Film: Downton Abbey: A New Era
Plot: Follow-up to the 2019 feature film in which the Crawley family and Downton staff received a royal visit from the King and Queen of Great Britain.
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Tuppence Middleton, and Maggie Smith
Director: Simon Curtis
Release Date: May 20, 2022
Studio: Focus Features
HCA Overall Grade: B+

Maggie Lovitt says, “Downton Abbey: A New Era is exactly what fans of the franchise have come to expect. Beautiful dresses, breathtaking scenes, easily managed drama, and not a dry eye to be found. A new era has arrived at Downton and the film hints at the dawning of a new age—one where the upstairs-downstairs of it all is on the way out and the estate will have to find new avenues of success to finance its upkeep. The children may all be set for life, with titles and estates waiting for them in adulthood, but times are changing.”

Grade: A+

Rachel Wagner says, “The highlight is always Maggie Smith as Violet and she’s spectacular here. My advice is to have some tea, take your friends and go back in time for a delightful experience at the theaters!”

Grade: B

Wendy Lee Szany says, “This movie is so charming and witty, with gorgeous locations and costumes to boot. Beautifully acted. A cozy and pleasant film that fans new and old will enjoy. Yes, I cried at the end.”

Grade: A-

Kit Bowen says, “The latest Downton Abbey drama offers excellent fan service for those who have loved this series. We watch the Crawley extended family, friends and their servants herald in a New Era (the 1930s, to be exact), as a film crew comes in to use the manor for a silent movie just as talkies become all the rage. Definitely has a Singin’ in the Rain vibe. Plus, Maggie Smith slays again as Duchess Grantham in another poignant and revealing performance. But the plot doesn’t matter much. This is about being wrapped in a warm blanket, sipping a comforting cup of tea, and watching your favorite British characters being British for an hour and a half.”

Grade: A

Demetri Panos says, “Downton goes Hollywood and to the French Riviera in this entertaining change of pace movie that fills the big screen with castles villas, and a dash of movie-making magic.”

Grade: B+

James Oster says, “Downton Abbey: A New Era is a wonderfully charming continuation of the popular series and film. The addition of a film crew dealing with the end of silent films was inspired. It’s so good that it made me want to return to the series.”

Grade: A

Patrick Stoner says, “At this point, Downton Abbey is like a 10-year college reunion. It’s great to see the campus all spruced up and you know you’re in the grip of loving nostalgia. Your old friends have some new stories and still look great, but that’s not the appeal. You’re just happy to be alive and with them.”

Grade: A

Zachary Pope says, “As someone who has never seen the show and only saw this to show my grandmother since it’s her favorite show ever I actually really enjoyed this! A bit messy with its plotting but very delightful overall.”

Grade: B-

John Rocha says, “Downton Abbey: A New Era is a delightful, brilliant and enchanting trip back into the world of Downton Abbey and the Crawleys! You’ll laugh, smile, cry and smile again as you spend two wonderful hours forgetting the madness of the outside world and feeling the warmth of this one.”

Grade: A

Matt Neglia says, “Downton Abbey: A New Era is another light but a welcome reunion with the Crawley family and their servants with lovely new additions including the irresistibly charming Hugh Dancy, Dominic West, and Laura Haddock. Balancing this many characters is quite impressive given the limitations of the runtime even though I don’t think it does it as successfully as the first film. The end result overall though is just as good if not slightly better than the first mostly due to the “film within the film” scenes which are a delight.”

Grade: B-

Landon Johnson says, “Downton Abbey is a gorgeously delightful second installment in the beloved franchise. It’s enjoyable even if you’re not a fan of the show. Shot against a picturesque villa in the South of France, A New Era allows the audience to escape into the Crawley’s world seamlessly. Thanks to Simon Curtis’s superb direction and Julian Fellowes’s warm writing style, Downton Abbey is a refreshingly fun film that will leave you feeling good.”

Grade: B

Peggy Marie says, “Downton Abbey might’ve lost a bit of its original polish – but it will never lose its enchantment! Spending a lovely two hours back w/the delightful Crawley family as they evolve, still never losing their quick-witted quips or appeal. You’ll laugh, cry and smile throughout.”

Grade: B

Downton Abbey: A New Era is now playing exclusively in theaters