Box art for Quartet


comedy, drama

At a home for retired opera singers, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Charming comedy about elderly opera singers fine for teens.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Quartet focuses on a retirement home for former opera singers and other professional musicians. With its older characters and mature themes, the movie isn't that likely to appeal to younger audiences, but if they're willing, there's nothing really inappropriate in it, save for a couple of uses of "f--k" and some suggestive humor (though no actual kissing or sex). A great choice for grandparents, parents, and teens to watch together, Quartet explores mature issues such as aging, fading talent, seeking forgiveness, and the importance of being passionate about the arts.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Quartet depicts retired artists. Why does Jean say it would be a dishonor to her former self to sing again? Do you think older musicians should stop performing just because their voices might not sound the same or they can't hit high notes the same way?
  • Reggie has an educational conversation about opera being similar to rap; what is the filmmaker trying to say about various musical styles?
  • Why are there so few movies and TV shows that feature older characters? Teens: Does a movie's appeal to you depend on the age of its cast/characters? Why?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 2
    see all Quartet reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The characters in Quartet may be on their way out, but they aren't giving up without a fight.

- Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, Friday, January 11, 2013

Fresh: A mild but perfectly pleasant entertainment from playwright Ronald Harwood and Dustin Hoffman, staying offscreen here to make his directing debut.

- Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, Friday, January 11, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Dustin Hoffman, the old chap. There's a life-affirming irony in how he, 75 years of age, has chosen to make his directorial debut about a group of retired musicians, instead of retreating himself after over 50 years in the spotlight. If he wasn't a paragon of "it's never too late" before, he has certainly become one now. Additionally, he has congregated some of the senior elite from the veteran British actors' guild. And truly, how can you not enjoy yourself with old pleasant acquaintances like Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon; perhaps best known to younger generations as Professor Minerva and Dumbledore in the "Harry Potter" films. Billy Connelly as a frisky old pervert plants another good foundation for merriment. Epicenter of all events is the idyllic retirement home known as Beecham House. There we meet Cissy, Reggie and Wilfred, three high-spirited geriatrics (with some exception for Reggie, whose old heart-grief eats away at him every so often) who annually arrange a concert in celebration of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday. The tranquility is soon disturbed, however, when former opera diva Jean Horton (the ever lovely Maggie Smith), who also happens to be Reggie's ex-wife, arrives to the retirement home, which turns out to be at the edge of financial ruin. To preserve their serene subsistence the trio must become a quartet and put together a particularly crowd-drawing benefit gala with Jean as the main attraction. For those that have seen Michael Haneke's "Amour" this is a bit of an antithesis where all the characters have been allowed to age with their dignity intact. Somewhat out of tune in likelihood, but cozy and charming, in a manner that almost makes you welcome the cane and grey hairs. If you're an opera lover you'll probably get much more out of it. Personally, I can't quite count myself into that crowd, even though it on occasion slips in a little Pavarotti and Bocelli in my own customized playlists. Homey it is regardless, to in the company of such an esteemed ensemble receive a more inspirative image of the autumn of life. Predictable, absolutely, but some days a little feel-good-fiddling is exactly what you need.

- CloudStrife84, Friday, March 15, 2013