I Capture the Castle (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

I Capture the Castle (2003)



Critic Consensus: A handsome and charming adaptation of the novel.

I Capture the Castle Photos

Movie Info

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain struggles to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn't written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate; and their bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist, and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart.

Watch it now


Romola Garai
as Cassandra Mortmain
Rose Byrne
as Rose Mortmain
Bill Nighy
as James Mortmain
Sinead Cusack
as Mrs. Cotton
Henry Cavill
as Stephen
Sarah Woodward
as Leda Fox-Cotton
James Faulkner
as Aubrey Fox-Cotton
Sophie Stuckey
as Cassandra (age 7)
Florence Jones
as Rose (age 10)
Harrison Ward
as Thomas (age 4)
Ray De Haan
as Neighbour
Sorel Johnson
as Lady in Simpsons
Dolly Wells
as Fur Department Vendeuse
James Warrior
as Station Master
Christopher Ettridge
as Station Bystander
Jean Warren
as Waitress in cafe
Bernadette Windsor
as Girl in cafe
View All

News & Interviews for I Capture the Castle

Critic Reviews for I Capture the Castle

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (33)

It has just enough charm to be watchable.

September 12, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

The filmmakers can't seem to unearth the novel's inherent lightheartedness and instead treat too many events with earnest seriousness, trampling the original story's lively spirit in heavy-handed drama.

August 22, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

With eloquent dialogue but scant smoldering passions, the mushy machinations nicely nudge director Tim Fywell's gentle little film.

August 8, 2003 | Rating: A-

Dollops on the usual romantic, family and class conflicts with a very heavy ladle, which pretty much smothers the whimsical mood Fywell strains so hard to attain.

August 8, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A refreshingly mature look at first love and life's often-rough transitions.

August 7, 2003 | Rating: B+

Not that the whole thing isn't perfectly charming on certain levels. Both Garai and Byrne are quite nice as the two impassioned sisters.

July 26, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for I Capture the Castle


If anything the things that went down in this film really surprised me. Who knew that the guy was going to make out with Cassandra? And then he doesn't get together with her? Crazy! But what really wins out in this film is the setting. I was never sure what period this was set in because the atmosphere and the quirky family and the wacky costumes recalled everything, from the 1800s to the 1920s to the 50s. Wow!

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Slightly dull period piece that likely could have been made special save for some very poor casting. Marc Blucas leads the pack. Thank God he has disappeared lately.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


I think I enjoyed this movie more than most people did, but I don't see how anyone with good taste could not like this film.

Lovable Misanthrope
Lovable Misanthrope

Super Reviewer

I Capture the Castle Quotes

News & Features