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



Reviews Counted: 166

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 367,979


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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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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News & Interviews for Elizabeth: The Golden Age

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

Overly dramatic and cheesy like a soap opera, this stupid costume drama made to dazzle us with its sumptuous production design seems like two stories in one and cannot decide if it wants to be a romance for women or a backstabbing period drama, and so it simply fails as both.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


This unofficial sequel to Shekhar Kapur's first film about Queen Elisabeth the First manages to reunite the fantastic Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, reprising their roles and keeping the visual style about the queen's first years of reign. This is the story of her flirt with Sir Walter Raleigh and the threat of the Spanish armada. Even if the film is a tad slow at times, the mix of intrigues, politics and personal issues works great again. Several factors raise this film high above an interesting but dry history lesson: wonderful costumes, the really unique camera work, Cate Blanchett giving another truly outstanding performance, Clive Owen and his charming charisma, an all around great cast and a very powerful finale with the prettiest sailing ship battles you have ever seen (although admittedly, after the amazing trailer you could have hoped for even more of those). Very good and worth seeing for everyone even remotely interested in the genre.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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 roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

This is the sequel to the film that made Cate Blanchett's career, and, while it does have it's moments, it doesn't quite live up to the level set by its predecessor. The story this time out focuses on a few things: the schemings of Mary Queen of Scots, the campaign against the Spanish Armada, and a possible romance between Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh. It's all some good stuff, but there's not quite as much subtext present this time around. The cosumes and sets are wonderful yes, but the film seems to favor them more over having a stronger story with more historical accuracy and more development. Also, the film is rather slow and plodding, and feels far longer than it is. On the other hand though, there's great cinematography, the battle at the end is well done and provides some sort of pay off, and the performances are pretty good. Blanchett once again shows why she was born to play this part, Rush is once again good as Sir Francis Walsingham (though not quite as scary/badass as before), and Clive Owen is quite good as Sir Walter Raleigh, really owning the screen everytime he shows up. This isn't a terrible film, but it was kind of disappointing. I still kinda liked it, or at least some parts more than others, but I say stick with the first one instead, and maybe only see this if you feel you need to be a completist.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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