The doors of Downton Abbey have opened once more. The Crawleys and their lovable staff have returned, but fans might be wondering if the movie could possibly be as good as the series.

Fear not, Downton lovers.  The “Downton Abbey” movie feels like a perfectly natural extension of the beloved TV series, which ran for six seasons on PBS’ Masterpiece. Though there is clearly a bigger budget, the stories feel the same. There are servant hijinks, Dowager Countess zingers and lots of drama that doesn’t really result in serious consequences.

The movie takes place as King George IV and Queen Mary are embarking on a trip. They’ll be stopping at Downton for one night, and everyone is determined to host a lovely evening.

For the staff, that means dealing with some unwelcome royal staffers. The Downton Abbey servants must find a way to deal with the intruding employees, but it isn’t just the King’s people stepping on toes.

Mary (Michelle Dockery) quickly decides that Barrow (Robert James-Collier) isn’t up to the task of being the butler. She brings Carson (Jim Carter) out of retirement for the royal visit. 

Meanwhile, upstairs is chaotic too. Edith (Laura Carmichael) is trying to figure out life as a Marquess, and Mary questions how much longer she can keep Downton afloat. Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) has to face an old adversary (Imelda Staunton).

Downton Abbey movie Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery star in the "Downton Abbey" movie. Photo: Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features

Written by creator Julian Fellowes and helmed by series finale director Michael Engler, the movie truly just feels like a slightly more cinematic-looking episode of “Downton Abbey.” It assumes that viewers know these characters along with their backgrounds and relationships (though it’s easy enough for non-“Downton” fans to catch on). The plot isn’t particularly heightened for the big screen.

Though the King and Queen’s visit is a big deal, the melodrama of events like Sybil’s death or the fire at Downton are not here. Much like the final seasons of “Downton Abbey,” there’s nothing that can’t be fixed, and there’s barely a hint of the Great Depression coming. Fans will be happy to see the Crawleys and their servants stressed but thriving, and this is very much a movie for fans.

It balances a lot of storylines quite well, allowing everyone’s favorites from the upstairs and downstairs crew to get some screen time. It feels like almost everyone of importance gets a moment to shine, but, as per usual, it’s the Dowager Countess who gets to have the most fun. However, it is worth noting that she and Mary share a quite emotional scene that pulls at viewers’ heartstrings and is truly the standout scene of the movie. 

The bottom line is that the movie has everything “Downton” lovers expect: solid performances, lavish costumes, family drama, romance and a minor mystery that is tied up neatly in a bow by the time the credits roll. It’ll feel like coming home for those who have been missing the series.

“Downton Abbey” is in theaters now.

Downton Abbey movie Maggie Smith provides the "Downton Abbey" movie's most memorable moments. Photo: Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features