The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Out Now On-Demand

Bittersweet comedy starring British acting royalty Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson as a group of English pensioners who uproot and retire to the seemingly luxurious Marigold Hotel resort in India. From the director of Shakespeare in Love.

On arrival in Jaipur they find not a romantic idyll (as promised by enticing advertisements), but a dusty, run-down shell of the Marigold's former self. Encouraged by the hotel's over-optimistic young manager (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire) and the beauty of India, the group of retirees tentatively embark on a new adventure...


Directed by

  • John Madden('Shakespeare in Love', 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', 'The Debt')

Written by

  • Ol Parker
  • (based on the novel by Deborah Moggach)

Adaptation, Comedy, Drama


Rating: PG contains coarse language and sexual reference


Official Site

Bound to become one of the most talked-about films of the year, this whimsical ensemble comedy pushes all the right emotional buttons at the right moments. Even when you’re aware of it happening, the criminally good cast transcends the film’s flaws. From Judi Dench’s widowed Evelyn to Bill Nighy’s long-suffering Douglas and Penelope Wilton’s permanently dissatisfied Jean, each masterful actor sensitively portrays their character’s pain, desire and vulnerability, allowing for subtle comic flourishes to shine through.

The film might be about a group of English folk outsourcing their retirement to Jaipur, India, but at its core it’s really about letting go of the past. They’ve come to one of the most vibrant places on the planet, a backdrop director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) shows in all its colourful splendour, without recreating a travel show.

Not all of the film hangs together perfectly – it’s all wrapped up a little too conveniently – but it’s so watchable it barely matters, even when the plight of the Indian characters falls back on all-too-familiar themes. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) is charming as the hotel’s preternaturally optimistic and often deluded proprietor, railing against an arranged marriage. Likewise Maggie Smith’s initially xenophobic Muriel undergoes a wildly drastic transformation designed purely to move an audience. But there are more than enough delightful scenes and sparkling one-liners to forgive the film its obvious plot points.

With such an exceptional cast and intoxicating fantasy of a premise, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will leave you grinning for days.

Empire (UK)


Charming, delightful and amusing - just what you'd expect from the star-studded cast of veterans.

Guardian (UK)


Not exactly concerned to do away with condescending stereotypes about old people, or Indian people of any age. It's a film which looks as if it has been conceived to be shown on a continuous loop in a Post Office queue.

Observer (UK)


Provided they don't mind being patronised and stereotyped by a shallow but not wholly untruthful film, then the target audience will be satisfied.

Total Film (UK)


The pleasure of seeing a supergroup of Brit-veterans soon withers in an OAP comedy that plumps for light laughs over deeper insights.

Urban Cinefile (Australia)


Chasing dreams, embracing change and quoting Kipling are some of the elements of this funny, bittersweet and uplifting tale set against a chaotic, colourful backdrop in India.


I love movies, all kinds, too many to mention, but this would have to come close to the top of the list of unmissables. I read reviews and put off going for ages as I imagined I knew what it would be like, and I was very wrong. A straightforward story of a bunch of people making changes in their life for a number of different reasons becomes a deep, personal, emotionally involving journey that sees every member of the cast embodying their roles so fully that it's as though they had never played anything but these particular characters. To balance out the pathos, there are many many moments of humour, both wry and overt, in particular the hotel owner, who never quite overacts but instead plays to perfection his bold and colourful part, and this mood was woven so cleverly throughout that it was impossible to dwell for too long on the solemn side. All in all, a truly wonderful film with a thankfully happy, beautifully satisfying ending.

Amongst My Top Films Of ALL Time!

Okay, so I've been to see this film twice now - and the charm, the appeal, the GENIUS... it's still all there! :) Despite the fact that I was probably one of the youngest in the audience, I would recommend this film to people of all ages. However, it is especially relevant for older people, which is why I made sure to take my grandparents along with me. They both loved it, of course!

And with good reason - the acting line up is simply superb. Judi Dench played a compelling character, both quiet and strong - and inspirational. Bill Nighy was my personal favourite, just because he's so darn adorable! Oh, and Maggie Smith = hilarious. On top of the stellar acting, we are given a brilliant storyline - or, rather, storylines for each set of characters, weaving together perfectly. I also enjoyed the setting of India, and felt that it was a faithful and positive representation.

So, what I'm trying to say is... just go and see this film :D You certainly won't be wasting your money. And, as my title says - this film will definitely become one of my most-loved films of all time.

An Insight Into India

This is a beautifully crafted movie.A great story with never a dull moment.It shows a little of India and the conditions they live with..

The background music is subtle but I found it to be the best I have heard for a long time,so do listen to it.

An enjoyable movie which I highly recommend.

But what about the heat?

Fun little flick which reminds us that our Grande Dames of film won't be around too much longer. What will we do without Maggie and Judy? Still, a very unrealistic look at what would happen to the old folk if we packed them off to India. Lot's of fun ensues with the these chirpy retirees but please don't send granny off to live out her days in Delhi. It's no picnic for the elderly.

Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson's film

It's a great watch and shows on a trip how some people will accept change and some will just moan. A big scene viewing with this film gives it a lot of depth.

Saved by its stellar cast

This is a relatively lightweight movie with a stellar cast that carries the day. It is the story of the ultimate outsourcing - British retirees to India, with all the disasters you can imagine, occurring.

There are some great one-liners throughout. When the wife of the couple whose marriage is disintegrating wonders aloud how they might celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, a response is "a minute's silence!" Some poignant moments too but humour wins.

The hotel itself is a huge disappointment as it is unfinished but as its young manager says, "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not the end."

This is a delightful film. Maggie Smith seems to have truly enjoyed herself playing a racist who ends up having a hip operation in India, but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Only 3 of us at the movie today but we collated scores from a total of 8 Loafers who have seen the movie.

Healthy is a good laugh

Excellent ensemble cast! John Madden... love your work

English roast curried goat!

This movie makes you laugh so hard at times, that you run out of breath and need a ventolin inhaler, even if you haven't got asthma. A grand all star cast that bring life to the Marigold hotel, in an inspirational film, making you want to go home and pack your bags and head out on the first plane to India! Loved it.

in a word


was great to be there and see it, everyone agreed after the movie they wished it was longer and we didn't want to leave the cinema.