The Duchess - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Duchess Reviews

November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
May 13, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 7, 2008
This is a wonderful film.
November 7, 2008
There's something really special about Kiera Knightly in these period pieces.
October 18, 2008
It chronicles the saga of a vibrant and forward-thinking woman hampered by the constraints of a rigid society.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 18, 2008
It's disturbingly shallow, focused so tightly on one woman's feelings of repression and loneliness that it lacks any perspective on their causes.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 9, 2008
The Duchess is clearly Knightley's movie, ultimately rising or falling on her performance. She's up to the task, capturing both the charm and grace that made Georgiana so captivating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
September 26, 2008
Fiennes, an actor who disappears into roles like ice in a teacup, makes the Duke a complex and almost sympathetic figure, a bulky, unappealing man whose interests are in all the wrong things.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2008
Beguiling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2008
The Duchess gives us a gorgeous world, a detailed picture of a time and place that could have been painted by Constable, Gainsborough or Watteau. But you wouldn't want to live there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 26, 2008
There's nothing here to show us what a remarkable woman Georgiana was, if indeed she was at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 26, 2008
It isn't just eye candy; there's an active intelligence behind this design.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2008
Though extravagantly pretty, The Duchess still manages to be a costume drama in which the drama survives the costumes.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 26, 2008
It's easy to joke about Knightley's fondness for period dramas. But we shouldn't underestimate her ability to channel the historic and modern into one compelling figure -- or her grasp of the power of dress-up to free performance.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2008
I'm not sure why The Duchess doesn't wholly succeed, because the pieces are all there and they're very watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 26, 2008
Sure, The Duchess is a lavish exercise in style over substance, but it's a well-crafted, superbly acted one.
September 26, 2008
This is scandal-mongering fun that also lays bare the deforming power of the male aristocracy.
September 26, 2008
[Viewers] may wish to heed the marital advice Georgiana's mother offers early in the film: 'Equip yourself with patience, fortitude, and resignation.'
September 25, 2008
While I much liked The Duchess, this portrait feels unfinished.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 25, 2008
The Duchess is a handsome historical film, impeccably mounted, gowned, wigged and feathered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 22, 2008
It's elegantly mounted and never dull -- and always easy on the eyes.
September 19, 2008
Princess Di deserves livelier revisionism.
September 19, 2008
Fiennes and Knightley are exceptional in their roles and Dibb proves himself ably in his first big-budget flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 19, 2008
Knightley is up to the task. Her Georgiana is history with a human face.
September 19, 2008
Things unfold as neatly, and slowly, as a minuet, but there's none of the messiness of life. And that's a shame.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 19, 2008
Knightley is a paper doll around whom the movie wraps hoop skirts and 21st century victimology.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 19, 2008
Thanks to Fiennes, we come to understand the enigmatic duke as the immovable object deeply perplexed at having to contend with the unstoppable force that is his wife. It is a quietly complex performance almost beyond words.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
September 19, 2008
Nice try, but the contemporary parallels are just an empty echo.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 19, 2008
The Duchess is an overstuffed, intellectually underbaked portrait of a poor little rich girl.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
September 18, 2008
It's Knightley who makes The Duchess a royal treat.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 18, 2008
Knightley's wig gets bigger and bigger as the character grows more unhappy, until finally it catches fire — leading to the potentially immortal line, "Please put out Her Grace's hair."
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
September 18, 2008
The Duchess recalls Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, in that it's about bed-hopping and courtly ritual during a time of revolution.
Read More | Original Score: B+
September 18, 2008
[Knightley] breathes real life into the role of Georgiana Cavendish, an 18th century aristocrat with striking parallels to another, more modern, British notable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 17, 2008
[The filmmakers] have accomplished their goal of making the unorthodox life of the late-18th-century noblewoman Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, relevant to a 21st-century audience of moviegoers.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 17, 2008
Knightley does the best she can to enliven such thin Masterpiece Theatre material, but eventually, the sheer emptiness of the pageantry wears her -- and us -- out.
Read More | Original Score: 2/6
September 17, 2008
It has impeccable production values but feels like a Masterpiece Theater production of a Harlequin romance novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 17, 2008
It looks like outtakes from the nauseating bubble-gum fantasy Marie Antoinette.
September 15, 2008
Although it skims the surface, The Duchess is an uncommonly well-crafted historical feminist tearjerker -- both anti-patriarchal and a monument to motherhood.
September 5, 2008
He's also helped enormously by a mature, restrained portrayal from Knightley, a masterclass in passive aggression from Fiennes and a performance of tender seduction from Atwell.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
September 2, 2008
Solid but distant melodrama about the flamboyant 18th century Duchess of Devonshire.
September 2, 2008
For all its luscious period trappings and Keira Knightley's spirited take on the title role, Saul Dibb's handsome biopic reveals little about how Georgiana Spencer Cavendish became one of 18th-century London's most celebrated and influential aristocrats.