Iron Jawed Angels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Iron Jawed Angels Reviews

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March 20, 2011
Fantastic film about the suffrage movement!! Hilary Swank and Frances O'Connor were amazing as the lead roles.
March 16, 2011
Good Movie, even though Hilary Swank annoys the hell out of me.
March 8, 2011
Looove it! Soo powerful!
½ March 2, 2011
An excellent film every young woman, as well as every young man, must see. A remarkable true story about commitment, sacrifice and, ultimately, triumph in the face of violent injustice.
½ February 17, 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)

½ February 16, 2011
The hat is coming off.
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 January 21, 2011
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 18, 2011
watched this with our girls. we told them to think of these women when they start to vote.
January 13, 2011
Highly worth watching... it's just too bad I waited this long to watch it!
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.
November 23, 2010
I'm so glad I finally own this film on DVD. More people need to see this, for it is truly one of the greatest pieces of film making in a long time. The editing makes me squee with joy, because it is just so damn pretty. The story is entertaining and gripping throughout, and it also extremely empowering.
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.
August 3, 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.
July 5, 2010
Nice movie. Not fantastic, but nice.
June 18, 2010
This movie was okay. I want to support female empowerment movies, but why is the lead character usually unlikable? She just comes off as bitchy as opposed to empowered. Aside from that, I do love to see how much people used to sacrifice for a cause. It's refreshing as people cannot be bothered to go on hunger strikes to save their lives these days. Inconvenience is not considered when fighting for rights anymore. We can only stand 1-day walkouts or sit-ins or strikes. Nothing lasts for days anymore to actually get noticed and make a point. It is quite disappointing that our society has such a lax attitude so as not to disturb the Powers-That-Be.

Anyway, the only weird thing I did not care for with this movie was the modern music that was used to tell such an important story of this country's past. It didn't fit well. They could have at least got someone like Squirrel Nut Zippers to do the soundtrack if they wanted to use modern acts.
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.
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