By Nell Minow,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Wonderful British whodunit has some sex, language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The intelligent script reveals just how intertwined the lives of the different classes really are, despite outward appearances. The movie also explores what lengths people will go to in order to protect the ones they love.
Positive Role Models
No one is terribly upset when Sir William is murdered and it becomes clear why: He used his power and class to hurt many. Before he dies, visitors still suck up to him for money. Head housekeeper Mrs. Wilson tries hard to protect the ones she cares about.
Violence & Scariness
A murder by poisoning and then the corpse is stabbed. You see the corpse fall over with a knife and no blood. A bullet grazes an ear in a hunting scene. One servant sexually assaults another, but is caught before it goes beyond rough kissing and groping.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Three affairs between servants and those they serve. Two scenes show a kitchen maid in the dark with some thrusting in the shadows barely visible. Some bawdy talk and sexual references, including mentions of illegitimate children and hints of a homosexual relationship.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language is infrequent but includes "f--king." Also: "s--t," "piss," "hell," "damn," "bloody," and "bugger all." (Note that cigarettes in Britain are called "fags.")
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking in many, many scenes in this 1932-set movie -- cigarettes and pipes. A drunken servant is carried to bed, and there's plenty of drinking of wine and whiskey at the dinner parties.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gosford Park has sexual references and situations (briefly graphic), including adultery, a hint of a homosexual relationship, and an attempted molestation. There is some strong language, including "f--king," and a character is murdered by poisoning and stabbed afterward. Accurate to the period, characters smoke and drink heavily.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 2 parent reviews
Fantastic cast and great narrative!
Report this review
Robert Altman's amazing comeback...
Report this review
What's the Story?
Set in the 1930s, GOSFORD PARK takes place at the home of Sir William (Michael Gambon) and his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), who invite an array of guests for a weekend at their lavish country estate. Among the guests are "old money" Lady Constance (Maggie Smith), early screen idol Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), and Hollywood film producer Morris Weisman (Bob Balaban), who tags along to take notes on the place for a Charlie Chan movie. Secrets abound amongst the upper crust, while gossip swirls in the quarters of the regimented servants (Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillippe, Emily Watson, and Clive Owen, among others). When Sir William is murdered, what ensues is a cross between Upstairs Downstairs, an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and a game of Clue. The estate becomes the setting for intrigue, romance, ambition, betrayal, and revenge, with the many overlapping and intersecting storylines revealing a cautionary tale about class, secrets, money, sex, and love.
Is It Any Good?
As in his best movies, director Robert Altman masterfully handles a dozen overlapping and intersecting storylines. Somewhere in the midst, there is a murder, but its resolution is incidental to the many other revelations and confrontations.
The Oscar-winning script is superb, but the movie is mostly a banquet of magnificent performances by most of England's finest performers. The Collector's Edition DVD has outstanding extras, including commentary by the director, production designer, producer, and screenwriter, deleted scenes, and a Q&A session with the filmmakers. Strongly recommended for older teens and adults.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how each of the different characters fits into the overall story. Which characters do you sympathize with the most? Which do you dislike the most?
Who in the film actually cares about Sir William? Why?
Why was it so important to be the "perfect servant"? What will happen to each of the characters in 10 years?
- In theaters: December 26, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: October 8, 2002
- Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon
- Director: Robert Altman
- Studio: USA Films
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 137 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual situations, language, brief violence
- Last updated: March 30, 2022
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
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