The Iron Lady

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 184
  2. Negative: 27 out of 184
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Mar 25, 2013
    6
    Meryl Streep gives one of the finest performances of her career, one that will go down as one of the best renditions brought to cinema, unfortunately the film that comes along with her is simply a below par effort of idolising a very controversial figure of British politics.
    The premise of the story was well thought out, we start with a very old Lady Thatcher struggling with her dementia,
    Meryl Streep gives one of the finest performances of her career, one that will go down as one of the best renditions brought to cinema, unfortunately the film that comes along with her is simply a below par effort of idolising a very controversial figure of British politics.
    The premise of the story was well thought out, we start with a very old Lady Thatcher struggling with her dementia, unable to realise that her husband, Dennis (Jim Broadbent) who she is talking to, is actually dead, showing the severity of her memory loss. She begins reminiscing about her time as a young up and coming politician, showing a biased view of her rise to power, she is portrayed as being one of the only women within Parliament at this time which is in fact untrue, as there were at least 20 others.
    We see the eventual woman we remember today, the Prime Minister of Britain, coining the infamous 'Iron Lady' nickname.
    However, the film takes a very dramatic stance on emphasising Thatcher's rise to power, we are always made to feel sorry for someone who was by all means a warmonger, this isn't by any means sour grapes as we don't know the woman behind the power, but her defining policies outlined in this film are created to almost make us feel guilty for her, remorse is something this film attempts to receive too often.
    It simply isn't gritty and true to life, the moments of Thatchers defiance are almost pantomime-like, bringing little seriousness to the issues that she is dealing with, and over-compensating with an epic score that feels very out of place.
    Meryl Streep, however, is completely majestic as Thatcher, perfecting her high-pitched yet civilised accent down to a tee, and capitalising on her moments of humiliating her Cabinet staff, it can be said that Thatchers deteriorating moments and failure to distinguish between past and present are brought emotionally to life by Streep, who is as simply hit the unique persona of the former PM head on. It is just unfortunate that her performance completely shadows this very mediocre and timid attempt at painting the life of one of the most controversial political figures of the modern era.
    Without Streep, this film simply would have been nothing, but her commanding performance deserves enough recognition and praise to watch this, but unfortunately this is an idolising film that only touches on a feministic rise against the odds, rather than a true picture of the error and strain of this much publicised politician.
    Expand
  2. Dec 7, 2012
    4
    The Iron Lady is an uninteresting film about an interesting figure. Meryl Streep is great, no surprise there. What is a surprise is how forgettable both this film (and performance) are.
  3. Aug 27, 2012
    5
    Meryl is great, not that anybody would expect anything else. The movie was pretty bland no matter what you feel about her politics. It seemed like a documentary being reenacted. I wasn't crazy about the constant back and forth too. It still delivered though.
  4. Aug 5, 2012
    5
    Not what I was expecting. I went into this movies thinking I was going to watch a biopic of Margret Thacher during her prime, the 1980's. But a little over then half the movies takes place during 2008, exploring the current mental state of the ex-PM. And I keep thinking to myself, "this isn't what I want to see". I wanted to see Prime Minister Thacher, not widowed Thacher. And the scenesNot what I was expecting. I went into this movies thinking I was going to watch a biopic of Margret Thacher during her prime, the 1980's. But a little over then half the movies takes place during 2008, exploring the current mental state of the ex-PM. And I keep thinking to myself, "this isn't what I want to see". I wanted to see Prime Minister Thacher, not widowed Thacher. And the scenes that did show her as PM were like SparkNotes version of what happened. For some one who spent 11 years in politics and who was a fairly controversial PM, you really don't get an idea of what she was like back then, her policies, or even her accomplishments. Instead you learn about how she deals with the death of her husband, which I doubt was accurate. I fell like the people involved with the movie wanted to make a movies that everyone would like, which meant taking out most of the actual politics and replacing it with a banal story. All that being said Meryl Streep gave a phenomenal performance, at some points actually I forgot that it was Streep acting thinking it was just someone who looked and sounded exactly like Thacher herself. The rest of the cast also does a great job. But all the acting doesn't take away of how boring this movies was. It lacked story depth, and was just wasted potential. I would have really preferred if they had just scrapped the 2008 part of the movie and just focused on the person who played such an important role in British politics (coming from someone who completely disagrees with Thacher political views). 5.5/10 Expand
  5. Jun 23, 2012
    6
    The Iron Lady is an average film which relies only on the glorious performance from Meryl Streep. Due to its dull script and somewhat little emotionally appealing the film can not sustain alone and needs other means to get poignant. The dramatic appeal is that the film has taken more into account than the historical context of Thatcher
  6. Jun 7, 2012
    6
    Had this film excluded Meryl, or used anyone but her, it would have failed miserably. I canâ
  7. Jun 3, 2012
    4
    The problem with this movie is that it is just too depressing. And although several critics have already said this, it is worth repeating--Meryl Streep did a brilliant job in a movie that was poorly conceived and simply rude. British Prime Minister David Cameron was right to be critical, if not offended, by the film. When someone spends their entire life in public service, sacrificing anyThe problem with this movie is that it is just too depressing. And although several critics have already said this, it is worth repeating--Meryl Streep did a brilliant job in a movie that was poorly conceived and simply rude. British Prime Minister David Cameron was right to be critical, if not offended, by the film. When someone spends their entire life in public service, sacrificing any hope of a private life, the least one can do is leave them in peace and allow them some dignity when they're old and frail. In reference to Cameron's remarks, Streep actually had the nerve to talk back to a head of state. She stated, "If I'd made a film about Margaret Thatcher and she had something wrong with her lungs no one would have raised a hue and cry. But it's because it is mental frailty she is afflicted with that is what terrifies us most." Streep also commented that it must make Thatcher feel terrible that Cameron said the filmmakers should have waited until after Thatcher was gone. It would seem Streep was under pressure to defend the movie, because Streep's reasoning amounts to a hopelessly inane argument. Is it more comforting to Thatcher to see herself depicted as a lonely, lost soul who is wandering around having hallucinations and unable to be productive or capable in any way, shape, or form? This did not give us any insight to the nature of dementia, nor did it show the Iron Lady fighting back and surviving her illness in spite of the fact that she's been afflicted since the year 2000. The film seemed to be bent on depicting Thatcher in a pathetic state, defeated, lost, and a mere shadow of her former self. The film must be excruciatingly humiliating for Thatcher and her family. One would almost suspect that the screenplay was written by Thatcher's political foes come back to seek revenge. Clearly the theme was â Expand
  8. Jun 1, 2012
    4
    Meryl Streep is brilliant in this movie. She really disappears into the role and does a wonderful job of reminding us on the left that Margaret Thatcher was only human, not some satanic woman, hell bent on destroying middle and lower class families. But even Meryl Streep cannot save a movie that has no coherent plot or direction. The movie is sporadically laced with the present dayMeryl Streep is brilliant in this movie. She really disappears into the role and does a wonderful job of reminding us on the left that Margaret Thatcher was only human, not some satanic woman, hell bent on destroying middle and lower class families. But even Meryl Streep cannot save a movie that has no coherent plot or direction. The movie is sporadically laced with the present day Thatcher in the grips of dementia, and the story of Thatcher's rise and fall in British politics. The movie spends too much time on the former, and not enough time on the more interesting latter. Lack of any central plot makes the movie move very slow and brought me to the point of boredom. Expand
  9. May 11, 2012
    5
    A great performance by Streep who does her chameleon brilliance. The story however makes a fundamental error which sinks it. The decision to spend half the time in Thatcher's dotage (so Meryl can show off her prosthetics??) instead of giving us a decent biopic makes the movie dull and nothing but a set piece for some of her speeches and harangues. They should have called this "The Lead Lady."
  10. May 2, 2012
    5
    The Iron Lady brings some important ideas to the national debate today but the movie didn't focus on the important things about the woman. I would rather have watched a film that centered on what she thought and did rather than her current illness.
  11. Apr 29, 2012
    5
    Although Meryl Streep's performance is quite strong the film will alienate half of it's viewers because it plays more like a campaign video for the right wing then a bio pic. Although I am conservative myself I cannot just like a film because I agree with it's philosophies.
  12. Apr 24, 2012
    6
    The only reason to watch the "The Iron Lady" is for Meryl Streep' incredible performance She single handedly elevates the material and makes this film go from a sub-par film to a pleasant one.
  13. Apr 16, 2012
    5
    I don't think that The Iron Lady is a great movie, is very regular and have some mistakes, but the better thing in this movie is the performance of Meryl Streep, is amazing, she is Margaret Tacher. Now the problems. When some wanna do a biopic, need pass for the most important events, and yes can touch others, but in this movie, the director do that the events are boring, and planes,I don't think that The Iron Lady is a great movie, is very regular and have some mistakes, but the better thing in this movie is the performance of Meryl Streep, is amazing, she is Margaret Tacher. Now the problems. When some wanna do a biopic, need pass for the most important events, and yes can touch others, but in this movie, the director do that the events are boring, and planes, graceless. The movie is regular, but the only thing sustain that achieves this is the performance of Meryl Streep, amazing, and perfect. Expand
  14. Feb 28, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Too much retrospectives and old woman's blattering with her dead husband. Save for Meryl Streep's brilliant performance, The Iron Lady is, after J. Edgar, yet another example of a biographical movie gone wrong. But if in the case of Eastwood's film the gloomy atmosphere and the retrospectives were more understandable, in this case we witness pieces of political biography seamed together by some awkward scenes of the elder Mrs. Thatcher... Expand
  15. Feb 26, 2012
    6
    The whole story was not bad but it didn't really hit the spot. I don't know maybe it's just me. The acting was really good but the ending was a bit anti-climatic. I was expecting more to happen at the end of the movie. In fact, it wasn't just me. The audience the in cinema didn't move until 2 minutes after the credits rolled. I guess, we all expected more.
  16. Feb 17, 2012
    5
    There are 2 films in the Iron Lady, and perhaps they would have worked better as separate stories in their own rights. As I understand it from history lessons and the stories of my parents' generation, Thatcher's political career had more than enough going on to make a long, interesting story even if it had been separated from the other half of this film (AKA "The Notebook 2012"), and theThere are 2 films in the Iron Lady, and perhaps they would have worked better as separate stories in their own rights. As I understand it from history lessons and the stories of my parents' generation, Thatcher's political career had more than enough going on to make a long, interesting story even if it had been separated from the other half of this film (AKA "The Notebook 2012"), and the parts of The Iron Lady which focus on her years in office are certainly more interesting than the scenes set in the present. The way the flashbacks are executed makes the real story feel disjointed and haphazard, further cementing my belief that this film would have greatly benefited from a script based purely on the political career of a woman whose actions still shape British politics today. The acting was stellar, the one part of the film which truly shone - particularly Streep's contrasting portrayals of Prime Minister Thatcher and senile old Margaret. I'd certainly recommend the political half of this film, but unfortunately that's only half the story The Iron Lady tries to tell, and the finished product suffers because of that. Expand
  17. Feb 16, 2012
    5
    This is the first major motion picture chronicling the life of Britain's first female Prime Minister Margret Thatcher. Sadly, the end result is not good. The direction is rather poor and multiple scenes are jumbled up quite regularly. A clearer narrative would have suited this flick much more. However, not all is bad as Meryl Streep absolutely gives the performance of a lifetime, certainlyThis is the first major motion picture chronicling the life of Britain's first female Prime Minister Margret Thatcher. Sadly, the end result is not good. The direction is rather poor and multiple scenes are jumbled up quite regularly. A clearer narrative would have suited this flick much more. However, not all is bad as Meryl Streep absolutely gives the performance of a lifetime, certainly one of the better performances over her long, lustrous career. Her alone is really the only thing that can redeem this otherwise messy movie. Expand
  18. Feb 4, 2012
    5
    Yes i knew how this movie will turn out, the only think worth watching about this movie was Meryl Streep and Meryl Streep only. She really played her part with utmost honesty and dedication and it shows tremendously on screen however the movie turned out pretty bland with them trying to over stuff Thatcher's life with silly formulaic scenes and situations that kills the entire mood of the movie.
  19. Jan 30, 2012
    4
    Focussed on all the wrong things. Whether you admire or loath her, I would rather have watched a film that centered on what she thought and did rather than sheer, unapologetic speculation of her current illness which, in my opinion, are *not* the most interesting aspects of her life. Half of the film depicts hallucinations that never possibly happened - I mean, who knows....
  20. Jan 23, 2012
    5
    The first major Hollywood effort to document Margaret Thatcherâ
  21. Jan 21, 2012
    5
    If Meryl doesn't win the Oscar for this performance you will hear me screaming all the way from Clermont, Florida to Mulica Hill, New Jersey. Viola Davis and Michelle Williams shouldn't even be allowed to attend the ceremony and you can put weirdo Tilda Swinton on ice too.

    Unfortunately, Ms. Steep's incredible performance is marred by a script that is flat out awful with some shoddy
    If Meryl doesn't win the Oscar for this performance you will hear me screaming all the way from Clermont, Florida to Mulica Hill, New Jersey. Viola Davis and Michelle Williams shouldn't even be allowed to attend the ceremony and you can put weirdo Tilda Swinton on ice too.

    Unfortunately, Ms. Steep's incredible performance is marred by a script that is flat out awful with some shoddy direction by the same woman who ruined Mama Mia.

    In this film, the life of Margaret Thatcher is told through flash backs from the elderly former Prime Minister's dementia altered mind. We find her holding numerous conversations with her deceased husband as she finally gets around to disposing of his clothes and other belongings. This plot device doesn't work despite the fact that the lead actress is turning in the finest performances of her career.

    The supporting cast is fine particularly Alexandra Roach who plays the young Margaret Thatcher from a teenager up until about age 30. Jim Broadbent also does a great job in recreating Denis Thatcher, the Prime Minister's husband. The makers of this film should have been satisfied with a traditional biographical film of a historical figure. Instead we get a surreal mishmash that is enjoyable only because of an Oscar winning performance.
    Expand
  22. Jan 14, 2012
    5
    Too much time spent on Margaret Thatcher's present year. What a bore! It's not a bad idea to start her at present time and use that to reflect the story in her prime years, but the frequent jumping back to the present time was unnecessary. The too frequent talk between her and her deceased husband became too gimmicky. Meryl Streep was superb as usual but she was wasted in this dull film.
  23. Jan 13, 2012
    6
    As a child of the 70s and 80s, I knew of Margaret Thatcher peripherally. My memories of the importance of Margaret Thatcher to the British people from 1979-1990 is peppered with memories of the latest video on MTV, how cool the DeLorean was in Back to the Future and the latest comic books coming out that week. I knew her relationship to Reagan was important. I kind of knew that sheAs a child of the 70s and 80s, I knew of Margaret Thatcher peripherally. My memories of the importance of Margaret Thatcher to the British people from 1979-1990 is peppered with memories of the latest video on MTV, how cool the DeLorean was in Back to the Future and the latest comic books coming out that week. I knew her relationship to Reagan was important. I kind of knew that she shared many of the socio-political beliefs as Reagan, which made them a strong pair. I knew of her importance as the first British Prime Minister. However, I wasn't aware of how hated she was in Britain for a time. I knew nothing of her personal life, obviously. And had I not been such an avid history and periodical reader since high school, I wouldn't know much more. However, it's hard not to be entranced by Meryl Streep's stunning performance of such a distinct person in history. Not surprisingly, she BECOMES Margaret Thatcher and carries an otherwise lukewarm film. To be objective and separate the "distraction" that is Meryl's perfect portrayal was very difficult, but in what seems like a random display of memories and moments in her life as the viewer is taken through her deeper descent into dementia, an optimistic person would say that the film was designed to seem random so as to match the point of view of the protagonist. However, my honest belief is that the film's story really has no point. It's just meant to have a flawless actor bring to life public and private moments of an important historical figure. It represents real life, so I guess it isn't supposed to hold any more drama than what actually occurred, but if that was the case, the drama around her envisioning her long-deceased husband, Dennis, seems to contradict the focus of the movie. The Iron Lady is appealing if only for the performance by Meryl Streep and the walk down memory lane. Expand
  24. Jan 5, 2012
    5
    Highlight of movie is Meryl Streep's personification of Maggie Thatcher. Brilliant in every way-voice ,appearance,mannerisms....oscar award winner Lowlight is too much focus on Thatchers declining mental state.
    The Iron Lady achieved so much and the movie skims over this...what a shame. Not only is this aspect overdone but minimises her life. Maggie Thatcher deserved more for a Biopic!!!
  25. Jan 2, 2012
    6
    The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century's most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world.
  26. Dec 30, 2011
    5
    When I saw the trailers on TV, I was excited to see that one of my local theatres was planning on showing it a few weeks earlier than the world wide release. However, after watching the film I was somewhat mixed. I will admit that politically identify myself as someone who leans right, but I just think the movie could've gone in another direction. NPR's review brings up a very good pointWhen I saw the trailers on TV, I was excited to see that one of my local theatres was planning on showing it a few weeks earlier than the world wide release. However, after watching the film I was somewhat mixed. I will admit that politically identify myself as someone who leans right, but I just think the movie could've gone in another direction. NPR's review brings up a very good point in regards to how the movie chose to cover Margaret Thatcher life. It wasn't very respectful, but fair enough I suppose...

    At least my wife enjoyed the movie. I would've rated this lower if it wasn't for Meryl Streep's brilliant acting.
    Expand
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
  1. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jan 12, 2012
    50
    The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 12, 2012
    50
    Can a performance be too good? Meryl Streep disappears so uncannily into former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady that her performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice.
  3. 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.