Critic Reviews

64

Metascore

Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
92
Ronan’s fiery Mary and Robbie’s emotionally complex Elizabeth truly reign divine on screen.
91
Despite its ruff collars and Elizabethan English, Mary Queen of Scots is no staid, stuffy period drama, as restrained as the breathing of corseted women. Instead, this a vital film, whose lace-trimmed bosom heaves with life.
80
It is a finely constructed drama, avoiding stuffiness without slipping into camp territory and while diehard historians might disapprove, everyone else will be supremely entertained.
80
A history lesson with more fire in the belly than most. It turns out that a feminist angle really can revive the same old Tudor psychodramas, thanks in large part to Ronan and Robbie’s authoritative performance.
80
The film is led by a performance of thrilling regality and nuance from Saoirse Ronan as Mary.
70
Director Rourke exhibits confidence and enthusiasm in dealing with such juicy material in the company of her two outstanding young actresses.
70
Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are both superb in muted performances and, while the film’s palace intrigue gets a bit dense, the story never loses sight of its deep compassion for these characters and their shared plight of being held hostage by conniving, belittling, power-hungry men determined to usurp their authority.
67
While this flinty and forever relevant medieval drama perfectly embodies the struggles of its heroines, it also shares their fatal inability to reconcile personal strife with political strategy.
60
Like an entire season of peak television crammed into the space of two hours, Mary Queen of Scots spares us not only the butchery but also a great deal of the drama that might explain how the misfortunate monarch came to find her neck on the line.
60
Visually dull and intriguing in only the most generic sense, but still a showcase for the twin talents of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.

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