The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had a tough act to follow. Its predecessor remains of the best loved British movies of recent times and its subtle casting, genuinely funny script and heart-warming narrative saw it gross over $130 million on a budget of just $10 million.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold HotelRichard Gere joined the cast for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The sequel - out in cinemas this week - follows the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel) who has his eye on a promising new property now that his Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a success. Judi Dench, Bill Nighty, Celia Imrie and Maggie Smith all return for Second Best, while Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig are among the new arrivals.

More: The Second Best Marigold Hotel looks fantastically watchable [Trailer + Pictures]

"Retaining the waspish asides of the first movie but able to bring much more fragility to the fore, Smith effortlessly exposes a contradictory combination of fear and bravery that many older people will find familiar," wrote Amber Wilkinson of Eye for Film.

"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a perfectly serviceable comedy for the retirement crowd, but it has a troubling undercurrent of cultural awkwardness that's too hard to ignore," said Liam Dunn of We Got This Covered.

Judi DenchJudi Dench returns for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel squeaks through on its positivity and humour, with its sharp wit and trite wisdom delivered by a cast who could give a party political broadcast integrity and emotional impact," wrote Emma Simmonds of The List.

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"The Second Best Exotic Hotel barely skates by on the strength of its older cast members, which of course is "the reason for the season" anyway," said Scott Mendelson of Forbes.

"This is undemanding, misty-eyed stuff; carried through by its seasoned, thoroughbred performers," wrote Andrew Pulver of the Guardian.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits theaters on February 26, 2015. 

Watch the trailer for The Second Best Marigold Hotel: