Elizabeth

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Kevin Maynard
    100
    This historical epic about the "virgin queen" of England's early life moves with the crackling urgency of a contemporary political thriller.
  2. The fabulous Elizabeth reinvents English Tudor history as gangster movie.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    90
    Superior historical soap opera that shrewdly sidesteps all the cliches of British costume drama with its bold, often modern approach.
  4. Where Elizabeth really triumphs over its dusty source material is in transforming all this boring history into a real, rip-roaring adventure tale.
  5. Film.com
    Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    90
    What's best about the film is not the hot romance, but the coldness that lies at its heart.
  6. A fascinating whirl of politics and palace intrigue.
  7. 88
    The texture of the film is enough to recommend it, even apart from the story.
  8. This is a sensual, psychologically modern costume drama influenced by both "The Godfather" and gals' guides to empowerment.
  9. Period movies inevitably reflect more about the period in which they're made than the period of their subject, and rarely has that been more evident -- or more distracting -- than it is with Elizabeth.
  10. 80
    Elizabeth's most triumphant aspect is Blanchett's transformation from saucy, spirited toe-tapper to iconic Virgin Queen.
  11. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    The movie's approach makes for juicy melodrama.
  12. This Elizabeth is presented as a glamorously stressed-out modern woman who must cope with a super-intense case of having it all.
  13. 80
    Bollywood meets The Godfather.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    This darkly sumptuous, hypnotically complex movie ought to have many constituencies.
  15. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    80
    A handsome, diverting coming-of-intrigue story studded with meaty performances.
  16. Despite the florid trailers' emphasis on bodice-ripping romantic imagery, Elizabeth is above all a political thriller.
  17. Bad history it may be, but Elizabeth is a movie that makes you want more, as it plays to the myth of history's great actress-monarch, a character who puts today's tinselly political heros and heroines (royal and not), to shame.
  18. 75
    It's a rousing adventure that keeps the audience involved for the entirety of the two hour running time while opening a window into the culture that gave birth to Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Francis Bacon, and William Shakespeare.
  19. Elizabeth works in a number of ways. It's a feminist film. It's also a kind of spy thriller and a superior historical drama.
  20. Acted and directed with great energy and imagination.
  21. History rendered with enough brains and imagination to more than make up for its few stumbles.
  22. Although frustratingly confusing -- often the viewer can't be sure who is on which side or why -- the film brims with physical grandeur, exquisite costumes, and a captivating performance by Blanchett.
  23. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    70
    Kapur can't decide if he's making an art movie or a melodrama, an opera or a soap opera.
  24. 70
    The film belongs to Blanchett -- this hellcat Virgin Queen is something to see.
  25. The movie -- directed in such a frenziedly self-conscious style you often wonder whether the camera will topple over on his actors.
  26. 60
    Whether the story's bald ironies are historical cliches or just dramatic ones, they convey only platitudes about gender, sexuality, and power.
  27. 60
    But much of it, like its subject, is so cryptic, distractingly stylish, and impenetrably posed that it's rough going most of the way.
  28. The conspicuous lack of emotional resonance makes this film "Queen Margot's" poor cold English cousin.
  29. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    A notably undynamic treatment of Protestant Elizabeth I's ascension to the British throne.
  30. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    30
    All of the nutty editing and the loud score just grated on my nerves and failed the story.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Mar 11, 2016
    6
    Elizabeth is not a bad film, but it is poorly directed, agonizingly slow, and oddly constructed. From the very beginning, the film has a weirdElizabeth is not a bad film, but it is poorly directed, agonizingly slow, and oddly constructed. From the very beginning, the film has a weird tone to it that continues throughout (I saw somebody compare the beginning to a comedy like Monty Python and they're not wrong). Cate Blanchett is phenomenal, as are Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Richard Attenborough, and Joseph Fiennes. The structure reminds me oddly of The Godfather and pieces of it bear some resemblance in how it was portrayed, which was unexpected. Additionally, though slow, it feels like it needed to be longer. At two hours, it felt like some things got left out and others were rushed, which hurt the overall film. That being said, the acting really saves this one and it is as strikingly gorgeous production/costume design wise as a period piece should be. Overall, Elizabeth is an above average biopic of Queen Elizabeth I. Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2016
    0
    For Spain, this piece of **** is part of Black Legend: First Elizabeth was a catholic murderer, more than Maria with anglicans, in secondFor Spain, this piece of **** is part of Black Legend: First Elizabeth was a catholic murderer, more than Maria with anglicans, in second place the character of Felipe II is the other great **** because the king Felipe was Knowing "the prudent", Now a days hispanic Bibliographic is in a revisión in that all of specialist being in agreement that He wasn´t a fanatic, monster, murderer or a lunatic... He wasn´t a saint , he was other king with politics ambitions and absolut power, but not this monster.
    In conclusion this film is a horrible sample of unknown history knowledge, and I don´t know how Blanchet could accept...and I dont know who and why Nowadays this film could win an award.
    P.D: sorry for my bad english.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 19, 2015
    9
    This film is great. Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth is very good, the costumes and the sets are beautiful. The story is good, full ofThis film is great. Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth is very good, the costumes and the sets are beautiful. The story is good, full of political intrigues, although with a few annoying clichés as well. All in all, an entertaining film. Full Review »