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Parents' Guide to

Death Comes to Pemberley

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Slow-burning murder mystery will engage adults, bore kids.

Movie NR 2014 180 minutes
Death Comes to Pemberley Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Surprise Love Scene

Not a terrible miniseries if you don’t expect anything but a departure from Austin. The minor characters are very well cast but I felt that Mr and Mrs Darcy don’t fit their roles well. Acting is mostly in the decent range and the plot is intriguing enough. Everything is attractive -costumes, houses, grounds - and I enjoyed the “period” aspect. Parents should know that there is a love scene between the Darcys that is not mentioned in the CSM ratings. It is very passionate and very obvious. It’s not long but long enough that I would have had time to fast forward if I’d been more prepared. Additionally, there is an adulterous affair that is the key to the whole mystery, spelled out and repeatedly referenced so it’s not just a passing event that will go unnoticed.
age 16+

Intriguing Story Geared Towards Adults

This sequel to 'Pride and Prejudice' is intriguing and mysterious, but much too intricate to capture children's attention. That being said, parents who still believe their child capable of following such an advanced story line should be aware that there is a moderate degree of violence throughout, as the entire story focuses on a murder (subsequent ghost stories follow; additionally, in one scene we see a women get run over by a carriage). There is also a sex scene between a married couple (nothing shown or heard, but not appropriate for younger audiences). Issues of infidelity, premarital sex, and having children out of wedlock are constant issues.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The potent pleasures of a period piece all are on display here: sumptuous Regency costumes, shining horses plunging and rearing, servants in little hats. It's also typical for a period piece to move slowly and deliberately, with scenes of action undercut by long, leisurely scenes in which people discuss the impact of what just happened. However, Death Comes to Pemberly is a particularly slow-burning example of the genre -- so slow-burning that some viewers might find the miniseries dull. Anna Maxwell Martin, so good in other period dramas such as Bleak House and The Bletchley Circle, seems both too mature and too staid for fizzy Lizzy, whose keen and sardonic wit distinguishes her from blander literary heroines. Jenna Coleman is, in a word, shrill as her sister Lydia. And though Matthew Rhys has gravitas, his Mr. Darcy comes off as more of an insensitive jerk than ever.

On the other hand, Austen fans will be thrilled for a new take on the author's much-adapted works. And since the Pemberley miniseries was made under the umbrella of PBS's long-running Mystery brand, it shares a similar vibe with old Inspector Poirot or Agatha Christie mysteries. Pemberley is beautiful, and thoughtful and slow, but it's not an unrewarding viewing experience for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

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