The Iron Lady

Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 41
  2. Negative: 3 out of 41

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 12, 2012
    88
    Lloyd finesses a deft script of brisk, quick strokes by Abi Morgan ("Brick Lane," "Shame") into a terrific entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 30, 2011
    88
    Sincerely directed by one woman (Phyllida Lloyd, who did "Mamma Mia!") and smartly written by another (Abi Morgan), 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 29, 2011
    88
    The sharp economy of Lloyd's direction allows the incontestably great Streep to take impressionistic snatches of a life and build a woman in full. This is acting of the highest order.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 12, 2012
    75
    Imagine a biopic about Ronald Reagan that leaves out Gorbachev but instead dramatizes his years with Alzheimer's, and you'll get an idea of this film's misplaced focus.
  5. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jan 12, 2012
    75
    As biopics go, The Iron Lady is among the more intriguing ones.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 12, 2012
    75
    Yea or nay, love or hate, the portrait that Streep delivers in Phyllida Lloyd's impressionistic biopic is astonishing.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 12, 2012
    75
    Meryl Streep excels as Margaret Thatcher. And the movie itself does not work.
  8. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dec 21, 2011
    75
    Streep is a pleasure to behold; less so the rest of The Iron Lady.
  9. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 12, 2012
    70
    This conceit works precisely because Thatcher's popular appeal was so deeply rooted in nostalgia for the days of empire, and Streep, no fan of Thatcher, nicely undercuts the poignancy of her current condition with flashbacks that reveal her brittle arrogance in office.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 29, 2011
    70
    Maggie Thatcher contains multitudes; she is rife with contradictions you can barely glimpse in this modestly affecting movie.
  11. 70
    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.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 29, 2011
    70
    The Iron Lady is a clever and oddly touching entertainment.
  13. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Nov 27, 2011
    70
    Meryl Streep gives a fully realized portrait of British Prime Minister Thatcher in a biopic that values character over context.
  14. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jan 12, 2012
    67
    Anyone looking for a full-bodied account of the woman, her deeds, and her place in history shouldn't be encouraged to linger too long with The Iron Lady.
  15. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 12, 2012
    63
    The Iron Lady never delves deeply enough into the politics or the people, preferring instead to make us feel bad about the unfortunate way in which old age levels us all.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 29, 2011
    63
    It's hard to rationalize the vision of this dotty elderly woman with the tough-minded politician. The story lacks insight, glosses over key political issues and is unworthy of Streep's masterful performance.
  17. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Dec 13, 2011
    63
    The wonder and terror of Meryl Streep's performance in The Iron Lady is her formidable ability to nail the disheartening talents of not just Margaret Thatcher, but so many conservative politicians like her, who have a tremendous knack for changing minds and beckoning cheers while underlining their own rigid ignorance.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 192 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 70
  2. Negative: 11 out of 70
  1. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    I wish the critics would restrict their comments to the movie and not Margret Thacher. We should be rating the move not her politics! GradeI wish the critics would restrict their comments to the movie and not Margret Thacher. We should be rating the move not her politics! Grade the movie and it's actors not the politics of the time.Please restrict your opinions to the movies not the politics of the time. It really makes you look stupid.. Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2012
    5
    The first major Hollywood effort to document Margaret Thatcherâ
  3. Jan 16, 2012
    3
    I was so disappointed that Ms. Streep's wonderful performance was wasted in suck a train-wreck of a film. Honestly, it's as if the writersI was so disappointed that Ms. Streep's wonderful performance was wasted in suck a train-wreck of a film. Honestly, it's as if the writers and producers got wind that such a film was being bandied about, and they figured they better sign her and make the film before someone else did. What a waste. The central conceit of the script is beyond bad - it's intentional mockery. I can't, in good conscience, score it a zero due to the wonderful lead performance. But why, WHY would they have given her this ridiculous script? Full Review »