The Iron Lady (2012)



Critic Consensus: Meryl Streep's performance as The Iron Lady is reliably perfect, but it's mired in bland, self-important storytelling.

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The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century's most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world. -- (C) Weinstein
PG-13 (for some violent images and brief nudity)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Jim Broadbent
as Denis Thatcher
Meryl Streep
as Margaret Thatcher
Amanda Root
as Amanda
Nicholas Farrell
as Airey Neave
Iain Glen
as Alfred Roberts
Simon Chandler
as Cabinet Minister
Michael Pennington
as Michael Foot
Anthony Head
as Geoffrey Howe
Roger Allam
as Gordon Reece
Richard E. Grant
as Michael Heseltine
Nicholas Jones
as Admiral Leach
Matthew Marsh
as Alexander Haig
Michael Culkin
as Host 1949
Hugh Ross
as Cabinet Minister
Richard Goulding
as Naval Attaché
Richard M. Dixon
as Male Guest 1949
Sylvestra Le Touzel
as Hostess 1949
David Westhead
as Shadow Minister
Julian Wadham
as Francis Pym
Clifford Rose
as James R.
John Sessions
as Edward Heath
Martin Wimbush
as Cabinet Minister
Stephen Boxer
as Cabinet Minister
John Harding
as Cabinet Minister
Harry Lloyd
as Young Denis Thatcher
Andrew Havill
as Cabinet Minister
Jeremy Child
as Cabinet Minister
Willie Jonah
as Kenneth Kaunda
Jeremy Clyde
as James T.
Pip Torrens
as Ian Gilmour
Michael Elwyn
as Cabinet Minister
David Rintoul
as Admiral Fieldhouse
Olivia Colman
as Carol Thatcher
Robert Portal
as Grey Suited Guest 1949
James Smith
as Cabinet Minister
Peter Pacey
as Cabinet Minister
Nick Dunning
as Jim Prior
Richard Syms
as House of Commons Speaker
Robin Kermode
as Cabinet Minister
David Cann
as TV Interviewer
Chris Campbell
as Cabinet Minister
Rupert Vansittart
as Cabinet Minister
Simon Slater
as Cabinet Minister
Jasper Jacob
as Cabinet Minister
Christopher Luscombe
as Voice Coach
Angela Curran
as Crawfie
Angus Wright
as John Nott
Alexandra Roach
as Young Margaret Thatcher
Eloise Webb
as Young Carol
Alice Da Cunha
as Cleaner
Victoria Bewick
as Muriel Roberts
Emma Dewhurst
as Beatrice Roberts
Stephanie Jacob
as Female Guest 1949
Alexander Beardsley
as Young Mark
Paul Bentley
as Cabinet Minister
Phoebe Waller
as Bridge-Susie
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News & Interviews for The Iron Lady

Critic Reviews for The Iron Lady

All Critics (209) | Top Critics (48)

What keeps The Iron Lady afloat is the mesmerizing work of its star. As we already know, Streep goes beyond mimicry to fully inhabit her characters, from The French Lieutenant's Woman to Julia Child.

Full Review… | January 13, 2012
Top Critic

Yes, Streep is wondrous as usual, but her superpowers have been squandered here.

Full Review… | January 12, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film.

Full Review… | January 12, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Often "The Iron Lady" relies on montages to get to - and plow through - historic high points.

January 12, 2012
Denver Post
Top Critic

[Streep's] performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice.

Full Review… | January 12, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

Streep's performance is so true and so uncannily accurate, so full and so complete in its understanding, that she is fascinating every second she is onscreen.

Full Review… | January 12, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Iron Lady

Apart from Streep's performance, nothing else works in this terrible, disjointed mess of a biopic that is so badly written and directed, full of illogical narrative elements (the schizophrenia thing is unbelievable) and trying hard to soften the image of the character in an entirely artificial way.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Undoubtedly Meryl Streep's performance as the former Prime Minister of the UK was so good it could only be method. The rest of the film, however, is not as cohesive and linear as I would have liked. Jumping around in time is a fine storytelling device, and usually brings a greater emphasis on the importance of the future, but here it's misused, obviously trying to mirror other more popular films. I didn't see any importance in seeing Thatcher in modern times, slightly demented by the death of her husband and her life out of the public arena. Though it may have been an important part of Thatcher's life, we don't even see her husband onscreen enough to warrant him invading her life in the last section of the film. Everything felt rushed, the set pieces were nonexistent, the side characters were forgettable, and the extent of her reach was glossed over for a message of "women need to be taken seriously, more often." Though Thatcher was a trailblazer, and deserved better than a swift kick out of power by her underlings, the tragedy of this undeserved political ploy was underwhelming onscreen. Because everything is rushed along we never grasp the importance of Thatcher's reign, or her true character, which you would think, in a biopic, would be important.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Mediocre and diffuse. With all her great performances Meryl Streep won an Oscar for this? She has been much better elsewhere.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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