Mortdecai (film)

For the series of novels the film is based on, see Mortdecai.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Koepp
Produced by
Screenplay by Eric Aronson
Based on Don't Point that Thing at Me
by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Music by
Cinematography Florian Hoffmeister
Edited by
  • Jill Savitt
  • Derek Ambrosi
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • January 23, 2015 (2015-01-23) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[2]
Box office $47 million[3]

Mortdecai is a 2015 American action comedy film directed by David Koepp and written by Eric Aronson. The film is adapted from the novel series Mortdecai (specifically its first installment Don't Point that Thing at Me) written by Kyril Bonfiglioli. It stars Johnny Depp in the title role and also features Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany and Jeff Goldblum. Released by Lionsgate on January 23, 2015, Mortdecai was a box office bomb, and received overwhelmingly negative reviews.[4][5]


Lord Charlie Mortdecai, an unscrupulous art dealer and swindler, is accosted in Hong Kong by one of his victims, a gangster named Fang. Jock, Mortdecai's faithful manservant, extricates his master before they can be killed by Fang's gunmen. They return to London, where Mortdecai and his wife, Johanna, consider ways to pay off their crushing debt to the UK taxman. A painting by Francisco Goya becomes the target of an elaborate theft which results in the murders of an art restorer and one of the thieves. Inspector Alistair Martland is put on the case. Martland, who has been in love with Johanna since college, asks Mortdecai to assist him. Martland believes the prime suspect to be Emil Strago. Mortdecai agrees to help in exchange for 10% of the insurance money.

Mortdecai interviews people affiliated with the art world, including Spinoza, an art smuggler. While they argue, Strago arrives and shoots at them, killing Spinoza; Mortdecai and Jock escape unharmed. Johanna meets with a man known as The Duke, who knows the thief and says that the painting conceals the location of a hoard of Nazi gold. Mortdecai is kidnapped by thugs working for a Russian named Romanov. Romanov and Strago think that Mortdecai has the painting. Romanov threatens torture unless Mortdecai surrenders it, but Mortdecai escapes through a window and Jock spirits him away.

Martland, wanting to be alone with Johanna, sends Mortdecai to America to meet with Milton Krampf, a potential buyer for the Goya. Mortdecai plans to sell his beloved Rolls-Royce to the American, and uses the opportunity to see if Krampf is involved with the theft. Arriving in Los Angeles, he discovers that the Goya has been hidden in the Rolls. Spinoza, in the employ of Krampf, stashed it there after stealing it from Strago, the original thief; Krampf planned to dupe Mortdecai into smuggling the Goya into the United States in his own car. He invites Mortdecai to a party that night, where Krampf intends to display the ill-gotten painting. Jock suggests that he and Mortdecai steal the painting for themselves during the party. Krampf's daughter, Georgina, is secretly Strago's partner. She attempts to seduce Mortdecai while Strago steals the painting. Johanna arrives with Martland and catches her husband in a compromising position. Mortdecai flees the scene to help Jock steal the painting, but they find Krampf has been murdered by Strago and the painting is gone. Martland and Johanna capture Strago, but Georgina gets the drop on them, liberating her lover and the painting. Pursued by Mortdecai, Jock, Martland and Johanna, they hide in a motel where Strago intentionally sets fire to the Goya and the fire causes the explosion of the building. Johanna reveals that the painting was a fake; The Duke has the real one hidden.

The Mortdecais retrieve the painting and put it up for auction. The sale attracts Fang, still seeking revenge, and Romanov, who wants the painting regardless of cost. While Mortdecai and Jock waylay both men's thugs, Strago attempts to kidnap Johanna. Mortdecai bids up the Goya but Romanov wins it; Martland apprehends Strago during the commotion. The Mortdecais find that the proceeds of the sale pay off their debt courtesy of Martland and that after the sale they are still broke however, the painting is revealed to be another fake. Romanov plots his revenge whilst his thugs begin to torture Sir Graham.



Principal photography and production began in London on October 21, 2013.[8][9][10]

Parts of the film were shot on location at Hedsor House in the UK,[11] where Depp, Munn, and Bettany filmed scenes in Hedsor House's Boudoir and Bridal Suites.

Scenes were also shot on location at the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[12]

The Goya painting is a pastiche or modern version of the Portrait of the Marchioness of Santa Cruz (Madrid, Prado Museum).


On April 23, 2014, Lionsgate announced that the film would be released on February 6, 2015.[13] On September 24, 2014, the release date was shifted to January 23, 2015.[14]

Marketing and promotion

A photo from the film featuring Depp was revealed on May 8, 2014.[15] Four character posters - featuring Depp, Paltrow, McGregor, and Munn with mustaches - were released in November 2014.

The first trailer for the film was released on August 12, attached to The Expendables 3. The second trailer was released on November 12 and was attached to Dumb and Dumber To, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Horrible Bosses 2, Top Five, and The Gambler.[16]


Critical response

Mortdecai was universally panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 12%, based on 92 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "Aggressively strange and willfully unfunny, the misguided Mortdecai sounds a frightfully low note in Johnny Depp's post-Pirates filmography."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 27 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[18] According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[19]

In January 2015, Christopher Rosen of The Huffington Post said that Mortdecai "seems destined to be rated as the worst film of 2015, and deservedly so".[20]

Box office

Along with being critically panned, Mortdecai was also a box office flop, earning only $4,200,586 in the United States in its opening weekend, finishing in ninth place.[3]

At the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed $7,696,134 in North America and $39,579,561 internationally for a worldwide total of $47,275,695 against a budget of $60 million.[21]


Award Category Nominee Result
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Johnny Depp Nominated
Worst Actress Gwyneth Paltrow Nominated
Worst Screen Combo Johnny Depp and his glued-on mustache Nominated


  1. "MORTDECAI (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  2. FilmL.A. (June 15, 2016). "2015 Feature Film Study". Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Mortdecai (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  4. "'Mortdecai' Is One Of Johnny Depp's Worst Flops Ever". 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  5. Stephanie Garcia (2015-01-26). "Mortdecai becomes Johnny Depp's fifth consecutive movie to flop at the box office - News - Films". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  6. "Watch Johnny Depp In 'Mortdecai' Movie Trailer [VIDEO] Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor Costar In New Comedy". Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  7. "Film Review: Mortdecai – Johnny Depp hams it up in poor crime caper". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  8. "Principal Photography Begins for Mortdecai, Starring Johnny Depp". October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  9. "Mortdecai Starring Johnny Depp Begins Production in London". October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  10. Chester, Jason (November 11, 2013). "Johnny Depp looks well groomed as he shoots latest film in London". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  11. "Hedsor House used in the film Mortdecai (2015)". Hedsor House. 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  12. "I'm sure I've seen that Library before (2014)". Victoria and Albert Museum. 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  13. Lesnick, Silas (April 23, 2014). "Lionsgate Sets Mortdecai, Starring Johnny Depp, for February 6, 2015". Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  14. Lang, Brent (September 24, 2014). "Johnny Depp Comedy 'Mortdecai' Shifts to January 2015 Release Date". Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  15. DAVIS, EDWARD (May 8, 2014). "First Look: Johnny Depp Gets Mustachioed & Debonair In Spy Thriller Comedy 'Mortdecai'". Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  16. Anderton, Ethan (August 12, 2014). "Johnny Depp Doesn't Need Help with His Bags in 'Mortdecai' Trailer". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  17. "Mortdecai". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  18. "Mortdecai Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  19. "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  20. "Mortdecai Might Be 2015's Worst Movie". Huffington Post. January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  21. "Mortdecai (2015)". Box Office Mojo. 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2015-11-02.

External links

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