Iron Jawed Angels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Iron Jawed Angels Reviews

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½ June 8, 2011
Man can Hilary Swank Pick em & What an Actress! All Women should see this Movie, its the story of the Feminist who fought for our Right to Vote,Thank You Alice Paul. I think of her often when I fly our Flag or when I'm in the Voting Booth
½ May 10, 2011
An extremely dated and worn first half destroys any tension created by a steller second half.
½ May 4, 2011
Very informative and historically accurate film. Had to watch this for a class and it was absolutely fantastic to watch.
½ February 16, 2011
"A stunning true story unfortunately tarted up for modern audiences, 'Iron Jawed Angels' is a disappointing but still powerful HBO movie about the strife and downright horrors faced by the bravest of American suffragettes in their battle for women's voting rights in the 1910s.

Infused with modern informalities and fictional romances, forestalled by a wildly incongruous soundtrack of post-feminist empowerment pop (Lauryn Hill, Sarah McLachlan, etc.), and cast with B-list Hollywood beauties (Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, etc.) who are sometimes hard to take seriously, the film is mostly a gross oversimplification depicting a gaggle of forward-thinking gal pals taking on sexist politicians and fuddy-duddy Susan B. Anthony types who don't like their radical methods of generating publicity (like picketing the White House during World War I).

However, director Katja Von Garnier takes a step back from her amped-up, sometimes stylish, sometimes tacky filmmaking as the women face extreme (and factual) consequences for their actions -- including political imprisonment and torture. This is when "Angels" hits an emotionally potent stride that resonates beyond the picture's shortcomings.

Unfortunately, the script is full of transparent contrivances (the meek wife of a fictional anti-suffrage senator learns to assert herself) and dubious choices (who green-lit the bathtub masturbation scene?). It provides little historical or political detail (some of these women were socialists and anti-war activists too), and barely (just barely) pays lip service to unflattering facts like the exclusion of black women from the movement.

Swank is more pretty than pugnacious as Alice Paul, the rabble-rousing founder of the Women's National Party, who gets further short-changed in the film's coda, which merely says she fought for women's rights her whole life without offering any details -- even relevant ones, like the fact that it took three tries to get the 19th Amendment through Congress. Still, despite its many, many flaws, "Iron Jawed Angels" gives an ardent cinematic voice to a shamefully neglected story of progressive American courage."

- Rob Blackwelder (SPLICEDWire)

January 26, 2011
Are you a woman? Have you ever heard about Alice Pauls and Lucy Burns? If not, please watch "Iron Jawed Angels"... right now!
½ March 6, 2007
I expected more from an HBO film. It was like something you might see on Lifetime minus the nudity of course. I didn't like the modern soundtrack either.
½ January 7, 2011
Watched this in my Women's Studies class at college. It's a very impressive movie, that you wouldn't have guessed to have been made for television. Great acting all around, and the movie does have a great message. It's able to make the characters interesting, but it can be pretty boring especially during the first half.

Not surprisingly, it will be more enjoyable to women.
October 14, 2010
Iron Jawed Angels depicts the final stages of the battle for the women's right to vote. This is an excellent HBO production, and it plays more like a big-screen release than a made-for-TV production (as HBO is known to do).

The centerpiece of this film is the work of Alice Paul (Hillary Swank) and Lucy Burns. These sufferagettes met in England and brought their passion home to the United States in 1912. They attracted a group of young, dedicated, educated women that went to work in Washington, D.C.,to lobby for the vote. This is the same year Woodrow Wilson took office. Their decision to picket the White House, even during the early days of WWI brought down the ire of many people upon them, and even resulted in their unlawful arrests and imprisonment. Alice Paul was the heart and soul of this effort and, though she was a relative latecomer to the fight, provided the spark that inspired women to take up the challenge. The treatment of the sufferagettes in prison was eye-opening.

The cast is amazing, and there is not a weak performance among them. You will see many familiar faces among the cast.

The film is of high quality and deserves to be seen. There are a few disjointed scenes here and there, like Swank in the bathtub, but all in all, it is an excellent period piece dramatizing actual events.

Watching a film like this makes me ashamed about the times I have taken for granted the right to vote, and inspired me to be a better-informed voter and citizen.

5 stars, whithout a doubt.
½ October 11, 2010
It's a pretty boring movie. The history is good, but as far as the movie goes it's pretty boring.
½ September 27, 2010
I liked for the historical value.
September 4, 2010
This movie was pretty bad. It was written a lot like a chick lit book, they felt they had to add in a romance to keep women's attention (how ironic!), and a lot of things were not historically accurate. The only thing I think this would be good for is someone who knows nothing about women's rights history as a brief summary (to be followed up by more), such as high school students.
March 22, 2010
Not half bad at all. Iron Jawed Angels succeeds as an entertaining historical drama that manages to avoid much of the prissy high-society junk that pretty much every film of that era seems to embrace with a burning passion. Instead, we get a gritty film with good acting.
June 13, 2010
While there are some enjoyable and touching moments in the movie, especially towards the end, overall this movie seems to be a poor exercise in "modernizing" a true tale that is amazing enough in its own right that such is unnecessary. Don't look to this film for historical accuracy, as there are plot twists and romance options thrown in that certainly never took place in reality. Nonetheless it is an interesting take on women's suffrage in the beginning of the 20th century. The film seems to be going after the effect of 2006's "Marie Antoinette": that of injecting modern music and special effects into a period piece. In "Marie Antoinette," it adds a sense of frivolity and contemporaneity. Unfortunately, the song choice was very poor in multiple parts of "Iron Jawed Angels," and instead of adding to the movie, they actually detract and distract--even offend, to those of us not inclined to listen to glaring hip hop and R&B. Basically, this movie is worth watching if you have an interest in American history and/or the continuing fight for women's rights. However, it is only "based" on a true story, and certainly falls into the common pittrap of Hollywood: that of adding too much, for fear of offering too little.
½ May 5, 2010
One of the most inspirational movies i have ever watched. Truly shows what women went through to get the rights we now have today! Even the soundtrack was great! Def. made me think about what we have now as women in not just america but all over the world!
½ November 29, 2009
It is an interesting but true fact that that other nations like England, New Zealand, Russia and some other countries all gave women the vote before America did. A truly remarkable story with an impressive casts. Strong performances from its leads, and Hilary Swank and Frances O'Connor. Swank portrays an American feminist who risked her life to fight for women's citizenship and the right to vote. Swank certainly proves she's got what it takes to play this indomitable spirit. This HBO feature is an inspiring but also an excruciating look at what women were willing to sacrifice and what humiliations they were willing to endure to secure a woman's right to vote even as America stood on the precipice of WWI. The movie does not flinch away from the brutality that women suffered while in prison. Lookout for Vera Farmiga.
April 1, 2010
Great performance, Hillay is so intense!!! again i feel so identify with female movements and developing our rights!!!
January 29, 2010
I don't know that any movie could really depict the horror of what those women suffered in gaol but this movie makes a very good attempt and it's important that we not take for granted our right to vote.
January 22, 2010
I really enjoyed the contemporary style of filming used for this period piece. All performances where extremely convincing, you felt for the characters, hurt when they hurt, felt successful when they did, the stress and drama of the situation was effectively brought out.

Although some of the characters in the movie where fictitious, the film still opened my eyes to a story in history I had only known bits of.

I think most people who watch this film are either going to like the contemporary film style and music choice or absolutely hate it. I personally enjoyed it and felt like it brought more flavor to the film. Also the fact that nearly all the artists on the soundtrack where female contemporary jazz says a lot from the director's stand point. What women are able to accomplish and how much if it was possible because of the women in the film.

Very enjoyable and something I'd recommend but not rave about.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2009
Interesting, but its style is too muddy.
½ December 19, 2009
I think this film made me thik what we, as woman, have accomplished in our lives to be more free and less tied up in our houses the way women were before. Admit, on the other hand, that Swanks performance was amazing and so honest that you really care for her and feel the pain she's going trhough, just as Katja von Garnier's direction was splendid in every way.
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