The Iron Lady 2011

Critics score:
51 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The Iron Lady is a clever and oddly touching entertainment. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Even the greatest actress of our time can only do so much when the figure she's playing just isn't on the page. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: For as much of a mess as this movie is, there are moments in which Streep and Broadbent draw it into a sharp humanist focus. But they don't occur often enough. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: You are left with the impression of an old woman who can't quite remember who she used to be and of a movie that is not so sure either. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: There's barely an incident from the right honourable PM's regime that Lloyd doesn't gild with distracting Dutch angles or chintzy archival-footage montages. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The Iron Lady is shallow but satisfying, largely because of Meryl Streep and her big fake English teeth and gift for using mimicry as a means of achieving empathy. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Takes a blandly nonpartisan approach to one of the most controversial, as well as influential, politicians in British history. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: While the rest of "The Iron Lady" fades quickly in memory, Meryl Streep's performance in the title role remains startlingly present. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Streep brings out Thatcher's dignity, but the screenplay is more compelling when it emphasizes her drama. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: A stylized biography of one of the most powerful women in politics, portrayed by the greatest actress of our time, that asks more questions than it answers. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Everything Streep does here is a seismic act of theater. If she so much as tilts her head, the earth tilts with it. She doesn't simply overwhelm this thin historic biography - and the other actors around her - she detonates it. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Streep, no fan of Thatcher, nicely undercuts the poignancy of her current condition with flashbacks that reveal her brittle arrogance in office. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Yes, it's a strangely de-politicized portrait of Britain's first female prime minister. But what's there is actually enough. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Streep is... pitch perfect. Much like her Julia Child in Julie and Julia, she goes way beyond impersonation. But even Streep can't single-handedly give depth and nuance to a movie so briskly content with skimming surfaces both political and psychological. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Often "The Iron Lady" relies on montages to get to - and plow through - historic high points. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Yes, Streep is wondrous as usual, but her superpowers have been squandered here. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Streep is her own irresistible show as she assumes, with the precision that is her trademark, the character of the U.K.'s staunchly conservative prime minister in the 1980s. Read more

Eric D. Snider, Streep and Broadbent are entirely watchable, and Thatcher's story, even in its vague and watered-down state, is inherently interesting. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: Playing both the staunch human battleship and the diminished old woman sifting through her past, Meryl Streep is riveting in The Iron Lady. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: An affecting if not always satisfying portrait of the strong-willed leader humbled by age. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Streep is Oscar-worthy here, as she almost always is, which is hardly a surprise, and the historic subject matter is fascinating whichever way your politics may lean. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: It isn't Streep's fault that The Iron Lady ends up feeling so uninvolving and oddly dour. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: An oddly unsettling compound of glorification and malice that whirls around and winds up nowhere. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: What "The Iron Lady" does contain - what makes it worth watching - is a literally amazing performance by Meryl Streep ... Read more

Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR: Maudlin and ham-fisted, The Iron Lady is cinematic scrap metal. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Those hoping for insight into the life and times of Margaret Thatcher herself will leave deeply disappointed. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The film stars an unsurpassable Meryl Streep, whose ability to empathize with her characters has never been more gloriously impassioned than it is in this titanic performance. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: There's nothing even Ms. Streep's craft and resourcefulness can do to make this cold, humorless woman of iron likeable, and the whole thing is too dry to sustain so much screen time. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The portrait that Streep delivers in Phyllida Lloyd's impressionistic biopic is astonishing. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The screenplay is pedestrian and the acting, including that of star Meryl Streep, is unmemorable. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard The Iron Lady is a conventional biopic with one great performance and a few memorable scenes. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: You have to be very talented to work with Meryl Streep. It also helps to know how to use her. "The Iron Lady" fails in both of these categories. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Is there anything that Meryl Streep can't do as an actress? One can only marvel at her virtuoso performance as Britain's Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron Lady.' Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Thatcher contains multitudes; she is rife with contradictions you can barely glimpse in this modestly affecting movie. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Streep's performance is so true and so uncannily accurate, so full and so complete in its understanding, that she is fascinating every second she is onscreen. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: If it weren't for Streep, The Iron Lady would be unwatchable. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Even if you have little interest in Thatcher or why she mattered, you'll likely respond to the contradictory yet charismatic character that Streep has conjured from truth and myth. Read more

Robert Levin, The Atlantic: The film views Thatcher with sympathy and admiration; the effect is a strange movie that manages to compel while also coming off as shortsighted. Read more

Globe and Mail: The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film. Read more

Leah Rozen, TheWrap: No matter your politics, [Streep] makes you see Thatcher as a real person rather than a caricature. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: Certainly, it's worth seeing and arguing over, but my personal take on Thatcher remains unchanged, Streep's virtuoso ministrations notwithstanding. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Streep gets under the skin of one of the 20th century's most dynamic and also most contained personalities. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Though not illuminating as a historical biopic, the film features a tour-de-force performance by Meryl Streep. Read more

Leslie Felperin, Variety: Glosses over the former British prime minister's politics in favor of a glib, breakneck whirl around her career and marriage. Read more

Karina Longworth, Village Voice: Despite the story's conceit of placing the viewer inside Thatcher's head, she never feels like a real person -- but this is more the fault of Morgan's script than Streep's typically studied performance... Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: [Streep's] performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice. Read more