Parents' Guide to

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fabulously acted retiree drama will appeal more to parents.

Movie PG-13 2012 122 minutes
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

You think it goes down one road and then it pleasantly surprises you

I thought this was going to be elderly Eat Pray Love, but it is much more than that. It is a film that is chock full of egregious talent and you think is going to go one way and surprises you with gentle folds in its narrative. Maggie Smith is odious, heartbreaking, and lovely all in one film...fantastic! Wilkinson's character is heart wrenching and Nighy and Dench dance around each other splendidly. India itself gets short shrift and does come off as an exotic locale (although it is in the title it comes off more tongue-in-cheek). Wonderful emotion and lovely acting.
age 16+


OK movie but is HIGHLY aimed for adults there is SEX THROUGHOUT like kissing throughout plus old people are trying to get married and even try to change there name to prince of Kent, or John Smith, or even Princess Margaret to seem for attractive to other people. Also sadness like old woman's husband dying and more. There is one some nudity: a brief shot of a woman completely naked before going to bed and a naked man dancing in the shower. Also there is a man refers to himself as gay multiple times, DRINKING THROUGHOUT, racism to people from India, and some language like b**tards, and f*** and a few uses of sod it.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This is a perfectly enjoyable "take your mother to the movies" pick, but it would also make a fine "show the kids how it's done" selection. Leave it to the English to show Hollywood that a dramedy starring a who's who of seniors (at 59, Imrie is the youngest cast member) can be loads funnier, sweeter, and more romantic than the kind of forgettable fluff that passes for romcoms here week in and week out. The stellar cast (featuring both of the Downton Abbey grandes dames!) is fabulous, but what else would you expect from such a winning group of British thespians? Not only is it a delight to watch Smith play a narrow-minded, working-class woman for once, but it's also amazing to see Nighy, who often romances much younger actresses on screen, paired up with someone older than him.

The plot is admittedly thin, but that doesn't stop director John Madden from exploring the taboo issues of getting older: depression, sexuality, dissatisfaction, even death. But all of the transformations are captured in a way that's touching and humorous to witness. Audiences completely unaware or unappreciative of dry British humor may not "get" some of the subtler, genius lines, but the dialogue is full of rich, laugh-aloud lines. Take the sarcastic witticisms of snarky Mrs. Ainsley, who barks at her husband: "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 4, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: September 18, 2012
  • Cast: Bill Nighy , Dev Patel , Judi Dench , Maggie Smith
  • Director: John Madden
  • Inclusion Information: Indian/South Asian actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 122 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: sexual content and language
  • Last updated: December 20, 2022

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