‘The Great Escaper’ reviews round-up: Michael Caine is ‘remarkable’ in ‘moving drama’

Michael Caine‘s new movie The Great Escaper is in cinemas now!

The brand new British film reunites Caine with the late Glenda Jackson for the first time since they starred together in classic drama The Romantic Englishwoman in 1975.

Inspired by true events a decade ago, The Great Escaper tells the story of octogenarian Bernard Jordan’s escape from his care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in France.

Here’s the official trailer:

The Great Escaper was released in the UK and Ireland last week on Friday 6 October.

“In the summer of 2014 Bernard Jordan (Michael Caine) made global headlines,” reveals the official synopsis. “He’d staged a ‘great escape’ from his care home to join fellow war veterans on a beach in Normandy, commemorating their fallen comrades.

“It was a story that captured the imagination of the world – Bernie seemed to embody the defiant, “can-do” spirit of a generation that was fast disappearing.

“But of course, it wasn’t the whole story. It was the story we all tell ourselves to make war and old age bearable. The bitter-sweet script explores the reality with wit and a very big heart.

“Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Glenda Jackson) – the story celebrates their love without sentimentality and with an eye to the lessons we might all learn from the Greatest Generation.”

Watch a clip here:

Here we’ve rounded up a spoiler-free selection of reviews to help you decide if you’d like to watch the movie:


“A moving and surprisingly nuanced drama offering far more than flag-waving nostalgia. Superb performances from Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson ensure the latter’s final screen role is fittingly dignified.” ★★★★ – Empire


“What a final performance from the late Glenda Jackson … In her last role before her death, Jackson shines as WW2 veteran Michael Caine’s sick wife.” ★★★ iNews


“Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson are remarkable as a D-Day veteran and his wife in a charming tale … This should be a runaway hit.” ★★★★ The Times


“…despite a relatively short amount of time on screen, for me the show is stolen by Jackson. Wry and dry, she’s sarcastic whilst hunched over her lunch tray, but kind, generous with her energy.

“It’s a particularly poignant experience watching the film, knowing that she would only live a number of weeks after it wrapped, but you wouldn’t know. I too, was mesmerised by her.” – Silver Magazine


“Mawkish patriotism lets down the wonderfully paired Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson.” ★★ – The Independent


The Great Escaper is an old fashioned, old school weepie about ageing, guilt and the horrors of war.

“Unfortunately, it’s not quite as well written or directed as its stars deserved. Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson have had better scripts in their long careers, but they both do a magnificent job with what they’ve been given and tears will flow.” ★★★ – The Arts Desk


“Michael Caine is gruffly heartbreaking in this veteran adventure … a moving story and terrific performances from Caine and Glenda Jackson, in her final role, lift this melancholy real-life tale of a pensioner’s escapade in France.” ★★★ – The Guardian


“Some will find all this a little pat – but the real draw is watching Caine, who plays his role with complete dignity. Jackson, too, is an irascible presence, and her performance will move many.

“The final shots of the two of them on the promenade suggest two epic acting careers that are coming to a close – and suitably, doing so hand-in-hand.” ★★★ – Radio Times


“Glenda Jackson is utterly transfixing in her final film.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph


A release for The Great Escaper in Australia and the US is expected in May 2024.

The Romantic Englishwoman is available on DVD on Amazon.