The film received a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes , a site that tracks film reviews posted by both critics and audiences; its consensus states: "Smart, elegant, and blessed with impeccable performances from Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, The Remains of the Day is a Merchant-Ivory classic."  Roger Ebert particularly praised the film and called it "a subtle, thoughtful movie."  In his review for The Washington Post , Desson Howe gave the film a favorable review, and said of it "Put Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and James Fox together and you can expect sterling performances," praising their work in the film.  Vincent Canby of The New York Times said, in another favorable review, "Here's a film for adults. It's also about time to recognize that Mr Ivory is one of our finest directors, something that critics tend to overlook because most of his films have been literary adaptations."  The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards , but won none: 
Meanwhile, the story of the one-armed man serves to elucidate Schindler's initial lack of awareness of Stern's actions. Schindler is shocked and angered after the man comes to thank him for saving his life. He yells at Stern, questioning the man's use. He begins to realize the manner in which Stern is taking advantage of his position. The viewer first sees the moral side of Schindler's personality after the man is shot. Despite his initial anger with Stern for employing a one-armed man, he feels bad that the man is shot. He yells at the commander for killing one of his essential employees, not because he knew the man to actually do good work, but because he met him personally.