn, Sutherland and Judi Dench) with a luminous strength that recalls a young Audrey Hepburn. More than the older Ehle in the TV series, she catches Elizabeth's essential skittishness and youthful braggadocio, making her final conversion all the more moving. - Variety

Keira Knightley glides around with great assurance, tossing off barbed observations about her dithery mother and the foolishness of her four sisters. Indeed, Keira’s cat-smile suggests such supernal all-knowingness that, with Austen’s adapted dialogue (via Deborah Moggach) tripping off her tongue, she comes off as an eighteenth- century Maureen Dowd. Any suitor of sense and sensibility would steer clear of Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet, lest the fangs and claws come out too quickly. The actress’s feral intelligence is similar to the fierceness she brought to her recent run-in with director Tony Scott’s exploding editing machine, otherwise known as Domino." -New York Magazine

As the strong-willed Elizabeth, Knightley is a lippy, tantalizing ball of fire. Just watch her reject an unsuitable suitor (a wonderfully comic Tom Hollander) or take on Darcy's formidable aunt Lady Catherine (Dame Judi Dench in ham heaven). Better yet, watch her frosty rejection of Darcy thaw when he confesses his ardor for her on a misty moor. Romantic yearning hasn't looked this sexy onscreen in years." -Rolling Stone

In Knightley and Macfadyen we have a completely believable Lizzie and Darcy. Knightley is initially a coquettish imp whose head very much rules her heart and Macfadyen redefines the word miserable. Yet as the film progresses we fall for both of these characters as much as they fall for each other. In their short careers this film already presents a highlight for both of them and by the time they finally come to realise what everyone already knows it's definitely hard to keep a lump from the throat. -Tiscali UK is Keira who steals the show with her impish smile and impossibly gorgeous features. Austen purists might complain that she doesn’t have the prerequisite heaving cleavage with which to convey her emotion but there’s not a red-blooded man alive who wouldn’t be captivated by her Elizabeth. -Dark Matters 

British actress Keira Knightley might have been dubbed the ‘sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet’, she is also a damn fine actress and now has her own star vehicle to prove it...Knightley is a revelation as the young Lizzie Bennet, equal parts bookish rake and girly girl. The 20-year-old perfectly holds her own opposite the likes of Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn and reduces co-star Matthew MacFayden (who plays her love interest, Mr Darcy) to smithereens." -European Films

Knightley copes well in the part, bringing life to the only interesting one of the Bennet siblings...Keira manages to convincingly convey the struggle between her attraction to Darcy and her contempt for his apparent unwavering, humorless snobbery. -CinemaBlend

Keira Knightley has at last proved that she's got what it takes to be a leading lady... -Epinions

Keira Knightley in her first truly dignified, memorable performance... -Slant Magazine

Keira Knightley, in particular, brings a real vivacity and charm to her role. What is more, not only does she have an appealing on screen presence, but she also has a subtle but potent sexiness that infuses her character with a definite allure. -Movie Rapture

Keira Knightley makes Elizabeth a feisty and attractive heroine. While the script perhaps doesn’t treat her kindly on occasion, she nonetheless gives her all in a measured yet passionate performance. -The Blurb

It is a clever, elegant rendering none the less. And this is because of an outstanding performance from Knightley as Lizzy Bennet, which lifts the whole movie. She gives a performance of beauty, delicacy, spirit and wit; in her growing lustre and confidence she is British cinema's answer to Kate Moss, but Moss is a star from the silent era. Knightley is from the talkies. Only a snob, a curmudgeon, or someone with necrophiliac loyalty to the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle could fail to enjoy her performance. Knightley's Lizzy is a naughty sceptic, a droll outsider; a team leader from the awkward squad, much given to fits of giggles and pert backtalk, with sisterly kicks under the table given and received. It is a great moment when she overhears Darcy describe her as merely "tolerable" in looks, and then flings the word in his face before walking insouciantly away. Knightley has demanding, emotional scenes in searching closeup and handles them triumphantly. Her star quality will quite simply roll over you like a tank. - The Guardian.

British actress of the moment Keira Knightley does a wonderful job in her first leading role as feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet - all her other successes have been as a supporting players or as part of an ensemble. - Norwich Evening News

Elizabeth Bennet – quite brilliantly, gloriously played by Knightley. - Ireland Online.

The major change in the script is in putting all the emphasis on Elizabeth Bennet, the high-spirited daughter of the Bennets, who is prejudiced against the proud Mr Darcy. She is played by Keira Knightley, who is rarely off screen, the film a star vehicle for her. The jaw-jutting, toothy beauty makes the most of her opportunity and brings a sprightly and lovable feel to Austen's heroine. She is no eye-fluttering, shy thing, but a woman who speaks her mind, no more so than in her encounter with the redoubtable Lady Catherine de Bourgh (played with terrifying fire by Dame Judi Dench). Her mixed feelings for Darcy are played out with feeling and intelligence, first the anger when she overhears him describing her as only "tolerable" and a gradual melting as she discovers the quiet man has hidden noble feelings. - icNetwork.

Knightley is superb as Austen’s best-loved heroine – there’s a sparkle in her eyes that’s nothing short of infectious. There’s also a genuine chemistry between her and Matthew McFadyen’s Darcy... -

What we have are twentysomethings who inject fire and passion into a story that’s almost 200 years old.... Some critics in the past have taken cheap shots at Knightley’s acting, but this should shut them up once and for all.... BEST BIT: Keira Knightley excels as the romance-seeking Lizzie. - Daily Mirror

Knightley is a revelation, giving her first multi- layered star performance, holding every scene with a mixture of wit and emotion, and developing a terrific low-burning chemistry with MacFadyen. - shadowsonthewall

Keira Knightley is not an obvious Elizabeth Bennet - too young, too beautiful, insufficiently versed in the ways of the world - but she's a pleasingly bright-eyed, intelligent presence: this is not a star-making performance nor is it a ruinous one. - Evening Standard

A spirited lead performance by Keira Knightley - Seattle Times.

The shining delight is Knightley, who is bright, vivacious and charming in a performance that finally begins to justify her status as the rising star of British cinema. - Scotland On Sunday.

And I particularly loved Keira Knightley. Keira's been a lustrous presence in movies... Lizzie Bennet is the transforming role which finally proves she is more than just a pretty face. The camera adores her mercurial, ever-changing features and her swanlike neck, but it is her freshness, her unaffectedness and her emotional transparency that will endear her to audiences all over the world. If there is any justice (which, of course, there isn't), Keira will win Best Actress at next year's Oscars. - Daily Mail

Keira Knightley is extremely impressive as the stubborn Elizabeth in perhaps her best performance to date. She and Macfadyen make an attractive bickering couple and it's great to sit back and let the film's stylish and witty atmosphere wash over you. Director Joe Wright makes a fine debut, sensibly giving Knightley centre-stage and letting the terrific support deliver the acting goodies when she's off screen. - Sunday Mirror

Joe Wright pulls off a very impressive debut that gets the best out of star Keira Knightley as Eng Lit's most-loved heroine. - Channel 4

It’s Knightley, though, who really stands out. She’s delightful as Austen’s best-loved character — the slender, clever figure who loves a laugh, such as when she sets eyes on Darcy’s palatial pile and can’t control her goggle-eyed mirth, realising it could have been hers. The emphasis is not on heaving cleavage but on wit and unstudied charm, and Elizabeth Bennet has more of those than any other heroine in the English language. - Empire Magazine

For starters, it has an excellent Elizabeth in Keira Knightley, who finally proves she can act with subtlety as well as freshness, even if she is far from the plainest of the Bennet sisters. - Evening Standard

Knightley finds the right mixture of wounded pride and blazing indignation as she goes toe-to-toe with her startled suitor. - The Independent.

Knightley is blossoming into a fine young actress, conveying the internal struggle of her young heroine. - Belfast Telegraph

Knightley... is actually great as Lizzie, perfectly balancing her stubbornness, confidence and rationale with her girly excitement. - ThisIsLocalLondon

Keira Knightley glows as Elizabeth... What's good? This is really the Keira Knightley show...and she doesn't hesitate in delivering her best performance yet... Keira Knightley delivers a career-defining performance as Elizabeth Bennet... It helps that Knightley - a luminous actress whose subtle skills are really allowed to shine - comprehensively inhabits the role of Elizabeth, the forthrightly intelligent heroine. - Sky Movies

Knightley has always been easy on the eye and she is ravishingly shot by Roman Osin in what is pretty consistently a long hymn to the "barbarous beauty" of Britain. Her hair is dark, she's fresh, even tanned, not peaches and cream, and as Elizabeth she gives the best performance she's given so far in a "British" film, vowels peaching, nose wrinkling.... It's not a patch on her American girl in The Jacket with Adrien Brody, where the nose thing vanished as though it had never been. But although someone should have taken the scissors to this particular mannerism, Knightley is a pretty presentable Elizabeth Bennet. She's a lot more natural than she normally is and there are times when she's overtaken by genuine poise, where she looks absolutely self-possessed.... It's not a great performance but it has some terrific moments - including the confrontation with Lady Catherine de Bourg where, a bit unbelievably, Knightley holds her own with Judi Dench.... So not an Elizabeth Bennet that will banish memories of Jennifer Ehle and Greer Garson - perhaps least of all for older Janeites - but one that is likely to communicate by a spirit of empathy with her contemporaries and probably get some votes, for all its friskiness and touches of toughness, from their elders....  - The Age (Australia)

Knightley, surprisingly, does an exceptional job stepping into the role of Bennet and delivers her sharp quips and comebacks with both feistiness and grace. - Spectator Online

...Knightley is a perfect Elizabeth Bennet.

..maybe it's Knightley in the thrall of this glorious repartee. Her pleasure in her lines is infectious, and her busy-ness works perfectly against the darkly handsome but socially paralyzed Darcy -

Keira Knightley exudes warmth and confidence as heroine Lizzy Bennet, a sharp, ironical girl marooned in late-18th-century England. -The Village Voice

At the centre of it all is the lovely Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. Knightley is feisty, graceful and winsome. Her delivery is stiletto sharp. - Stuff, New Zealand

The producers made a good move by casting Keira Knightley for the role of Elizabeth. Her otherworldly beauty and screen presence will make it easier for romance hungry girlfriends to convince their boyfriends to check out this gentile (a.k.a. “boring” in guy-speak) film. - Miami Poetry Review

As Elizabeth, Keira Knightley gives what can only be described as a revelatory performance. While it doesn't break her out of the corset mode she's accustomed to, Knightley makes Elizabeth into a heartfelt, lived in character. Wright loves Knightley's face, and, by often simply training his camera on her, Knightley is allowed to make the role a fascinatingly introspective one, with Elizabeth often stifling her true feelings in favor of prepared ones. Knightley is marvelous in "Pride," giving a full-bodied reading of Austen's heroine, and finding those crucial moments of doubt in her performance that connect the film's lengthy story together. - OhMyNews, Korea

Much of the delight and most of the heart comes from Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth as a girl glowing in the first light of perfection. She is beautiful, she has opinions, she is kind but can be unforgiving. Knightley's performance is so fierce that she makes the story almost realistic... - Detroit News

Keira Knightley wins us right away when she snorts at starchy Darcy at the ball. Knightley has been described as being exquisitely beautiful, but she plays against her good looks. She times her lines nicely and she holds herself with the proper mix of need and disdain. -

Knightley spiritedly plays, with a mixture of poise and tomboyish charm, the quintessential Austen heroine who, while refusing to submit to social pressures, finds she is inexplicably falling in love. Whether she is trudging through the English countryside and carelessly soiling her petticoats, or defiantly contesting Mr. Darcy with her perfect chin held high, Knightley exudes the feisty independence and beauty that has made Elizabeth Bennett the favorite female character in English literature. - Harvard Crimson

Knightley’s performance shows she is more than just a pretty face. She displays an air of confidence in the role and delivers her dialogue with unrelenting ferocity, similar to her literary counterpart.  - Wisconsin Badger Herald

Knightley’s inarguably charming performance to enchant the audience and make them feel as though they are directly involved in the progress of Darcy and Elizabeth. - Daily Cardinal

Knightley, already a rising star, once again proves that she not only has the good looks but the superb acting skills as well, portraying Lizzie with a great spirit. - Montgomery Online

Knightley brings luminous intelligence and sensuality to the role of Lizzy... But the film belongs to Knightley who graduates from fetching ingénue to full-blown leading lady. - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pride stars the lovely Keira Knightlye. I've had a thing for her since Bend it like Beckham but until now wasn't sure about her acting chops. Here, she proves she's going to be around for quite a while. She holds her own in scenes from Dame Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone... I could stare at Knightley for 3 minutes short of infinity... Knightley is far too gorgeous to play the part of the second fiddle sister. The eldest sister whom everyone is supposed to be gawking over is simply…not that good looking; she's a 6, and Knightlys' character is a 9.. - AintItCoolNews

Keira Knightley, in a witty, vibrant, altogether superb performance, plays Lizzie's sparky, questing nature as a matter of the deepest personal sacrifice. - Entertainment Weekly

In "Pride & Prejudice," Keira Knightley has found the perfect role to showcase her various and formidable talents -- her beauty, energy, intelligence and poise - Delaware Online

Which is why Knightley makes an ideal Elizabeth - assured, headstrong, she is the superhero of literature we had in our heads. Boy, this woman commands a room... she does not disappoint in headier surroundings, but reminds us intelligence can be as much in the eyes as on the tongue, and Knightley combines enough of both to be the "studier of character" Darcy admires. In the process, Knightley does for costume drama what Jane Austen did for popular literature. She loosens its corset. - Toledo Blade

In her short career, the 20-year-old Knightley has proven herself versatile with a charismatic screen presence. But this performance will force everybody to take her seriously. This Elizabeth is simultaneously a giddy girl and wise-beyond-her-years woman, and in Knightley's hands those opposites don't seem at all contradictory. - South Carolina State

And that’s key to the success of this latest edition: youth. I did wonder if Keira Knightley would make a creditable Lizzie; she does. She played quite possibly the best role in all of English literature, and she handled it like the pro she is. - Barnes CountyTimes

Ms. Knightley inhabits the character of Elizabeth Bennet with such charm and ferocity that it is difficult not to fall in love with her myself -

"Knightley’s portrayal is true to the original...The chemistry between Knightley and McFadyen is palpable" -Movie Vault

Domino (Keira Knightley, soon to win an Oscar nomination for “Pride and Prejudice”)... It gives us Keira Knightley in a role all the more astonishing because I’ve just seen her in “Pride and Prejudice.” - Roger Ebert

Keira Knightley — who later this fall also stars in "Pride and Prejudice" — has nothing to be embarrassed about as Domino Harvey.... Her performance is strong and courageous. She's in nearly every scene and is fearless, beautiful and memorable. The one-two punch of her fall films should catapult her into the top echelons of stardom. Look out.... In the end, it's Knightley who audiences will want to see in this commanding performance. - FoxNews

But make no mistake – Knightley owns this f***ing movie. Every god damned moment of it... Here Knightley defines herself as an actress and delivers her best performance yet, cementing herself firmly in the minds of movie goers as more than just another pretty face. The girl can f***ing act. This is for Keira what Alien was for Sigourney Weaver, what The Terminator was for Linda Hamilton. Without for a second shedding her natural adorability and sexiness, Knightley dons the mantle of the tough as nails bad girl and kicks the living shit out of anything that gets in her way. - AintItCoolNews

Keira Knightley does a hell of a job at being cunning, sexy, and very likeable as the Beverly Hills bounty huntress. - MoviesOnline

Knightley is.. game and fun to watch getting down and dirty. - Variety.

Keira Knightley comes through unscathed. She's very good as the tough-as-nails Domino. The character is dangerous, sexy, and amoral - it's a delicious mixture. And this part makes it impossible to question Knightley's amazing range. Here's a woman who can switch from a short-haired, vicious bounty-hunter to Elizabeth Bennett in the blink of an eye. -

An excellent central performance from the vastly-improving Knightley. - Irish Examiner

..she was excellent in Domino, most convincing as the perpetually angry bounty hunter. - Cinematical

Knightley rewards her director with a tough but vulnerable performance a world away from corsets. -

And in Knightley, he should have known that he had an actress who's compelling enough to carry a big action movie with an eclectic ensemble cast... She can hold her own with the shotgun-toting big boys with a combination of wit, vulnerability and sex appeal. - CTV Canada

You have to admire Keira Knightley. There aren't many actresses who could convincingly play a tattooed, chain-smoking, gun-toting bounty hunter as well as star in a production of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. -

Yes, Domino seems like a fascinating character, and Knightley gives her just the edge she needs as the bounty hunter who can be distant yet involving at the same time. - The Boston Channel

Knightley presents such a tantalizing facade that we wish the movie had skipped some of the gimmicks and put a bounty on the person behind the pose. - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Keira Knightley has plenty of attitude and combative fire in her portrayal - Nashville City Paper

"...Persuasive performances. Knightley eagerly blasts her ladylike image with furious bravado" - Las Vegas Review Journal

One thing the movie does have going for it is Knightley in the lead role. She's got looks, the accent and even does a nude scene, but with her model thin body, she doesn't exactly appear threatening. Rather than the tough biker-chick she seems to be aiming for, she looks like a rich girl trying to be punk just for the fun of it. Watching her though, is one of the only things enjoyable about the movie. - 3 Movie

Perfectly cast, Knightley possesses the innocence, charisma, and tough presence needed. Rather than impersonate the real Domino, she is using her as an inspiration. A decade younger than the character, Knightley gives an astonishing performance based on a complete transformation. Physically, she’s barely recognizable to those who had first seen her in “Pirates of the Carribean” and now “Pride and Prejudice.” Barely 20, Knightley is a major talent to watch. - Emanuel

Knightley’s performance is hip and tough enough for the role of nun-chuck swinging Domino, but the actress never evolves above the two-dimensionality that she is saddled with in this confused, overly long story. She is equal to the physicality the role demands and is pretty eye candy but is left dangling by the script. -

Ms. Knightley may not be much of a physical match for the real Domino Harvey, who does appear for a brief moment during the end credits, but since the film isn’t such much based on Ms. Harvey’s life as take the basic concept of her life (a former model and the daughter of famous actor becomes a bounty hunter) and turn into a circus, Keira’s incredible beauty is put to good use. You can’t help but have your eyes gravitate to her whenever she is on screen. -

Knightley, who has proven that she can play just about anything, gives Domino an appealing ferocity. - Combustible

Keira Knightley. Nunchucks. These three words will send a substantial group of male moviegoers into a testosterone frenzy, and for those lucky souls, Tony Scott’s Domino — which features the star in both a lap-dance scene and a Zabriskie Point–style “desert love” sequence — will be as satisfying as a 32-ounce Mountain Dew - LA Weekly

Keira Knightley (2005's "The Jacket") makes for a fetching, believably tough-as-nails Domino Harvey, a young woman who needs a thrill in her life to make it feel meaningful for herself. -

Knightley willingly flexes and flinches as the demolition-loving diva that is a skillful and poised bounty chick - Movie Eye

Knightley gets a complex characterization across effectively and all slathered in a load of bravado. Not only that, she helps us keep the plot straight - at least to the extent that it can be deciphered - with not just one but two voice-over narrations - LA Daily News

Onscreen virtually throughout Domino, Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) radiates a combination of bad girl attitude and street-smarts  -

Keira Knightly, in a tour-de-force performance -

Knightley is just perfectly mean. Her Domino is superstitious about death and haunted by an absent father and self-centered mother. Even at 110 lbs, Domino is so angry she scares you -

Knightley actually does an acceptable job. When she's quiet and brooding, she's convincing. -

An über-fit Keira Knightley, out to prove she can play bad girls, does just that as the title character -

What fun there is to be found in "Domino" is in the characters, and especially Knightley's go-for-it portrayal of Domino - Detroit Free Press

There are moments of manic pleasure in all this, and Knightley, with her raccoon-ringed eyes and tattoos, successfully returns to the tomboy roots of her "Bend It Like Beckham" days - Washington Post

Keira Knightley plays this imaginary Domino with a butch cut and Billy Idol sneer, which feels pretty much right once she straps on her automatic weapons and throws a few knives... Knightley's all there: a foul-mouthed, sharp-edged bad boy wrapped up all nice in tight, low-cut jeans and feminine wiles, as at ease giving a lap dance to a bail jumper as she is kicking down his door. - Chicago Tribune

Keira Knightley plays Domino with smutty intensity as a cartoonish maverick, a kind of real-life Femme Nikita who drives men wild while handling heavy artillery. She's a sexy, bold, brutal adventure-monger who gets off on the adrenaline of being a bad girl. - New York Daily News

All punked out and hard edges, Knightley is a lot of fun to watch as she shows she's more than the pretty young thing of "Bend it Like Beckham" or "Pirates of the Caribbean." In a given scene she can be great -

Keira Knightley, who plays the title role, is a lot prettier, and just about the only thing that makes the movie worth watching. - SOuth

the only watchable thing is the lovely Keira Knightley, who is captivating as the fierce and supremely sexy badass - E! Online

Knightley again proves that she can carry a film and develop a strong character.  - Shadows On The Wall

The one bright spot is the mesmerizing performance of Keira Knightley. A gun-toting woman tarted up in raccoon eye make-up and patent leather pants who saves the film can’t be all bad. It’s the one thing that separates this from other Hollywood forgettables, meriting this film two stars. - Hybrid Magazine

Keira is great as the snap-your-head-off babe who is really just a lost little girl. -

Knightley performs brilliantly in each role she's given, Domino being no exception. She plays a Domino Harvey that's tough and brutal, but not without innocence. Some thought she couldn't pull such a "bad" character off, but judging by her performance, the rumors didn't seem to scare her. -

Knightley throws herself into Domino’s fierce rage so much that she deserves a lot of credit – she doesn’t ever feel the need to suggest to us that she’s really not like this underneath it all. She is very plausible with a weapon in her hands and with the quick movements that let this version of Domino prevail in perilous situations -

Knightley is amazing, as usual, playing the very complex Domino -

She's gorgeous, sexy, British, sexy and gorgeous (did I say something twice?) - her name is Keira Knightley. Knightley is still not a household name despite being in the mega-blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean and such hit films as Bend it Like Beckham and Love Actually, but things are about to change as she will be having a coming out party with Pride and Prejudice later this year and Tony Scott's music video on acid - Domino. -

Knightley, who is a joy to watch in almost any film that she does, excels in the role of Domino herself.  She is a magnetic presence onscreen, and emotes more than the story actually deserves, giving the character a more fleshed-out feeling, instead of  the cardboard cut out that it could’ve become in the hands of a less talented actress. - IF Magazine

Despite her petite size, Knightley is seductively intense as the female bounty hunter. As an actress, she's been a ruthless hunter in digging after an extreme range of roles with effortless energy. -

Keira Knightley, who is great here – so young, so violent and so heartbreakingly beautiful. -

Knightley gives her just the edge she needs as the bounty hunter who can be distant yet involving at the same time -

The cast was perfectly chosen.  Knightley looked like the real Domino, and despite her small muscular frame, she credibly kicked butt -

Knightley is amazing, but when is she anything less? I enjoyed watching her in a tough girl role that isn’t wearing a corset. I would really like to see her taking on more complex roles and hopefully Domino will kick that door wide open -

The first place trophy for the most entertaining, sassy, 'alternative' actress has just been snatched out of Christina Ricci's mitts and hand delivered to the beautiful Keira Knightley via her latest role as Domino Harvey, bounty hunter -

Knightley is short-haired, hard, and mean. She shoots the gun, seduces the bad guys, and smokes the cigarette. She did a surprisingly good job in this role, perfectly conveying a character that would usually be considered a stretch from her typical roles, and thus she was uncanny in Domino’s portrayal. - Fullerton Hornet

Keira Knightley plays the films namesake to perfection. She's bratty, strong, witty and absolutely stunning - Salt Lake Globe

Knightley does a formidable job in the lead - Collegiate Times

The Jacket
Knightley's twisty but notably effective performance -

Keira Knightley is equally impressive – donning a passable American accent and gamely stripping off in the name of “art”. Or box office -

"...he becomes involved with the sullen waitress Jackie (an excellent Keira Knightley)." - San Francisco Examiner

"Knightley tweaks her wholesome image by playing a diner waitress who drinks and smokes too much to block out a tragic past. It's the kind of wounded-bird-with-tough-exterior role coveted by every young actress who wants to be taken seriously, and Knightley pulls it off. She turns this young woman into the film's lone compelling character." - San Francisco Gate

"Knightley has been impressive in almost everything she's done... and is riveting here" -

"Keira Knightley is also very good and shows another example of British actor mastering American accent." - Drax Review 

"Memorable, heartbreaking performances abound from Knightley... - "

"Brody and Knightley help director John Maybury sustain a feeling of foreboding and cosmic confusion." - JAM! Movies

Knightley... does sexy dissolution just fine - EW.COM

I would argue, too, that this is Knightley's best role to date... There's less distance from the real person here than in fanciful roles of period drama and it pays off with directness and a deeper sense of involvement for her and for us. - Filmiliar

"Knightley does wonders with a thin role, bringing character shadings and an aura of vulnerable regret..." - The Movie Boy Reviews

"This boozing, chain smoking, trashy woman played with spectacular vulgarity by Keira Knightley turns out to be Jackie Price... Knightley shows that she doesn’t need to be pretty, or even pleasant, to be an engrossing character." - BoxOfficeCritic

"And then there is Keira Knightley who taps into her character’s desperation (and American accent for that matter) with seemingly effortless grace. I’m not going to add the cliché that she is amazing for a nineteen-year-old for that is nonsense: she is amazing, full stop. Her age is irrelevant her talent is not."  - 

"Brody and Knightley strike an interesting chemistry, the best I’ve seen between Keira and any other actor." - Cinema Blend

"It is in those visions, that Starks comes across a girl from his past, played by Keira Knightley with a dark passion." - Epinions

King Arthur
As the rescued young Guinevere though, Knightley glamorously moves from wasted dungeon chic to fierce action girl in record time. She is absolutely ridiculous, and yet so chirpy that she quickly becomes the best thing about the film! -

Keira Knightley (who appears around the hour mark) has never been better. -

When Keira Knightley's Guinevere shows up in a strappy leather number, we might stifle a giggle, but we definitely don't want her to leave. -

Knightley again is attractive, but at least she does something this time around, with excellent skills with bow and arrow. I agree with some of the criticism on IMDb boards about her ability to wield the weapons she is shown using, given her size, but as above, this is not meant to be so closely thought about. Just watch and enjoy how she kicks arse! -

Keira Knightley does add a spark to the proceedings as Guinevere, mostly because of her decision to spend a good deal of her on-screen time showing off her belly button. Actually, she does bring some high spirits and energy to the proceedings and therefore, it is perplexing to discover that the movie has been running for nearly an hour before her first appearance.  -

It may be worth nine bucks to see the great young British actress Keira Knightley as a kill-crazed, blood-drenched pagan Tinker Bell, a pixie sprite with a battle ax chopping and hewing left and right. She bends it like Beckham with several pounds of cold steel and you think: Hmmm, that's a young lady with spunk!.....But if Knightley's warrior Guinevere is absolutely the best thing in "King Arthur," it's not the only delight. -

As Guinevere, Keira Knightley shows the spunk and physical strength needed to handle a tough role, while at the same time not distancing herself from her feminine wiles. -

Knightley convinces with her warrior princess ferocity and subtle political maneuvering... -

Knightley alone carves out a distinctive presence -- very feminine, with hidden reserves of deadly skill, which is rapidly becoming a trademark. When she transforms from a skinny teenage girl into a fearsome barbarian warrior, you don't doubt it for a second. -

Knightley proves once again she's a scene-stealer in desperate need of a starring vehicle.. -

She makes for a lovely, almost feral Guinevere who is willing to fight and die for the honor of her people. Knightly is not only drop-dead gorgeous but a talented actress, to boot. -

Knightley gives Guinevere a nice headstrong personality -

The actual existence of Arthur has never been proved, but as a movie with its own take on how it might have gone down, the iron charisma of Clive Owen and the beauteous Keira Knightly whose presence brings magical silver dust to the screen will get you through it. I know a movie star when I see (and adore) one -

Keira Knightley, who kick-starts debate on dear dainty Guinevere, is her usual stunning self and again shows she doesn't just play with the boys but she can beat them up, run them over and bake a pie at half-time. This girl's a true "star." -

Keira Knightley carries herself with assuredness and a confidence - Lafayette Journal

Guinevere, wonderfully portrayed by Knightley. But with the exception of a brief love scene between the two co-stars, the film steers clear of romance and Guinevere's attraction to Arthur seems more about the myth than the man. The young Knightley, however, stands her ground with the testosterone-laden cast and proves she can act, fight and look absolutely spectacular in nothing but harnesses and armbands. -

As Guinevere, Knightley steals the show. She is beautiful and ferocious, a deadly combination. Whether shooting a bow and arrow or swinging a sword, she is amazing. Knightley made her mark with "Pirates of the Caribbean" and now she seals her stardom with this magnificent role. -

It also takes Knightley, who soared creatively with Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean," too many minutes of macho screen time to join the story. Once she does, Knightley scores as a loyal, fierce Briton -

As Guinevere, Keira Knightley shows the spunk and physical strength needed to handle a tough role, while at the same time not distancing herself from her feminine wiles. It’s an interesting role for the young actress and one that expands on the role she had in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” -

As the rescued young Guinevere though, Knightley glamorously moves from wasted dungeon chic to fierce action girl in record time. She is absolutely ridiculous, and yet so chirpy that she quickly becomes the best thing about the film!  -

Knightley is fast becoming my favorite young actress, but her Guinevere lacks depth as well. She’s feisty and kicks a lot of butt just like the women in “Lord of the Rings” but we never glimpse her deepest emotions.  -

Keira Knightley stands out most visibly. After playing a tough character in Bend it like Beckham she was, taking nothing away from her performance in Pirates, the requisite "girl" in that film. In Arthur, Knightley has the chance to show off her brawn. She keeps up with the guys in this film and then some.  -

Knightley, despite a few costumes that seem far-fetched, shows plenty of spirit and gusto as Guinevere. - Springfield Journal

Keira Knightley’s waifish persona is less than entirely convincing as a tough guerrilla fighter, but she takes on her role with gusto and can’t be faulted for the effort. -

With Knightley's appearance, "King Arthur" gets the lift it's been waiting for -

Knightley has little trouble persuading one to accept the spirited future queen as an action heroine no matter how much this interpretation seems like a sop to modern tastes. Striding around in wispy gowns and skin-baring leather battle gear when the men are bundled up against the chill, the striking young actress, with darkened hair here, rivets the attention whenever she's onscreen, showing every sign of a real star in the making. -

The movie's advertising campaign concentrates on the richly photogenic young actress. Yet Ms. Knightley doesn't appear until almost midway into the film. Still, she throws herself into the physical action as befits a Bend It Like Beckham alum and registers the dramatic notes with equal accuracy. -

Knightley, too, seems exhausted by the lead-weighted dialogue and thin romance. However, she perks up when dolled in war-paint and, with very little on, romps into battle to such vivid effect you wonder why she bothered to enlist the dour Arthur in the first place. -

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl
But I was very impressed (and highly aroused) by newcomer Keira Knightley. Keira plays the role of Elizabeth and is simply wonderful. She never lets her character become just another damsel in distress and instead takes on a more heroic femme fatal type role ala Princess Leia. So sexy, yet so dangerous with a sword. Just the way I like my women. Watch out for this girl, she doesn’t have to rely on her looks alone to get a job, she’s got the talent to back it up. -

Knightley has the talent to go with her stunning looks and delivers a spunky performance that will cement her role as the ‘next big thing'. -

Also very good is Knightley, looking here like a cross between Helena Bonham Carter and Natalie Portman. She's got feisty spirit and puts Elizabeth over like a real pro amongst a mostly male, more experienced cast. -

Knightley almost steals the show with her vigor and never-say-die attitude.  -

Peta Wilson and Keira Knightley actually fare better than Bloom and West in two roles that could have been written and billed as "the hot girl who must be saved." Knightley's character tries to take control of the dire situations she is thrown in at every opportunity. She displays much of that feisty energy that made Karen Allen such a memorable component of Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark." -

Keira Knightley pouts and poses throughout, putting up a good front as the feisty English rose Elizabeth. -

Keira Knightley, fresh off her breakthrough role in Bend It Like Beckham, brings charisma and more to her portrayal of Elizabeth. All the apologists for the "girl power" in Charlie's Angels 2 should take a look at Knightley in Pirates to see what a strong female character can do. Though she's never less than feminine, she also consistently stands up to the various men in her life, and she doesn't have to take off her clothes to do it. So often, the damsel in a pirate film is mere window dressing. With Knightley, the damsel becomes a full-fledged character. -

Keira Knightley easily has 'next big thing' tattooed on her forehead as she's a bigger, better looking version of Natalie Portman, although not with the same acting chops. But she'll be going places, rest assured. -

Knightley is the perfect heroine - achingly beautiful, feisty and funny. -

For her part, Knightley in particular proves herself to be a deft comedienne. - (DVD comm'y)

Bloom has a Flynn-ish quality (if a touch goodie goodie) as Knightley's squeeze, while the young British actress (Bend It Like Beckham) appears effortlessly charismatic. -

Knightley, fresh from “Bend It Like Beckham”, is a fierce and energetic actress able to add more to her role than just being the damsel in distress. -

Knightley is a revelation. She's young, beautiful and all those things that Governor's daughters should be, but when it comes to the action, she's right in there, fearless, like a tomboy in corsets.  -

Relative newcomer Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham) proves as charming as she is lovely -

The younger co-stars, Bloom and Knightley, do a more than respectable job in drawing us into their respective plights and making us care about what happens to them. -

Knightley's delicate features clash winningly with her character's unladylike feistiness -

Keira Knightley-you may remember her as the tomboy teammate in "Bend It Like Beckham"-is also pretty memorable in a role that could have just served as window dressing; here, she is spunky and sexy enough to make her the idol of worship for both little girls and horny old men alike. -

and Keira Knightley proves herself an up-and-coming star - Tooele Bulletin

Keira Knightley is a beautiful heroine with a great abundance of spunk, adding to the films jovial nature. - Josh Gilchrist

Keira Knightley, who can swoon prettily and then pick herself up to throw some mighty punches, as a good 21st-century 18th-century heroine should. (Knightley is an uncanny hybrid: the face of Winona Ryder on the willowy frame of Jennifer Garner.)  -

Elizabeth is played by a radiant, rambunctious Keira Knightley. Knightley, who has something of Uma Thurman’s enchanting glow. Even a tightly strapped bodice can’t hold back her, um, strong personality. She makes this independent young heroine more than just the cookie-cutter feminist that has become the politically-correct anachronism of films set in the distant past. -

Knightley elevates beyond her Bend It Like Beckham soccer sidekick. These two match Depp’s whimsy with wit and humor of their own. It’s one of the true pleasures of the film -

Keira Knightley is stunningly beautiful and just devestatingly hard to watch without instantly falling in love. She has a particularly giddy scene with Jack Sparrow on a beach involving several bottles of rum which made the little freakazoid inside me fall completely in love. -

Bloom and Knightley (the latter from the recent “Bend it Like Beckham”) are attractive as the romantic leads, yet are able to make their characters more than just pawns in the love story. Bloom gets to duel, and Knightley is about as modern a heroine as one might expect in an 18th century pirate movie. - Worcester Telegram

Knightley fares better when there’s more of her and less pretense and effects -

I only found two characters to be interesting: Depp as Jack Sparrow and Knightley as Elizabeth... The bottom line is that without Depp, this film could easily have been called “The Curse of the Black Pearl Harbor.” But with his thoroughly interesting performance, some good action sequences, and Knightley, the film was able to hold my interest, enough at least for a marginal recommendation. - Norman Transcript

Keira Knightley has a strong and beautiful screen presence as the tough-willed heroine that’s going to garner her a long career.  -

Keira Knightley enchants us with her totally spunky parent-defying audacity in a career-making roll  -

Keira Knightley is nervy, charming, beautiful and tough as Elizabeth - Lafayette Journal

Also fantastic is Keira Knightley who shows a depth and range in this film that is sure to get noticed. -

One unfortunate aspect of it all is that Depp is so over the top he makes the rest of the cast seem even stiffer than they already are.. The major exception to all this is Knightley, who makes Elizabeth a very beautiful and very capable sword-fighting feminista. -

As the object of everyone’s affection, Keira Knightley is plain and simply stunning. Knightley’s a breath of fresh air. She’s got looks, talent AND the ability to hold her own against Depp, Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush. That’s quite an accomplishment for Knightley who was just 17 when she made “Pirates” and hadn’t but a few films under her belt. -

And Keira Knightley… the camera loves her. Or maybe it’s just my eyes that love her. She has an innocence about her, but she’s also got a smile that makes one think of the cat who ate the canary. When she gave out a battle cry in the movie, I got chills. Me like. -

Knightley has the looks and the brains of a Kate Winslet heroin. -

I also liked the performance of Keira Knightley, who somehow stands out in the middle of all the mayhem. This role doesn’t really call for a lot of heavy acting, but she certainly has a presence onscreen. - gamutmag

Knightley ("Bend It Like Beckham") is both funny and appealing. -

Pretty Keira Knightley, is a true heroine figure in her role, never given a sword but willing to go toe-to-toe with her pirate captors -

The young Knightley, is enchanting as Elizabeth--a sharp-witted damsel in distress who knows how to hold her own--and the 18-year-old actress also holds her own alongside such an experienced cast -

Knightley shows a lot of promise in a role that demands a precision mix of hero-luring helpless screams and pre-feminist fortitude.  -

Knightley, fresh from “Bend It Like Beckham”, is a fierce and energetic actress able to add more to her role than just being the damsel in distress.  -

Doctor Zhivago
Keira Knightley was only 16 when shooting began, but she masterfully nurtures the steely, knowing Lara to a convincing age of 32. -

"...the uncannily gorgeous Knightley and a supremely decadent Sam Neill (as her dreadful seducer) keep their characters vital."

Knightley does her best work in the drama’s first half, depicting Lara’s descent into sexual exploitation at the hands of the malevolent lawyer Victor Komarovsky, played by Sam Neill  -

"...this latest "Zhivago" benefits from fortuitous timing, with Keira Knightley as the set-upon Lara.  Whether walking the plank or plodding through the snow, she's a radiant figure and clearly equal to a role far more demanding than the average Bruckheimer production." -Variety

Although it's a supporting role, Knightley glows with the bound-for-glory newness of an emerging star. -

"Knightley plays a supporting role -- as a drug-addicted pregnant teenage waitress who comes to Paul's aid. She does a nice job." San Francisco Gate

"Eden finds a respite of sorts from his miserable home life through his strange friendship with a pregnant, heroin-smoking hooker-waitress played by a needy, desperate, surprisingly convincing Keira Knightley." -The A.V. Club

"There is also a good turn by Keira Knightley as a diner waitress..." Eric D. Snider Reviews

"Keira Knightley...she does just fine in a supporting role as a stoned waitress who fondly imagines she’s going to win back custody of her child from the state..." -LA Weekly

However, she has spunk and grit, as well as a pretty face, which makes up for a lot of shortcomings in this business. She's got undeniable screen presence, too, and shines brightly in Pure. For Knightley fans, Pure will be well worth seeing for this early performance. -

"Knightley suggests she's capable of more than sulking prettily." -BBC Films

"Filmed before Knightley scored her breakout role with Bend it Like Beckham, Pure gives the rail-thin actress a vivid part as Paul's troubled confidante, a pregnant drug addict. She's quite fine in the role, which gives Knightley the chance to show that she's capable of being more than merely a decorative presence."

"...Knightley is equally fine as the self-deluded Louise." -TV Guide

Bend It Like Beckham
Keira Knightley, as Juliette, is both beautiful - with a model's killer cheekbones - and believable in her role as an athlete. -

The leads are energetic and likable, especially Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, both of whom bring a lot of spirit to their instantly likable characters. - James Berardinelli

Also very good is Keira Knightley (looking EXACTLY like a cross between Winona Ryder and Kate Winslet), who plays "the supporting friend" with an affable spirit. -

Although Knightley is a bit too cheery/vengeful, depending on what the script calls for, and Rhys Meyers is frankly not remotely believable as a macho coach, the performances are mostly smart and sharp, making the characters convincing in a way the plot never is. -

Nagra and Knightley make a great pairing, quite believable as friends who quickly bond over common issues. -

Keira Knightley shows the potential to be the next Winona Ryder. -

Knightley is also convincingly fiery and frisky -

But Nagra and Knightley elevate the material to something much more. Their beauty, charm, and charisma translate to the audience like few actresses nowadays. - Jeremy Gable

The actors are all superb, particularly Nagra and Knightley, who work well together and make their friendship entirely believable.-

The leads are energetic and likable, especially Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, both of whom bring a lot of spirit to their instantly likable characters. -

Although the action takes place mostly with Parminder Nagra and her family, she is overshadowed by the wonderful screen presence of Keira Knightley (and her wardrobe of half-shirts), a combination of Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder, with her own additional nuances. -

Nagra and Knightley are winning and fresh in star-making performances -

Her partner in the piece, Keira Knightley, better known to me as the perfect amalgamation of Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder with a British accent, also kicked ass as the British side of the story, and brought even more breadth to the picture -

Nagra and Knightley also contribute solid performances in both of their first major roles.  -

This is a funny movie, and one that benefits from strong performances from Knightley -

Knightley is super gung-ho and perhaps a bit off-kilter but it makes her character better, rather than making her unreal. - cinerina

The two young actresses are very likeable.  I would not be surprised to see Knightley move on to bigger and better things very quickly -

Keira Knightley shows the potential to be the next Winona Ryder.  -

Chadra handles all of these ingredients well, while her biggest triumph lies in the performances she elicits from Knightley -

Bend It is pure pleasure. A lot of that has to do with its first-rate ensemble, especially the charismatic Parminder K. Nagra as Jess, Keira Knightley as her best friend -

And Keira Knightley has the face of Winona Ryder on the long, leggy bod of Jennifer Garner: It's as if she was cloned to be this year's übermodel.  -

Knightley has real charm, and her athletic good looks are perfect for the part -

Knightley has more acting talent than any six-foot tall 98lb woman I’ve ever seen on screen -

The Hole
Keira Knightley and Laurence Fox are particularly charismatic as the lusty other couple -

Keira Knightley’s (Frankie) incredible beauty somewhat overshadows her acting talent but when it came down to the nitty-gritty, she came through. -

Knightley...does a good job handling the different interpretations of her character... -Current Film

Frankie, a complete and total whore played with awesome sluttiness by Keira Knightly, -

Keira Knightley gets to do variations on the school siren Frankie. Depending on who is relating the story, Frankie can be either a vamp or a victim. -JAM!

Princess Of Thieves
The performances are uniformly terrific, especially Keira Knightley as Gwyn, whose intense effort was highly engaging.  -

The appropriately named Knightley gives an enthusiastic turn as the gamine Gwyn, but chopped hair and loose clothing cannot possibly hide her decidedly feminine visage — not even a blind man could mistake this Winona Ryder-esque beauty for a boy.  -

Keira Knightley is a fetching and talented young actress... Knightley’s sweet face and commanding delivery promise bigger things to come, and in this flick she easily holds her own.  -

"...a gorgeous lead in the young Miss Keira Knightley..."Princess" starts off strong, with Knightley's Gwyn lamenting her role as the only child of the legendary Robin Hood, who has gone off to the Crusades with King Richard." -Beyond Hollywood 

Thanks to Coren Powers for help with this compilation.

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