Friends of the 20-year-old actress were so incensed by New Statesman critic JOHN LYTTLE that they called him to threaten violence.
A close friend of Knightley's says, "Keira wept for 24 hours after reading it."
Lyttle's article slammed the star's performance and implied she is incapable of anything more than youthful and innocent roles.
It read: "I once threw my office chair out of the window onto a bouncy castle and witnessed more erotic movement.
"I think Keira is adorable. Unfortunately that's all she ever is."