Downton Abbey: A New Era first reactions are in - and fans are all saying the same thing

See what cinemagoers have been saying here…

This weekend, there's only one new release that everyone is talking about – the highly anticipated Downton Abbey sequel, which finally arrived in cinemas in the UK on Friday.

MORE: Downton Abbey producer 'thrilled’ by royal involvement in films 

Written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis, the second film inspired by the hit ITV series sees the Crawley family journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the dowager countess' newly inherited villa as a film crew descend on their stately home to shoot a Hollywood flick.

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WATCH: Have you watched Downton Abbey: A New Era yet?

Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and the rest of the main cast make their return alongside some new faces, including Dominic West, Hugh Dancy and Laura Haddock. 

MORE: Meet Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith's family – and you may recognise her sons

MORE: Downton Divas! The best dressed stars from the premiere you can't afford to miss

So what do viewers think? Judging by reviews from audiences on social media so far, the film sparked quite an emotional reaction from fans, with many saying that they had been left in tears by the time the credits rolled.

Downton Abbey: A New Era sees all the main cast return alongside some new faces

Taking to Twitter, one said: "Just watched Downton Abbey A New Era. As expected - absolutely loved it! Such a feel-good film (a few tears too!)," while another wrote: "Downton Abbey: A New Era is simply amazing. Absolutely loved."

Someone else added: "Back with old friends from #DowntonAbbey tonight. South of France, Hollywood, laughter & tears… felt like the closing chapter of a beloved story. Bloody Marvellous!"

Viewers have had an emotional reaction to the new movie

A fourth was equally impressed by the film, tweeting: "Just wow! There was laughter and there was tears. A new era indeed #DowntonAbbeyANewEra."

MORE: Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern talks challenge of working with husband on sequel

HELLO! 's own film critic James King was equally impressed, writing in his review that Maggie Smith's presence as the inimitable Dowager Countess "towers over the proceedings".

"More than any other character, the Dowager feels three-dimensional and worldly. More than any other actor, Dame Maggie brings weight and wit to her lines. Yes, it's another Downton Abbey movie packed to the rafters with style but it's she who really brings the substance."

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