Victoria & Abdul

Critics Consensus

Victoria & Abdul reunites Dame Judi Dench with the role of Queen Victoria -- which is all this period drama needs to overcome its imbalanced narrative.



Total Count: 191


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,460
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Movie Info

The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.

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Critic Reviews for Victoria & Abdul

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (39)

  • 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.

    Oct 13, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 29, 2017 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 29, 2017 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 29, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a neatly executed lark but one that eventually becomes ensnared in the colonialism it seeks to expose.

    Sep 29, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 29, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Victoria & Abdul

  • Mar 15, 2018
    There is nothing like a pathetic period drama that romanticizes the platonic relationship between a condescending white queen and a submissive Muslim who is loyal to her like a puppy; but then again, all is fine when you show that Muslims oppress their women too, right? Yeah.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2018
    It's a cute which I enjoy. Quite heart breaking really!
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2017
    With Dench and Gambon how can you go wrong and you don't in this amazingly true story of how a queen discovers joy and humanity from a lowly Muslim servant. The make-up and costumes are top-notch. Fazal, a Bollywood star, brings just the right nuance to the role of Abdul. (9-29-17)
    John C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2017
    This movie certainly has its flaws, but nevertheless it's amazing, refreshing, heartfelt, and benefits from an abundance of chemistry between its two leads. I loved it :D
    Serge E Super Reviewer

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