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‘One Life’ Review: One Man’s Rescue of Children in Wartime

A British stockbroker quietly saved hundreds of lives by arranging for children in Prague to escape the Nazis by leaving for foster homes in England.

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By Ben Kenigsberg

When Nicholas Winton died in 2015 at 106, his obituary in The New York Times noted that, for decades, he had been startlingly reserved about what he achieved at the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Between the Munich Agreement in 1938 and Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Winton organized a rapidly moving operation that saved 669 children, most of them Jewish, by transporting them from Prague to Britain, where they were placed with foster families.

The rescue didn’t receive wide public attention for 50 years, partly because, as the biographical feature “One Life” depicts, Winton (played by Johnny Flynn as a young man and Anthony Hopkins in scenes set later) was reluctant to acknowledge his heroism. In trying to capture this almost stoic modesty, the film, directed by James Hawes, falls into a dramaturgical trap.

“One Life” is really two movies. It looks back on the wartime actions from 1987, when Winton considers what to do about a scrapbook of photos and documents he has kept. Flashbacks to the 1930s open a window on his plan to locate Jewish children in Prague, secure visas for each of them and find them temporary families in Britain. Time, financing and bureaucracy loomed as stubborn obstacles.

The procedural complexities, and Winton’s efforts to gain the trust of the children’s parents, are compelling enough. They throw down a moral gauntlet to viewers, who must put themselves in his shoes. The motives of Winton, a British stockbroker and socialist with German-Jewish roots, are portrayed as pure altruism.

By contrast, the 1980s thread — which builds to Winton’s appearances on the BBC program “That’s Life!” in 1988 — might have played discretely as a portrait of mental compartmentalization. But intercut with the weightier wartime scenes, this strand comes across as slight and, unlike Winton, self-congratulatory.

One Life Rated PG. Running time 1 hour 50 minutes. In theaters.

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One Life Reviews

one life movie review

One Life comes across like a well-crafted, but modest TV movie, which you might remember for its story, rather than how the story is told.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | May 19, 2024

one life movie review

Winton’s determination was indeed amazing, but as the drama shows, his efforts depended on many people who did what they could to help -- many drops in an ocean of good.

Full Review | May 18, 2024

"One Life” has superior production values and is rich with visual and historical detail. Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn are extraordinary, and they are supported by a terrific cast. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by what happens.

Full Review | Apr 27, 2024

The unfussy film-making lets Hopkins do his thing. This is an actor who can summon crushing sorrow from just stillness and silence.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Apr 26, 2024

The details of pre-WWII are vividly rendered and the flashbacks, flash-forwards are effectively done. A perhaps forgotten chapter in history is recreated with much power.

Full Review | Apr 26, 2024

one life movie review

Anthony Hopkins plays Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who saved hundreds of Jewish children from dying in concentration camps in 1939 and, despite this, does not see himself as someone particularly deserving. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Apr 19, 2024

one life movie review

It’s nice when Hollywood occasionally makes a movie about an ordinary but good person and that’s the case with One Life.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Apr 16, 2024

It is a profound tribute to the belief that heroism lies within us all, resonating as a beacon of hope and action in today's times.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Apr 11, 2024

one life movie review

Winton’s wartime heroism and its emotional toll on him decades later, told in two time frames. His is an extraordinary story, with a strong payoff and stellar performances by two-time Oscar winner Hopkins and a star-studded supporting cast.

Full Review | Apr 4, 2024

It's a story worth telling and re-telling — and also one worthy of a more comprehensive treatment than One Life.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10 | Apr 3, 2024

One Life works very well -- an impeccable period reconstruction, an emotional classic narrative, and a vindicating message illuminating the altruism of a man who had everything and chose to risk it all to help others. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Mar 27, 2024

one life movie review

Sir Anthony Hopkins, in a massively nuanced performance, allows audiences inside Nicky's head and world rewinding history to the moment his life changed forever

Full Review | Mar 25, 2024

James Hawes directs the film within the margins of a BBC 'quality' production. Nothing against that, but when he defies them, the film grows, and, yes, there you can liken it to Spielberg's 'Schindler's List'. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Mar 25, 2024

What director James Hawes tells is very transcendent, but he does it academically with a tendency towards the conventional... What is difficult to ignore is the presence of the now-elderly Anthony Hopkins. [Full review in Spanish]

one life movie review

If “One Life” does anything well, it is stressing the importance of bureaucrats behaving like human beings, not as indifferent agentic state actors who do not feel personal responsibility when acting on behalf of a grander authority

Full Review | Mar 24, 2024

one life movie review

Anthony Hopkins continues to bless us with one amazing performance after another.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Mar 24, 2024

one life movie review

One Life is n example of historical storytelling that doesn’t need artificial drama to get its points across—the truth is dramatic and moving enough. Hopkins' and Flynn’s performances beautifully blend to paint a nicely crafted portrait.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Mar 23, 2024

one life movie review

Nicholas Winton is an example of what a monumental humanitarian effort can do, as quoted in the film’s post scripts, “If you save one life, you save the world.” Hopkins’ and Flynn’s passionate performances more than illuminate that message. 

Full Review | Mar 23, 2024

one life movie review

Despite the fact that this film's narrative is like a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth between 1988 and 50 years earlier, it works well. All the flashbacks provide context to the rescue operation, and to the continuing legacy of that operation.

Full Review | Original Score: B | Mar 22, 2024

one life movie review

Among the recent spate of WWII dramas about ordinary people who did extraordinary things...James Hawes’s One Life, a British film, is one of the best.

Full Review | Mar 22, 2024

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Movie Review: Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn find poignant synergy in real-life war tale ‘One Life’

This image released by Bleecker Street shows Anthony Hopkins in a scene from "One Life." (Bleecker Street via AP)

This image released by Bleecker Street shows Anthony Hopkins in a scene from “One Life.” (Bleecker Street via AP)

This image released by Bleecker Street shows Anthony Hopkins in a scene from “One Life.” (Peter Mountain/Bleecker Street via AP)

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By the time Nicholas Winton died in 2015 at the ripe age of 106, the former London stockbroker and self-proclaimed “ordinary man” had been widely recognized for his extraordinary deeds — rescuing 669 Jewish children from the Nazis, saving them from certain death.

But for most of his life, Winton’s rescue of those children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, bringing them to safety in Britain, was unknown to the public. His story was revealed dramatically on the BBC show “That’s Life!” in 1988, which introduced him, in an emotional surprise, to some of the very people he’d saved. Tears were shed and a fuss was made over this unfussy man. He was dubbed the “British Schindler,” and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Even if you didn’t know Anthony Hopkins was starring in “One Life,” the straightforward yet still moving new drama based on Winton’s tale, you’d be forgiven for assuming it the minute you learned Winton was a modest and quiet elderly man, keeping much to himself. Hopkins can play such a character in his sleep.

What he’s truly great at, though, is that moment when he finally lets the wall around him crumble and shows what he’s been feeling all along. Yes, this happens in “One Life,” and yes, you’ll likely be wiping tears along with him. The emotional payoff takes a while to arrive, but once it does in the last act of this film, you’ll have a hard time forgetting Hopkins’ face.

This photo released by Fire Department of Pardubice region shows a collided train in Pardubice, Czech Republic Thursday, June 6, 2024. A passenger train collided head-on with a freight train in the Czech Republic, killing and injuring some people, officials said early Thursday. (Fire Department of Pardubice region via AP)

Holocaust-themed movies are crucial but notoriously tricky ventures. At Sunday’s Oscars, Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” was honored for a hugely inventive approach , illustrating the banality of Nazi evil in its chilling portrayal of an Auschwitz commandant’s family life right outside the camp wall. “One Life,” directed with efficiency by James Hawes, takes a much more traditional approach, telling its story in flashback with dialogue that sometimes borders on the overly expository, but with a lovely cast and a story that begs to be told.

Hopkins is the key draw, but Johnny Flynn, the talented actor-musician, has the difficult task of channeling Hopkins as a younger man (the filmmakers chose to shoot the Hopkins scenes first, so that Flynn could then build the connective tissue between the two, something he does admirably.) And it’s a lot more than 50 years that separate the two versions of Winton. It’s the war itself. The events with younger Winton took place in 1939, as the Nazis were marching across Europe but two years before they began implementing their so-called Final Solution, the mass murder of European Jews. The elder Winton knew exactly what became of all those children he couldn’t bring to safety, and you can see it in his eyes here.

We first meet the elder Winton at home in Maidenhead, a town in southeast England. It’s 1987, and he’s staring at faded photos of children from the war. He spends his days involved in local charity work. He can’t seem to get rid of all the clutter in his study, despite the pleadings of his wife, Grete (Lena Olin), who tells him: “You have to let go, for your own sake.” He’s still trying to figure out what to do with a frayed leather briefcase, which contains a precious scrapbook full of war memories.

We flash back to 1939 London, when 29-year-old Nicky, as he’s known, who is of Jewish descent but has been raised as a Christian, resolves to leave the comfortable home he lives in with his mother, Babi (Helena Bonham Carter), to travel to Prague. He aims to help with the growing crisis caused by the influx of refugees from the Sudetenland region just annexed by Germany; he and others fear (correctly) that the Nazis will soon invade and send the Jewish refugees to camps.

In Prague, he finds desperate families and starving children, like a 12-year-old girl caring for an infant who has lost its parents. “We have to move the children,” he tells his colleagues. They say the task is too daunting. He persists, convincing a local rabbi to give him lists of children to begin the process (“I’m putting their lives in your hands,” the rabbi tells him.) Upon his return to London, aided by his spirited mother, he embarks on a furious race against time and government bureaucracy to obtain visas for the children and raise awareness in the media. “The process takes time,” an official says. “We don’t have time,” he replies.

Somehow, he manages to get the transports going, meeting the trains in London, where children are matched with foster families. (The most moving scenes in the film, until the emotional crescendo at the end, are departure scenes in Prague, with children saying goodbye to parents who must surely sense they’ll never see them again).

As the film toggles between 1939 and 1987-88, we learn that Winton managed to get eight trains of children out but not a ninth, with 250 children who were turned back once the Nazis invaded, a loss he keeps buried inside. That is, until he he meets a Holocaust researcher who happens to be married to news magnate Robert Maxwell.

That meeting ultimately leads to the climax in the television studio, faithfully recreated by Hawes, who actually once worked on that very BBC show. The scene is doubly poignant given the knowledge that some of the background actors in the studio that day were actual family members of those Winton saved. “There was not a dry eye on the set floor,” the director has said.

That’s not difficult to believe.

“One Life,” a Bleecker Street release, has been rated PG by the Motion Picture Association “for thematic material, smoking and some language.” Running time: 110 minutes. Three stars out of four.

one life movie review

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one life movie review

  • DVD & Streaming
  • Biography/History , Drama

Content Caution

One Life 2024

In Theaters

  • March 15, 2024
  • Anthony Hopkins as Nicky Winton; Lena Olin as Grete Winton; Helena Bonham Carter as Babi Winton; Johnny Flynn as Young Nicky Winton; Romola Garai as Doreen Warriner; Alex Sharp as Trevor Chadwick; Juliana Moska as Hana Hejdukova

Home Release Date

  • April 9, 2024
  • James Hawes


  • Bleecker Street Media

Movie Review

Nicky Winton, is a quiet, private man. Frankly, he’d probably be thought of as a pack rat by many people.

Nicky’s wife, Grete, certainly would shake her head knowingly if that subject came up. She’s always “gently” nudging him to sift through some of the papers and clutter he’s gathered over the years and then to get rid of some of it. There are boxes of stuff in the study, in the living room, in the bedrooms and stacked to the roofline of the tightly packed garage. Every desk drawer is jammed. Every closet crammed to capacity.

So … when Grete sets off on a bus trip to visit their very pregnant daughter, Nicky decides to do some house cleaning in her absence.

He digs out boxes. Tosses junk. Burns piles of papers. But one particular stashed-away briefcase gives him pause: The scrapbook inside that weathered and ancient bag contains documents and pictures more precious to him than nearly anything else in his long life. He started the scrapbook in 1938, some 50 years before, back when he was a quiet young man wanting to help before a looming war.

In those days, a power-hungry leader named Hitler had been given the Sudetenland in a conciliatory deal with England and France. And tens of thousands of terrified refugees had begun scurrying toward the capital of the Czech Republic.

Nicky was but a meager London broker, but he knew he had to do something to help those poor people. He wasn’t sure what, but even if it was just handing out food or filling out forms, he’d find something.

When Nicky first laid eyes on the filthy refugee camps strewn along the alleyways and streets of Prague, however, he instantly knew what his role would be: He must help the children. There were hungry children, sick children, children caring for abandoned babies. It was horrible.

Nicky declared that the kids could be transported to London. There, they could be given a place to stay, given help until the threat of looming war was past.

But everyone told him that the task too big, too complicated. It would require detailed paperwork, willing foster families, and a whopping cost of 50-pound sterling for each one.

Nicky, however, could not let it go. He must try. Just 10 kids. Or 20. Someone had to help. Most of the kids were of Jewish decent. And rumors about the Nazi’s treatment of Jews were swirling. So, Nicky started his quest.

And in 1987, a weathered and teary-eyed Nicky pages through his scrapbook. He looks closely at the pictures, the documents, the evidence of his struggles. He had saved many.

If only he could have done more.

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Positive Elements

Nicky Winton is a selfless man. He turns away praise for his actions and gives credit for the rescue mission to many others who agreed to volunteer help and money. Nicky’s mother is a valiant warrior, too, as she wades through the endless paperwork and British bureaucracy.

The film points out the many in the British Council for Refugees in Czechoslovakia put their lives in danger to help others. Some were caught up in the war and killed.

[ Spoiler Warning ] Ultimately the concerted efforts on behalf of these children the lives of 669 of them before the Nazi’s invade in force. Nicky hoped to save thousands of kids, if possible. But we find out that, by 1987, some 6,000 people owed their lives to Nicky and his valiant efforts to transport children by train and arrange foster families. He is dubbed “Britian’s Shindler” and is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Spiritual Elements

Many of the refugee children come from Jewish families. And at first, some wonder why Nicky is focusing on them, suspecting foul play. A Rabbi asks Nicky: “I wonder why someone would take on this daunting task, for people to whom he has no real allegiance, in a place where he does not belong?”

Nicky says he does have some Jewish ancestry but considers himself an agnostic. Gradually, a number of Jewish families seek Nicky out in the hope of protecting their loved ones. A woman tells him that she and her husband would sacrifice for their kids even if only one or two of the children could go to England. Safety is the principal concern, even if they never meet again. “For a mother, that is everything,” she tells Nicky. Eventually, one of the trains transporting the kids is boarded by a Nazi soldier who mockingly laughs and says, “Why does England want all these Jews?”

In 1987, Nicky’s family members gather to celebrate Christmas. In 1938, a letter comes in amidst the donations of money that reads: “REFUJEWS GO HOME!”

Sexual Content

Violent content.

When Nicky first visits the Czech refugee camp, he sees sick and coughing children, as well as one child who appears to be dead.

We don’t see it happen, but people talk of adults being secretly dragged away and potentially killed by Nazi soldiers. As a result, Nicky meets a 12-year-old girl who’s taken on the job of caring for a young infant after the child’s parents both disappear.

We hear about the Nazis’ invasion of Czechoslovakia. And soon after, soldiers raid one of the trains carrying kids. They push passengers in the train station around and then drag children and their adult chaperones roughly out of the train cars. Back in 1987, we hear that 250 children were lost after that raid. In fact, someone says that during the war, 15,000 Czechoslovakian kids were sent to concentration camps; fewer than 200 survived.

After meeting an adult in 1987 who was one of his rescued kids back in 1938, Nicky goes off by himself and weeps intensely over all the children he feels that he failed to save.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear one s-word and one use each of “d–n” and “b—tard.” People also exclaim the British crudities “crikey,” “bloody” and “bollocks.” Someone calls out, “Oh god.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

We see Nicky drinking glasses of wine, beer and harder alcohol. His mother and a good friend join him on two occasions.

Other Negative Elements

A guy buys fake passport documents to replace papers that didn’t come through, putting the holders of those papers in danger.

We live in an incredible world, with access to safety and the riches of information and technology. But oddly enough, that abundance often leaves us with a very narrow and cynical view on life.

So it’s good to find films such as One Life that remind us to pause and consider some bigger and better things.

That said, this isn’t a “big” movie. One Life is a small, intimate and surprisingly lovely film about a man who, in his youth, tried to serve others and save innocent refugee children from the horrors of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.

Frankly, that’s not the type of pic that everyone will eagerly flock to. But between Anthony Hopkins’ underplayed-but-emotional excellence and director James Hawes’ craftsmanship behind the camera, this film offers simple, poignant and tender moments that are easy to settle into. (Despite its WWII flashbacks, there are only a few perilous instances and just a dash of foul language on hand.)

We each have but one life to live. A man named Nicolas Winton used a portion of his life to save the precious lives of others. And his inspiring story is well worth two hours of ours. Who knows, it might inspire some of us to broaden our perspectives and be more like him.

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After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.

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‘One Life’ Review: Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn Spotlight the Selfless Deeds of ‘the British Schindler’

A stirring biopic covers two eras in the long life of humble British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton, who helped organize transports saving some 669 Czech and Slovak children in 1939.

By Alissa Simon

Alissa Simon

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One Life

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As the ever-modest Winton would have wanted, the film is careful to share the credit for the evacuation transports and host family placements. While he ultimately organizes and raises money from the UK, we see (albeit barely characterized) Doreen Warriner (Romola Garai), head of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia in Prague, and Trevor Chadwick (Alex Sharp), a former school teacher, doing dangerous work on the ground in the Czech capital. 

While the tense, action-oriented 1938-39 timeline is inherently more compelling because of the race to get all the moving pieces (the trains, the visas, the host families, the £50-per-child bond, medical certificates) in place to transport the children out of Prague before the Nazis enter and the borders close, the 1988 section is slower and more contemplative. Nearing 80-years-old and urged by his wife Grete (Lena Olin) to reduce some of his store of papers, Winton, who never told his family about his role in saving so many refugees, wonders what lessons the scrapbook documenting his work might offer to a wider public.

Strangely for a script based on the book “If It’s Not Impossible” by Winton’s daughter Barbara, the portrayal of Nicky’s Danish-born wife strikes an off-key note. Rather than a much-loved support, she comes across as a critical, neatnik nag. Plus, the miscast Lena Olin, almost unrecognizable under a bad wig, looks so much younger than Hopkins that one might first assume that she’s his daughter.

Why did Winton never discuss his heroic acts prior to 1988? The film sidesteps the question, but shows that its protagonist considers himself an ordinary man whose lifelong values dictate his actions. As we see when he meets his old friend Martin (Jonathan Pryce), the man who urged him to go to Prague in the first place, they are from a generation that rarely speaks about the past, much less the traumas they have seen or endured.

This, in part, is what makes Winton’s two appearances on “That’s Life!” so emotionally stirring. The past deeds that he has so long ignored reap a harvest of feelings guaranteed to draw a tear from even the hardest of hearts.

Shooting on location in both the U.K. and Czech Republic, helmer Hawes and his collaborators create strong period looks for each timeline, giving them each their own natural rhythm. Ace editor Lucia Zucchetti moves seamlessly back and forth between them while Volker Bertelmann’s attractive piano and orchestra score is never overbearing.

Reviewed online, Sept. 10, 2023. In Toronto, BFI London film festivals. Running time: 110 MIN.

  • Production: (U.K.) A See-Saw Films Production. (World sales: FilmNation Entertainment, New York.) Producers: Joanna Laurie,Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Guy Heeley. Executive producers: Simon Gillis, Eva Yates, Barbara Winton, Maria Logan, Anne Sheehan, Peter Hampden.
  • Crew: Director: James Hawes. Screenplay: Lucinda Coxon, Nick Drake, based on the book “If It’s Not Impossible” by Barbara Winton. Camera: Zac Nicholson. Editor: Lucia Zucchetti. Music: Volker Bertelmann.
  • With: Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Lena Olin, Romola Garai, Alex Sharp, Marthe Keller, Jonathan Pryce, Helena Bonham Carter. (English, Czech, German dialogue)

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‘one life’ review: anthony hopkins is in peak form in a stirring, if by-the-numbers, period piece.

James Hawes' historical drama about the effort to save children from the Holocaust co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Flynn.

By Leslie Felperin

Leslie Felperin

Contributing Film Critic

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However, even though these efforts saved not only those children but also meant they would go on and have children of their own years later, Nicky Winton still felt guilty he couldn’t save more, according to the book about him written by his daughter Barbara on which the film is based. At its best, this film can stand as a reminder that every act of kindness, every life saved, is a mitzvah one way or another.

Although he’s no linguist and doesn’t have any contacts of his own in Prague, Nicky’s special skills include his doggedness and aptitude for paperwork. He is also the one who recognizes that their most effective course of action is to focus on the children and hope they can bring out parents at a later date. Between him and his mum Babi, a force of nature designed by Bonham Carter’s performance to flatter every Jewish mother watching the film, they manage to wrangle the bureaucracy on the British end, use publicity to drum up foster families for the kids in the U.K., and above all raise money.

The whole 1938-39 section is efficiently done and uses locations in Prague, fortunately not too scathed by the war in physical terms, to add veracity, as does the casting of Czech kids. That said, the scenes of families crying and little ones looking terrified and sad at the train station get a bit repetitive. What with all the tearful goodbyes amid the locomotive steam as trains pull away, you’d almost think you were watching a film from the period.

The scrapbook ends up in the hands of the production team at That’s Life! , a BBC-made TV show anchored by broadcasting star Esther Rantzen, which offered a bizarre factual mixture of muck-raking investigation, consumer advice and home movies of pets doing funny things, like a primeval version of YouTube. Nicky is invited to come sit in the audience to see the show where they’ve promised they will discuss his wartime experience and … as they say these days, you won’t believe what happens next. The whole extraordinary scene, still deeply moving, with the real Nicky Winton, can be seen on YouTube as a matter of fact, and arguably it’s the way the film recreation mimics the moment so closely that makes it so effective.

After this emotional high point, One Life struggles to know where to go. Clearly, the filmmakers want to send the viewer out on another high, although there’s not so much to smile about as the Second World War section of the story is tied up. At least this is a case where the end credits, explaining what happened to everyone, earn their uplift.  

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One Life

Time Out says

A remarkable World War II story told conventionally but elevated by a superb Anthony Hopkins

From 1973-94, That’s Life! was a BBC TV magazine show that bizarrely toggled between consumer affairs and a so-called ‘sideways’ look at life (basically vegetables that resembled genitals). Perhaps it’s only worthwhile, deeply poignant moment – one that does the rounds on social media roughly every 4 months – features an elderly man, Nicholas Winton, who is gobsmacked to discover he is sitting in the studio audience surrounded by some of the now grown-up children he rescued from war-torn Czechoslovakia some 50 years earlier.

James Hawes’s One Life – the title is drawn from the Hebrew scripture: ‘He who saves one life saves the world entire’ – dramatises Winton’s story with a restraint that is at once admirable but perhaps hamstrings its effectiveness as a drama. Winton is often called ‘the British Oskar Schindler’. Held back by a more conservative aesthetic and emotional approach, One Life comes nowhere near the power and veracity of Steven Spielberg’s film. But it does have an ace in the hole in Anthony Hopkins, whose performance delivers a subtle but profound gut-punch.

The screenplay by Lucinda Coxon ( The Danish Girl ) and co-writer Nick Drake flits between 1938, just after the annexation of the Sudetenland, and the sedate surrounds of 1980s Berkshire. In the pre-war sections, ‘Nicky’ (played with gusto by Johnny Flynn) is a London bank worker – dogged and good with paperwork – who is drawn into the refugee crisis in Prague and forms the British Committee for Refugees to evacuate Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to London.  

Anthony Hopkins’ performance delivers a subtle but profound gut-punch

This section sees Winton, with the help of his mother back in London (Helena Bonham Carter operating at peak Helena Bonham Carter), battling red tape to find families for the kids, mixing the mundane (no film has more scenes of photographs being affixed to documents) and the over-heated (of course there is a last gasp attempt to secure a counterfeit visa). Cinematographer Zac Nicholson’s handheld camera amps up the dread and desperation, but too many tearful scenes of kids being separated from parents and shoved on to trains start to lose effectiveness.

The film is better when it switches to the ’80s and the older Winton (Hopkins), now in his ’70s, living a quiet life in the suburbs with wife Grete ( The Reader ’s Lena Olin) but still tormented by thoughts of not rescuing more than the 669 children he did save. At this point the camera calms down, Hawes having the good sense to stay on Hopkins’ face. Perhaps the most dialled-down performance the actor has given in years, Hopkins perfectly etches an arc from grief and regret towards self-forgiveness, hinting at a form of PTSD without ever over-playing his hand. By the time Winton has his epiphany in the That’s Life! studio, it’s a hard heart that isn’t moved. 

In US theaters Fri Mar 15.

Ian Freer

Cast and crew

  • Director: James Hawes
  • Screenwriter: Lucinda Coxon, Nick Drake
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Johnny Flynn
  • Helena Bonham Carter
  • Romola Garai
  • Jonathan Pryce

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Culture | Film

One Life movie review: If you don’t cry at this beautiful tribute you need medical help

Could this film bring Sir Anthony Hopkins his third Academy Award, lifting him out of the densely populated people-with-two-Oscars bracket and into the exalted company of the Streeps and the Nicholsons and the Day-Lewises?

In the end Cillian Murphy ’s prestige-y, serious-y, cigarette-y, weight loss-y turn as Robert J Oppenheimer will most likely thwart him. And it won’t help that One Life does, with its syrupy strings and somewhat grey palette, undeniably have more than a hint of BBC TV drama about it.

But by God this is a superb performance: one in which Hopkins, as Nicholas Winton, imbues every frame he is in with warmth and wit and sadness and charming British eccentricity. He switches effortlessly between moments of genuine, laugh-out-loud levity (including a wonderful use of ‘twit’ when describing a newspaper editor) and what are by far the most moving scenes in any film this year. Honestly, anyone who doesn’t blub their way through the entire last half an hour should be checked for a pulse on the way out.

It helps that the story is such a remarkable one: Nicholas Winton was a well-to-do stockbroker who, at the start of the Second World War, is so horrified by unfolding events that he heads off to Prague to do something, anything, he can to help the terrified young refugees fleeing Hitler. People – including his mother, played by Helena Bonham-Carter – think he is crazy. But he somehow manages to organise visa and trains and get hundreds of mainly Jewish children to safety in the UK; what has since become known as the Kindertransport.

Then in 1988 as an old man, he is reunited with many of the people whose lives he saved on an episode of That’s Life, where they get to finally thank him for all that he did. Winton was sometimes called the British Oskar Schindler, and the parallels go beyond their acts of extreme kindness: both men were completely consumed by the task they undertook and never able to focus on the people that they did save, only those that they failed to save.

one life movie review

Johnny Flynn is great as the younger Winton, weaving his way through frenetic, terrifying scenes of the actual evacuations. Yet even though he and Hopkins share the film’s running time almost equally, it is the latter’s scenes that cut deepest and which will live longest in the memory of everyone who sees them. It is, unquestionably, Hopkins’s film.

And of course it is also one that, with all that is happening in Israel and Palestine, now has added resonance: a reminder that, as leaders of regimes launch threats and missiles at each other, it is innocent people – and often innocent and very young people – that will pay the prince.

One can only pray that there are more Nicholas Wintons in the world right now, desperately doing anything they can to get them to safety, performing similar acts of madness-slash-kindness that the world probably won’t know about for a long time. And hope that when their stories are discovered, films as beautiful as this one are made about them.

One Life is released in the UK on January 5, 2024

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The kids are alright: emmy contender “girls state” shows (functioning) democracy in action, ‘one life’ review: anthony hopkins in the moving and inspiring story of one man who saved 669 children in 1938 and kept it secret for 50 years.

By Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond

Awards Columnist/Chief Film Critic

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One Life

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one life movie review

Now a new film, One Life , which premiered in September at the Toronto Film Festival, and is now being released this week in North America, dramatizes it by spanning two distinct time periods – 1938 when it all took place and 1988 when the world finally learned about it. That is where this film starts as we meet Winton ( Anthony Hopkins ), then 79 years old before going into flashbacks to tell the story of the young man when he was 29 ( Johnny Flynn plays the younger version) and on vacation where he discovered the plight of Czechoslovakian refugees living in dire circumstances as Hitler was on the precipice of invading the country and war could soon break out.

In 1988, without Winton’s knowledge, he was lured into a BBC TV studio where the audience would be full of the now much older people who were on those trains but never knew the man who saved them because he never talked about it. If tears don’t come rolling down your face during this amazing reunion you are not human. It would lead to the kind of instant fame he never asked for and knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.

With a screenplay based on Winton’s daughter Barbara’s book, If It’s Not Impossible…The Life Of Sir Nicholas Winton , the story has been adapted by screenwriters Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake, and directed by first time feature filmmaker James Hawes, known for his extensive work in television, who tells Winton’s tale with admirable restraint and limited sentimentality, a task made much easier by the casting of Hopkins who simply inhabits this modest man who made a difference in this world by way of his own humanity. Flynn is completely credible in taking on the younger Winton, and is supported, as was Winton himself, with some remarkable people who joined him in this seemingly impossible quest. They include Alex Sharp as Trevor Chadwick who had unique skills, including some necessary forging of travel documents and other ways around the Nazi command, and Romola Garai as the indispensible and well organized Doreen Warriner who knew how to get the impossible done, along with Winton’s indefatiguable mother played with spark by Bonham Carter. Lena Olin as Winton’s wife Grete is also very fine here.

Winton, like Oskar Schindler, was one of the rare ordinary heroes in a time of unimaginable horror who stepped up to prove every life is precious and worth herculean efforts to save. This film, like Spielberg’s Schindler’s List 30 years ago is testament to that fact, and a reminder that heartbreaking stories like this are still happening to families around the world.

Volker Bertelmann’s tender score adds just the right touch to this excellent film that should not be missed. Producers are Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Joanna Laurie, and Guy Heeley.

Title: One Life Distributor: Bleecker Street Release Date: March 15, 2024 Director: James Hawes Screenplay: Lucinda Coxon, Nick Drake Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Helena Bonham Carter, Alex Sharp, Romola Garai, Lena Olin Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hour and 49 minutes

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'One Life': Anthony Hopkins magnificent as a man who kept his WWII heroism under wraps

Covering two stages of nicholas winton’s life, inspirational british biopic also depicts how he smuggled 669 jewish children out of prague..

At a TV taping, Nicholas Winton (Anthony Hopkins) learns he's sitting next to a woman (Henrietta Garden) he had saved when she was a child in "One Life."

At a TV taping, Nicholas Winton (Anthony Hopkins) learns he’s sitting next to a woman (Henrietta Garden) he had saved when she was a child in “One Life.”

Bleecker Street

If you Google “Sir Nicholas Winton TV show,” you’ll be a click away from a YouTube clip from a 1988 episode of the BBC talk show “That’s Life” in which the man who organized the rescue of some 669 children in World War II was honored by the host and was informed that the woman sitting next to him in the studio audience was one of the people he had helped save. The host then said, “May I ask, is there anyone in our audience tonight who owes their life to Nicholas Winton?”, at which point two dozen people in the stands stood up.

Little wonder the clip has some 42 million views; it’s an iconic television moment, sure to move your heart. Now comes the inspirational and unabashedly sentimental biopic “One Life,” which tells the story of the events that led to that TV clip.

Anthony Hopkins turns in yet another world-class performance as the older Nicholas Winton in the late 1980s, and Johnny Flynn rises to the challenge of playing the younger Nicholas in the flashback sequences that are set in the late 1930s and make up roughly half the film.

Director James Hawes and screenwriters Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake (adapting a biography of Winton written by his daughter, Barbara) find just the right balance in toggling back and forth between the urgent and tense scenes in the Europe of the 1930s and the portrait of Nicholas in his later years, when he is finally ready to share his previously unknown story with the world.

This is every inch the prestige Brit biopic, from the use of certain visuals as transitions to the lush and rousing music by Oscar-winning composer Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka (“All Quiet on the Western Front”) to the sometimes heavy-handed messaging in the dialogue, but the story of the man who came to be known as “The British Oskar Schindler” is deserving of the reverent biography treatment, and who better than Anthony Hopkins to tell us that story?

“One Life” opens with Hopkins’ Nicholas, a retired stockbroker, enjoying a comfortable life at a lovely home in Maidenhead, England, in 1987, with his wife Grete (the always wonderful Lena Olin), who gently gets on Nicholas’ case about finally clearing out the clutter in his office, which has spilled into other areas of the home. Also: It’s time for Nicholas to decide what he’s going to do with the scrapbook inside an old leather briefcase — the scrapbook that contains photos and newspaper articles and records pertaining to the 669 Jewish Czech children he and his colleagues saved from the Nazis just before all hell broke loose in Prague. Surely, a museum or a library would be interested?

  • ‘The Father’: Anthony Hopkins at the peak of his powers as a man losing grip on reality

Cut to 1938, with Johnny Flynn as the young Nicholas Winton, a successful broker at the London Stock Exchange who heads to Prague to see if there’s anything he can do to help with the efforts to help families who are trying to leave before Hitler invades. When Nicholas arrives at the emergency aid organization run by Doreen Warriner (Romola Garai), Trevor Chadwick (Alex Sharp) and Marta Diamontova (Antonie Formanová), they’re almost amused by his naivete as Winton makes noise about raising the funds and obtaining the paperwork to facilitate the evacuation of hundreds of children — but they’re soon all-in. They risk their lives and work tirelessly to eventually fill eight trains with children who will have to pass through Nazi-occupied territory to make it to Britain. (Helena Bonham Carter is a force as Winton’s mother in London, who is of course deeply worried about her son taking so many chances but supports him every step of the way.)

Johnny Flynn plays young Nicholas Winton, filling trains with Jewish children to cross Nazi-occupied territory to safety in Britain in 1938.

Johnny Flynn plays young Nicholas Winton, filling trains with Jewish children to cross Nazi-occupied territory to safety in Britain in 1938.

Winton, like Schindler, is consumed with doing everything he can to save as many lives as possible — but it’s the ones he couldn’t protect that haunt him. Just as the ninth train is about to leave the station, the Nazis arrive and commandeer it, and we know those children and their guides will almost certainly never be seen again.

Johnny Flynn portrays the young Nicholas as a mild-mannered but fiercely determined and self-described “ordinary man” who does extraordinary things in a time of crushing intensity, while Hopkins conveys Nicholas’ gratitude for a long and prosperous life — the love between Winton and Grete is so beautifully portrayed — and anguish of memories from a half-century earlier.

I’ll leave it to the film to outline how Winton comes to be on that TV show and say only that the depiction of events adheres quite closely to the true story. At the age of 86, Anthony Hopkins remains at the top of his game; as his work in “One Life” reminds us, he’s one of the finest actors in the history of film.

Mark Kotlick Calumet Fisheries.jpeg

'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins Is Excellent in Powerful Adaptation


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The Big Picture

  • Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn deliver excellent portrayals of Nicholas Winton at different stages of his life.
  • The film pays homage to Winton's colleagues and mother, highlighting their pivotal roles in the mission's success, while keeping the story grounded and simple, allowing the powerful details to speak for themselves.
  • The thoughtful creative decisions do justice to a story about the importance of protecting the vulnerable.

"Don't start what you can't finish." In One Life , protagonist Nicky Winton (the younger version played by Johnny Flynn and an older version played by Anthony Hopkins ) hears this advice before embarking on his most altruistic mission: saving Jewish children under precarious living conditions before the Nazis take over Prague near World War II. Although this task seemed impossible at the time, Winton didn't take "no" for an answer, and his decision resulted in over 669 children being redirected to foster care homes and protected by the British people before the war broke out. Based on a true story written by real-life Winton's daughter, Barbara Winton , it is a sensitive portrayal of a humanitarian hero who never saw himself that way .

Nicholas Winton does everything he can to rescue as many Jewish children from Czechoslovakia before the German invasion in World War II. After 50 years, he is honored by the survivors in a televised emotional event, bringing peace to the man who only wished he could have done more. 

Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn Are Each Excellent as Nicholas Winton

Nicholas Winton is the heart of this project directed by James Hawes , and the actors who portray the character on the big screen are likewise. One Life introduces Hopkins as the present-day version of Winton, a man who clings to the past and is constantly haunted by the children he didn't get to save instead of focusing on the lives he did. The two-time Academy Award winner embraces the quietness, vulnerability, and even cheeky aspects of Winton's personality as he tries to let go of all the boxes containing files from his time as a member of the British Committee for Refugees in Czechoslovakia. Winton manages to clear up his office space, but he still holds onto a scrapbook containing vital information about the children who were successfully able to flee Prague before it was too late. As he tries to find a new home for the scrapbook, ideally a place where it will serve an educational purpose instead of just accumulating dust in a library, Winton eventually uncovers what happened to a lot of the children who were impacted by his and his team's mission.

As previously mentioned, Hopkins is excellent in his depiction of the humanitarian in his later years , but it is important to take note of Johnny Flynn's just as impeccable portrayal of the protagonist at a younger age. Although there is a clear physical resemblance between the two actors, their similar mannerisms and presence on-screen help viewers to grow accustomed to the time jumps from 1938 to 1988 throughout the film. In addition to their portrayal of the main character, the inclusion of props such as visas, family pictures, and set design that were authentic to the time frames depicted in the film helped to tell this story movingly. It is clear how the attention to detail from Hawes and the production team elevate this project, especially when it came to recreating the BBC "That's Life" segment with real-life people who were impacted by Winton's mission.

The camera moves also allow the film to help audiences distinguish the events from 1938 to 1988 . During flashbacks to Winton's younger years, the scenes seemed to have been shot with handheld cameras, giving an inside glimpse into the chaos of getting children outside of Prague with the right documentation and making sure that they would have a home once landing in England. These scenes clash with those set in 1988 because the shots are often still, showing that Winton's life has settled down, and he is no longer in a rush to save people.

The Film's Ensemble Show That Winton Is Not the Only Savior in 'One Life'

Helena Bonham Carter in 'One Life'

Although the film is centered on Winton's life story, honoring his accomplishments that were left unnoticed for many years, he isn't the only hero here . If it weren't for Winton's colleagues Trevor ( Alex Sharp ), Doreen Warriner ( Romola Garai ), and Betty Maxwell ( Marthe Keller ), the plan wouldn't have left the page. In addition to these pivotal members of the British Committee for Refugees in Czechoslovakia, Winton wouldn't have known how to begin to make his mission a reality without his mother's hands on deck. Babette Winton, phenomenally played by Helena Bonham Carter , is the one who contacts the authorities to find out what were the required documents to help the children flee Prague. She also supports him throughout the entire process of getting all the visas and foster families sorted out.

Winton later on gets help from his friend Martin Blake ( Jonathan Pryce ) when he tries to find a new home for his scrapbook. Although Hopkins and Pryce only have one scene to reunite after their work onscreen in The Two Popes , their interaction in the film is fundamental to Winton's journey to reconnect with some of the kids who were saved before the war. Given that One Life is based on a true story, it can be really easy for the script to be drama-infused and Oscar-bait, but this film coasts on its simplicity . Like Winton himself, the film doesn't brag about its qualities but displays them as they are. Director James Hawes doesn't have to do a lot to translate the story from page to screen. Having the right cast selection for each role (especially that of Winton) and being attentive to keeping props, set design and people involved in the project that have been directly affected by Winton is enough to make everything work here in a seeming way.

As a whole, One Life is a successful example of how to do a film that works best in keeping things simple and letting the details speak for themselves. Winton was an ordinary man, who chose to do something extraordinary for the good of humankind at a historically divisive moment. He and his team made sure to help children not to get something out of it, but to protect the vulnerable and have compassion for the less fortunate. The film has the power to bring its audience to tears because the story is powerful, and the thoughtful creative decisions do justice to it.

Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, and Helena Bonham Carter on One Life film poster

Led by an excellent Anthony Hopkins, One Life is a powerful adaptation that does right by its historical heroes.

  • Anthony Hopkins perfectly embraces the quietness, vulnerability, and even cheeky aspects of Winton's personality.
  • Johnny Flynn is also impeccable, capturing the mannerisms and presence necessary to bridge the gap between the two points in time.
  • Everything from the production design to the casting ensures the film thrives in its simplicity.

One Life is now available to stream on VOD in the U.S.


  • Movie Reviews
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Helena Bonham Carter

one life movie review

‘One Life’ movie review: Anthony Hopkins brilliant in story of ‘British Schindler’ Nicholas Winton

  • February 1, 2024
  • ★★★★ , Movie Reviews


Anthony Hopkins gives an unforgettable performance as Sir Nicholas Winton in the emotionally devastating One Life , which filmed in and around Prague in 2022 and opens in Czech cinemas this weekend ahead of a theatrical release in the United States from March 15. This disarmingly straightforward tale of an average man who helped save hundreds of lives is at first quietly moving, and ultimately devastating. Bring some tissues.

One Life stars Hopkins as Winton in 1987, living a modest life at an English cottage, collecting change for children’s charities and items donated to humanitarian organizations. Wife Grete ( Lena Olin ) urges Nicky to do some cleaning up before she embarks on a vacation, and especially in an overflowing study that houses documents including a 50-year-old scrapbook that stirs some memories.

Following the German annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, London stockbroker Winton (played by Johnny Flynn in flashbacks) takes a humanitarian trip at the behest of friend Martin Blake ( Ziggy Heath , and later Jonathan Pryce ). In Prague, Winton visits makeshift camps filled with Jewish refugees, including families with young children who may not survive the upcoming winter.

The British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia had been assisting refugees in efforts to emigrate to Britain, but the process is slow, and time is precious as the threat of war hangs in the air. Winton urges humanitarian workers including Trevor Chadwick ( Alex Sharp ) and Doreen Warriner ( Romola Garai ) to do everything they can to help the children, even if it means separating them from their families in order to transport them as soon as possible.

The rescue efforts as depicted in One Life are unusually modest, and don’t involve clashes with Nazi guards or underground subterfuge but instead photographs, stamps, and lists of names. Winton must convince both sides to cooperate: in Prague, families must give up their children and potentially their Jewish heritage, and in London, bureaucrats must expedite the visa process and foster parents must be located and kick in a £50 fee.

One Life is at its finest during quiet scenes of humanitarian appeal, including a moment when Winton’s mother ( Helena Bonham Carter ) tells an official about how she raised her son to do the right thing, and is simply asking him to follow suit. Winton and the others ultimately managed to save 669 children, mostly Jewish, though a final train carrying an additional 250 never made it out of Prague.

But interestingly, One Life is not as interested in the rescue efforts as it is in careful observation of this man, 50 years later, as he carries on with life amid memories of saving many, but not all. Working from a screenplay by Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake , director James Hawes takes careful note of how Winton uses a misplaced button to pay for a train ticket, or grabs for a dinner mint before meeting an old friend. In one of his most quietly restrained performances, Hopkins is brilliant in conveying a lifetime of regret but also hope and humanity through a largely nondescript exterior.

One Life makes for a fascinating counterpart to Jonathan Glazer’s Oscar-nominated The Zone of Interest , which stunningly depicted the day-to-day life of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his family as they go about their lives next to the camp, ignorant of the not-so-distant screams and roaring furnaces beyond their walls.

Where The Zone of Interest so precisely depicted what Hannah Arendt termed ‘the banality of evil’, One Life showcases the opposite: the banality of kindness. In depicting Winton in such modest and unassuming manner, the film reminds us that his heroism was not special some trait intrinsic to his character, but something that exists within us all.

Critics that met One Life with warm but muted praise after its premiere at fall film festivals last year may not be wrong in their assessment of the film’s artistic merit, but they may also be missing the point. This is not a story about great suffering and inhumanity, but a simple one about a single kind person. Much like its hero, One Life represents a quiet appeal to do good in this world, and on that level it will deeply resonate with almost anyone who has the pleasure of seeing it.

At the Czech premiere of One Life in Prague’s Kino Světozor , a humbled audience of hundreds stayed seated long after the credits rolled and the lights turned up. Nicholas Winton ‘s story has been done justice here, and deserves to be spread as far as possible.

  • 2023 , 2024 , Adrian Rawlins , Alex Sharp , Anthony Hopkins , Antonie Formanová , Daniel Brown , Emily Laing , Ffion Jolly , Helena Bonham Carter , Henrietta Garden , James Hawes , Joe Weintraub , Johnny Flynn , Jonathan Pryce , Julia Westcott-Hutton , Juliana Moska , Kiana Klysch , Lena Olin , Lucinda Coxon , Marthe Keller , Martin Bednár , Matilda Thorpe , Michael Gould , Nicholas Winton , Nick Blakeley , Nick Drake , One Life , Romola Garai , Samantha Spiro , Samuel Finzi , Stuart Whelan , Tim Steed , Tom Glenister , Ziggy Heath


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

One response.

Thank you for this beautiful review of a very moving film. I am very touched to hear that the audience at the Pragure premiere remained seated after the film ended, in silent recognition. My husband and I and other audience members did the same here in Pennsylvania today, listening to the music, controlling our emotions. It was moving to see the appeal to assist refugees at the end of the rolling credits.

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one life movie review

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True hero story One Life reflects its real-life subject: humble, noble, deserving of your attention

Liam Maguren

BAFTA-nominated director James Hawes ( Slow Horses ) casts the great Anthony Hopkins as real-life hero Nicholas Winton in One Life , a retelling of the British humanitarian’s story. As Liam Maguren praises, the film is much like the man himself: humble, noble, and deserving of your attention.

One Life (2023)

One Life (2023)

Apple TV Store

When you write about film for over a decade, you’ll inevitably feel jaded about film itself at some point—especially during awards season. After seeing so many by-the-numbers historical dramas and formulaic biopics gagging for a trophy, you’ll find yourself signing your soul to the devil in exchange for an Oscar bait title that dares to do something daring with its narrative. Or its production. Or its cinematography. Or its film editing. Anything to release you from the prison of cinematic monotony.

One Life isn’t that kind of daring film. It’s something rarer. It’s the type of historical biopic that tells its story straight, without flash but with clear purpose, in a manner so fitting, that it’s difficult to conceive of a better way to convey this real-life tale. Or this real-life hero.

Anthony Hopkins embraces the film’s unshowy ethos as the older version of British humanitarian Nicholas Winton, reflecting on his younger years when he essentially pencil-pushed his way to saving hundreds of Jewish children from rising Nazi Germany. Hopkins skillfully employs a doddering demeanour and mousey mannerisms to quietly showcase a man who didn’t—or perhaps refused to—recognise what he achieved, too distracted by lingering questions left unanswered for decades.

one life movie review

Playing Hopkins’ double is no easy feat but Johnny Flynn convinces as the younger Winton, more through character consistency than dramatic flair. Just as mousy but with battery packs full of youthful vigour, we see this Winton taking time off from his job as a stockbroker to visit—and witness—the horror unfolding in Prague. Almost instinctively, Winton commits himself to the cause, banding alongside the other humanitarians and offering his powers of pragmatics to secure the visas, funding, and foster families needed to help the children escape.

While most World War II films feature soldiers fighting Nazis, One Life presents a war hero wrestling British bureaucracy. With his employer constantly asking when he’ll be done with this save-the-children nonsense, the hoops Winton must jump through increase dramatically—and then set alight—the moment he returns to Britain and its stone-faced government. With so many young lives on the line, seemingly rudimentary processes—signing papers, appealing to the public, waiting in a lobby for some suited snob to give you five minutes of his time—carry a compelling amount of tension knowing what’s at stake, thickening even more as Winton’s promises look emptier by the day.

one life movie review

These flashback sequences carry the basic story across the line. However, the moments with Hopkins’ Winton reveal the true emotional heft of those actions. If you’re not familiar with the famous That’s Life segment teased in the trailer, prepare to have your tear ducts wrung out. Even if you are familiar with that historical moment in television, that might not save your box of Kleenex from total annihilation. My cinema was sob-sniffing for a solid 10 minutes.

There are numerous reasons why One Life ‘s climax works so well. Partial credit goes to the real That’s Life for creating the inspired segment (though, as the film acknowledges, they somewhat wrongly ambushed Winton during the first record). There’s also the hovering thematic weight of the value of life, a quality multiplied by the decades of time passed, that presses down on the heart in this one moment.

But above all else, Hopkins, as masterful as ever, lulls the audience into a false sense of security with his tightly composed ordinary-man performance. That quiet quality permeates throughout the film, creating an emotional baseline for the conclusion to pole vault over. In this way, One Life is much like Winton himself: humble, noble, and not out for an award, but wholly deserving of your attention.

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One Life Review

One Life

01 Jan 2024

For those old enough to remember, a particular 1988 episode of That’s Life! , hosted by Esther Rantzen, was an iconic moment in British television history. Nicholas Winton, the man who rescued 669 Czech-Jewish children from the threat of Nazi Germany, was given a poignant reunion with the children he managed to save, many of whom made up part of the studio audience.

James Hawes’ One Life is a solid retelling of the events which led to that historic TV moment, although his feature-film debut, despite its parallels with conflicts happening today, doesn’t match the emotional heights of Rantzen’s show. The safe and conventional filmmaking here almost derails the intended power and importance of Nicholas’ achievements. But at least it offers a notable takeaway on how the ordinary can accomplish something extraordinary.

One Life

Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake’s script splits its efforts between Maidenhead, 1987, and London, 1938. Tasked by his wife Grete (Lena Olin) to clear out his old things and let go of the past, the older Winton (Anthony Hopkins) — a hoarder extraordinaire — rediscovers his old scrapbook. He begins reminiscing about his pre-war efforts, when the young Winton (Johnny Flynn) visited Prague and had a life-changing experience, witnessing children in refugee camps, living in inhospitable conditions. Cue visas, trains, fundraising, record-keeping and cutting through the legal red tape to get the youngsters out of the country as the threat of war looms.

Hopkins delivers a heartfelt and sincere performance

Coxon and Drake keep things light and simple, opting for a formulaic approach heavily reliant on an emotionally stirring third act. However, such a move doesn’t always do its two-pronged storyline justice. The plot — a surface-level dramatisation at best — suffers from missed opportunities to meaningfully explore the psychological impact of the rescue, not just from Nicholas’ point of view, but also the eyes of others who were instrumental in the evacuation. Thanks to their lack of on-screen development, Romola Garai’s Doreen and Alex Sharp’s Trevor, the film’s major supporting characters, end up the biggest casualties left on the sidelines.

In spite of such shortcomings, One Life finds its strength through Anthony Hopkins. An actor whom you can always depend on, Hopkins delivers a heartfelt and sincere performance, capturing the melancholic gravity behind Winton’s pain, grief and regret over not accomplishing more. You feel that weight and nuance whenever he studies an old photograph or attempts to share his story with the press, making that powerful and cathartic conclusion worthwhile. Flynn is equally impressive as his younger counterpart. It’s in these performances that One Life really comes to life.

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One Life

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‘One Life’ Review: Anthony Hopkins Is Devastating in British Prestige Biopic with Silly Script

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Editor’s Note: This review was originally published at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Bleecker Street will open “One Life” in select theaters March 15, 2024.

What sets Anthony Hopkins as Sir Nicholas Winton aside from Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game” and Eddie Redmayne as Steven Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” is that while these two men are known for their scientific inventions, Winton acted from an instinctive desire to do something humane. 

James Hawes, a British TV director whose most notable credits are two episodes of “Black Mirror” (“Hated in the Nation” and Smithereens”) moves cautiously into the film-o-sphere with a kid-gloves handling of the story of Sir Nicholas Winton. His film intercuts between two timelines: in 1938, Winton, a mild-mannered stockbroker played by Johnny Flynn, feels the acute peril on a visit to Prague and forms the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia (BCRC) to evacuate Jewish children to London, saving 669 lives; in 1987, Maidenhead, Anthony Hopkins plays a sharp-humored yet preoccupied man who has never forgiven himself for the children he did not have time to bring across. This timeline builds up to a moment in media history, restaging an overwhelming episode of “That’s Life!,” a daytime BBC TV consumer affairs show, in which the previously anonymous Winton became a national hero in the course of minutes.

The undeniably moving nature of Winton and his associates’ deeds swell the narrative with rich emotional currents, however the film’s bid for consistent quality is kneecapped by a ridiculously on-the-nose script. Unobtrusively accurate period detail, rendered by production designer Christina Moore, becomes a backdrop for silly back-and-forths. A key scene for the brand new BBRC takes place in a bar where pleasingly drab costumes only means that dialogue pops like a cartoon animal’s speech bubble.

The subject of conversation is whether the British people will respond to a newspaper advert looking for adoptive parents for the refugee children. “You have a lot of faith in ordinary people,” someone says to Nicholas. ”I do, because I am an ordinary person,” he counters. Soon they are toasting to “an army of ordinary people” and the film’s outlook is announced with all the subtlety of a blow to the head.

one life movie review

The push-and-pull between what is lissom and enjoyable and what is clumsy and jarring extends to the edits between timelines, as Hawes chooses cliched images (reflective surfaces, diving into a pool) to cut between Johnny Flynn and Anthony Hopkins. This does a disservice to the performances which achieve great coherence. Both men have clearly studied the real Winton. While Flynn is not given the chance to deliver emotional pay-offs, he sets up the character’s diffident persona and quiet convictions, proving that he has the versatility to play a repressed, still-water-run-deep gentleman, as well as his stock-in-trade: sexy dirtbags and tortured artists (“Beast” and “Stardust”).

The “That’s Life!” scene when it arrives is too, too much. The film has no curiosity over, or desire to interrogate, the ethical implications of emotionally ambushing a private man in such a public setting. Instead, it restages what went down, verbatim, as a handy climax which offers a moment of transformation and a personal outlet for Winton, handled with typical small beauty by Hopkins. Much as a hungry child will salivate on seeing a chocolate bar, so the circumstances depicted yank at the heart strings with something approaching brutality. The film’s faith in ordinary people extends to a belief that we will adopt child refugees, but a belief that we can interpret art is a bridge too far.

“One Life” premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

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One Life: Anthony Hopkins, indisputable great, gets one more chance to show us what he can do

The master of introverted distraction plays the real-life nicholas winton, who rescued 669 endangered children from czechoslovakia before the nazi invasion.

one life movie review

One Life divides itself between Winton’s time in retirement and his experiences organising escape for refugees in prewar Prague. Photograph: Peter Mountain

This moving if by-the-book true-life saga has taken an unusual route to the big screen. It seems unlikely One Life would exist without a 1988 segment on the BBC magazine show That’s Life, much viewed on YouTube, that invited Nicholas Winton an elderly London stockbroker, to discuss his rescuing of 669 endangered, mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia before the Nazi invasion. It transpired that, unknown to Winton, the audience was packed with grown survivors. One by one, they stood and thanked their benefactor.

James Hawes’s drama, coproduced by BBC Films, approaches that incident with caution. We get Samantha Spiro as a version of Esther Rantzen. We hear Winton, played by a predictably untouchable Anthony Hopkins, earlier watching the show (famous for dogs saying “sausages”) without much enthusiasm. But it doesn’t deny the emotional kick of the segment. Without it, Winton, who died in 2015 at 106, might have remained in suburban obscurity.

One Life divides itself between Winton’s time in retirement and his experiences organising escape for refugees in prewar Prague. The earlier sections are handled with a clean efficiency that (understandably enough, given the building horror) holds back from any effort at realism. The handsome Johnny Flynn plays the younger Winton as an initially befuddled, self-described socialist who, after realising the dilemma, brings considerable organisational skills to bear on scissoring away yards of red tape. Romola Garai does good no-nonsense as the equally assiduous Doreen Warriner. Helena Bonham Carter continues to have a good middle-age – who is now better at playing indomitable posh ladies? – as Winton’s supportive mother. “Hampstead!” she snaps when a foreign-office official, noticing her German accent, wonders where she’s travelled from.

It is all shot in a too-tasteful light that falls on theatrically muddied children, but audiences are intelligent enough to fill in the gaps. We are again reminded of how so many in Europe realised the clock was ticking to catastrophe in the last days of the 1930s. It is an exciting tale, even if we know the conclusion.

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One Day is, however, at its best in the later sequences. Few actors have continued to deliver such good work so deep into their ninth decade. Eighty-six on New Year’s Eve, Hopkins is still a master of introverted distraction – the midsentence pause as he appears to spot something fascinating on the tip of his shoe. He is currently playing a robot in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. He is about to play the eponymous psychoanalyst in Freud’s Last Session. Here he gets to anatomise a very English class of uncomplicated decency. As we begin, the former City of London man is counting the change from charity collection boxes as news emerges of the 1987 stock-market crash. “Deregulation!” he mutters disapprovingly.

The story finds Winton cleaning up a disordered office and wondering what to do with a scrapbook containing details of the evacuation. After a conference with Robert Maxwell’s grand widow – the soon-to-be-disgraced Mirror owner was himself a Czech emigre – the documents end up with That’s Life, and his belated fame is assured. What sets the film apart from movie-of-the-week true stories are Winton’s efforts to process the long-suppressed traumas of those months in Prague. Who was left behind? How much more could be done? There is little of this in the script, but Hopkins conveys it all in his lowered gaze and his stuttered hesitancy. Lena Olin is touching as his supportive wife. Jonathan Pryce has a decent role as one of the few surviving colleagues from the rescue.

One Life breaks no new cinematic ground. But it tells a story worth hearing. And it allows an indisputable great one more chance to show us what he can do.

One Life is in cinemas from New Year’s Day

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist


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One Life (2024) Review

An ongoing struggle to save them all.

Ridge Harripersad

The biographical drama film One Life, directed by James Hawes ( Slow Horses, Black Mirror ), originally premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September 2023 and did not hit theatres in the United Kingdom until January 1, 2024. Finally, it will be released on March 15, 2024, across North America. The movie is based on the biographical book “If It’s Not Impossible…The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton” written by the late daughter of Sir Nicholas Winton , Barbara Winton.

The opening of One Life began with Anthony Hopkins ‘ older depiction of British stockbroker Nicholas Winton in 1987. It showed how he lived with his wife—a quiet, quaint life in the suburbs. He contemplated cleaning out his office full of thousands of papers, later to be revealed it was his work on saving refugee children at the start of World War II. While his wife went away on a trip, he drifted through memories of the past—really fixated on a briefcase marked with letters “T.C.” on it.

One Life (2023) Review

The past storyline followed 29-year-old Nicholas as he visited Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1938. During this time, many refugees from neighbouring countries escaping Nazi Germany’s rule were harboured in Prague. Nicholas witnessed the poor living conditions for refugees living here and immediately wanted to bolster support to get the children out of the city by train before Adolf Hitler’s forces closed the borders.

The lack of a great score was noticeable with almost generic, sombre, hopeful tones. I expected a more dynamic range of sounds from Academy-Award-winning Volker “Hauschka” Bertelmann because of his work on the music for Lion and All Quiet on the Western Front. But the silence spoke volumes as well, especially when there were new developments occurring in Prague that Nicholas learns from Great Britain throughout the film. I hope Hauschka brings some interesting sounds to upcoming films Road House and Monkey Man as well.

“ One Life was another poignant war story that was not widely taught in the history books…”

While One Life was nothing special in terms of crazy CGI/VFX or stunning cinematography of scenic beaches or fog-covered mountains, it had some great, intimate camera work. The homely walkabouts of Hopkins’ Nicholas were silent but very tight, keeping the framing of conversations focused on his face from various angles. Even in later scenes, there were a lot of facial reactions from Hopkins where the camera did not need to show what he was looking at—a thoughtful approach by the cinematographer Zac Nicholson.

One Life (2023) Review

Helena Bonham Carter had a full sum of one badass moment in her role as Nicholas’ mother, Babette Winton. Otherwise, her character faded into the background, similar to Jonathan Pryce as Nicholas’ friend Martin Blake. The movie relied heavily on the star performances of Hopkins and Johnny Flynn, as well as the young and older Nicholas, which was the point of the film.

“While One Life was nothing special in terms of crazy CGI/VFX or stunning cinematography of scenic beaches or fog-covered mountains, it had some great intimate camera work.”

Sometimes, the supporting cast in biopics can overshadow the lead, but that was not the case here. In fact, much of the supporting cast faded into the background a lot. While the focus was on Nicholas Winton, I felt like there could have been a stronger supporting cast. Unfortunately, Oppenheimer set a really high bar for high-quality acting all-around in a dramatic biographical film.

One Life (2023) Review

One Life was another poignant war story that was not widely taught in the history books, at least not in mine. But these are the stories that remind us of harsher times. They also remind us of the current troubling times of war, refugees, and the impact war has on children, with so many wars happening around the world (in Ukraine , in Israel, and in Sudan—among many other civil wars). It is these small acts of heroism that restore the small bits of humanity in people.

This film successfully showed all of these aspects in a well-paced 110-minute tale of one person’s perseverance and determination to help others. To the film editor Lucia Zucchett i, I applaud her for keeping each story beat flowing well—nothing dragged or rushed. The ending culminated into something touching and hit on topics a little too close to home. One Life was nothing like the brutal depictions shown in Shindler’s List, but the messaging was just as powerful. Bring some tissues because it had a couple of endearing moments, and Hopkins continues to sell them well.

Final Thoughts

Ridge Harripersad

Ridge has almost always grown up around three things: Star Wars, video games, anime, manga, TV shows, films, basketball, hockey, volleyball, and anime. He typically writes about—you guessed it—anime-centric content. When he is not doing any of those things, he is usually trying out something new like streaming on his Twitch channel @wrainsparrow.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, CGMagazine may earn a commission. However, please know this does not impact our reviews or opinions in any way. See our ethics statement.

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Movie Reviews

Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, the feeling that the time for doing something has passed.

one life movie review

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I watched “The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed” on headphones, in my room, trying to stay out of sight while my roommate had a date over. This is, if not the ideal way to experience this film, at least an appropriate one. Joanna Arnow ’s second feature is a symphony of ambient embarrassment, whose movements are structured around the various men with whom the protagonist, Ann (Arnow), has relationships of varying length and ambivalence. Within these movements, Arnow hits uncomfortable notes that range from cutting corporate indignities to the ritualized abjection of erotic humiliation. 

The story unfolds in a series of dryly comic vignettes, beginning with a supremely awkward scene where a completely nude Ann rubs herself up against a fully clothed lover, telling him how hot it is that he doesn’t care about her pleasure. It’s not clear how much of this is an intentional kink scene and how much is Ann talking herself into interpreting his indifference as erotic. That’s the case with many of her interactions with Allen ( Scott Cohen ), with whom she’s had a casual BDSM relationship for nine years but who can’t (or won’t) remember basic facts about her life. 

There’s a larger element of self-imposed humiliation in the way Arnow exposes herself on camera, both emotionally and physically, in this film. (In the tradition of Chantal Akerman [and, yes, Lena Dunham ], Arnow performs all of her own sex scenes in this movie.) This is how her character gets off, and if there’s any element of autobiography at play here—which there presumably is, considering that her parents co-star as themselves—then the filmmaker must be getting off on it a little bit, too. It’s a testament to the skill with which Arnow manipulates tone that this comes across as just another nuance on the spectrum of the film’s uncomfortable emotions rather than a creepy imposition. 

Although the scenarios in this film are mortifyingly realistic—this is the most truthful depiction of BDSM I’ve ever seen in a movie, full stop—the dialogue is written to be pithier and more stylized than the way the average person talks. This can be jarring at times, but it appears to be a deliberate stylistic choice in that Arnow is distancing herself from the material via her deadpan delivery and painful exchanges while simultaneously exposing the most sensitive parts of herself on screen. (Ironically, a scene where Ann sings passages from Les Misérables by heart is the most vulnerable moment in a film that also features extensive full-frontal nudity.)  

The film's title accurately reflects the sense of floating, frustrated inertia that envelops Ann, a feeling of being suspended between phases of life without any clarity on what, if anything, is coming next. Scenes of varying length are cut musically, some stretched out to the point where they stop being funny, then come around to funny again (a classic trick) and others chopped up and juxtaposed to highlight the similarities between, say, being demoted at work and being dressed up in a pig costume by a date. One of the funniest cuts in the film comes early on when Ann insists that she’s “pretty busy,” actually, before cutting to a shot of her standing with her parents, watching a tide slowly roll in. 

But where “The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed” pulls its most impressive trick is in the understated way this distress shifts into something more hopeful. It happens subtly, so that a shot of park greenery in bloom lands like a punch in the jaw after the bland neutrals that have dominated the film up to that point. It’s a feeling akin to waking up one morning after a depressive episode with the will to brush one’s teeth and face the world once more. Ann is a passive person, and a self-absorbed one. If good things can drift into her life, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us, too.

Katie Rife

Katie Rife is a freelance writer and critic based in Chicago with a speciality in genre cinema. She worked as the News Editor of  The A.V. Club  from 2014-2019, and as Senior Editor of that site from 2019-2022. She currently writes about film for outlets like  Vulture, Rolling Stone, Indiewire, Polygon , and

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Ratings and reviews parents trust.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Movie Poster: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence stand back to back, holding guns

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Explosive violence, nonstop swearing in 4th buddy-cop film.

IF Movie Poster: A purple, furry figure walks down a city street amid human characters

Poignant fantasy about loss and the power of imagination.

Geek Girl TV Poster: a teenage White girl wears sunglasses with the words "Geek Girl" superimposed on them

Sweet YA-based coming-of-age story has mean girls, romance.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door box shot, featuring Mario wielding a hammer.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Classic RPG remake is more inclusive and more fun.

Membership has its perks! Annual members enjoy access to special offers fro Aura and KiwiCo.

Our Editors Recommend

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Explore the multifaceted experiences of LGBTQ+ Latinos.

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Role models, inspirational stories, laughs, and more.

Lightyear Movie Poster

Movies with LGBTQ+ Characters

Movies with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other queer-identifying characters.

one life movie review

Common Sense Selections

Big City Greens The Movie: Spacecation poster: Cricket Green and his family enter outer space, wearing space suits.

Big City Greens the Movie: Spacecation

Young Woman and the Sea Movie Poster: Trudy stands on the shore in front of a dramatic sky and seascape

Young Woman and the Sea

HAIKYU!! The Dumpster Battle Movie Poster: Teams of volleyball players face off in an intense stand-off

HAIKYU!! The Dumpster Battle

Robot Dreams Movie Poster: A cartoon dog and robot walk down the street holding hands

Robot Dreams

Popular with parents.

Wonka Movie Poster: Timothee Chalamet, as Willy Wonka, sits amid a colorful landscape of flowers, candy, and small images of other characters

52 parent reviews

"Best kids movie I’ve seen in years."

5 parent reviews

Cabrini Movie Poster: Mother Cabrini stands in New York City, carrying suitcases

The Fall Guy

14 parent reviews

Ordinary Angels Movie Poster: Hilary Swank smiles while standing amid snowflakes; other characters pictured smaller

Ordinary Angels

6 parent reviews

one life movie review

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one life movie review

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Shocking revelations from 'Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson' Lifetime documentary

one life movie review

Nearly 30 years after her death — a crime for which no one has been convicted — “ The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” documentary aims to shed light on what the mother of two and ex-wife of O.J. Simpson , was really like.

The Lifetime docuseries airing June 1 and 2 features home movies of the German-born Brown Simpson being held by her parents as a child and dipping daughter Sydney’s toes into the water. Brown Simpson and Simpson welcomed two children during their seven-year union: Sydney, now 38, and Justin, 35.

Brown Simpson’s sisters — Denise, Dominique and Tanya Brown — reflect on their adventurous siblings in the docuseries, which concludes Sunday (8 EDT/PDT), along with friends including reality star/businesswoman Kris Jenner .

“One of my best memories of Nicole was when she would climb up on the roof at Christmastime and do all of her own Christmas lights,” Jenner says. “And that would just amaze me, and of course I would run home and try to do my own Christmas lights.”

At just 35, Brown Simpson was fatally stabbed outside of her Los Angeles home on June 12, 1994, along with her visiting friend Ron Goldman . Alhough O.J. Simpson, who died in April, was tried and acquitted of the killings, the docuseries makes clear his hands were far from clean.

Here are the startling revelations from Night 1 of “ The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson .”

Nicole Brown Simpson's sisters remember 'adventurous' spirit before meeting O.J. Simpson

A ‘forceful’ O.J. Simpson ripped Nicole Brown Simpson’s pants on their first date

At 18, Nicole was living in Los Angeles with her friend David LeBon. She worked at The Daisy restaurant on Beverly Hills’ famed Rodeo Drive and met Simpson there in the summer of 1977.

“He kept coming in and seeing her,” LeBon says in the docuseries, “and he had this obsession about her.”

The two went on a date. When Brown Simpson returned, the zipper of her jeans was ripped, says D’Anne Purcilly, LeBon’s ex-wife and a friend of the Brown family.

LeBon remembers his roommate, Brown Simpson, telling him that OJ “got a little forceful.” Brown Simpson told an angered LeBon to calm down, and that she really liked Simpson.

Despite repeated beatings, Nicole Brown Simpson believed a baptism would make O.J. Simpson ‘a new person’

Brown Simpson documented Simpson’s abuse in her journal. In a 1977 entry, she accused him of cheating after she found an earring. “He threw a fit, chased me, threw me into walls, bruised me…” She also wrote of bruises while the family vacationed in Hawaii during Christmas in 1988: “O.J. threw me against walls in our hotel & on the floor. Put bruises on my arms & back.”

Denise says she witnessed the abuse firsthand at the couple's Brentwood home after Denise said Simpson took her sister for granted. He screamed, Denise says, and threw pictures of the Browns. “He grabs her (Nicole) by the throat, and he puts her up against the kitchen door, and he throws her out the door, and she ends up on her butt and ends up with bloodied elbows,” she says, claiming O.J. also tossed her out of the home. But the incident was never discussed again, Denise says: “Life went on as usual.”

Denise was concerned when Brown Simpson said she and Simpson planned to marry seven years after they began dating. Brown Simpson believed a baptism would change her husband-to-be. “Everything is going to change,” Brown Simpson told Denise. “He’s going to become a new person.”

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O.J. Simpson would threaten Nicole Brown Simpson: ‘I am going to chop you up in little pieces’

Courtroom footage included Detective John Edwards' testimony that he responded to a call at the Simpsons’ on New Year’s Day 1989. “She collapsed and started yelling, ‘He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me,’” Edwards said.

Brown Simpson had a cut lip and swollen forehead, he added. “She had a hand imprint on the left side of her throat.”

Spencer Marks, a retired LAPD officer, responded to an incident at Brown Simpson’s home in 1993, after their separation. “She said, ‘I know for a fact he’s going to murder me one day,’” he recalled.

And Purcilly says Brown Simpson told her O.J. threatened her during arguments. “I am going to chop you up in little pieces and bury you up on Mullholland,” Purcilly says he told Brown Simpson, “and no one will know where you are, not even your children.”

Witness sees O.J. Simpson driving near the scene of killings: ‘He obviously was in a rush’

The second hour revisits the events of the night Brown Simpson and Goldman were murdered.

Limo driver Allan Park says he arrived at Simpson’s residence around 10:25 p.m. to take him to the airport for his Chicago flight. Simpson’s residence at 360 N. Rockingham Avenue was about two miles from Brown Simpson’s townhouse at 875 S. Bundy Drive.

Park says he buzzed the intercom outside of Simpson’s house after arriving, but no one answered.

Jill Shively, a grand jury witness, recalled seeing Simpson driving when she went to pick up takeout at 10:45. At the intersection of San Vicente Boulevard and Bundy Drive, less than half a mile from the scene of the murders, Shively says, “I almost collide with this Bronco running the red light, and it had no lights on.”

“It swerved to miss me, but then it had to swerve to miss hitting a grey Nissan going the other way,” Shively continues. “Then the Bronco has its wheel up on the median. He was yelling at the other driver to move out of the way.”

Shively recognized the driver’s face as Simpson's. “He looked angry,” she says. “He obviously was in a rush.”

OJ Simpson's trial exposed America's racial divide. Three decades later, what's changed?

Park says around 10:55 p.m. he saw “a dark figure coming from the garage side of the house, moving very quickly and heading towards the front of the door.” So he rang the intercom again, and this time Simpson finally answered. He told the driver he just got out of the shower and would be down soon.

Park says when he saw Simpson he couldn’t determine if he’d recently showered. “I did remember seeing beads of sweat on him.”

one life movie review

  • Cast & crew

21st Century Cleo

21st Century Cleo (2024)

Cleopatra lives a Royal life of luxury in Ancient Egypt with her parents and siblings. One night she is enticed to let loose and break the rules. Cleopatra lives a Royal life of luxury in Ancient Egypt with her parents and siblings. One night she is enticed to let loose and break the rules. Cleopatra lives a Royal life of luxury in Ancient Egypt with her parents and siblings. One night she is enticed to let loose and break the rules.

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Miray Dogan, Maxim Orlov, Julian Seager, Essam Ferris, and Gloria El-Achkar in 21st Century Cleo (2024)

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Mike Galindo

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Tamara Becker Cimmerian

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Charles Heimlich

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Gloria El-Achkar

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one life movie review

Bad Boys 4 Reviews & Rotten Tomatoes Score Promise One of the Best Movies in the Action Franchise


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  • Critics praise Bad Boys: Ride or Die as one of the best in the franchise, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 68%.
  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence shine in the movie, keeping their chemistry sharp and entertaining.
  • While some faults were found, the movie delivers on over-the-top action and genuine wit, showing the Bad Boys can still deliver.

The reviews for Bad Boys: Ride or Die are now in, as the Rotten Tomatoes score, with the action sequel standing as one of the best installments in the franchise . The fourth latest Bad Boys outing now stands at 68% on the review aggregator site , making it the second highest in the series, just behind Bad Boys for Life’s 76% rating. “Will Smith and Martin Lawrence remain good company even when Bad Boys strains to up the ante, proving there's still life left in this high-octane franchise,” the ‘Critics Consensus’ reads. So, what do critics make of the latest adventure of wisecracking Miami cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett.

Starting with MovieWeb’s own Julian Roman , there is a lot to enjoy in Bad Boys: Ride or Die , with Julian praising the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

“Will Smith and Martin Lawrence continue to reign as kings of the buddy cop genre in another action-packed, laugh-out-loud installment of the Bad Boys franchise. Their fourth film together feels like seeing cherished friends who haven't lost a step after nearly three decades. Bad Boys: Ride or Die slickly incorporates old and new characters into a reversal of fortune for our badass heroes.”

Will Smith Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die’s Will Smith Says 'It's Nothing But Love' from Fans

Smith is grateful to the supportive fans who showed up at the Bad Boys: Ride or Die premiere, despite the 2022 Oscars' slap snafu.

There is further praise for the main duo courtesy of Screen Rant’s Mae Abdulbaki , who says their captivating chemistry is the best thing in the movie.

“Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are just as sharp as ever in Bad Boys: Ride or Die, and their onscreen chemistry continues to hold the film together.”

While Collider’s Matt Donato found a few faults with Bad Boys: Ride or Die , he did conclude that, when the movie works, it really works, and reminds us why we love going to the cinema .

“What works reminds us why we love going to the movies, and what doesn’t shuffles out of frame before too much damage is done.”

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Lands in Theaters on Friday

Bad Boys Ride or Die poster

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is the fourth installment in the action-comedy film series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The series centers on hard-boiled Miami detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett, who take on dangerous drug kingpins and thwart dangerous schemes as they attempt to stop the circulation of illicit drugs in their city. This time, Miami's finest are the ones on the run.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman , meanwhile, calls the Bad Boys effort “movie junk food” and loved the comforting nature of the action movie .

“We like our movie junk food amped and familiar. In that light, what could be more comforting than watching the two stars of “Ride or Die” trash-talk each other with the kind of deep-dish disgruntled conviction it takes 29 years to build up?”

Similarly, IGN’s Eric Goldman reveled in the over-the-top action , heaping praise on the “panache” shown by directing duo Adil & Bilall.

“Yes, it’s as over the top and silly as ever, but it’s done with more panache and genuine wit than before, proving these Bad Boys, even at their older age, can still deliver.”

Directed by Adil & Bilall and written by Chris Bremner, Bad Boys: Ride or Die sees Will Smith return as Detective Lieutenant Michael Eugene "Mike" Lowrey alongside Martin Lawrence as Detective Lieutenant Marcus Miles Burnett. The rest of the cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Tasha Smith, John Salley, Eric Dane, DJ Khaled, Ioan Gruffudd, with Jacob Scipio as Armando Aretas, Mike and Isabel's son, and Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard.

You can check out the official synopsis and the trailer for Bad Boys: Ride or Die below.

“This Summer, the world's favorite Bad Boys are back with their iconic mix of edge-of-your seat action and outrageous comedy but this time with a twist: Miami's finest are now on the run.”

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is scheduled to hit theaters in the United States on June 7, 2024.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (2024)


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15 Top Movies Dogs Like to Watch with You in 2024

woman eating popcorn while watching movie with dog

Image Credit: yousafbhutta, Pixabay

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman eating popcorn while watching movie with dog

There are countless opportunities to bond with our dogs during the day, and not all require you to go out of your way. If you’re putting in the playtime, walks, and training effort, it isn’t too much to ask your dog to get on your level now and then.

Movie time is the perfect opportunity! When the day winds down, snuggling with your dog and watching a canine-friendly film is a bonding experience you can both enjoy.

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  • How Are Dog Movies Classified?

Dogs appear as background characters and stars in almost any genre, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding your preferred movie style. Still, you have to consider what your dog might like. Sure, a horror movie like Cujo or Man’s Best Friend may be right up your alley, but you don’t want to give your dog anxiety (or any bad ideas).

Instead, stick with classic buddy comedies, sentimental dramas, and exciting action and adventure flicks where your dog can see themselves as the hero. Here’s a look at some of the top movies dogs like to watch you’ll surely love.

  • Top 15 Movies Dogs Like to Watch
  • 1. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

  • Featured Breeds: American Bulldog, Golden Retriever

Here are the ultimate buddy movies and a real nostalgia trip for many adult dog owners. Homeward Bound and its sequel, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, are remarkable films full of excitement, suspense, and laughs.

They follow a goofball American Bulldog called Chance, a wise Golden Retriever named Shadow, the aptly named Sassy, and a sarcastic Himalayan cat named Sassy as they try to reunite with their owners.

  • 2. 101 Dalmatians

  • Feature Breeds: Dalmatian, German Shepherd, Scottish Terrier, Bloodhound, Rough Collie, Old English Sheepdog

Dalmatians got top billing in the Disney classic featuring a family of pups battling the wicked Cruella DeVil, but several breeds enjoy representation in the original animated version and live-action remakes.

We can’t forget the German Shepherd starring in the puppies’ favorite action show, The Adventures of Thunderbolt, or the team that rescued the dogs that featured a Great Dane, a Bloodhound, and several Terriers.

  • 3. Lady and the Tramp

  • Featured Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Bloodhound, mixed breed

This Disney favorite got the live-action treatment in 2019, giving you a few ways to digest this enduring treasure. Though it features a parade of purebreds, the mixed breeds are the true stars, making this a perfect movie to celebrate the magnificent mutt in your life.

  • 4. A Dog’s Purpose

  • Featured Breeds: Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, mixed breed

A Dog’s Purpose (2017), based on the 2010 novel, follows a single dog through several reincarnations as he seeks to find the meaning of his life. With each rebirth, a new breed takes the starring role, including a Red Retriever, a Corgi, and a St. Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix.

If you loved A Dog’s Purpose, you and your dog will be glad to know there’s more where that came from. A Dog’s Journey came out 2 years after the original film, picking up right where we left Bailey.

The faces are new, but the story is familiar in this tale of our hero’s passage through several incarnations as he realizes his purpose with the next generation.

  • Featured Breeds: Golden Retriever

The sports story Air Bud captivated audiences upon its release in 1997, giving us a renewed appreciation for the Golden Retriever.

The title hero wore many hats over the years, but none of his adventures compares to his first forays into basketball stardom.

  • Featured Breeds: Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Australian Shepherd, Great Dane

Fans of raunchy, late-night comedies will enjoy Strays, the 2023 film that turns the Homeward Bound story on its head. Rather than trying to reunite with a loving family, the main character, Reggie, a Border Terrier, embarks on a quest to get his revenge on an abusive owner.

While it isn’t for the kids, your pup is likely old enough (at least in dog years) to share in the hilarity.

  • 7. Marley & Me

  • Featured Breeds: Labrador Retriever

Another movie based on a book, Marley & Me, is full of heart, drama, and laughs. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star in this story of a Labrador Retriever growing up with a growing family and all the challenges and inspiration he provides.

Keep the tissues handy because this heartwarming hit takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

  • 8. Cats and Dogs

  • Featured Breeds: Beagle, Bloodhound, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Saluki, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, Mini Pinscher

Cats and Dogs validate what you and your dog have likely suspected for some time: cats are evil and trying to take over the world. In this family-friendly comedy, our canine protagonists attempt to thwart the megalomaniacal plans of Mr. Tinkles, a squash-faced Persian cat.

Numerous breeds play a part in the fight, including a Beagle, a Bloodhound, and several Dobermans.

  • Featured Breeds: Belgian Malinois

Max tells the tale of a dog that becomes a hero in every sense of the word. After losing his handler in combat, a military dog returns home to live with his former owner’s reluctant little brother.

It’s another heartrending modern-day classic, and the story of unconditional love and loyalty will undoubtedly bring you and your dog closer together.

  • 10. The Secret Life of Pets

  • Featured Breeds: Jack Russell Terrier, Newfoundland, Pomeranian, Dachshund, Pug, Basset Hound

Adults, children, and dogs alike will love this inner look at how our household pets operate when we turn our backs. Follow Max and company on a winding tale of insane journeys and misadventures that’ll have you laughing from start to finish.

And if the first film leaves you wanting more, make it a movie marathon by following up with The Secret Life of Pets 2, featuring Harrison Ford as a Welsh Sheepdog.

  • 11. Turner and Hooch

  • Featured Breeds: Dogue de Bordeaux

The buddy dog-and-cop movie certainly had its heyday, arguably reaching its pinnacle with 1989’s Turner and Hooch. Tom Hanks was at his comedic best, and the Dogue de Bordeaux portraying the rowdy and righteous Hooch was that one-in-a-million star that could make any movie an instant hit.

  • 12. Isle of Dogs

  • Featured Breeds: Oceanic Speckle-Eared Sport Hound, Pug, Alaskan Husky, mixed breed

Doghouse meets arthouse in the stylish, thought-provoking, and beautifully written stop-motion film Isle of Dogs. But what else would you expect from director Wes Anderson? Rich in political subtext, the overarching story is a comedic and touching tale of a young boy’s search for his dog.

  • 13. Old Yeller

  • Featured Breeds: Mixed breed

Old Yeller, premiering in 1957, is the original tear-jerker and is a timeless tale of a boy and his dog. Fun fact: While the novel described the title character as a yellow cur, the movie adaptation employed a Labrador Retriever/English Mastiff mix.

The name Old Yeller comes from the characters’ pronunciation of “yellow” and the sound the dog made when he opened his mouth.

  • 14. Beethoven

  • Featured Breeds: Bernard

The slobbering, 185-pound St. Bernard in Beethoven may have wrecked his owner’s house, but his virtuous nature was more than enough to beat the baddies and win everybody’s affection.

He also turned out to be a favorite for audiences, and the 1993 family comedy spawned countless sequels.

  • 15. Hotel for Dogs

  • Featured Breeds: Jack Russell Terrier, Boston Terrier, English Mastiff, English Bulldog, Border Collie

Practically every dog breed found a room in the Hotel for Dogs. The 2009 family comedy starring Emma Roberts featured two siblings living with pet-hating foster parents who found an abandoned hotel to house their secret pet and his canine companions.

dogster face divider

Break out the popcorn and the doggie treats; it’s time to unwind with your best friend. Hollywood has given us plenty of material for every taste and every breed, affording owners of all kinds a new chance to spend meaningful time with their pups.

Get started with this list of movies dogs love, and make movie night part of your routine today !

  • Rotten Tomatoes

Featured Image Credit: yousafbhutta, Pixabay

About the Author

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Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole has loved animals of all sizes her whole life so it's no wonder she has dedicated her career to helping them through what she loves best: learning, writing, and sharing knowledge with others. She’s the proud mom of two dogs, a cat, and a human. With a degree in Education and 15+ years of writing experience, Nicole wants to help pet parents and pets around the planet to live happy, safe, and healthy lives.

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  1. One Life Review

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  2. One Life

    one life movie review

  3. One Life (2011)

    one life movie review

  4. One Life

    one life movie review

  5. One Life (2023)

    one life movie review

  6. One Life

    one life movie review


  1. One Life movie review & film summary (2024)

    A film about Nicholas Winton, who rescued hundreds of children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. The film follows his life from his childhood to his old age, when he was reunited with the survivors he saved.

  2. One Life

    One Life is a biographical drama about Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of children from Nazi occupation in 1938. Read critics and audience reviews, watch the trailer, and find out where to stream or buy the movie.

  3. 'One Life' Review: One Man's Rescue of Children in Wartime

    Watch on. "One Life" is really two movies. It looks back on the wartime actions from 1987, when Winton considers what to do about a scrapbook of photos and documents he has kept. Flashbacks to ...

  4. One Life

    Read critics' reviews of One Life, a film about Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust. See how Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn portray the heroic Englishman in different time periods.

  5. Movie Review: 'One Life' starring Anthony Hopkins delivers emotional

    Movie Review: Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn find poignant synergy in real-life war tale 'One Life'. By the time Nicholas Winton died in 2015 at the ripe age of 106, the former London stockbroker and self-proclaimed "ordinary man" had been widely recognized for his extraordinary deeds — rescuing 669 Jewish children from the Nazis ...

  6. One Life

    00:00 / 01:00. Nicky Winton, is a quiet, private man. Frankly, he'd probably be thought of as a pack rat by many people. Nicky's wife, Grete, certainly would shake her head knowingly if that subject came up. She's always "gently" nudging him to sift through some of the papers and clutter he's gathered over the years and then to get ...

  7. One Life Movie Review

    Our review: Parents say ( 1 ): Kids say ( 1 ): This British biographical drama survives off its incredible story. One Life is set across two timelines, with Flynn and Hopkins both playing the central role of Winton, a man who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis in the run up to WWII. Many people with have seen the viral clip of an elderly ...

  8. 'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins Portrays the 'British Schindler'

    Anthony Hopkins stars as Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. The film intercuts his past and present, showing his humility and humanity in the face of tragedy and recognition.

  9. 'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins in a Stirring Period Piece

    September 11, 2023 4:57pm. Anthony Hopkins in 'One Life' Toronto International Film Festival. Anthony Hopkins recently played an elderly Jewish man who fled persecution as a child in James Gray ...

  10. One Life review: Anthony Hopkins is superb in this conventional World

    The film tells the true story of Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia in 1938. Hopkins delivers a subtle but powerful performance as the older Winton, who faces his regrets and guilt in the 1980s.

  11. One Life movie review: If you don't cry at this beautiful tribute you

    One Life movie review: If you don't cry at this beautiful tribute you need medical help. By God this is a superb performance from Sir Anthony Hopkins . Close. Hamish MacBain 13 October 2023.

  12. One Life (2023)

    One Life: Directed by James Hawes. With Anthony Hopkins, Lena Olin, Johnny Flynn, Helena Bonham Carter. Sir Nicholas 'Nicky' Winton, a young London broker who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued over 600 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.

  13. 'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins in moving and inspiring ...

    A review of 'One Life', the inspiring true story of a genuine hero played by Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn who saved 669 young lives during WW2

  14. 'One Life' review: Anthony Hopkins magnificent as a man who kept his

    The film tells the story of Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Prague in 1938. Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn star as the older and younger Winton, who kept his deeds secret for decades.

  15. 'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins Is Excellent in Powerful Adaptation

    REVIEW. Led by an excellent Anthony Hopkins, One Life is a powerful adaptation that does right by its historical heroes. 8 10. Pros. Anthony Hopkins perfectly embraces the quietness, vulnerability ...

  16. 'One Life' movie review: Anthony Hopkins brilliant in story of 'British

    One Life stars Hopkins as Winton in 1987, living a modest life at an English cottage, collecting change for children's charities and items donated to humanitarian organizations. Wife Grete urges Nicky to do some cleaning up before she embarks on a vacation, and especially in an overflowing study that houses documents including a 50-year-old scrapbook that stirs some memories.

  17. One Life movie review: humble, noble, deserving of your attention

    That quiet quality permeates throughout the film, creating an emotional baseline for the conclusion to pole vault over. In this way, One Life is much like Winton himself: humble, noble, and not out for an award, but wholly deserving of your attention. It's the type of historical biopic that tells its story straight in a manner so fitting ...

  18. One Life

    One Life - Metacritic. Play Sound. Summary Sir Nicholas 'Nicky' Winton (Johnny Flynn) is a young London broker, who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Nicky visited Prague in December 1938 and found families who had fled the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Austria, living in desperate conditions ...

  19. One Life Review

    Movies | Reviews; One Life Review. People: ... James Hawes' One Life is a solid retelling of the events which led to that historic TV moment, although his feature-film debut, despite its ...

  20. 'One Life' Review: Anthony Hopkins Is Devastating in Prestige Biopic

    Editor's Note: This review was originally published at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Bleecker Street will open "One Life" in select theaters March 15, 2024.

  21. One Life: Anthony Hopkins, indisputable great, gets one more chance to

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  22. One Life (2024) Review

    One Life. IMDB: Link. Premiere Date: 15/03/2024. Runtime: 110 min. Genre: Biography, Drama, History. Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Lena Olin, Johnny Flynn. MPAA Rating: PG. Review Score: 7. The ...

  23. One Life (2023 film)

    One Life is a 2023 biographical drama film directed by James Hawes. Based on the true story of British humanitarian Nicholas Winton, the film alternates between following Anthony Hopkins as a 79-year old Winton reminiscing on his past, and Johnny Flynn as a 29-year old Winton attempting to help groups of Jewish children in German-occupied Czechoslovakia to hide and flee in 1938-39, just ...

  24. One Life

    ONE LIFE tells the incredible true story of Nicholas "Nicky" Winton, a young London broker who helps rescue hundreds of predominantly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia in a race against time before Nazi occupation closes the borders on the verge of World War II. Fifty years later, Nicky (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is haunted by the fate of those he wasn't able to bring to safety.

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    Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Common Sense Media is the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families.

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