Is Keira Knightley’s ‘The Aftermath’ worth watching? Here’s what the reviews say

Keira Knightley’s new post-World War II period drama movie is out in UK cinemas now.

Based on Rhidian Brook’s 2013 book and directed by James Kent (Testament of Youth), The Aftermath is set in Germany in 1946.

The official synopsis reads: “Rachael Morgan arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter winter, to be reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city.

“But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter.

“In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.”

Watch the trailer:

The Aftermath also stars Jason Clarke (First Man) and Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies).

We’ve rounded up a selection of reviews to help you decide if you’d like to watch it:


“The bones of the story have been played a million times, but a talented and committed cast make this swoonsome rather than samey.” ★★★ – Empire


The Aftermath is all style and little substance but Jason Clarke saves it from being terrible.” ★★★ – The Sun


“A clunky script and a flat central romance turn what could have been a searing Second World War drama into a flawed adaptation.” ★★ – The Times


“It looks great but it lacks bite … A cynical person might summarise this movie as ‘Brief Encounter Goes to the Third Reich’.” ★★★ – The Arts Desk


“Keira Knightley’s dress is the star turn in this soapy, awkward tale of infidelity in war-ravaged Hamburg … Though its plotting becomes soapy somewhere in the first act, things eventually build to a satisfying emotional finale. Still, something is missing; the tone frustrates, caught awkwardly between lusty, full-out melodrama and thin period drama.” ★★ – The Guardian


“Throws away its historic potential, but Jason Clarke is excellent.” ★★★ –


“From the opening that crawls along like an arthritic sloth to the frantic dash for the closing credits, The Aftermath is a post-wartime love triangle drama that champions The Bleeding Obvious with every frame.” ★★ Evening Standard


The Aftermath will be released in the USA on Friday 15th March.

Rhidian Brook’s original novel is available on Amazon.