The Iron Lady Reviews

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
January 20, 2012

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
January 13, 2012

Yes, Streep is wondrous as usual, but her superpowers have been squandered here.

Full Review | Original Score: C-

Globe and Mail
Top Critic
January 13, 2012

The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
January 13, 2012

Often "The Iron Lady" relies on montages to get to - and plow through - historic high points.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 13, 2012

[Streep's] performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

Streep, no fan of Thatcher, nicely undercuts the poignancy of her current condition with flashbacks that reveal her brittle arrogance in office.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

While the rest of "The Iron Lady" fades quickly in memory, Meryl Streep's performance in the title role remains startlingly present.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

The portrait that Streep delivers in Phyllida Lloyd's impressionistic biopic is astonishing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

Yes, it's a strangely de-politicized portrait of Britain's first female prime minister. But what's there is actually enough.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
January 12, 2012

Streep gets under the skin of one of the 20th century's most dynamic and also most contained personalities.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
Top Critic
January 6, 2012

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

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic
January 5, 2012

Certainly, it's worth seeing and arguing over, but my personal take on Thatcher remains unchanged, Streep's virtuoso ministrations notwithstanding.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
January 5, 2012

It isn't Streep's fault that The Iron Lady ends up feeling so uninvolving and oddly dour.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeannette Catsoulis
NPR
Top Critic
January 4, 2012

Maudlin and ham-fisted, The Iron Lady is cinematic scrap metal.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
January 4, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
January 4, 2012

The screenplay is pedestrian and the acting, including that of star Meryl Streep, is unmemorable.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
December 31, 2011

If it weren't for Streep, The Iron Lady would be unwatchable.

Robert Levin
The Atlantic
Top Critic
December 30, 2011

The film views Thatcher with sympathy and admiration; the effect is a strange movie that manages to compel while also coming off as shortsighted.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Leah Rozen
TheWrap
Top Critic
December 30, 2011

No matter your politics, [Streep] makes you see Thatcher as a real person rather than a caricature.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
December 30, 2011

Takes a blandly nonpartisan approach to one of the most controversial, as well as influential, politicians in British history.

Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
December 30, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
December 30, 2011

What "The Iron Lady" does contain - what makes it worth watching - is a literally amazing performance by Meryl Streep ...

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

Though not illuminating as a historical biopic, the film features a tour-de-force performance by Meryl Streep.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

An affecting if not always satisfying portrait of the strong-willed leader humbled by age.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

Those hoping for insight into the life and times of Margaret Thatcher herself will leave deeply disappointed.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

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.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

The Iron Lady is a clever and oddly touching entertainment.

A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

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.'

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

Thatcher contains multitudes; she is rife with contradictions you can barely glimpse in this modestly affecting movie.

Tasha Robinson
AV Club
Top Critic
December 29, 2011

Streep brings out Thatcher's dignity, but the screenplay is more compelling when it emphasizes her drama.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
December 27, 2011

The Iron Lady is a conventional biopic with one great performance and a few memorable scenes.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/5
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
Top Critic
December 27, 2011

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...

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
December 27, 2011

An oddly unsettling compound of glorification and malice that whirls around and winds up nowhere.

Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
December 26, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
December 26, 2011

Even the greatest actress of our time can only do so much when the figure she's playing just isn't on the page.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
December 21, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
December 21, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic
December 20, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
November 24, 2011

Playing both the staunch human battleship and the diminished old woman sifting through her past, Meryl Streep is riveting in The Iron Lady.

Leslie Felperin
Variety
Top Critic
November 24, 2011

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