Mary Queen of Scots - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mary Queen of Scots Reviews

December 14, 2018
[A] lack of consistency makes far too many pivotal plot points seem arbitrary, as if the filmmakers realized, "we have to get things moving!"
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 14, 2018
If it's not quite a success, at least it's an ambitious failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
December 14, 2018
A dramatic but unreliable account of Mary's tenuous rule over Scotland and deadly rivalry with Elizabeth I of England.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 13, 2018
"Mary Queen of Scots" feels like sitting through a history lesson, and not a particularly enlightening one.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 13, 2018
Ronan deserves better. And so do we.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 13, 2018
Although the film is competently made, there's nothing here worth more than a cursory art-house release in advance of home video purgatory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 13, 2018
The movie tries to have it both ways, by remaining mostly true to history while also taking numerous factual liberties.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
December 13, 2018
The filmmakers have come up with a nifty, billowing fabric sequence to keep them apart while together, and that's enough to satisfy my urge to fact check, at least when the performances are as much fun as they are in "Mary Queen of Scots."
December 12, 2018
The most spirited heart and poignant soul of "Mary Queen of Scots" are Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as Mary and Elizabeth, whose contradictory relationship accommodates hostility, jealousy, admiration and sisterly love with affecting seamlessness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 12, 2018
In Mary Queen of Scots, we don't see a reckoning with the future of a country united across the Scottish-English border. We see queens cry and fret about their hair.
December 12, 2018
This is a moderately but consistently entertaining film, with but one extraordinary thing about it, which is Saoirse Ronan in the title role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 10, 2018
Every movie that has Saoirse Ronan in it works, to the extent that it has Saoirse Ronan in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
December 10, 2018
The movie has numerous faults (especially with a number of literary liberties) but is consistently polished enough to keep history buffs fascinated.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2018
It's in every sense a noble failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2018
It's a royal chore.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 7, 2018
What's mysterious about this film is why, with so much on its mind and such gifted stars to express it, the drama should be so unaffecting.
December 7, 2018
Despite a sharp cast and lots of stentorian speechifying, Mary Queen of Scots joins the ranks of the dull.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 7, 2018
Even when the pace of the film falters, these two performers hold you in thrall. That's royalty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
December 6, 2018
Mary Queen of Scots does make a powerfully moving case for an uneasy dance between two powerful women hamstrung by male politics.
December 6, 2018
It doesn't always work, but the film makes for an entertaining argument to reevaluate the legacy of Mary Queen of Scots, beyond the time-worn focus on her tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 6, 2018
A kind of nothing of a film.
December 6, 2018
Consistently interesting even if it's not always convincing.
December 6, 2018
It's Ronan, as well as Margot Robbie in an arresting turn as a wretched but wily Elizabeth, who keeps us watching even as the twists in Mary's narrative become increasingly, almost maddeningly complicated.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 5, 2018
In a similar way, despite numerous advantages, the film with [Mary's] name on it has promise it does not fully deliver on.
Top Critic
December 5, 2018
While it pays lip service to how bad it is to pit women against each other, that's exactly what the movie is structured to do, cross-cutting between the two queens in similar poses and compositions and thus asking us to compare and contrast them.
December 5, 2018
The film, for all its prestige and edginess, its lofty goals and contemporary messages, is not a particularly engrossing experience.
December 4, 2018
Given the capable performances and a few memorable scenes, it's difficult to pinpoint why this handsome, competent production can't offer much more satisfaction...
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 4, 2018
One can't help but feel this version of "Mary Queen of Scots" could only have been made in a post-Hillary world, fueled by feminist anger searching for validation, for confirmation that men have ruined everything for centuries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 4, 2018
Two crazy-good actresses and a modern political resonance rule in the 16th-century period drama "Mary Queen of Scots," even if the film doesn't go all in on historical accuracy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 3, 2018
There's exactly one Great Scene . . and the journey to get there is long, sedate and rather unspectacular considering the tantalizing story.
December 3, 2018
What keeps the film from feeling like period-piece amber... is the keenly feminist sensibility of first-time director Josie Rourke and the fierce charisma and complicated humanity of its two leads, sovereigns till the end.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 3, 2018
The tamped-down and smoothed-out movie lacks the psychological acuity and the political reflection to develop its ideas.
December 3, 2018
Though it's a long ride, the movie is sure to please a patient audience with fans of political and historical dramas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 29, 2018
You probably know how this story ends, but Rourke makes the getting-there suspenseful even so.
November 21, 2018
...visually dull and intriguing in only the most generic sense, but still a showcase for the twin talents of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 16, 2018
An epic look at the intimate frustrations of two massively powerful young women who spend most of their energy navigating between who they are and what they represent.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 16, 2018
Director Rourke exhibits confidence and enthusiasm in dealing with such juicy material in the company of her two outstanding young actresses.
November 16, 2018
Rourke's film feels well suited to the #MeToo moment, contrasting Mary and Elizabeth's far different strategies for maintaining what each believed to be her God-given legacy.
November 15, 2018
Acknowledges both the struggles of women and the fact that people of color have always been part of society, even during the Renaissance and Age of Discovery.