Mary Queen of Scots (2018)


Critic Consensus: Mary Queen of Scots delivers smartly crafted period political thrills while offering a brilliant showcase for the talents of its well-matched leads.


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"Mary Queen of Scots" explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her "sister" in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth's sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones - and change the course of history.


Saoirse Ronan
as Mary Stuart
Margot Robbie
as Queen Elizabeth I
Jack Lowden
as Lord Darnley
Joe Alwyn
as Robert Dudley
David Tennant
as John Knox
Guy Pearce
as Sir William Cecil
Gemma Chan
as Bess of Hardwick
Martin Compston
as Earl of Bothwell
Brendan Coyle
as Earl of Lennox
Ian Hart
as Lord Maitland
Adrian Lester
as Lord Randolph
James McArdle
as Earl of Moray
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Critic Reviews for Mary Queen of Scots

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (31)

The most spirited heart and poignant soul of "Mary Queen of Scots" are Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as Mary and Elizabeth, whose contradictory relationship accommodates hostility, jealousy, admiration and sisterly love with affecting seamlessness.

Dec 12, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

In Mary Queen of Scots, we don't see a reckoning with the future of a country united across the Scottish-English border. We see queens cry and fret about their hair.

Dec 12, 2018 | Full Review…

This is a moderately but consistently entertaining film, with but one extraordinary thing about it, which is Saoirse Ronan in the title role.

Dec 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Every movie that has Saoirse Ronan in it works, to the extent that it has Saoirse Ronan in it.

Dec 10, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The movie has numerous faults (especially with a number of literary liberties) but is consistently polished enough to keep history buffs fascinated.

Dec 10, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's in every sense a noble failure.

Dec 7, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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