The Iron Lady - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Iron Lady Reviews

December 3, 2017
Have you ever seen a terrific trailer, only to find yourself grossly disappointed in the actual film? Too much of the movie is about an elderly Thatcher shuffling about in a nightgown. (But I challenge anyone to shuffle as convincingly as Ms. Streep.)
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
January 20, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 13, 2012
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.
January 13, 2012
Yes, Streep is wondrous as usual, but her superpowers have been squandered here.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
January 13, 2012
The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 13, 2012
Often "The Iron Lady" relies on montages to get to - and plow through - historic high points.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 13, 2012
[Streep's] performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 12, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3/4
January 12, 2012
Streep, no fan of Thatcher, nicely undercuts the poignancy of her current condition with flashbacks that reveal her brittle arrogance in office.
January 12, 2012
While the rest of "The Iron Lady" fades quickly in memory, Meryl Streep's performance in the title role remains startlingly present.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 12, 2012
Everything Streep does here is a seismic act of theater. If she so much as tilts her head, the earth tilts with it. She doesn't simply overwhelm this thin historic biography - and the other actors around her - she detonates it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 12, 2012
The portrait that Streep delivers in Phyllida Lloyd's impressionistic biopic is astonishing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 12, 2012
Streep is Oscar-worthy here, as she almost always is, which is hardly a surprise, and the historic subject matter is fascinating whichever way your politics may lean.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 12, 2012
A stylized biography of one of the most powerful women in politics, portrayed by the greatest actress of our time, that asks more questions than it answers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 12, 2012
Even if you have little interest in Thatcher or why she mattered, you'll likely respond to the contradictory yet charismatic character that Streep has conjured from truth and myth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 12, 2012
Yes, it's a strangely de-politicized portrait of Britain's first female prime minister. But what's there is actually enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 12, 2012
You have to be very talented to work with Meryl Streep. It also helps to know how to use her. "The Iron Lady" fails in both of these categories.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 12, 2012
Streep gets under the skin of one of the 20th century's most dynamic and also most contained personalities.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 6, 2012
Streep and Broadbent are entirely watchable, and Thatcher's story, even in its vague and watered-down state, is inherently interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 5, 2012
Certainly, it's worth seeing and arguing over, but my personal take on Thatcher remains unchanged, Streep's virtuoso ministrations notwithstanding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 5, 2012
It isn't Streep's fault that The Iron Lady ends up feeling so uninvolving and oddly dour.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 4, 2012
Maudlin and ham-fisted, The Iron Lady is cinematic scrap metal.
January 4, 2012
Streep is... pitch perfect. Much like her Julia Child in Julie and Julia, she goes way beyond impersonation. But even Streep can't single-handedly give depth and nuance to a movie so briskly content with skimming surfaces both political and psychological.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
January 4, 2012
The screenplay is pedestrian and the acting, including that of star Meryl Streep, is unmemorable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 31, 2011
If it weren't for Streep, The Iron Lady would be unwatchable.
December 30, 2011
The film views Thatcher with sympathy and admiration; the effect is a strange movie that manages to compel while also coming off as shortsighted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 30, 2011
No matter your politics, [Streep] makes you see Thatcher as a real person rather than a caricature.
December 30, 2011
Takes a blandly nonpartisan approach to one of the most controversial, as well as influential, politicians in British history.
December 30, 2011
The film stars an unsurpassable Meryl Streep, whose ability to empathize with her characters has never been more gloriously impassioned than it is in this titanic performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 30, 2011
What "The Iron Lady" does contain - what makes it worth watching - is a literally amazing performance by Meryl Streep ...
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 29, 2011
Though not illuminating as a historical biopic, the film features a tour-de-force performance by Meryl Streep.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 29, 2011
An affecting if not always satisfying portrait of the strong-willed leader humbled by age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 29, 2011
Those hoping for insight into the life and times of Margaret Thatcher herself will leave deeply disappointed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 29, 2011
The Iron Lady is shallow but satisfying, largely because of Meryl Streep and her big fake English teeth and gift for using mimicry as a means of achieving empathy.
December 29, 2011
The Iron Lady is a clever and oddly touching entertainment.
December 29, 2011
You are left with the impression of an old woman who can't quite remember who she used to be and of a movie that is not so sure either.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
December 29, 2011
Is there anything that Meryl Streep can't do as an actress? One can only marvel at her virtuoso performance as Britain's Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron Lady.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 29, 2011
Thatcher contains multitudes; she is rife with contradictions you can barely glimpse in this modestly affecting movie.
December 29, 2011
Streep brings out Thatcher's dignity, but the screenplay is more compelling when it emphasizes her drama.
Read More | Original Score: C-
December 27, 2011
The Iron Lady is a conventional biopic with one great performance and a few memorable scenes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/5
December 27, 2011
Despite the story's conceit of placing the viewer inside Thatcher's head, she never feels like a real person -- but this is more the fault of Morgan's script than Streep's typically studied performance...
December 27, 2011
An oddly unsettling compound of glorification and malice that whirls around and winds up nowhere.
December 26, 2011
For as much of a mess as this movie is, there are moments in which Streep and Broadbent draw it into a sharp humanist focus. But they don't occur often enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 26, 2011
Even the greatest actress of our time can only do so much when the figure she's playing just isn't on the page.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 21, 2011
Streep is her own irresistible show as she assumes, with the precision that is her trademark, the character of the U.K.'s staunchly conservative prime minister in the 1980s.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 21, 2011
There's nothing even Ms. Streep's craft and resourcefulness can do to make this cold, humorless woman of iron likeable, and the whole thing is too dry to sustain so much screen time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2011
There's barely an incident from the right honourable PM's regime that Lloyd doesn't gild with distracting Dutch angles or chintzy archival-footage montages.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 24, 2011
Playing both the staunch human battleship and the diminished old woman sifting through her past, Meryl Streep is riveting in The Iron Lady.
November 24, 2011
Glosses over the former British prime minister's politics in favor of a glib, breakneck whirl around her career and marriage.