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The Iron Lady Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Sorta fair, kinda unbalanced. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

(Doesn't) walk softly and carries a big (lip)stick. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is the main reason to see The Iron Lady, which was directed by Phyllida Lloyd - not just the main reason but the raison d'être of an otherwise misconceived movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's hard to rationalize the vision of this dotty elderly woman with the tough-minded politician. The story lacks insight, glosses over key political issues and is unworthy of Streep's masterful performance.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Meryl Streep gives a fully realized portrait of British Prime Minister Thatcher in a biopic that values character over context.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Streep is a pleasure to behold; less so the rest of The Iron Lady.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Iron Lady reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Streep is riveting in well-acted but underwhelming biopic.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Iron Lady follows the life of Margaret Thatcher from a humble grocer's daughter to the United Kingdom's prime minister. A few violent images are shown -- notably of the Falklands War and of upset demonstrators, as well as of a character being killed by a car bomb -- and in one news-footage scene, the bare breasts of a woman in a crowd are visible. Language is limited to "bloody" and "damn," and romance consists of a few sweet embraces, dances, and kisses between the Thatchers. The film's depiction of major historical and political events may not hook most teens, but this biopic offers a valuable lesson in both British and women's history.

  • Families can talk about how The Iron Lady depicts Margaret Thatcher's rise to power. How is she portrayed? How can she inspire other young women?
  • The scenes between Margaret and her late husband are all imagined, so the movie isn't a standard "biopic." Does that matter? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to take that route?
  • Do you have to agree with Margaret Thatcher's politics to enjoy the movie? Do you think it's out to convey any specific agenda?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Margaret Thatcher's place in history, no matter how controversial, offers a positive example of the fact that you don't have to come from wealth and privilege to become a leader. Her discipline and commitment to public service are also inspiring, even for those who don't share her politics.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Margaret works hard from a young age and is deeply committed to the values and causes that her father taught her. Despite her relatively humble beginnings, she's accepted to Oxford and then becomes involved in local politics before eventually rising to become the first (and only) female prime minister in the UK's history. She's depicted as caring more about doing the "right" thing than the "popular" thing.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Footage of the Falklands War, as well as strategy conversations about how to proceed against the Argentines. In one jarring scene, Margaret's senior adviser is killed in a car bomb planted by the I.R.A.; the explosion occurs just moments after she speaks to him in a garage. References to the I.R.A. hunger strikers; a montage of English protesters demonstrating against Thatcher's policies.

  • sex false2

    Sex: In documentary news footage, there's a brief shot of a topless woman celebrating after the end of the Falklands War. Young Margaret and Dennis Thatcher flirt, dance, embrace, and kiss.

  • language false2

    Language: British slang like "bloody," "bugger," "my God" (as an exclamation), and "barmy," as well as "damn" and "hell."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Quick glimpse of Charles Tyrwhitt menswear.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Margaret has a drink -- usually a nightcap -- daily. She's tipsy in one scene, as is the ghost of her husband.