Critics Consensus

It's sweet, gentle, and predictable to a fault, but Dustin Hoffman's affectionate direction and the talented cast's amiable charm make Quartet too difficult to resist.



Total Count: 141


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,317
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Movie Info

Beecham House is abuzz. The rumor circling the halls is that the home for retired musicians is soon to play host to a new resident. Word is, it's a star. For Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay), Wilfred Bond (Billy Connolly) and Cecily Robson (Pauline Collins) this sort of talk is par for the course at the gossipy home. But they're in for a special shock when the new arrival turns out to be none other than their former singing partner, Jean Horton (Maggie Smith). Her subsequent career as a star soloist, and the ego that accompanied it, split up their long friendship and ended her marriage to Reggie, who takes the news of her arrival particularly hard. Can the passage of time heal old wounds? And will the famous quartet be able to patch up their differences in time for Beecham House's gala concert? -- (C) Weinstein


Maggie Smith
as Jean Horton
Tom Courtenay
as Reggie Paget
Billy Connolly
as Wilf Bond
Pauline Collins
as Cissy Robson
Michael Gambon
as Cedric Livingston
Sheridan Smith
as Dr. Lucy Cogan
Andrew Sachs
as Bobby Swanson
Gwyneth Jones
as Anne Langley
Michael Byrne
as Frank White
Patricia Loveland
as Letitia Davis
Eline Powell
as Angelique
Sarah Crowden
as Felicity Liddle
Colin Bradbury
as Olly Fisher
Ronnie Hughes
as Tony Rose
Jack Honeyborne
as Dave Trubeck
Nuala Willis
as Norma McIntyre
Melodie Waddingham
as Marion Reed
Cynthia Morey
as Lottie Yates
John Heley
as Leo Cassell
Cyril Davey
as "Flat piano" Resident
Esmy Penry-Davey
as Young Pianist
Isla Mathieson
as Young Violinist Isla
Ionia Mathieson
as Young Violinist Iona
Claudia Mellor
as Lady Gaga Girl
Helen Bradbury
as Daisy's Mother
Jennifer Spillane
as Waltzing Neurologist
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Critic Reviews for Quartet

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (113) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for Quartet

  • May 21, 2015
    In "Quartet," things are looking tough at a retirement home for opera singers and other assorted divas in England with all the hopes riding on a fundraising concert presided over by Cedric(Michael Gambon). That hope rises with the arrival of Jean(Maggie Smith), a living legend. But Reg(Tom Courtenay) has mixed feelings, no surprise considering they were once married. Meanwhile, Wilf(Billy Connolly) looks for a bush to take a leak behind. Even as predictable and cliched as it is, "Quartet" is still not a total loss, as it is also more than a little touching. That starts with Dustin Hoffman in his directorial debut, showing a bit of visual flair. And then there is the cast, including several ringers from the world of opera. Yes, one can make a case that Maggie Smith can do what she does in her sleep(and probably does), but that does not make it any less amazing, especially paired with the equally capable Tom Courtenay.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2014
    Dustin Hoffman executive produced and then directed this ode to those who chose the stage, to entertain, and who live to see the spotlight pass them by. Buckshot with many who actually made that choice, who lived that life, it then proceeds to display very nearly a sitcom view of the last act of life, or at the very least the Disney version. Everyone is dressed up, very clean, in this mansion out in the country, a home for retired musicians, appointed with fine lawns, and have rooms that should be called suites. Whatta way to go! The story concerns the difficulties a once popular foursome have in getting together to do one more show ("to save the orphanage ... for the penguin ... we're on a mission from God" The Blues Brothers then, though w/o the major players doing even one song!). The players perform their required duties but are ill served finally by the platform given them. Only Pauline Collins gets any real work done here. No, honestly.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2013
    This British comedy-drama film based on the play of the same title by Ronald Harwood, which ran in London's West End from September 1999 until January 2000, and it was filmed late in 2011 at Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire. This is actor Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. And it wasn't bad at all! The story of Ronald Harwood who wrote the screenplay as well, takes place in Beecham House, a retirement home for gifted musicians, patterned after the real-life Casa di Riposo per Musicisti founded by Giuseppe Verdi. And my favourite very colourful characters were Reg, Wilf and Cissy who are all retired former opera singers who often worked together in the past... All the residents of the retirement home continue to be engaged in their former profession in one way or the other, which gives place to lots of amusing times in the home, but also some rivalries amongst the musicians. The movie was well received by the film critics but I will have to say that is made for targeted audience - I don't know too many young people interested in this subject! For me it was lulling inspirational fantasy/comedy with aging, cultured Englishfolk (and one randy Scot, played by Billy Connolly) living out their golden years in a beautifully maintained residence. Good acting, entertaining story and solid directing are the characteristics of this art work. Don't expect too much, though!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2013
    A completely pleasing way to spend an hour and forty minutes. Nothing spectacular in way of story or technique, but a collection of fine performances delivered by a first-time director who knows his way around character development.
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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