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Mary Queen of Scots (15)


Historical drama based on the life of Mary Stuart and her rivalry with Elizabeth I.

The critical consensus

A history lesson with more fire in the belly than most. It turns out that a feminist angle really can revive the same old Tudor psychodramas, thanks in large part to Ronan and Robbie’s authoritative performance.

****(*)Helen O'Hara, Empire Online, 16/11/2018

A note-perfect performance from the three-time Oscar nominee charges a darkly compelling, if factually questionable, 16th-century retelling.

****(*)Benjamin Lee, The Guardian, 16/11/2018

Ronan is the monarch of the lens in this feisty, feminist royal biopic, which favours queenly clashes over battlefield action.

***(*)(*)Kate Stables, Total Film, 19/11/2018

Ronan and Robbie are knockout, but their bold, sensitive performances as somewhat hindered by structural and pacing issues.

***(*)(*)Caitlin Quinlan, The Skinny, 14/01/2019

Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie headline an over the top but powerfully feminist historical drama.

***(*)(*)Katherine McLaughlin, The List, 14/01/2019

Josie Rourke’s film is beautifully shot and boasts commanding performances from Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, but turns these real women into historical superheroes.

***(*)(*)Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent, 17/01/2019

This heartfelt, serious-minded film about the artful power politics of the rival 16th-century queens presents their relationship as battle and love affair.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 16/01/2019

An epoch-defining face-off, rendered lifeless by an unwillingness to focus on the core drama.

David Jenkins, Little White Lies, 17/01/2019

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan excel as wily foes in Josie Rourke’s striking take on the rivalry between Elizabeth I and her Scottish cousin.

****(*)Mark Kermode, The Observer, 20/01/2019

Imaginative period drama can’t stimulate emotion or excitement.

***(*)(*)Jonny Sweet, The Wee Review, 19/01/2019

Features about Mary Queen of Scots (15)

Mary Queen of Scots: How historically accurate is it?

Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent, 04/12/2018i

Mary Queen of Scots map launched in new tourism campaign

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 16/01/2019

Mary, Queen of Scots quiz: How well do you know the Scottish monarch?

Finlay Greig, The Scotsman, 17/01/2019

The stunning Mary, Queen of Scots filming locations you can visit in Scotland

The Scotsman, 17/01/2019

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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