Brideshead Revisited 2008

Critics score:
63 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Thompson, Goode and Atwell make for fine screen company, despite [Emma]Thompson's arguable miscasting. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: If it's a choice between the movie's 135 minutes or the 659 minutes of the miniseries, I'd say it's no choice at all. The shorter version is the one that seems long. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Brideshead Revisited, it turns out, deserves a revisit. Read more

Sam Adams, AV Club: It's rare to find a work that explores issues of faith without veering into religious fundamentalism or militant atheism, which is reason enough to revisit Brideshead one more time. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: If you're in the market for a veddy British drama and miss seeing Emma Thompson in her natural environment, Brideshead Revisited is a worthwhile two-hour meditation on faith (and the lack thereof). Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Read more

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times: [Director] Jarrold seems too often to consciously be making an in-quotation-marks classy picture, much like last year's Atonement, in which the costumes and setting are just so, but the human drama gets lost amid the pictorial pleasantries. Read more

Albert Williams, Chicago Reader: The fine cast includes Emma Thompson as the siblings' gracious but domineering mother, and the location footage of the family's majestic mansion is stunning. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: What's missing from Goode's performance and from the film as whole is the layer upon layer of accumulated motive -- the gradual evolution of a man's complex desires and even-more-complicated fears. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: A great piece of work in a movie. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: This version feels fairly condensed. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Brideshead Revisited is opulent and watchable, yet except for Thompson's acting, it's missing something -- a grander, more ambivalent vision of the England it depicts dying out. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Threaded through with ambivalence about class, religion and sexuality, Brideshead Revisited is overnuanced, a world of delicate cruelty, where most of the wounds take place without breaking the skin or even a sweat. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: You have to admire the way it refrains from seizing the day for a postmodern lecture on the perils of fundamentalism, and confines itself to the disturbing vision of Evelyn Waugh. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Thompson, though, is marvelous; with understated precision and grace, she makes every word count. Also excellent is Michael Gambon. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: [A] lush, bold, intellectual treatment of the Evelyn Waugh novel about Catholicism and nonconformity, which ventures where the fabled '80s miniseries couldn't. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: There's room for more than one Brideshead in this far less glamorous day and age. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Thompson (and another great veteran, Michael Gambon, who shows up as her estranged husband) and Waugh's wit are reason enough to revisit this Brideshead. Read more

Bob Mondello, This is a world of dinner jackets and evening gowns, casual jaunts to Venice and Morocco; it's about elegance, style, money and perhaps too heady a mix of drink, religion and intrigue. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Gauzy and unfocused. It suffers from too many rooms and not enough view. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: [Feels] like a lot of other costume dramas. The phrase Brideshead Regurgitated creeps into mind. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: I recommend the brilliant pessimism of this film to all my readers, who I hope will appreciate the exquisitely rendered truthfulness of the narrative. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The film version of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited transforms one of the quintessential novels of the 20th century into one of the grandest, most enriching films of 2008. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: The film is plush and passionate and graced with elegant performances. Best is that of Emma Thompson as Brideshead's matriarch, Lady Marchmain, who resembles a cross between Helen Mirren's Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: For those with an affinity for this kind of movie -- and you know whether this applies to you -- Brideshead Revisited is a worthy, although not superior, motion picture. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: A good, sound example of the British period drama; mid-range Merchant-Ivory, you could say. Read more

Louis Bayard, Even clothed in linen and flannel and tweed, the absurdities of Brideshead Revisited can never be entirely hidden. Read more

David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle: A very noble movie, which makes it interesting at times, but not often enough. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Susan Walker, Toronto Star: Director Julian Jarrold and writers Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies have not surpassed their predecessors, but neither have they done any lasting damage with their interpretation of the 1945 novel. Read more

Hank Sartin, Time Out: If you can let go of your memories of the novel and the outstanding 1981 miniseries, this is enjoyable enough as tasteful melodrama. Read more

Time Out: Performances are good - Thompson and Gambon impress - but the insipid music is dreadful. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The saga ultimately lacks the emotional wallop of the TV version. But its clever writing, strong performances and sumptuous production design make for a rich experience nonetheless. Read more

Dennis Harvey, Variety: Allowing auds sufficient retro-aristo-lifestyle sumptuousness for their dollar, yet exhibiting admirable, intelligent directorial restraint, this Brideshead is mainstream arthouse fare par excellence. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Still hard-hitting and dense, it's a film whose ideal audience consists of younger viewers who haven't seen the TV series and who therefore have nothing to compare it to. Read more