Mary Shelley

Critics Consensus

Mary Shelley smooths out its subject's fascinating life and fails to communicate the spark of her classic work, undermining fine period detail and a solid Elle Fanning performance.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 125

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 627

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Movie Info

Mary Wollstonecraft's family disapproves when she and poet Percy Shelley announce their love for each other. The family is horrified when it finds that the couple has eloped, accompanied by Mary's half-sister, Claire. While staying in the home of Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, the guests are challenged to write a ghost story, which leads Mary to conceive her novel "Frankenstein."

Cast & Crew

Elle Fanning
Mary Shelley
Douglas Booth
Percy Shelley
Bel Powley
Claire Clairmont
Stephen Dillane
William Godwin
Maisie Williams
Isabel Baxter
Joanne Froggatt
Mary Jane Clairmont
Ben Hardy
John Polidori
Emma Jensen
Screenwriter
Amy Baer
Producer
Mark Amin
Executive Producer
Tyler Boehm
Executive Producer
Joannie Burstein
Executive Producer
Johanna Hogan
Executive Producer
David Ungaro
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Mary Shelley

Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (77)

  • The movie, which gradually slows to a crawl, could have used a little galvanism itself.

    April 9, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The movie is still well executed but, at two hours, not even Fanning's persuasive performance can elevate it to being more than a moderately interesting historical drama.

    July 12, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • If it falls short of its ambitions, you have to love that it tries to go for the big story, and that it gives Elle Fanning such a grand role at her tender age.

    July 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Fanning holds the screen as someone intent on writing her own destiny.

    July 6, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Mary Shelley is an intelligent, probing, well-acted biopic with a strong feminist slant.

    July 5, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a story of super-heroism in disguise from the early 19th century, in a mostly London-set literary milieu that's captured with curious and probing compassion.

    July 5, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mary Shelley

  • Aug 12, 2020
    Let Mary Shelley fuck on her mum's grave!! Commits the cardinal sin of the entertainment industry: being boring. Moreover, I absolutely did not believe that the relationship between Wollstonecraft Godwin and Shelley was anything of the importance that it appeared to be in real life. I also was kind of hoping for the tale Frankenstein to have more of an inception than "I saw a frog once then years later got drunk and wrote it on a dare", but I guess that's more on me for having expectations. Acting's fine and the old-timey sets look cool, but that's really all I took away from Mary Shelley.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2019
    Elle Fanning leads the cast in the indie biopic Mary Shelley. After falling in love with a young poet, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin runs off with her sister to live with him but things take a turn when his father cuts him off and they find themselves living in poverty and avoiding debt collectors, then one fateful night she has a dream that inspires her to write a chilling horror story that would become one of the most famous ever written. Fanning delivers a strong performance and the rest of the cast is pretty good as well. And the sets and costumes are incredibly well-done. However, there seems to be a bit of a political agenda, pushing acceptance of polyamory and the bohemian lifestyle. Also, the film doesn't really go much into the creation and legacy of the Frankenstein novel; just a few scenes of Mary writing it and struggling to get it published. Yet while it has some issues, overall Mary Shelley is an intriguing look at the woman behind one of the most frightening novels ever written.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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