Elizabeth: The Golden Age


Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Critics Consensus

This sequel is full of lavish costumes and elaborate sets, but lacks the heart and creativity of the original Elizabeth



Total Count: 166


Audience Score

User Ratings: 367,960
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Movie Info

"The Golden Age" finds Queen Elizabeth I facing bloodlust for her throne and familial betrayal. Growing keenly aware of the changing religious and political tides of late 16th century Europe, Elizabeth finds her rule openly challenged by the Spanish King Philip II--with his powerful army and sea-dominating armada--determined to restore England to Catholicism. Preparing to go to war to defend her empire, Elizabeth struggles to balance ancient royal duties with an unexpected vulnerability in her love for Sir Walter Raleigh. But he remains forbidden for a queen who has sworn body and soul to her country. Unable and unwilling to pursue her love, Elizabeth encourages her favorite lady-in-waiting, Bess, to befriend Raleigh to keep him near. But, this strategy forces Elizabeth to observe their growing intimacy. As she charts her course abroad, her trusted advisor, Sir Francis Walsingham, continues his masterful puppetry of Elizabeth's court at home--and her campaign to solidify absolute power. Through an intricate spy network, Walsingham uncovers an assassination plot that could topple the throne. But as he unmasks traitors that may include Elizabeth's own cousin Mary Stuart, he unknowingly sets England up for destruction.

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Cate Blanchett
as Queen Elizabeth I
Clive Owen
as Sir Walter Raleigh
Geoffrey Rush
as Sir Francis Walsingham
Rhys Ifans
as Robert Reston
Samantha Morton
as Mary Stuart
Abbie Cornish
as Bess Throckmorton
Jordi Molla
as King Philip II of Spain
Tom Hollander
as Sir Amyas Paulet
Laurence Fox
as Sir Christopher Hatton
Antony Carrick
as Spanish Archbishop
Eddie Redmayne
as Thomas Babington
David Threlfall
as Dr. John Dee
Steven Robertson
as Francis Throckmorton
John Shrapnel
as Lord Howard
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Critic Reviews for Elizabeth: The Golden Age

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (47)

  • A pedigreed romance, an excuse for Blanchett to bind herself in satin and channel Kate Hepburn.

    Feb 21, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • If this is a film that irritates nearly as much as it pleases, we do get a sense of the times, and of the lady in question. The eyes, if not the brain, are certainly given a workout that they will remember.

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
  • Where Kapur's first Elizabeth was cool, cerebral, fascinatingly concerned with complex plotting, the new movie is pitched at the level of a Jean Plaidy romantic novel.

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Kapur's film is visually arresting, each frame a work of art in miniature. But there is something rather breathless about the storytelling.

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Making soap of statecraft, the film has plenty of juicy moments, but offers an inconsistent rather than complex view of Elizabeth.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Rating: 2/6

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Even though the script plays fast and loose with historical facts, that indomitable bulldog spirit rings true and holds you captive for the duration.

    Oct 30, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Elizabeth: The Golden Age

  • Aug 12, 2013
    The Golden Age proves to be the unnecessary sequel to Elizabeth. Set in perhaps more "interesting" times in the Elizabethan monarchy, Blanchett is unable to take what the script offers to make the older queen more compelling than the earlier version.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2012
    Like the first movie it couldn't help feeling like its made for TV.
    Jonny C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the sequel to the fantastic Oscar nominated film Elizabeth, and although it doesn't live up to its predecessor, I found it to be a beautiful film with a fantastic cast. The story of the first film dealt with Elizabeth's troubles with becoming Queen, while this one just showed her troubles with a love triangle and her attempts to stop war with Spain. The first film had a far superior script, with so many deep themes about leadership and history. This film had a decent story that really happened, but there are so many historical innaccuracies that it almost ruins it. I am not the kind of person who hates a period piece film if its a little innaccurate, but there is a limit. But the film is still very intense and the highlight of they still keep the focus on the main character. I really love how they interpret Elizabeth, she is kind but also very strict, and she also can get very angry at those who have done wrong by her. Cate Blanchett is the films greatest highlight, and she plays just as great of a role as the first film. Her performance is outstanding and I honestly don't think they could've found someone with more power or grace to play the Queen. I enjoyed the entire cast, but I wasn't a fan of Clive Owen who just didn't fit this kind of role. The art direction, the costumes, the makeup, and the music were all improved upon the first film but it still doesn't live up to the first films engaging and exciting story. Elizabeth: The Golden Age isn't the perfect sequel but its still a beautiful film that succeeds in being simply beautiful to watch.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2011
    Phenomenal sequel to Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett delivers a stunning performance in the title role. Though the film has gotten some flack for its romantic storyline, it's also part of history. I thought that this film was just as strong as the first, and that Blanchett delivered yet again. The film is a great looking piece of cinema, and the story, though slow at times is well plotted, and the pacing is just right for the great climax of the film. There are enough good things going for this film to forgive its slight imperfections. The performances alone make this a strong, flawless and powerful film. As far as sequels are concerned, Elizabeth: The Golden Age belongs on the short list of films that are just as good as or better than the original. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a great film with a strong story and great performances. The film is just as good as the original, and despite its flaws, there are enough good things about this film to really enjoy it. The film is entertaining, and slow, but for a film like this, the pacing is just perfect. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a great film, and along with the first film is a solid piece of cinema that should appeal to history fans. If you can forgive the love story, you'll enjoy this. A brilliant film with great performances make this a must see. A very enjoyable film that is a splendid period piece. A must see.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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