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A Royal Affair Reviews

Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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For all its incident, A Royal Affair is slow and picturesquely framed - more of a languorously animated coffee-table book than a gripping drama.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 1, 2013
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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The film ends not on a happy note, naturally, but on a moment of hope. Love may not conquer all, but it has a power all its own.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

January 18, 2013
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Although the brazen lovers, bellicose ministers and backstabbing handmaidens are familiar elements, the film is so handsomely mounted that we happily endure the ride until the turning of the screws in the tragic last act.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 17, 2013
Michael Nordine
L.A. Weekly
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Perhaps there's only so much to be done with a costume drama about illicit affairs and would-be coups.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

January 2, 2013
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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What a piece of work is this historical drama.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 7, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A Royal Affair covers plenty of stately ground, all in good time.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 29, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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A fascinating, stately thriller.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

November 21, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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A crowned-heads soap opera that balances effectively between pomp and melodramatic circumstance.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

November 21, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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A tragic love story, beautifully told.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 20, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Even appreciated simply as a little-known chapter of European history, it proves consistently engrossing, edifying and affecting.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 16, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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"A Royal Affair" is an engaging and entertaining film, one that might have been great, if only the history were different.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The film moves along crisply, looks great and stimulates the brain (I am a sucker for torrid romances propelled by quotes from Rousseau and Voltaire.)

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A Royal Affair is historical drama of the highest order - teeming with big ideas, and anchored by the nicely nuanced performances of Vikander and Mikkelsen.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 15, 2012
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
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History may not always be fun, but, at least in this case, it's fascinating.

Full Review Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ | Original Score: 4/5

November 15, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Director Nikolaj Arcel gets outstanding performances from all three of the principals, which enlivens the whole affair considerably.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

November 15, 2012
John Anderson
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The film tells an intimate story with an enormous amount of grace.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 15, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The storytelling ... is kind of amazing.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

November 14, 2012
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
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'Affair' is disappointingly conventional, much too decorous and, at two hours-plus, sometimes just plain dull.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 13, 2012
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It does a fine job of dramatizing the pure power of ideas and the attraction of like minds. And what happens when those ideas, and that attraction, runs counter to the pleasures of the most powerful man in the land.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

November 9, 2012
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
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"A Royal Affair" is basically a good-looking set of historical Cliffs Notes.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 9, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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This highly polished costume drama is exceptionally well-made and a model of intelligent restraint, but it is also unapologetically earnest and a bit on the bloodless side.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

November 8, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

November 8, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Unfortunately it never fully comes to life.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

November 8, 2012
Ella Taylor
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While it's lavish and lush in all the expected costume-drama ways, A Royal Affair never bogs down in period detail.

Full Review Source: NPR

November 8, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Nikolaj Arcel's sumptuous Danish romance looks much like other well-made costume dramas, barring a single, crucial exception: This is the only one with Mads Mikkelsen in the lead.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

November 8, 2012
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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This Scandinavian coproduction is essentially an old-fashioned period spectacle, offering the tried-and-true pleasure of romantic melodrama in fancy costumes.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 8, 2012
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
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Anyone eagerly awaiting Anna Karenina and Les Miserables shouldn't miss A Royal Affair.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

November 8, 2012
Sam Adams
AV Club
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At least for a while, Arcel manages to animate the long-settled debate, at least until the inevitability of its resolution becomes too clear to overlook.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

November 8, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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As the power behind the throne once removed, Mikkelsen is well-cast as a strong leading man who is also convincing as an intellectual and reformer.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 8, 2012
Nick Schager
Village Voice
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Director Arcel handles the material with a stately grace that compensates for the story's predictable trajectory, though humdrum period detail and monotonous pacing too often leave the proceedings feeling only partially aroused.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 7, 2012
Amanda Mae Meyncke
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We are drawn undeniably to well-crafted beauty, power wielded for good and romance built upon authenticity, and A Royal Affair has all three in bounds.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A-

November 6, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Intrigue and eroticism abound, all of it watchable, none of it particularly exciting.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

November 6, 2012
Cath Clarke
Time Out
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Genuinely engrossing, if a little stiff, and it's only in the drama of the last five minutes that actor-of-the-moment Mikkelsen shows us what he's really made of.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

June 12, 2012
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