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Brideshead Revisited (2008)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 128
Fresh: 80 | Rotten: 48

Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and beautifully mounted, Brideshead Revisited does an able job condensing Evelyn Waugh's novel.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and beautifully mounted, Brideshead Revisited does an able job condensing Evelyn Waugh's novel.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 21,704


Movie Info

"Brideshead Revisited" tells an evocative story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in the pre-WWII era. In the film, Charles Ryder becomes entranced with the noble Marchmain family, first through the charming and provocative Sebastian Flyte, and then his sophisticated sister, Julia. The rise and fall of Charles' infatuations reflect the decline of a decadent era in England between the wars.

PG-13 (for some sexual content)
Directed By:
Written By:
Jeremy Brock , Andrew Davies
In Theaters:
Jan 13, 2009
Box Office:
Miramax Films - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Brideshead Revisited

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (48) | DVD (9)

Performances are good - Thompson and Gambon impress - but the insipid music is dreadful.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Thompson, though, is marvelous; with understated precision and grace, she makes every word count. Also excellent is Michael Gambon.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

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).

Full Review… | July 31, 2008
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Yes, it's a compressed version, but I found it very enjoyable.

July 28, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 25, 2008
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic


Full Review… | August 26, 2009
Slant Magazine

A bleak and often befuddling 2-hour-15-minute disappointment.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009

slow and beautiful, rather than intense, dramatic and insightful

Full Review… | April 4, 2009

it still has the high-class dramatic feel you'd expect from something you would have watched on PBS twenty years ago

Full Review… | March 5, 2009
7M Pictures

Occasionally interesting, always beautiful and regularly tedious, the film attempts to capture a time and a feeling yet it ultimately fails to provide the depth needed to make it wholly successful.

Full Review… | January 25, 2009

Certainly passable, but less than spectacular, Brideshead Revisited is an authentic and decent adaptation of a well-known novel, but nothing more.

Full Review… | January 7, 2009
Apollo Guide

The events in the film felt rushed and overly obvious, as if Harry Potter's adopted parents dressed him in an "Ask me about wizardry" t-shirt before Hagrid ever turned up.

Full Review… | November 9, 2008

Those with warm memories of the BBC television serial in the 1980s will find much in this Brideshead to enjoy.

Full Review… | October 31, 2008
The Australian

Even if the material is familiar, even if it has been done well before, there is room in a great book for a new interpretation.

Full Review… | October 31, 2008
Sydney Morning Herald

It's as if Waugh's story has been filtered through the spiritual blindness of young Charles. The movie sees, but it doesn't understand.

Full Review… | October 29, 2008
Decent Films Guide

With all its failings, this is an intelligent, critical film about religious faith, and that in itself is a rare achievement.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

The look and feel is just about right, and the dialogue and acting are enjoyably sharp. This new version of the classic deserves a fair hearing in its own right.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
FILMINK (Australia)

A timely update on a deserving classic.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Directed by Julian Jarrold from a script by Andrew Davies and Jeremy Brock, this new adaptation adroitly condenses Waugh's plot while eliminating or reversing most of his intended meanings.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
The Age (Australia)

At just over two hours, the film naturally feels a bit cramped and the most interesting elements are given fairly short shrift.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
At the Movies (Australia)

Evelyn Waugh's greatest novel gets a respectable new film treatment from a team of Britain 's biggest names, although it will inevitably remain in the shadow of the 1981 TV series.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Screen International

Thompson's work is especially dazzling because the mean, sanctimonious character is so clearly alien to the actress.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Entertainment Insiders

Characters have been left out -- certainly inevitable -- but mainly what this lacks is air to breathe, wit, humor, a lightness of touch to keep it from being the stodgy bore it is.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
San Diego Metropolitan

This revisiting of Evelyn Waugh's novel is successful in part in that it firmly envelops both its characters and us into a cloud of Catholic claustrophobia. But Julian Jarrold's film is so plodding and overlong, that by the time it reaches its resolution,

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Urban Cinefile

This glorified soap opera, filled with a higher caste of desperate souls, makes Brideshead worth the revisit.

Full Review… | October 13, 2008
Paste Magazine

Audience Reviews for Brideshead Revisited


Not spectacular, but an interesting drama with good performances and a strong story about family, religion and faith that may leave you thinking about it long after the film is over.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Dull, slow moving but visually beautiful. Uncharismatic leads are blown off the screen whenever Emma Thompson is on, displaying her range by playing a markedly different character than usual and as always doing it masterfully. Once she's gone from the scene its just pretty pictures with people you neither really like or care about.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Gruesome Hatchet Job of My Favourite Novel. "Utterly Macarbe".

Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

Brideshead Revisited is a lovely period piece drama set in 1920's UK. The very talented actress Emma Thopmson palys the matriarch of a very wealthy family whom owns Brideshead. A young msn named Chrales Ryder becomes friends with the son of this family and quickly gets entangled in the intrique of this family and home. This movie is worthy of seeing. A very well suited cast and well done by all.

Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

Brideshead Revisited Quotes

Sebastian Flyte: I should like to bury something precious, in every place I've been happy. And then when I was old, and ugly and miserable, I could come back, and dig it up, and remember.
– Submitted by Rocío R (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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