The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Poster Image
Great cast, but sequel doesn't match original's charm.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Don't let your age get in the way of new experiences and challenges. But also: With age comes the wisdom not to take anything for granted. The characters must act now, because they don't know how long they have left to live and to love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the over-60 residents take risks and reinvent themselves to make the most of their "retirement." Evelyn takes a job she excels at for the first time in her life; Douglas is finally open about loving someone; Mrs. Donnelly helps Sonny with his vision for expansion; Norman and Madge run a popular club; and Sonny is ambitious about starting a second hotel/extended-stay residence.


One character nears death.


Conversations about monogamy and adultery. Scenes of couples embracing, kissing, and going in or out of hotel rooms or homes together, having obviously been together sexually. A couple lives together at the hotel, but one of them is sleeping with other partners. Sonny and Sunaina, who are engaged, hug and kiss briefly, while Madge is sleeping with two different men in hopes of securing an engagement. Mrs. Kapoor accuses Sonny of "pimping out his mother."


Infrequent language includes the British curses "bloody" and "shite," plus "piss," "bollocks," "crap," "sod it," and "hell."


Sony VAIO, Ford Mustang, Skype, the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink at meals and receptions -- mostly wine or cocktails.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- the sequel to the hit dramedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- once again stars Dev Patel and a "who's who" of acclaimed British actors over 60. Although the sequel is clearly targeted at mature audiences, the movie is fine for older tweens and teens who are open to an inter-generational story featuring dry British humor and a cast familiar to them from Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Expect some sexual references and situations (including adultery and being active with multiple partners), but there aren't any overt love scenes that extend beyond embraces and brief kissing. Language is infrequent but does include British curses like as "bloody," "bollocks," and "shite"; there's also some social drinking, and one character who nears death.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDan G. March 9, 2015

Too much objectionable sexual content for children

This movie is fine for adults, but the things it teaches children about sexuality will not serve them well. The movie suggests that divorce is OK and normal (t... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 6, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the sequel to the best exotic marigold hotel however this movie tones down all strong and racist language and reduces t... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old March 21, 2015

Awful,dumb,extremely boring sequel is fine for tweens but laughably bad.

This sequel fallows the group back trying to make the hotel better and bigger so they decided to make a second best exotic marigold hotel, at the same time a st... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is the sequel to 2012's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which followed a group of British seniors who ended up living in an all-inclusive Indian hotel specializing in the "elderly and beautiful." Now that the residents from the first film are settled in and thriving, clueless-but-well-meaning hotel owner Sonny (Dev Patel) and his manager, Mrs. Donnelly (Maggie Smith), have hopes of expanding to a second location. The American investors intrigued by Sonny's plan tell him they'll be sending an anonymous guest to scope things out -- and soon, a handsome 60-something (Richard Gere) shows up saying he's an aspiring author. But Sonny believes he's the undercover investigator. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy) struggle to make the next step in their romantic relationship, Madge (Celia Imrie) must decide between two suitors. and Norman (Ronald Pickup) and Carol (Diana Hardcastle) struggle with monogamy.

Is it any good?

The movie's title is a little bit on the nose, because this sequel is most definitely not as good as the original. It's occasionally clumsy and unintentionally funny, but the ensemble of award-winning actors do their best with the admittedly "second best" material. Unlike the first film, which charmingly reminded viewers about the transformational power of travel and new beginnings, the sequel finds many of the characters in need of a good kick in the rear to get them to the next level, whether it's in their relationships or their career aspirations.

Still, these are actors who know what they're doing, and despite the shortcomings in the screenwriting, the octogenarian Dames (Dench and Smith) are always a pleasure to see. Dench and Nighy stretch out the romantic tension of their inevitable couplehood, while Smith does what she does so well -- make judgmental quips and give wise advice. As for Patel's Sonny, he's no longer insecure about his mother, but he's still insecure -- until his guests and his love help him see that he has no reason to doubt his success. Gere, on the other hand, is the movie's weakest link. The director should have kept the cast to the English stars, who will all hopefully keep working for years to come.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel's messages about old age, new beginnings, and second chances. How do the characters take advantage of their new opportunities in India?

  • Do you think a movie starring mostly over-60 actors only has appeal for adults? Would teens be interested in this movie? What messages does it have for them?

  • How is romance depicted in the movie? Does the movie make it seem like the elderly live celibate lives, or are they as interested in sex as younger characters?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love travel

Themes & Topics

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