'The Grand Budapest Hotel': What the Critics Are Saying

4:08 PM PST 03/07/2014 by Kanika Lal

Director Wes Anderson mostly pleases reviewers with a dramedy about a European hotel concierge.

Wes Anderson's latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, hits U.S. theaters in limited release this weekend. 

The film, featuring a star-studded cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric,  Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe, was inspired by the writings of Austrian novelist and playwright, Stefan Zweig. Set in Germany, the film revolves around Fiennes as a whimsical concierge who works at a famous European hotel.

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Read what the critics say about The Grand Budapest Hotel below: 

The Hollywood Reporter 's chief film critic Todd McCarthy deemed the film an "idiosyncratic period comedy" which has a selective appeal. "Its sensibility and concerns are very much those of an earlier, more elegant era, meaning that the film's deepest intentions will fly far over the heads of most modern filmgoers," he noted. "Fox Searchlight can hope that the work's boisterous, sometimes bizarre humor, as played by a colorful cast, will be sufficient to attract a sizable slice of the audience that made Anderson's last film, Moonrise Kingdom, his second-biggest hit."

The New York Times' A.O. Scott found himself to be not only "charmed and touched but also moved to a new level of respect." He wrote: "This movie makes a marvelous mockery of history, turning its horrors into a series of graceful jokes and mischievous gestures. You can call this escapism if you like. You can also think of it as revenge." 

The Los Angeles Times'  Kenneth Turan rated the movie four-stars, admiring the stylistic qualities Anderson included. "Delighting in all manner of old movie tropes, from elaborate chases to hairs-breadth escapes to Victorian plot devices like 'the second copy of the second will,' this playful yet poignant film, anchored by a knockout performance by Ralph Fiennes, tells the Boys' Own Adventure yarn of how a celebrated hotel concierge and a lowly lobby boy team up to have the adventure of a lifetime," Turan wrote.

In a three star review, The New York Daily News critic Joe Neumaier notes that "Anderson’s bigger ideas do get jumbled up in his caper. While not so serious as to dilute the joys of 'Budapest,' the script ... is a bit flighty. The result is a film almost too reliant on its players to push it through."

Tim Robey from U.K.'s The Telegraph wrote, "Non-devotees might be bracing themselves, but the scales could just as easily fall from their eyes when they sit down to watch this. The trouble is: it’s wonderful. It does all of the above, and it’s still wonderful. You could get light-headed on the pure fun of it, which unleashes fresh waves of fun-within-fun at every point where you worry it might dry up."

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