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Shallow and deeply misogynistic script.
vintagewhatever15 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was a waste of time. It ignored the reality of two powerful women in favor of an invented gay drama. It reduced Mary to a girl who spent most of the movie be undressed by her servants, being sexually assaulted by men, drinking and giggling with her girls about boys and sex and worrying about marrying for love. Queen Elizabeth is made to look like the mad hater and queen of hearts from Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland and spends most of the movie worrying about her appearance and her barren womb. The movie was more about the men around these women than the actual women. The script could have been better if written by a college student studying history. It was that disappointing. This movie was a waste of the location, costuming, cinematography and actors.
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Not Historically Correct
mirandamkester13 December 2018
The costumes were brilliant...filming locations were mediocre...however that's where the movie ends for me.

If you're looking for a historic movie..you're goi g to be a sadly disappointed. Elizabeth and Mary ever actually ever met in their life time, they never laid eyes on each other...they only corresponded through many letters to each other.

Elizabeth was in a constant state of paranoia about Mary taking the throne from her. Her advisers constantly whispering in her ear, putting the idea in her mind about having Mary executed. It was actually never Elizabeth's intention to kill Mary.

Mary actually only came to England once, because she was exiled from Scotland with no where else to go. While in England she would be captured and would remain on house arrest until her execution/beheading.

This movie is a bunch of fictional fluff and not historically accurate to what actually happened in English/British history! Someone failed to do their research before making this movie! Extremely disappointing!!!
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Slow & boring
wagneryael15 December 2018
Regardless how accurate or inaccurate the movie is with regard to history, it is a royally small, sad, and too long a story about 1500's politics with a sad ending. Consider it a waste of time.
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portmanrobson9 December 2018
Great costumes, acting and scenery sadly don't make up for the lack of an engaging story. Feels like a wasted opportunity.
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Mary, Queen of 2018 Scotland
mjjusa-116 December 2018
Not a godawful movie, but close.

Badly miscast: Mary with a strong Irish accent; Margot Robbie in appearance, voice, and acting not convincing as a Queen, the daughter of Henry VIII, or the force of history Elizabeth I was. The screenplay not only departs from the historical record for farcical reasons (Mary's dramatic life and death need little massaging) but introduces anachronisms ranging from gender study issues, to the incongruous casting of minorities in some virtue peddling Oscar Ceremony shoutout.

Adding in, for whatever reason, a prominent but historically impossible gay/cross dressing subplot, thriving in 16th Century, John Knox-ian Holyrood Castle. Hard to follow during long stretches of promise/double cross/dastardly plots a go go/to war or not to war, and when followed intermittently interesting.

I left feeling even more admiration for Shakespeare: his distillation of the complexity and violence of Scottish history in Macbeth, with nary a nod to his or our modern sensitivities of the moment, is, in the context of reviewing this movie, as of comparing Duane Allman's solo in Crossroads, to my awkward, and slow version of Pipeline by the Ventures.
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Get Ready for a lot more movies from Josie Rourke.
kingsgrl20101 December 2018
From the gorgeous costumes and Scotland's landscape, this movie is one worth seeking out. a little slow of a beginning trying to figure out who each of the male characters are and what role they have in the story but once a beginning plot starts moving along you are fully invested. Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I elevate every word of the script. Saoirse's defiant character has a very modernist viewpoint and strength that is much needed in a period piece today. Josie Rourke's debut has stunning direction and purpose, showing how society has always pit women against one another. The final scenes make this film.
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What? No tartans?
strewth-114 December 2018
The set and costume designers must have read a badly written guide book about Scotland. Holyrood Castle has NEVER looked like Macbeth's castle. And I seriously doubt whether every single person in England or Scotland wore black all the time, especially in Scotland. Mary was a Stuart and would have been wearing the Stuart tartan at least some of the time, and the lords and ladies of the various clans would have worn their own tartans. But thank god for the political correctness that gives us multicultural lords and ladies and twists history into absurd realms.
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Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
rockman1829 December 2018
Oh man, on paper this seemed like a prospect. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie in a film together? Especially after award nominated films that they were in last year. Based on sheer star power alone this was something that I had to see. Also, add in the history attached of Queen Elizabeth and her Cousin Mary and their rather tumultuous relationship marred in jealousy and a craving of power. The film looks nice and the costumes are beautiful but the script lets down these two leading ladies.

The film takes place during the reign of Mary in Scotland and her cousin Elizabeth in England and Ireland. Both have to deal with the difficulties of ruling their kingdoms, family, power, producing an heir and being at odds with each other despite being family. Things come to a head when both confront each other, which decides the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots. The film is directed by Josie Rourke, who has a history in theater production but decided to come to the silver screen with this film.

The costume design and locations on display in the film look magnificent. Both leading performances by Ronan and Robbie are also fantastic. its always the case with Ronan because she's bee formidable from a young age but Robbie continues to perform extremely well after I, Tonya and shows off some versatility in Mary Queen of Scots. Unfortunately, the film does not hold its weight outside of those features as the script is too dull to excite. There are moments that grasp you only to let you go soon after.

I think the writing lets down a film that had the potential to be a real Oscar contender otherwise. Its a historically interesting story for sure, it just needed better direction to get to a finished product that gives the viewers what they seek. Its decently enjoyable overall but I wanted to really be blown away by this because there seemed to be so much going for it. P.S. I got major Pennywise the Clown vibes from Robbie's Elizabeth near the end haha.

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strong women from the wrong era
ferguson-67 December 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. The history of monarchs goes back more than a thousand years. These days we view British royalty as little more than telegenic subjects for gossip sites, though for hundreds of years, the crown carried real power. Of course, the system never made any logical sense. Why should a baby born to the "right" family be pre-ordained to rule the country? These birthrights even caused much confusion and debate ... and wars ... when there was uncertainty about which kid was the most important. And yes, kids is the proper term. Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots), was six days old when her father King James V died, and she ascended to the throne (though the actual ruling was done by regents until she was older).

Saoirse Ronan stars as Mary and Margot Robbie is Queen Elizabeth I (daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn). The two were cousins (not sisters), and the film examines many aspects of this era: the struggle for the throne between the two, the unusual circumstances that found two women in power, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by men in an effort to wrestle power from the women, the importance of marriage and heirs, the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, and the bizarre arrangement that caused Mary to spend nearly half her life in custody.

Director Josie Rourke is best known for her stage productions, some of which have been broadcast live in cinemas. This is her debut feature film, and her talent is quite obvious. She gets "big" with stunning sweeping vistas, and intimate with dark chamber meetings. The castles look and feel like castles, and not the sound stage sets we often see in costume productions. The film is a thing of beauty and the two lead actresses are sublime ... and with much more screen time, Ms. Ronan delivers a ferocious performance.

The screenplay from Beau Willimon (creator, producer and head writer of "House of Cards") is based on the John Guy book "Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart". This matters because Mr. Guy theorizes that the two sovereigns actually met in real life, something very much doubted by historians. Either way, it makes for an interesting (if not a bit hokey) segment in the film, as Elizabeth and Mary wander through billowing curtains in a clandestine spot.

Beginning at the end, we get an early look at Mary's "martyrdom" march to her execution on 1587 at age 44. If you've ever read about the actual execution, you'll be relieved to know it's not shown on screen. Supporting work comes courtesy of Jack Lowden, Guy Pearce, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, and an explosive David Tennant as a fire-breathing priest. This version plays up the inner-turmoil and challenges in power faced by the women - more so than the 1974 version starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson (the film received 5 Oscar nominations). Ms. Ronan and Ms. Robbie really help us understand the challenges these women faced - challenges that men on the throne wouldn't have faced.
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miastipes5 December 2018
Costumes - captivating Score - entracing Casting - superb Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give respectively such inspiring yet heartbreaking roles. So incredible to see such deeply developed characters, not just from the two leading ladies too. Also incredible to say how much of a period piece such as this resonates with our world today. I laughed at times and cried at others. I felt angry and elated. A good movie makes you feel and it makes you think - that's what this film did. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a great deal of Academy Award or Golden Globe nominations here.
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Mary Queen Of Scotts, The Woke Version...
loco_7316 December 2018
Just watched the movie... and ohhhh my lord, I didn't think it was going to be that bad! With all the talent involved, I expected at least something entertaining...but nope...a stinker it is, and it stinks to high heaven!

I mean, I knew going in that this was supposed to be one of those re-imagined historical pics, taking creative licence, a lot of it actually, but not this freaking much?!

It tries to be both a live-action play and an historical epic...and ends up being neither.

On the meagre plus side, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are good, it's the movie surrounding them that sucked. Also the cinematography is beautiful. And that's it.

Think of "Mary, Queen Of Scotts" as "King Arthur Legend Of The Sword" and the recent "Robin Hood" without the action set pieces...can we please stop making these damn "woke" versions of historical movies and just try to make a good movie instead?!

4 out of 10.
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BORING Zzzzzzz
Lokiloke16 December 2018
There was nothing to draw the viewer in. The dialog was boring, the gorgeous Scottish scenery was boring, the "struggle" was boring. I love everything Scotland and I would have walked out. A snooze fest unfortunately.
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It works for me
Bachfeuer14 December 2018
I found this a more significant film than the previous user reviewers--one that will attract awards attention and hold its own against low-brow fare at the box office--like OUTLAW KING and FAVOURITE but even better. It is as much a commentary on contemporary gender politics as 16th Century geopolitics. Catholic Mary merrily rules without a priest or papal emissary in sight. To dwell on the myriad historical shortcomings is to look at this film the wrong way Ronan's commanding, coruscating performance seems an Oscar certainty. The colorblind casting worked out well. I'm so glad Gemma Chan is included. The film is so much from Mary's viewpoint that much of Elizabeth I's significance--both in history and as to the leading/supporting role question--is neglected. It would be great for the same cast and crew to be used in a movie from the other queen's viewpoint.
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My ancestor wrote stuff about this, Adam Blackwood.
zach-childers14 December 2018
Pretty cool my grandfather in the 16th century knew these people that the movie was based off of apparently he wrote about Elizabeth and Mary and more! Pretty cool!
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Earthy, feminist royalty tale with strong lead performances
gortx12 December 2018
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS takes an earthy, feminist view of the infamous 16th Century squabble between the Scottish ruler Mary (Saoirse Ronan) and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) of England. Feature debuting Director Josie Rourke does a decent job (along with writers Beau Willimon and John Guy) of putting the viewer through the usual paces of battles, intrigue and deceit in these monarchy stories. What sets the movie apart from the average are the two actresses. Ronan (who is 24, but, can still credibly play a high schooler as she did last year in LADY BIRD) reminds us that many of these Monarchs of yore were but mere teens when they ascend to power. Mary is 18 when the story begins (having already been married at 16 and widowed). Ronan shows both the strength of her character, but also the impetuousness of youth - young lust among them. Robbie has never been better, particularly as the movie moves along and her choices become more and more difficult. Credit, too, for putting herself through some pretty hideous-looking makeup. Max Richter's score does a fine job of highlighting the drama, while John Mathieson's cinematography is well composed, if more than a little hampered by the use of digital (dark, murky settings do not highlight the strengths of that medium). The Costuming is spot on. The rest of the cast acquits themselves well, even in the shadow of the dominating leads. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS makes for a more than equal match to this season's THE FAVOURITE for your own Royal double feature.
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