The Queen


Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. The Queen is the most reverent irreverent comedy imaginable. Or maybe it's the most irreverent reverent comedy. Either way, it's a small masterpiece.
  2. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
  3. Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
  4. 100
    All hail the great Helen Mirren, who after her triumph in HBO's "Elizabeth," delivers the performance of a lifetime as that monarch's frumpy, 20th century namesake in Stephen Frear's witty, touching and engrossing The Queen.
  5. 100
    Politically shrewd, unexpectedly funny yet immaculately tasteful docudrama.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Queen is the kind of thought-provoking, well-written and savvy film that discerning filmgoers long for but rarely get.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A subtle, often very funny, ultimately touching tragedy of royal manners and meaning.
  8. Piercingly funny and unexpectedly moving account of that odd couple, Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and HRH Elizabeth II (majestic Helen Mirren) and their back-channels affair.
  9. 100
    The Queen is a spellbinding story of opposed passions -- of Elizabeth's icy resolve to keep the royal family separate and aloof from the death of the divorced Diana, who was legally no longer a royal, and of Blair's correct reading of the public mood.
  10. An absolute delight, combining the cheap thrills of a biopic with the gentler, but more lasting, pleasures of a brilliant character study.
  11. So magnificent in so many ways that, for the first time, it seems to raise the docudrama to high art.
  12. 100
    Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
  13. Helen Mirren's allure lies not in finding what's regal in every woman she plays, but in finding what's womanly in every royal.
  14. 91
    Mirren begins the film having her portrait painted, looking every inch the monarch and proud to play the part. By the end, she's let the pressure of one week, and maybe a lifetime, show in her eyes.
  15. 91
    The Queen is all-together remarkable not only for what it is but for what it isn't.
  16. 90
    Marvelous, and surprisingly intimate.
  17. A fascinating mix of high-minded gossip and historical perspective, examines the clash of values -- of ritual and traditions versus media savvy and political ambition -- that leads to a crisis for the British monarchy.
  18. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Tradition and informality collide -- and mutually benefit -- in the deliciously written and expertly played The Queen.
  19. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Helen Mirren is a goddess of an actress, and her Queen Elizabeth is maddening, hilarious, and deeply human, galumphing around the Balmoral estate in a tartan raincoat and waders as the Britain she thought she knew crumbles around her.
  20. 90
    Mirren's performance is glorious: Rather than impersonate the queen -- which would have been all too easy to do -- she reaches deeper to locate the buried, calcified thoughts and feelings that might guide this deeply inscrutable woman.
  21. In a commanding performance that is as compelling as it is unexpected, Mirren has turned The Queen into something you never imagined it could be: a crackling dramatic story that's intelligent, thoughtful and moving.
  22. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Marvelously smart, funny and entertaining film.
  23. 90
    Helen Mirren's flinty performance as Elizabeth II is getting all the attention, but equally impressive is Peter Morgan's insightful script for this UK drama, which quietly teases out the social, political, and historical implications of the 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
  24. The Queen is palace intrigue at its finest.
  25. 88
    One of the best and liveliest movies of the year - funny and touching in ways you can't predict.
  26. In some ways, The Queen is a comedy of manners - bad, good and archaic. The formal bowing and scraping surrounding Her Majesty is as hilarious as it is (apparently) accurate.
  27. Mirren, who's played her share of queens in the past, is hypnotic.
  28. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    The Queen is a surprisingly compassionate portrait (excepting Blair's reactionary wife with the "shallow curtsy") of a rigid pragmatist in denial over the monarchy's out-of-touch dysfunction.
  29. The film goes pretty easy on the royals in the end, and it's a flattering portrait of Blair. But it's not credulous. Frears may swim in the political mainstream with The Queen but he does so like a champion channel crosser.
  30. Succeeding where most docudramas fail, it turns a slice of recent history into a revealingly intelligent entertainment, without being didactic at one extreme or sentimental at the other.
  31. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Fascinating, funny, wicked and to the point, this is an excellent film about a week every Briton over the age of 15 will remember vividly.
  32. 80
    More fun than any movie about the violent death of a 36-year-old woman has a right to be. It's also as exotic an English-language picture as the season is likely to bring.
  33. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mirren, who won an Emmy playing Elizabeth I for HBO, may deserve an Oscar for this ripe appraisal of Elizabeth II.
  34. Mirren's finely calibrated performance reveals a complex woman coping with a bewildering world, and Blair's growing sympathy for his beleaguered monarch gradually becomes ours. This nuanced compassion may not impress the real Queen Elizabeth II, but, for us commoners, it makes for a richer experience.
  35. Whatever the virtues of The Queen--and it certainly has them--it simply would not exist without Mirren.
  36. 75
    The Queen taps into the universal curiosity the world shares toward royal families -- an element of the movie that Frears wisely mines for gentle humor.
  37. 70
    How could Frears and his cast rise above the sins of the miniseries? One answer is the force of that cast...The other thing that rescues and refines The Queen is one of the basic bonuses of moviegoing, more familiar of late from documentaries like "Touching the Void" and "Capturing the Friedmans": you come out arguing.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 133
  2. Negative: 24 out of 133
  1. TonyB.
    Jul 6, 2007
    "The Queen" shows that in today's film industry there are still intelligent people who make intelligent motion pictures for intelligent "The Queen" shows that in today's film industry there are still intelligent people who make intelligent motion pictures for intelligent audiences. Full Review »
  2. PatL.
    Jun 6, 2007
    I wonder if the reviewers would have been less enamored of this film had it been someone other than Queen Elizabeth being portrayed. No I wonder if the reviewers would have been less enamored of this film had it been someone other than Queen Elizabeth being portrayed. No argument: Helen Mirren was marvelous in capturing the subtleties and repressed feelings of her character, but to what end? It wasn't particularly interesting, and it certainly wasn't entertaining. To its credit, this film didn't "go Hollywood" with the royal family, but a meandering trip to Dullsville is no better. Full Review »
  3. Aug 25, 2014
    Helen Mirren as the present Queen Elizabeth II is one of the grandest acting experiences of all-time. I use the term "experience" rather thanHelen Mirren as the present Queen Elizabeth II is one of the grandest acting experiences of all-time. I use the term "experience" rather than performance because she creates this new atmosphere in the role - which sucks you in immediately. Overall, a brilliant look at Great Britain and the Royal Family during the wake of Princess Diana's death. Bravo to Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan! Full Review »