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What Critics Are Saying About Downton Abbey

They like it, and fans like it even more
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2019 8:29 AM CDT

(Newser) Downton Abbey fans waiting for the movie to drop probably wouldn't stay away even if the reviews were bad. Now that it's officially released, they'll be happy to know that the reviews are rock solid—the movie has an 84% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not surprisingly, fans give it an ever higher score of 95%. A sample of what critics are saying about the movie, which has the Crawleys preparing for a royal visit:

  • June Thomas, Slate: "The plot of the Downton Abbey movie is brilliant, not so much because it is surprising, but because it allows every member of the cast to do what we expect of them," she writes. Nearly everybody's back, which makes some weak points easier to take. "The thrill of the film lies in seeing everyone again. At least for a couple of hours."
  • Nathalie Atkinson, Globe and Mail: She echoes the above. The movie will be familiar stuff to fans of the TV series, just delivered on a larger scale. "Between the tiaras, the tea trays, the synchronized curtsies, meaningful glances and interludes of fisticuffs and tweed, fans of the long-running series will feel like they’ve slipped into a welcome warm bath."

  • Glen Weldon, NPR: The movie has "an action scene so flatly staged it seems only fitting that the characters immediately proceed to forget about it before we do," he complains. Which is fitting, because the TV series was weakest when it strove for suspense. Indeed, "everything about the film has been finely tailored to deliver precisely what the series did, albeit in a form both more condensed and more diffuse."
  • Debra Yeo, Toronto Star: Don't overthink it. If you were a fan of the show, you're going to "lap this movie up as if it were served to you with a silver spoon carefully polished by butler Barrow (Robert James-Collier)." If you were not a fan, you might want to skip it. Yeo also makes a point to express relief that Maggie Smith came back as Violet Crawley, because "the film wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without her."
(Read more Downton Abbey stories.)

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