Metascore
91

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. An absolute delight, combining the cheap thrills of a biopic with the gentler, but more lasting, pleasures of a brilliant character study.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    100
    The Queen is the kind of thought-provoking, well-written and savvy film that discerning filmgoers long for but rarely get.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    A subtle, often very funny, ultimately touching tragedy of royal manners and meaning.
  7. Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
  8. So magnificent in so many ways that, for the first time, it seems to raise the docudrama to high art.
  9. 100
    Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
  10. 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.
  11. 100
    Politically shrewd, unexpectedly funny yet immaculately tasteful docudrama.
  12. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
  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
    The Queen is all-together remarkable not only for what it is but for what it isn't.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Reviewed by: Barbara Kantrowitz
    90
    Marvelous, and surprisingly intimate.
  20. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    90
    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.
  21. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    Tradition and informality collide -- and mutually benefit -- in the deliciously written and expertly played The Queen.
  22. 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. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 88
    Mirren, who's played her share of queens in the past, is hypnotic.
  29. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    88
    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.
  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
    80
    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
    80
    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
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 324 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 133
  2. Negative: 24 out of 133
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    10
    Helen 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 »
  2. Jul 7, 2013
    4
    The movie's shallow depth, uninteresting story and frankly bad editing make for a dull and downright boring film. Helen Mirren's performance was solid but nothing to jump up and down about. Full Review »
  3. Jul 1, 2013
    10
    Perfect movie. Almost all the motion pictures show the point of view of other people, this one shows how Elizabeth II felt at those moments. And I think Mirrer won that Academy Award for an actual & incredible performance. Full Review »