User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 172 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 172

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  1. 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.
  2. 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 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
  3. 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 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
  4. Apr 17, 2012
    2
    The only thing that redeems this film is Meryl Streep's performance. Even after awhile James Broadbent whom I think is a great actor becomes very annoying. It truly is a great performance by Streep but that's about all this film has to offer. The glimpses into Thatcher as a politican are empty and cold. There is a great deal of disconnection throughout the entire film. The screenplay is weak at best. Expand
  5. Mar 12, 2012
    3
    I actually sat through this movie several times mainly because I was so taken aback by how much I loathed it the first time that I watched it again to try and understand why. On the second viewing, I actually liked it better and this is mainly due to the performances of the younger Margaret and Denis. I directly blame the director and screenwriter for this train wreck of a movie.
  6. Feb 14, 2012
    2
    Such a rich and powerful subject -- such a little lens to show her! Some say it is "realistic," bit it isn't. And what frustrates are the embarrassment of topical themes evident but lost amidst the turgid alzheimers: a loving, coach-worthy husband, a women who prefers men's company to women's, a developing individualist of an Aristotelian mien, a pro-market visionary caught up in declining socialist times (SEE Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' for a glimpse of the UK's complete dysfunction in the 1980s). There was so much vile hatred and invective aimed at MT, the film barely scratches it. Instead, we a given a crabbed down fall legacy, stolen from Shakespeare: a dead life-mate, resulting detachment from her other men, even estranged from her only son, Mark. Egads! She's like King Lear! Leftists don't get that democracies are not personal possessions like kingdoms, and no matter how dynastic, they do not lend themselves to such a psychological reductio. Furthermore, we have the biographical testimony of MT's daughter Carol, that the family grew up happy. Imagine that! Successful and happy. This subject deserves more humility, less stupidity, to be believable. Much less "realistic." Expand
  7. Feb 8, 2012
    0
    This film is utterly unsatisfying.
    Not even slightly entertaining, some of the performances were utterly laughable, and the script was horrifyingly bad.
  8. Feb 4, 2012
    3
    A major disappointment. I'm not a fan of her (I'll be at that party in Scotland when she checks out) but I was looking forward to a comprehensive biopic of one of the most interesting and controversial leaders of the 20th century.
    Instead I sat through a film that mostly dealt with the effects of dementia. The small snippets of historical events are skipped over like trivia and we keep
    being returned to scenes of Mrs T having imaginary conversations with her dead husband.
    With all the biographies that came out after her career ended, I would have thought there would be a mountain of material available to create a monumental epic.
    Streep's performance and the subject matter deserved a better film. This could have been a classic.
    Expand
  9. Jan 31, 2012
    2
    This was a surreal portrayal of the first lady prime minister and one of the longest serving ones, basically portraying her as a dementia patient, and the only thing missing was the fuzzy slippers and ratty bathrobe. My largest complaint is that rather than telling the story of this extraordinary woman's history, the movie must have spent about 30 minutes of time just showing her mucking along in an elderly dazed state. I saw this movie with a Feminist friend, almost totally apolitical, and she could not follow the story at all, because the flashbacks weren't even purely chronological and didn't explain any of the political backdrop. Other Feminist friends have panned this movie as showing that you can be the strongest woman in the world, but only at the price of no one ever loving you or standing by you at the end. Meryl Streep's performance added very little since most of the time she was representing a dementia patient rather than a former prime minister. The only part of the movie that added any unexpected value was that it sort of explored a bit of the relationship with her former husband, but it was just done so bizarrely, as to be beyond artistic. Expand
  10. 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....
  11. Jan 28, 2012
    3
    ZZZZZZZZ zzzzzzzz zzzz...good for a sunday nap...a lot of peeps in my theatre walked out ...ZzzzzZzzzZZzzzzzZzzZzzzzzzzZzzzZzzzz zzzzzzzzz ZZZzzzZzzZzzzz
  12. 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 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? Expand
  13. Jan 15, 2012
    0
    Just sucks... What? I need 150 characters? I felt that writing "Just Sucks" would be more than enough but obviously I must say more. It REALLY does just sucks.
  14. Jan 11, 2012
    1
    Do not go and see this pitifully disappointing film. Margaret Thatcher's eleven year political career is only touched upon, with the main focus of the film being an insensitive and degrading portrait of Thatcher as an older woman suffering from Alzheimer's. The constant hallucinations of her husband are irritating and pointless, and the film as a whole is boring and not remotely grounded in truth. Thatcher's very controversial and turbulent time as Prime Minister, which will be remembered by many for her ruthlessness and hunger for power, is reduced to a few unmoving, badly executed scenes. A waste of money and time, the film is not in any way salvaged by Streep's performance and should, ultimately, never have been made. Expand
  15. Dec 31, 2011
    1
    Streep deserves Best Actress but the movie deserves Worst Picture. jkv bdhjksdfjsbk bdjkdjk bjkdsbjkdbjkdvsjk bjks dvbk k bjksvbjkjsblsbjkklnslknsdjgj f fy h hv hv vhbjv bj lhh vhkvhvhkvhkvhvcj
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.