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'Paddington 2' Movie Review - Honest Reviews with Kim Holcomb

Paddington 2 is rated PG and opens Jan. 12. It stars Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, and Hugh Grant.

FOOD/DRINK BEFORE SCREENING: breakfast burrito and coffee

MOOD: well-rested

EXPECTATION OF MOVIE: nervously hopeful

As always, I’ll begin with transparency about my state of mind when I watched the movie.

It was a rare morning screening, so I’d just finished a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee.

My mood was good because I’d (miraculously) gotten a solid night of sleep.

And my expectation was nervously hopeful, because I love the original Paddington more than words can express. I still can’t believe it flew under the radar. WHY DIDN’T MORE PEOPLE SEE IT?


I had my fingers crossed they’d figure out how to recapture the magic in Paddington 2.

And I'm thrilled to report, they did!

We find Paddington happily living in London with the Brown family. He decides to get a job so he can buy a birthday present for his aunt - specifically, an expensive antique pop-up book.

But a devious villain also has his sights set on the book.

Hijinks and misunderstandings ensue, and Paddington is ultimately thrown in prison until everything gets figured out.

If this description makes you think, "That doesn't sound like anything I'd be interested in," I totally get it! But I promise you, the magic of these movies is in the storytelling.

London is portrayed through a storybook lens, with lots of pastels and Unions Jacks. You’ll want to call a realtor and move into the Brown’s neighborhood immediately.

Each character is also wonderfully developed, with distinct quirks and challenges and dreams. Even the villain is, to some degree, lovable.

And while the ending is predictable, you’ll enjoy every single moment you spend reaching it.

Honestly, the cast alone is worth the price of admission. It's a list of some of the UK’s brightest stars: Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent - but the man who steals every frame of film is Hugh Grant.

He delivers an absolutely inspired performance as the villain - a washed-up actor desperate to regain his star status. Grant plays the character with gleeful self-reference - there's even a scene where framed photos from Grant's own leading man days fill the walls and bookshelves.

So, what's my review for Paddington 2?

I think it's a perfect little movie.


I enjoyed every single second. I can't wait to watch it again. And if I could, I’d give it a hug.

I think you’ll want to, as well.


I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. I interview actors and filmmakers. I’ve worked in broadcast television for 20 years.

I’m also a Seattle wife and mom who works full-time and sits in an hour of traffic (minimum) every day.

Sometimes I’m tired when I screen a movie. Sometimes I’m traveling and I miss my kids. Sometimes I’ve had a glass wine when I should have had a glass of water.

All of these things can impact my reaction to a film. Because I’m human.

So in an effort to write an Honest Review, I’ll always list the external factors that might affect my enjoyment of the movie. Then, I’ll give you my review. Then, you can decide if it’s useful or not.

What do you think of Honest Review or Paddington 2? Let me know at @kimholcomb.

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