The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Release Date 24 Feb 2012 TBA

  • User rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.

  75% of raters want to see this movie

Certificate: 12A

Genre: Comedy | Drama

For a disparate group of English pensioners (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup), retirement takes an unconventional turn when they abandon their homeland, enticed by advertisements for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, a seemingly luxurious sanctuary for “the elderly and beautiful” in Jaipur, India. On arrival, they discover that the hotel falls somewhat short of the romantic idyll promised in the brochure, but they are gradually won over by the ever-optimistic young manager Sonny (Dev Patel), and tentatively embark on a new adventure, finding that life can begin again when you let go of the past.

Judi Dench | Bill Nighy | Maggie Smith | Tom Wilkinson

Deborah Moggach


John Madden

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 2/5 Stars. Critic Review

Directed by John Madden. Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup.
THE PLOT: Dench's freshly minted widow Evelyn joins a bunch of fellow old fogeys - Nighy and Wilton's unhappily-married couple; Imrie's serial bride; Smith's wheelchair-bound racist; Pickup's horny old pick-up artist; Wilkinson's gay judge - in a new retirement retreat in India. Only said retreat isn't quite finished. The phones don't work. And there are pigeons nesting in the bedrooms. But the first batch of residents clearly have more pressing matters on their mind. Such as, is there life just before death?
THE VERDICT: Written by Ol Parker (Thandie Newton's hubby) and directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love, The Debt), this might as well have been called Last Of The Summer Curry. Or maybe Slumdog Pensioner, given that this co-production with India plays with, and straight into, all the popular South Asian stereotypes - old salt of the earth philosophers mixing with panhandlers, and kids playing makeshift cricket on the streets. As Wilkinson's returning judge says of India, "I love the light, the colours, the smiles - it teaches me something". Only, The Best Exotice Marigold Hotel doesn't really teach us much. Certainly not as much as a good episode of Dench's early 1990s sitcom As Time Goes By might teach us. And only slightly less than the 1970s ITV atrocity Don't Drink The Water. Goodness gracious me, indeed. RATING: 2/5

Review by Paul Byrne 

  • Avg User rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    With the sequel coming out, I finally got around to watching this film. It is very lightweight, but still enjoyable. There are some nice laughs, and the whole thing breezes along nicely. It really is exactly what you expect. As expected, the cast are all great, and it really is an ensemble piece as everyone gets their moment in the sun, so to speak.

    • Currently 2/5 Stars.


    • Currently 2/5 Stars.

    Marty hanratty

    Madden pads the film with shimmering images of Jaipur and its surroundings; a midmovie funeral sequence - 'cause somebody's got to kick the bucket! - even manages to be somewhat evocative and moving. The rest makes you long for senility to set in, but quick.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    This film is one of those typical eye openers and is a nice easy film whilst at at the same time makes you consider the fact that what you have isn't really all that bad. Magpie smith shines as the bitter, twisted old nag of a woman but if you consider the role as a talent of her acting capabilities you can really see how well she actually delivered the role. A film well worth seeing, to have on DVD long term definitely but worth a trip to the cinema - if you've nothing much else to be doing.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    Although a tad predictable and not at all original in its premise, I couldn't help but get swept up in this story with a great cast like this! Very enjoyable movie.

    • Currently 1/5 Stars.


    It's a film which looks as if it has been conceived to be shown on a continuous loop in a Post Office queue.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    It was a great movie for watching how people react in a different environment. There were definately laugh out loud moments but it was a story of hope too. I found myself involved in the lives of these people and interested in the what was going to happened to the hotel. It was good, there was a vibrancy throughout it and I came out of the cinema in a better mood than when I went in.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    Great performances and some really good comedy touches.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    There's a refreshing, amusing and touching candour to the picture's portrayal of its oldies in crisis. It turns out they have the same problems as people half their age - just with a different perspective.