User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 73
  2. Negative: 13 out of 73
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  1. PrinsM.
    Mar 6, 2008
    3
    The first one was awful. This is even worse.
  2. WesM.
    Oct 12, 2007
    1
    Pathetic, historically inaccurate and boring. I was totally disappointed.
  3. KevinC.
    Oct 12, 2007
    3
    Very disappointing film. The history of this period is so interesting why not juat stick to the book? The worst is the portrayal of the Spanish, who come off like Orcs. Mary Stuart and all the the plots swirling around her were reduced to sound bites. The Raleigh thing would have been better as a movie on PBS (or Lifetime). Terrible camera work and sets. Editing, screenplay. I could go Very disappointing film. The history of this period is so interesting why not juat stick to the book? The worst is the portrayal of the Spanish, who come off like Orcs. Mary Stuart and all the the plots swirling around her were reduced to sound bites. The Raleigh thing would have been better as a movie on PBS (or Lifetime). Terrible camera work and sets. Editing, screenplay. I could go on. I guess the actors did the best they could, but GIGO. It's just not good, and that's too bad. Expand
  4. NGarry
    Nov 3, 2007
    3
    Simply put this film failed in every way. Over the top, under researched, aiming for the middle ground film goer who is a glossy mag reader. It wasn't enough to have dear Cate and cheeky smiley Clive to pull it off. I reached for my glasses, too often, finding the cinema curiously silenced but fidgety. The scenes were just plain bad, bordering on the sad, Was it Lord of the Rings! Simply put this film failed in every way. Over the top, under researched, aiming for the middle ground film goer who is a glossy mag reader. It wasn't enough to have dear Cate and cheeky smiley Clive to pull it off. I reached for my glasses, too often, finding the cinema curiously silenced but fidgety. The scenes were just plain bad, bordering on the sad, Was it Lord of the Rings! Joan of Arc! Too much, - Clive what a beautiful swimmer!! though lost out to the horse. Anyway, give it a miss - on the grounds that Mary was given a harsh Scottish street accent...Nae bad for a lass who grew up in France.! Expand
  5. JudyT
    Feb 27, 2008
    2
    Waste of film.
  6. JillP.
    Mar 20, 2008
    4
    Patently silly from start to finish. The whole thing seems like an endlessly long perfume ad, complete with billowing gauze and guttering candles in nearly every scene. All style, no substance, a movie does not make.
  7. TomasV.
    Oct 11, 2007
    2
    Very repetitive storyline. Music soundtrack was remarkably bad. Acting was strong with major roles however smaller roles were remarkably weak Editing was acceptable Overall You would get far more from a history channel documentary then wasting 10 dollars for this.
  8. Chris
    Nov 23, 2007
    4
    Sir Francis Drake, Martin Frobisher and John Hawkins are turning over in their graves after watching Clive Owen defeat the Armada as Raleigh, oh by the way he was on land the whole time.
  9. RoseJ
    Oct 13, 2007
    3
    While I liked Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen, the movie as a whole just didn't make it. The editing and direction were not good. This movie was much more impressed with itself than I was. The music was nice, though.
  10. ClaireD.
    Oct 14, 2007
    1
    I don't demand that costume drama be historically accurate but even my tolerance for dramatic license is strained by this silly epic. The events surrounding the invasion of the Spanish Armada are distorted into near camp. Not evn as soap opera does this drama convince. Blanchette and Owen do their best and emerge unscathed, but the roles played by Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton, Rhys I don't demand that costume drama be historically accurate but even my tolerance for dramatic license is strained by this silly epic. The events surrounding the invasion of the Spanish Armada are distorted into near camp. Not evn as soap opera does this drama convince. Blanchette and Owen do their best and emerge unscathed, but the roles played by Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton, Rhys Ifans and Tom Hollander are criminally thrown away. Australian Abby Cornish is interesting as Elizabeth's favorite lady in waiting and will no doubt go on to bigger and better things. films. Too silly to be taken seriously, this bodice ripper (quite literally in this case) devolves into an exercise in costume porn - the wigs and clothes are the real stars of the movie. Expand
  11. ArthurC.
    Oct 17, 2007
    3
    Elizabeth was a stunning, moving historical epic that got all the intimate moments right. This one fails on every level. The epic scenes are ridiculous (How can you screw up the Spanish Armada battle?) with over the top histrionics that plays better like a soap opera than anything truly meaningful. We spend small amounts of time on the history and too much time on a ridiculous triangle Elizabeth was a stunning, moving historical epic that got all the intimate moments right. This one fails on every level. The epic scenes are ridiculous (How can you screw up the Spanish Armada battle?) with over the top histrionics that plays better like a soap opera than anything truly meaningful. We spend small amounts of time on the history and too much time on a ridiculous triangle with Elizabeth, Bess, and Sir Walter Raleigh. I am truly disappointed with this, after looking so forward to a movie that could equal Elizabeth. The Helen Mirren TV miniseries doesn't even show the Spanish Armada battle, but did a better job of conveying the subtext that the battle had on the queen and her people. Here, it feels like more of an inconvenience. Also, there was a definite emotional connection between Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots that is glossed over in the movie, so when she is upset at her death, Elizabeth appears to be unreasonable and ridiculous just because "she killed a queen." Oh, and let's not get into the suspect history either. See the original, but avoid this one. Expand
  12. PeterK.
    Oct 21, 2007
    4
    Played fast and loose with the facts and evolved into something much bigger and much less than the historical scenario that was Elizabeth's life and times. A pity that such great actors (and such a production) had such a poor treatment of history.
  13. DaleM
    Feb 13, 2008
    3
    The movie is constructed as a series of rather flashy scenes. You get a little story and then an expensive scene with the camera circling the Queen looking pretty in a fancy wig and special lighting techniques. Then you get a little story and another expensive scene with the Queen in a different wig. And so on and so on. Eventually you get a nice scene of Elizabeth wearing armor while on The movie is constructed as a series of rather flashy scenes. You get a little story and then an expensive scene with the camera circling the Queen looking pretty in a fancy wig and special lighting techniques. Then you get a little story and another expensive scene with the Queen in a different wig. And so on and so on. Eventually you get a nice scene of Elizabeth wearing armor while on horseback in a long red wig and another scene of ships burning and a horse swimming. You'd never suspect that Elizabethans didn't bathe much from this film, and that they couldn't just go to the Gap to get their skin-tight armor on demand. I suggest you wait until the movie comes out on a View-Master. This move is an abomination of all things Elizabethan. Expand
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. An unholy mixture of the banal and the bombastic.
  2. 50
    Cate Blanchett can do anything, even play Bob Dylan, but she can't save this creaky sequel to her star-making 1998 biopic of Elizabeth I.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Without the pleasure of watching Cate Blanchett continue the role that launched her to stardom, there would be little to recommend this latest of many cinematic and television accounts of the celebrated monarch's life.