Downton Abbey: Movie Review

Highclere Castle is a landmark commonly known as Downton Abbey. Located in Hampshire, England it is the set of the television show Downton Abbey, and is back again for the movie. (Photo used by permission of Richard Munckton)

When Downton Abbey came out with its first episode in 2010, it was something new and intriguing. Fifty-two episodes and five years later the show ended, but fans didn’t realize it would make a comeback on the big screen. Released on September 20, 2019, Downton Abbey the movie is already a success. All the beloved characters from the show are now in this new movie — Matthew and Mary Crawley, Thomas Barrow, Mr. Carson, Mrs. Patmore, and Sarah O’Brien being just a few. Furthermore, the amazing actors and actresses such as Michelle Dockery, Rob James-Collier, Maggie Smith, and Phyllis Logan are back. 

Downton Abbey continues the story of the Crawley family, their staff, friends, and anyone else who has ties with the family. It starts with the Earl and Countess (Robert and Cora Crawley) of Downton receiving a letter that the King and Queen of England would be visiting their home as part of a tour across the country. This sets off a series of different plotlines as the household members — both residents and staff — frantically prepare for and then deal with the royals and their problematic staff. No matter what goes on in the personal lives of the characters, in front of the king and queen everything must look under control. 

Overall reviews of the movie are positive — given 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and 80% on Common Sense Media. Not only is it filled with involving characters beset by a whole range of intimate problems but they’re all smoothly acted by a cast of regulars,” said Kenneth Turan, a film critic for the Los Angeles Times. However, some were not as pleased with the film. Johnny Oleksinski wrote in an article for the New York Post that Downton Abbey should’ve ended with the TV show because the movie is very forced and unnecessary. 

When I watched the film a couple of days after the release, I felt excited seeing the characters on the big screen. I had never watched the show but I loved reading about the dramatic plotlines and seeing pictures of the beautiful house in a book my grandma gave me many years ago. From the opening scene, I felt captivated by the story. Each character had a part to play in the conflicts and resolutions that presented themselves, and there was so much going on that the two-hour movie passed by quickly. The end resolved the main issues nicely and left me satisfied with the conclusion. 

While most things came to at least some sort of resolution, there is some room for a potential sequel. While there are only rumors about what might be coming, there are a few things known about the possible second film. First off, according to Julyssa Lopez in an article for Glamour, the cast thought it was really fun to work together again, and would be open to seeing where another one would go. Not only are they excited about the prospect, but writer Julian Fellows is already coming up with ideas, maybe even writing a script. These things, combined with the good amount of money made from this recent movie, leaves fans wondering if it’ll actually come to pass. 

Many are probably wondering is if a sequel would even be a good idea. Some things are great the way they are and should just stay untouched, which is why some were skeptical about this first movie. Now fans worry the sequel won’t live up to the expectations set by the show and movie, so there would be a lot of weight riding on a new sequel. 

Either way, the Downton Abbey movie met my expectations and more. I hope others will go and see it, whether they are familiar with the story or not. The eventful drama that the characters endure, the colorful costumes and scenery, the humor strewn in between, and the historic aspects will make it a hit for everyone. 


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