Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Elizabeth: The Golden Age finds Queen Elizabeth facing bloodlust for her throne and familial betrayal. Growing keenly aware of the changing religious and political tides of late-16th-century Europe, Elizabeth finds her rule openly challenged by the Spanish King Philip II, who with his powerful army and sea-dominating armada is determined to restore England to Catholicism. Preparing to go to war to defend her empire, Elizabeth struggles to balance ancient royal duties with an unexpected vulnerability in her love for Raleigh. But he remains forbidden for a queen who has sworn body and soul to her country. Unable and unwilling to pursue her love, Elizabeth encourages her favorite lady-in-waiting, Bess, to befriend Raleigh to keep him near. But this strategy forces Elizabeth to observe the growing intimacy of the other two. As she charts her course abroad, her trusted advisor, Sir Francis Walsingham, continues his masterful puppetry of Elizabeth's court at home to end her campaign to solidify absolute power. (Universal Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 75
    Expect a fast-paced, beautifully mounted and well-acted soap opera with overripe dialogue that plays fast and loose with history - just like they did in the '30s, '40s and '50s - and you won't come away disappointed.
  2. Blanchett commands the screen as she commands the royal navy. Her unforced majesty makes a so-so film worth watching.
  3. Too bad Kapur's new, glittering sequel also shows up feeling prematurely old, square, and cautious. A production of exquisitely complicated wigs and expensively grand wide shots, it pauses often to admire its own beauty, leery of messing with previous success.
  4. It’s intentionally playful and an inadvertent giggle, an overripe melodrama that’s by turns a bodice-ripper, a cloak-and-dagger thriller and a serious-minded historical drama with dubious contemporary overtones.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    This handsomely mounted film, in its cute ADD way, soon forgets its half-hearted attempt to make History Relevant to What Is Going On in the World Today and morphs into a sort of Classic Comics on acid, or, as a friend so brilliantly put it, "the longest Eurythmics video ever made."
  6. 42
    The best you can say about Owen is that no actor has looked better in thigh-high boots and puffed-out britches.
  7. Overdresses and ultimately abandons what drew us to its 1998 predecessor in the first place: an intimate embrace with history.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 36
  2. Negative: 10 out of 36
  1. TimurR.
    Apr 27, 2008
    This highly underrated film is actually quite brilliantly directed with one of the best performances of all time. I am sure the studios cut it as it could have used another hour. However, this talk of being historically accurate is simply unfair. I don't know of any movies that are historically accurate. They are not lectures, they are art! If you want history, listen to some lectures or read a book. This is to give you the experience of the time. And as for bombastic, overripe and all the other nonsense comments, well I guess if a film shows some emotion, it is too much for our cynical age. Expand
  2. ElaineS.
    Nov 19, 2007
    Brilliant wigs, makeup and costuming. A bit casual on historical interpretation.
  3. DianeM.
    Oct 19, 2007
    Very enjoyable period drama. Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey R. are wonderful. Deserves a higher rating.
  4. SarahP.
    Oct 14, 2007
    Extremely disappointing. Boring and so full of misinformation. Costumes and wigs were pretty decent.
  5. AndreaM.
    May 13, 2008
    Ludicrous screenplay. Only Cate Blanchett shouldn't be embarrassed to have been involved.
  6. PrinsM.
    Mar 6, 2008
    The first one was awful. This is even worse.
  7. WesM.
    Oct 12, 2007
    Pathetic, historically inaccurate and boring. I was totally disappointed.

See all 36 User Reviews