This movie is a mess, although it’s the sort of mess a true fan might be willing to tolerate. Director Michael Engler seems to be working with enough subplots in this movie to fuel an entire season of the former TV show, and it’s painfully apparent by the pace—especially in its first half—that the big screen doesn’t serve the cast well. The big plot twist here is that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton Abbey, a big estate with a reasonably sized staff, for a quick visit during one of their tours. So the staff, taken a bit by surprise, must prepare for a visit from the royal family. Much of this movie is staff running around trying to prepare for this visit. In fact, the first half of this movie is almost entirely about preparing for the visit. They go to the store for eggs. They try to fix the boiler so the Queen will have hot water, and they endure some minor staff shakeups in anticipation of the big visit. Then the visit happens, and then the visit ends. That’s the main thrust of the movie. In the background, there are all sorts of little affairs and plot threads that even the most hardcore fans might have a hard time keeping track of. There’s even a blink-and-you-will-miss-it assassination plot involving King George that just sort of happens, without any attention to anything resembling details. Hey, a movie where King George V almost gets assassinated should be at least slightly exciting.