10 Best Movies Like Downton Abbey: A New Era

Those who enjoy the way that Downton Abbey: A New Era brings the past to life will be glad to know that there are a number of similar movies.

Downton Abbey: A New Era continues the adventures of the Crawley family, and it immerses the viewer in the same sumptuous world of the past as its predecessors. Obviously, a key part of the movie’s appeal, as it has been since the series began, has been its ability to capture the gauzy beauty of the past.

Just as importantly, it also engages with the pressing questions of modernity, exploring what it feels like to live during a moment of epochal change. Fortunately for fans of the movie, there are a number of others that address similar issues.

Atonement (2007)

Streaming On HBO MAX

Downton Abbey, among other things, is about historical change and the way those who live through it contend with its consequences. A similar dynamic is at work in Atonement, which focuses on a supposed crime and the way it affects the people involved during several decades.

It’s a haunting movie, rich in period detail and featuring extraordinary performances from its leading cast, particularly James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan, who star as the three primary characters. Devastating and beautiful, it is one of the best movies of 2007.

Ladies In Lavender (2004)

Streaming On Amazon Prime

One of the most endearing characters in Downton Abbey is the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith in one of her best roles. In Ladies in Lavender, she plays one of a pair of spinster sisters who take in a man who is washed ashore near their home.

As she always does, Smith imbues her character, Janet, with an innate warmth and kindness, even if she is the more practical of the siblings. What’s more, there’s no denying the chemistry between Smith and costar Judi Dench.

Emma (1996)

Streaming On HBO MAX

Gwyneth Paltrow has several acclaimed movies in her filmography, so it’s not surprising that she brings her signature charm and charisma to the character of Emma in the movie of the same name. Based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma, the movie is a fairly faithful rendering of the story of a matchmaking young woman who, in a twist, ends up falling in love herself.

Emma is a charming confection of a movie, and with its attention to period detail it is sure to appeal to those who enjoy this aspect of Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Tolkien (2019)

Streaming On FuboTV

In each iteration, including the most recent one, Downton Abbey has contended with the shifting tides of modernity, demonstrating how changes in English culture and society affect the characters. A similar dynamic is at work in Tolkien, a fine biopic about the famous fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien. In particular, the last portion of the movie demonstrates how much of an impact World War I had on this literary giant.

The movie’s charm is greatly enhanced by Nicholas Hoult, who brings out the richness of Tolkien’s psychology, while also helping the viewer see how he would go on to become one of the most successful authors of the 20th century.

Wilde (1997)

Not Currently Streaming

Wilde deserves a great deal of credit for being one of the best literary biopics, focusing as it does on the creative genius and life of Oscar Wilde. As played by Stephen Fry, Wilde emerges as a man of deep intelligence and a razor-sharp wit.

Of course, as is the case with Downton Abbey: A New Era, the movie’s primary appeal lies in its ability to show how dangerous and downright unpleasant the lives of LGBTQ+ people were in earlier periods of English history.

Shakespeare In Love (1998)

Streaming On Amazon Prime And Paramount+

Downton Abbey: A New Era, like its predecessor, is at least in part about love and about the way it can shape one’s life for years. Having won the Oscar for best picture, Shakespeare in Love is usually seen as one of the best movies of the 1990s because it manages to capture both the texture of Elizabethan life and because it features such extraordinary performances from Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare and Gwyneth Paltrow as his love interest, Viola.

Their doomed romance would inspire some of Shakespeare’s great works, and the movie itself is a triumph of historical filmmaking.

Elizabeth (1998)

Streaming On Peacock

One of the great strengths of Downton Abbey has always been its meticulous attention to historical detail. The movie, like the series, immerses the viewer in the English past.

Though Elizabeth, the biopic about the famous Elizabeth I, may not be quite as historically accurate, it nevertheless does manage to give the viewer a feeling of what it must have been like to live in the dangerous, often fraught, court of one of England’s most famous queens. What’s more, it also features a dynamic performance from Cate Blanchett, and it remains one of her best roles.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Streaming On Peacock

Given how powerful Blanchett’s performance was as Queen Elizabeth I, it only made sense to produce a sequel. Like its predecessor, Elizabeth: The Golden Age examines the private life of this illustrious Queen, even as it also pays attention to politics and the way that the Spanish Armada forced Elizabeth to take an ever more active role as leader of her nation.

With its blending together of the personal and the political, it is a movie sure to appeal to fans of Downton.

The Favourite (2018)

Not Currently Streaming

Even though it is very much a drama, there is still quite a lot of lightness in Downton Abby. The same is true of The Favourite, which is a blend of black comedy, historical drama, and melodrama.

It focuses on a pair of cousins who compete with one another to gain the favor of the ailing Queen Anne (played by Olivia Colman in one of her best roles). More than anything else, the movie is a testament to the ability of desire, particularly for power, to curdle even the strongest person.

The Queen (2006)

Streaming On HBO MAX

Downton Abbey: A New Era continues the series’ practice of showing the power of modernity to change lives and perceptions, particularly since the cinema makes a notable intrusion into Downton.

The Queen, which focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as she contends with the media frenzy after Princess Diana’s death, is similarly concerned with the way that mass media shapes, and sometimes distorts, the truth. Just as importantly, it also shows how much the monarchy has been forced to change and adapt to the changing times.

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