top of page


Minor narrative flaws aside, Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren both prove why they are national treasures in the UK.

Sometimes you don't need a movie to surprise you, preferring instead for it to give you familiar story beats and emotions, like a warm, comforting blanket on an idle Sunday. The Duke does exactly that and is an excellent film because of it.

In the late Roger Michell's final foray behind the camera the director recounts the unbelievable but true story of a Newcastle pensioner who in 1961 stole the titular Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery and asked free TV licenses for old-age Britons as a ransom for its return.

The plot is told with some clunkiness and the picture could have added some more social context to really bring home the wonderful message, while the visual approach is far from distinctive, but when you have Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren as the protagonists, both proving effortlessly why they are national treasures in the UK, minor flaws like those are hardly relevant for your enjoyment.

Particularly the rousing final act that highlights Broadbent on trial for his theft will have you applauding the jury's verdict with a big smile on your face.

release: 2022

director: Roger Michell

starring: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Matthew Goode, Fionn Whitehead


bottom of page