Victoria & Abdul - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Victoria & Abdul Reviews

December 1, 2017
Judi Dench's Oscar-worthy second turn as Queen Victoria is a poignant portrait of fading power and human connection.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
October 13, 2017
Victoria & Abdul may capture the ugly side of Britain's colonial past, but its demeaning portrait of Abdul reinforces the Orientalism it purports to lampoon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 29, 2017
The film's attempt to portray the Queen as more politically enlightened than her courtiers is kindly but unconvincing, and many of the actors bark and behave as if participating in a spoof.
September 29, 2017
Victoria & Abdul is worth seeing for Dench's magisterial performance and for Frears's light but sure directorial touch. Just don't mistake it for actual history.
September 29, 2017
This film - which is, we're told, "based on real events - mostly" - tells of how the elderly queen got her groove back, so to speak.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 29, 2017
It's up to historians to assess how accurate this funny, charming film is to the details of Queen Victoria's last years, but its use of poetic license is impeccable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 29, 2017
It's a neatly executed lark but one that eventually becomes ensnared in the colonialism it seeks to expose.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 29, 2017
Whether "Victoria & Abdul" holds up to historical scrutiny is up for debate - the prologue says the film is "based on true events... mostly" - but Dench, as always, is the real deal.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 28, 2017
Frears hasn't just made an historical recreation; he has made a movie containing a message with universal implications for all places and times when racism rears its head.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 28, 2017
What to make of such a remarkable bit of history? Alas, for director Stephen Frears, the answer is "not much" (though what is there is certainly splendid to look upon).
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 28, 2017
"Victoria and Abdul" is hampered by the restrictions of a Hollywood period piece: It's glossy and sentimental, with a feel-good message about racial prejudice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 28, 2017
A film of solid craftsmanship led by another royally magnificent performance by Judi Dench.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 28, 2017
The tale of Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim ... is one that's good and true and worth telling. But the way that "Victoria and Abdul" slops it around is - mostly - hogwash.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 28, 2017
Frears rightfully showcases Dench, and she is, simply, great. But he and writer Lee Hall shortchange Abdul, making him not a caricature, but more an outline of a character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 28, 2017
Is there a more monarchial actress alive than Dench? She could play Victoria in her sleep.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 27, 2017
In Victoria & Abdul, the Empress of India comes off honest, loving and decent. That seems deaf as well as stupid.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 27, 2017
The movie ultimately all comes down to Dench, and the film becomes a frame of her performance. It's a great performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2017
Victoria & Abdul is Dench's show.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 25, 2017
The chief - though hardly the only - problem with Victoria & Abdul is that too much political correctness proves to be as bad for drama as too little.
September 22, 2017
Judi Dench can do no wrong, and playing Queen Victoria for the second time in the richly satisfying Victoria and Abdul is an acting lesson par excellence that proves how rapturous it is to watch this great artist do everything right.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 22, 2017
Uneven but endearing, a tempest in a Mad Hatter teacup.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 22, 2017
Abdul doesn't seem to fear the loss of his homes and station - he appears mainly to want to stay close to his special friend. Ignoring the rich complexity of these circumstances diminishes the history and its participants.
September 22, 2017
Even taking acknowledged liberties with what's billed as a "mostly" a true story, "Victoria & Abdul" is such a fascinating, relevant slice of history it's a shame that the movie isn't a bit less superficial.
September 22, 2017
There are multiple pleasures to be had by witnessing a powerful, still-vital woman finding unexpected late-life joy of the platonic variety.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 22, 2017
The two leads are superb. And the idea that two people -- separated by class, a creed, a continent and half a century - could still share such a perfect bond of innocent friendship seems like an awfully important one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 22, 2017
Judi Dench Is a royal pleasure, but the film-a shallow look at Queen Victoria's friendship with an Indian Muslim clerk- fails to examine complicated cultural, historical questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
September 21, 2017
The stories don't quite mesh, but somehow it all works.
September 21, 2017
Queen Victoria may well have been genuinely interested in Indian life in general, and the life of the Indian man she befriended in particular. But this genteel, self-satisfied movie doesn't begin to share her curiosity, much less earn yours.
September 21, 2017
In the shift from comedy to drama the movie goes wobbly. The narrative of cross-cultural understanding by way of individual affinity is a comforting but ultimately dubious one.
September 18, 2017
Victoria And Abdul fails to make much of a case for its characters' friendship apart from the fact that it seems pretty nice.
Full Review | Original Score: C
September 5, 2017
The film is called "Victoria & Abdul" but it only ever lives up to one half of its title.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 5, 2017
This is kid-gloves historical storytelling. It's sometimes amusing, and occasionally touching, but there's nothing here to scare the horses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 3, 2017
The sizable constituency that turns out for glossy period drama of this kind will embrace the sumptuously appointed Victoria & Abdul as a moving account of an isolated old woman finding joy and lightness in her final years.
September 3, 2017
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" served with mango chutney.
September 3, 2017
There's not much to Victoria & Abdul, but as a delivery system for Judi Dench, it serves its purpose. Otherwise, it's just Buckingham Palace fetishism cranked up to peak mumsy.