Saorise Ronan and Billy Howle star in this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel. Here, Love London Love Culture round up the reviews… 

The Guardian: *** “The movie is a muted elegy to emotional waste.”

The Independent: **** “Director Dominic Cooke (best known for his work at the National Theatre and the Royal Court) has an eye for seemingly trifling moments which reveal the couple’s mounting anxieties.”

Rolling Stone: ** 1/2 “There is a soulful core in this story of love found and lost. You just have to read the book to find it.”

The Financial Times: *** “The film’s sentimental ending is archly unconvincing — old age make-up, candied irony, artificial tears — and must have been a bow to the Popcorn Imperative. The best, before, is better, though debut director Dominic Cooke does visual more skilfully than verbal.”

The Telegraph: ** “On Chesil Beach is a non-disaster, essentially, until it falls off a cliff.”

Empire: *** “However, where the film starts to falter is in dialogue that, without the exposition of the novella, is at best stilted, at worst almost a series of non sequiturs. In some scenes it’s almost as if they are speaking in riddles. By the time apprehension turns into outright crisis, it is with a sense of detachment that you watch the calamity unfold.”

Slant Magazine: *** “On Chesil Beach abounds in unexpected details that allow Florence and Edward to gradually come to life, and the audience’s growing respect for the protagonists mirrors their escalating, mutual infatuation.”

The Wrap: “Director Cooke, to his credit, has a soft touch with McEwan, whose incisive work should have produced more top-notch movies by now. (“Atonement” was the best known, “The Comfort of Strangers” the darkest.) This is a story that begins in nervous bliss and ends in deep regret, and he makes it an uneven but moving journey.”

Culture Whisper: *** “As a standalone feature this is undoubtedly an affecting and wonderfully shot feature, but it’s unlikely to surpass Atonement as anyone’s favourite McEwan adaptation anytime soon.”

Indie Wire: “Away from the beach and away from the raw honesty it forces out of its stars, “On Chesil Beach” heads towards shallow, cold waters. Like its central characters, it never recovers.”

Radio Times: *** “But after the fireworks ignite, the film still has a way to go, muddling to a curious, pat ending that raises more questions than it answers.”

Evening Standard: ** “You can’t doubt the film’s good intentions. Its crime is the Hollywood ending. Maybe McEwan felt the book’s finale (which mentions nothing about Florence except her career) left her in emotional limbo. In correcting it he’s opted for a ridiculous form of closure.”

The Sun: **** “Saoirse Ronan acts everyone else off the screen (with the exception of a great appearance from Ann-Marie Duff) and gives this film real depth.”

Film Journal: “This is Cooke’s first time at bat and despite some serious flaws he grasps cinematic language, from his use of pulsating ’60s music as an aural backdrop (compliments of Dan Jones) foreshadowing the seismic changes that are looming, to his narrative drive and sense of time and place.”

Den of Geek: “The only thing that On Chesil Beach really fumbles is its final stretch: while the book’s closing pages are all in the thoughts and ruminations of one character, the movie makes it all too literal and utilizes some truly bad old age make-up to make it even more cringeworthy. To be fair, it’s certainly not easy to visualize any ending to this tale that works in a cinematic sense, but perhaps McEwan should have brought in another screenwriter to help him, unlike his poor protagonists, reach a satisfying climax.”