DOWNTON ABBEY Review — Everything You’d Hoped For…and a Little Less

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Downton Abbey review — The costumes! The architecture! The upstairs/downstair drama! All your favorite elements, on steroids, are present, but are they enough?

Downton Abbey ReviewI had a huge argument with myself when reviewing Downton Abbey. It’s one of my favorite TV shows of all time, after all. My inner dialogue went something like this.

It’s formulaic — but it’s Downton Abbey!

It’s cliche — but it’s Downton Abbey!

It’s obvious — but it’s Downton Abbey!

It all boils down to whether or not I can forgive its faults, just because it’s a film adaptation of Julien Fellows’ smash hit series.

The plot can be summarized in one sentence, as it can be with most TV episodes: The King and Queen of England come for a sleepover, and the entire household is aflutter.

It feels a little like a long list of  favorite elements from the series are systematically checked off, right up to the tidy ending. I’d call it painfully sappy if I didn’t love those plucky characters, their costumes, their architecture and their interior design so much.

But there is one element that’s not so tidy — that would be the editing. Names, situations and elements pop up that have no introduction or prior reference. It’s as if something was left on the cutting room floor, but you think you may have just missed that essential tidbit of information when you were busy ogling Lady Mary’s latest frock.

For all that, I think most fans of the series will be fully satisfied with their latest dose of Downton. I’d advise them to see it with fellow fans, friends and family, and enjoy it for what it is: A double dose of one of their favorite shows, blown up on the big screen. There are worse ways to spend an evening.

Rated PG

2 Hours 2 Minutes

If, after reading this Downton Abbey review, you feel like sashaying out to see it, get times and tickets at

Downton Abbey review — The costumes! The architecture! The upstairs/downstair drama! All your favorite elements are there on steroids, but is that enough?

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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