Down 25 this week

The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  13 January 2012 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 76,359 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 346 user | 329 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Queen (2006)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The life story of singer Édith Piaf.

Director: Olivier Dahan
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Julie & Julia (2009)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina
Crazy Heart (2009)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell
The Artist I (2011)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Milk I (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch
The Reader (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz
Beginners (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.

Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent
Precious II (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg
Lincoln (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway


Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Brown ...
Alice da Cunha ...
Phoebe Waller-Bridge ...
Victoria Bewick ...
Muriel Roberts
Emma Dewhurst ...
Beatrice Roberts
Hostess 1949
Host 1949
Stephanie Jacob ...
Female Guest 1949
Grey Suited Guest 1949


Elderly and a virtual prisoner in her own home due to her concerned staff and daughter Carol, Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman prime minister, looks back on her life as she clears out her late husband Denis's clothes for the Oxfam shop. Denis is seen as being her rock as she first enters parliament and then runs for the leadership of the Conservative Party, culminating in her eventual premiereship. Now his ghost joins her to comment on her successes and failures, sometimes to her annoyance, generally to her comfort until ultimately, as the clothes are sent to the charity shop, Denis departs from Margaret's life forever. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never compromise

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama de hierro  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$220,409 (USA) (30 December 2011)


$29,959,436 (USA) (20 April 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Streep prepared for the role by spending months watching broadcasts of Margaret Thatcher, to learn her mannerisms and speech. She also spoke with dozens of people who knew her, including former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, who faced Thatcher in the House of Commons for seven years. See more »


"Norma", the opera that Margaret and Denis watch in the theater and whose aria "Casta Diva" is widely used in the movie score, was composed by Vincenzo Bellini, not Francesco Bellini as the framed booklet says. See more »


Margaret Thatcher: We will stand on principle... or we will not stand at all.
See more »


Referenced in Kendra on Top: Workin' It (2012) See more »


Piano Concerto No.5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73
(Ludwig van Beethoven)
Licensed courtesy of UPPM
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wrong, Highly Unethical Concept
7 February 2012 | by (Bulgaria) – See all my reviews

It's simply wrong to make a biographical film about a person, as extraordinary as Margaret Thatcher and devote, I don't know, 70 or 80% of the time to her rather depressing late years of deteriorating health, especially on the mental side. And the real life Margaret Thatcher is a rather private person who tried to keep her health problems secret. Thus, most of what this film presents is obviously a piece of guesswork. Moreover, Thatcher's children described the film as "left-wing fantasy" and we also know that Thatcher's daughter Carol was often with her during this period. So, what's the point of a film, that pretends to be "biographical" when 80% of it is guesswork at best, and somebody else's fiction at worst?

It is also highly unethical to delve into the mental condition of a living person who tried and tries to keep her private life and health issues really private. There are reasons why we call it "private" and doctor-patient confidentiality "confidential". It seems like those principles are beyond the intellectual (moral, or both) capacity of the Hollywood suits behind this movie.

Thatcher became a household name, not only in the UK, but throughout the world, and yet, all her political achievements are presented in a telegraphic style, sometimes just as segments of a news bulletin read by some news presenter. She was called 'the iron lady' by the Soviet propaganda machine in an attempt to discredit her image, her strong positions and alliance with Reagan formed the core of the entire Western policy toward the Soviet union resulting in winning the Cold War, and yet, the authors of this movie choose to completely disregard this side of her story, as if this was some annoying mosquito, just spoiling the bizarre shadenfreude fun they are having with the senile, 80-year old lady.

Thatcher herself is adamant during one of her fights with her husband that he always knew she puts her works first and yet, the film tries to focus on her private life issues, again, by means of sheer guesswork. Why? The only explanation is ideological spin, since the creators try to present the old and rather frail former prime minister as sad, doubting her past, and in some scenes she is even insecure not only as an old, senile lady, wandering around her digs, but also during her prime time, as a head of government. Priceless screening time is wasted while none of the issues she had to deal with is presented with any depth whatsoever.

Occasionally, the film is reduced to a vaudeville, as in the scene where she is about to enter her No.10 residence for the first time as a PM or employs one-dimensional clichés, such as the symbolism of Thatcher talking about 'taking the wheel in her own hands' and then pushing the car to the right, while her daughter is in the driving seat. What is the purpose of this demented symbolism? No matter how unwashed the masses are, they can still figure that this film is about a confident, self-made woman who takes matters in her own hands and pushes her country to the right. Why an obvious metaphor, pointing at the obvious?

The only true merit, that can be attributed to this unhinged and rather prolonged exercise in shadenfreude, is that it represents the true spirit of her public life in general – a strong-willed, principled person, a woman with SPINE, successfully fighting against an intellectually and morally constipated establishment, unhinged left-wing militants and impotent political opposition. Well, the political opposition turned out impotent because it was Margaret Thatcher who single-handedly rendered it that way. There are some truly powerful moments, however, when the young Margaret was listening to her father's speech, clearly, his words having authoritative, formative, inspirational influence on what she was about to become, or when she masterfully fights off the attacks of both her political opponents and spineless colleagues.

Obviously, Meryl Streep is a very good actress, and she is spot on Thatcher's voice and mannerisms, but this is just good professionalism, nothing extraordinary, way too many actors are capable of doing that these days. Does she deserve another Oscar for this performance? If there is nothing better this year on the movie front in her category, hell yes.

The only reason this picture should be seen is as a weird example of how a biopic (of a person of Margaret Thatcher's caliber) should not be made,it's a half-baked distraction of what her real biography should look like .

105 of 159 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
SHOULD be called: The woman that saved Britain eckythump70
Dreadful! jglapin
Problems with the script's structure Cali7
In 2050, the UK economy won't even be in the top 5 Froggy_Bottom
What a foreigner learns from this movie scovazze
Question about the daughter's accent jonnyboy88
Discuss The Iron Lady (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: