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Gosford Park (2001)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 142
Fresh: 122 | Rotten: 20

A mixture of Upstairs, Downstairs, Clue, and perceptive social commentary, Gosford Park ranks among director Altman's best.

97

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 1

A mixture of Upstairs, Downstairs, Clue, and perceptive social commentary, Gosford Park ranks among director Altman's best.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 47,438

My Rating

Movie Info

Maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman takes a witty and absorbing look at the foibles of the British class system in this intelligent murder mystery set in the early '30s. Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) and his wife Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas) are a pair of wealthy British socialites who have invited a variety of friends, relatives, and acquaintances to their mansion in the country for a weekend of hunting and relaxation. Among the honored guests are Constance (Maggie Smith),

R,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Julian Fellowes

Jun 25, 2002

$41.3M

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All Critics (167) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (122) | Rotten (20) | DVD (39)

A scintillating comedy-drama and one of [Altman's] most richly moving and entertaining pictures.

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wonderful British whodunit with some sexual content.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Contents and style converge smoothly and seductively in Altman's luxuriant period drama that applies Agatha Christie murder-mystery format to a rigorous anatomy of British class structure in the 1930s, with all the who's who in U.K. in the cast.

August 11, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Altman juggles about thirty different characters, moving them from the upper-class upstairs to the servants' quarters... and he does so without losing the audience.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Pret-a-Porter and Dr. T. & and the Women, tarnished his '90s comeback, but the ornery Altman is back in top form here.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

please don't raise an eyebrow when you hear such lines as, "Desperate for a ***?" or "Too many fags. They'll be the death of me." The locale here is English society. The date: November 1932. And the "fags" that are being chatted about are puffed on, so pl

May 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Gay.com UK
Gay.com UK

Altman takes you from one delicious subplot to another, serving up mirth and misery in equal measure and exploring the gulf between the lives of those above and below stairs.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

An intruguing commentary on the separation of the classes that will bring back memories of The Remains Of The Day.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

An interesting ensemble mystery.

January 29, 2003
Cinema Sight

Blends The Rules of the Game, Upstairs Downstairs and Ten Little Indians into a rich feast that will have adult filmgoers licking their chops.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The most leaden and uninteresting threads of the film's first half become the most important elements in the murder mystery.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)

An ambitious-but-off-kilter film that desperately searches for but never finds its mark.

September 13, 2002

Robert Altman expertly depicts pre-WWII British class struggle...There's no better portrait of hierarchical doom.

August 29, 2002 Full Review

Altman invites an artistic conundrum: Should a movie be considered great if it only fits together after repeated viewings?

August 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence Journal-World

...the plot seems little more than an excuse to explore textures and generate atmosphere ... to present us with a microcosm of society worthy of Trollope.

July 26, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Hopefully, we can find ourselves just as intelligent as the characters and filmmakers. These are the type of films that remind us what great storytelling is.

July 13, 2002
Billings Outpost (Montana)

The whodunnit aspect is not the meat of the movie. It is instead the characters themselves and their personal affairs, hang-ups, and peculiarities that make the film interesting to watch.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Trust me--not high-brow critics--this is atmospheric dribble.

July 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Robert Altman once again [Dr. T] takes us to a place where the people are so annoying that they get in the way of the story

June 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Supercala.com | Comment (1)
Supercala.com

As always, Altman graciously leads a wonderful ensemble cast, and many of them are worth kudos.

June 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for Gosford Park

Mrs. Wilson: I'm the perfect servant; I have no life. 

"Tea At Four. Dinner At Eight. Murder At Midnight."

Well Gosford Park wasn't as amazing as I hoped it would be. It's packaged as a murder mystery, but really all it is, is servants gossiping about the higher class and the higher class gossiping about their fellow higher class. The whole murder thing only takes about an hour of the movie, and even then it doesn't really drive the film. 

The first hour and fifteen minutes of the film is devoted to getting to know the huge cast of characters. There's so many characters to keep track of. You got all these servants and maids, and then there's all the higher class. No wonder so much time had to be devoted to character development, there's just so many of them. We get to see the life of both the upper class and servants during a weekend stay at a rich mans house. Then the man whose house everyone is at is killed and a detective is brought in, who ends up questioning a lot of people. The movie didn't play out like your standard dinner party murder mystery, where someone is killed and everyone stands around in a big group and tries to figure out who did it. It's grounded, for better or worse, in reality. 

What makes this movie a worthwhile film is a huge and talented cast. Maggie Smith, Clive Owen,  Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillipe; and the cast goes on and on and on and on. My favorite performance came from one of the smaller names, Kelly McDonald who plays a maid and is the one who actually pieces the whole thing together and figures out what happened. The performances go a long way in keeping this slow meandering plot going. 

I can't say whether I liked this or not. I liked the idea of it and the acting was outrageously good. In the end though, I was left sort of underwhelmed. Hardcore Altman fans are probably in love with this film, but for me, it's just another movie, albeit with one of the best ensemble casts ever configured. Whether or not you'll like it will depend on your ability to watch really talky movies and still find it intriguing. I normally can, but by the hour mark I was kind of ofer the whole gossip thing.
August 3, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

It's the early 1930s and a group of wealthy Britons and an American, along with their servants, all gather at an English country house for a shooting party. All goes along decently well enough until the host, Sir William McCordle is found murdered. From there the film explores the murder investigation from the perspectives of both the servants and the guests.

This is some really fun stuff. It's an ensemble darkly comedic whodunit murder mystery period piece, but it's also so much more than that. Yes, a murder is the film's centerpiece, but it's also a finely observed examination of the British class system and the upper class's dependency on servants. The film also touches upon the state of the British Empire during the interwar period, sexual mores of the time, and gay issues, primarily that of the questionable reltionship between the American film producer and his valet. I think that Agatha Christie style whodunits are just fine, but I really appreciated that this film was more than that and tried be entertaining but also provided some insight into the decline of the aristocratic way of life.

Robert Altman was a great choice for this, and the results are not disappointing, as this is a wonderful film and a great entry in his oeuvre. It's got all his trademarks, most notably the ensemble cast made up primarily (though not exclusivly) of a who's who's of actors and actressess from the U.K.

It took me a bit to get used to trying to keep the interconnectedness of all the players straight, but once I got the hang out it, I found myself thoroughly entertained. I did have to put the subtitles on, but that's no big thing. The script is quite sharp and filled with all sorts of fun twists, turns, and set ups for who did it and why. This is a rather lengthy film, but I really didn't seem to notice it all that much. Everything just cruises right along and all of the exposition is just juicy and fascinating stuff.

The cinematography, art direction, and set design are top notch, and the large cast put in some tremendous work. I especially enjoyed Maggie Smith, Kelly Macdonald, and Ryan Phillippe. Oh yeah, and Michael Gambon. He's great too.

You should really check this out. It's a fantastically done film that's super entertaining and oh so British. Hats way off.
October 15, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Gosford Park

    1. Raymond Lord Stockbridge: Would you stop sniveling! Anyone would think you're Italian.
    – Submitted by Frances H (29 days ago)
    1. Constance Countess of Trentham: What was funny?
    – Submitted by Helen B (2 years ago)
    1. Henry Denton: You Brits really don't have a sense of humor do you?
    2. Elsie: We do if something's funny, sir.
    – Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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