Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Downton Abbey

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Gorgeous drama will thrill longtime fans of the show.

Movie PG 2019 122 minutes
Downton Abbey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 12+
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

I LOVED the show, and I thought this movie was a bunch of ridiculousness

GOODNESS, if the show had been this awful I would’ve NEVER watched six seasons of it. I fell in love with the characters, the costumes, the cinematography, the score, EVERYTHING. I loved almost every minute of it. So did my mom. So we were super excited to watch this. Aaaaand we strongly disliked it. For one thing, the acting was really off. (Mr. Carson’s ridiculous line “THIS. IS. TREASON.” might be one of the most overacted, stupid things I’ve ever seen in a movie.) Cora talked weird, Mary had this dumb mid-life crisis that nobody cared about, Anna turned into a shady sheister, Mrs. Hughes (or Mrs. Carson, whatever) was a snippy brat, and everybody else was either A: awkward and dumb or B: overacted and weird. Besides Edith. She was great. Oh, and Molesley’s now an awkward jokester for no reason. And we have to mention Henry’s little cameo: He got on the screen and I thought, “Oh, hey, he’s actually acting himself! Finally!” two seconds later he throws his hat down on the floor and runs upstairs like he’s a ten year old boy. *sigh* And the extras… blergh. Extras are supposed to make a scene feel natural, like we’re not watching acting but a real life scene. They looked totally choreographed. And the score was super overbearing and just ridiculous. It took itself WAY too seriously. One moment it sounds like carnival music and the next it’s sounds like we’re at a funeral. The assassination attempt was so bad… it was just… you have to see it to see how bad it is. Oh, the storyline was thinner than paper too. And the camera films the footmen carrying trays of food like they’re soldiers marching off to war. That was another thing: I NEVER struggle with claustrophobia, but the way they filmed this was giving me tunnel vision. The way it was filmed was odd, to say the least. But even with how much I disliked it, I’m still going to watch the next film. For the sake of the show. Because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (16 ):

Sumptuous and lovely, this film is a fitting capper to the hugely popular series; it will positively thrill longtime fans. All the flowers are in the bouquet. There are tiaras, silver patch boxes, Art Deco beaded dresses, and lots of long, loving shots of vintage motorcars tootling down country lanes cut through rolling green lawns. The servants wear the same uniforms; the nobles swan around in silk and fur; about the only change is that more folks have bobbed hair and the kids are a little bigger. In short, Downton Abbey the film feels pretty much exactly like a two-hour episode of Downton Abbey the TV show, and fans won't mind one bit.

The king and queen's arrival throws Downton into a tizzy, and -- as usual -- there are plenty of upstairs-downstairs subplots thrown in: The servants are ticked off about the high-handedness of the king and queen's staff, a strange figure is prowling around asking suspicious questions about the royal visit, the queen's lady-in-waiting (Imelda Staunton) has a secret that causes complications with an inheritance. In typical Downton style, the chief fallout is a bunch of concerned conversations in ornate drawing rooms; it all melts away as lightly as a feather on a vintage cloche, while the drama gets back to what it really does best: serving up period eye candy and giving the deliciously tart (as always) Smith all the choicest lines. May Downton ever reign.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate