Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Poster

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About as accurate as an episode of Reign
MissSimonetta21 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Definitely don't come to this movie for history: it takes two of the sixteenth century's most interesting political figures and renders their tense relationship into soap opera terms. Even the costumes are all wrong-- outside of periods of mourning, no one would be wearing that much black in a royal court.

I could almost forgive it if the movie worked as art, but every character with the exception of Mary is so two-dimensional that it's hard to get involved with them.

I could forgive the movie if it was entertaining, but it is quite a slog, feeling far longer than its two-hour runtime. Excessive sex scenes and pretty shots of the Scottish countryside do not entertainment make. The music is pretty standard "epic" fare. The cinematography is good but nothing exceptionally original or interesting.

By the end, I was rather bored and ready to be out of the theater.
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Where to being....
mirandamkester2 January 2019
This movie was so godawful I just sat there in pure frustration! Nothing about this movie was accurate! Mary and Elizabeth never met!!!! Mary was raised in FRANCE, she would have NEVER have had a Scottish accent let alone a Irish one! The gay husband....seriously!? The diversity of the cast, was just unbearable....never would have happened in that time period!

Overall its 2 hours of my life I can never get back! Dont waste your time with this crap of a movie!
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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'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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A film that soils history
knifemagnet22 December 2018
Mary Queen of Scots is an historically inaccurate modern activist film that fails in both casting and portraying accurately what transpired. Aside from Mary and Elizabeth having never actually met face to face the film includes things such as an Asian Countess, a black lord, and also includes too much attention regarding sex scenes and homosexuality. If you are interested in the true story this should be skipped at all costs; books and documentaries on the subject should be consumed instead. This film should have used fictional characters and locales in a fictional time.

One day I hope someone has the cajones to make a film about Mary's son, James VI, who undid all the sacrifice and suffering of his fellow Scots, in their struggle for freedom, to ultimately bind Scotland to London via the United Kingdom.
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A mess of a movie
calisparkz21 January 2019
Ok I will start by stating what everyone else has already stated, this movie is a hot mess of terrible inaccuracies, and the moronic world of Hollyweird has gone too far trying to be "diverse and overly PC" Scotland in the 1500's was not full of black and Asian people! This has got to stop! Can we go back to making movies just for the sake of movie making? This is akin to making a historical black or Asian movie full of blonde white actors, which I know would cause absolute uproar but somehow this is ok because it fit Hollywood's agenda! I for one will be boycotting all movies from now on, my faith in the movie making process is gone, there is nothing more I would like to see now than for Hollywood to implode...never to be heard from again!
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More concerned with pushing the filmmaker's social agenda than making us care who gains the English throne
makleen213 January 2019
Historic authenticity is cast to the wind in this revisionist costume drama that feels like it was written by a freshman Women's Studies major. Directed by Josie Rourke with a screenplay by Beau Willimon, Mary Queen of Scots (2018) was based on the book Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy. Like many films released this year, it has strong female leads, a diverse cast, and progressive social messaging, but checking all the right boxes on the SJW playlist wasn't enough to save this film from mediocrity.

The year is 1560, and the young and beautiful Mary Tudor (Saoirse Ronan) returns home, where she is out of place in a dreary Scottish castle. Her half-brother, James, Earl of Moray (James McArdle), has been ruling as regent, alongside a bevy of colorless and perpetually-angry Protestant men. Her appearance in Scotland alarms her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England (Margot Robbie). Elizabeth, a Protestant, is not seen as a legitimate ruler by her Catholic subjects. She seeks to gain influence over Mary by arranging a marriage with Elizabeth's own lover, Robert Dudley (Joe Alwyn).

Instead, Mary marries the charming and charismatic Lord Henry Darnley (Jack Lowden), who pulls a Jeckyll-and-Hyde routine and becomes a drunken lecher on their wedding night. Things get complicated for the childless Queen Elizabeth when Mary becomes pregnant, producing an heir for her dynasty and strengthening her claim to the English throne. Can Mary fend off attacks from her domestic critics and convince Elizabeth to acknowledge her as England's rightful ruler?

Mary Queen of Scots couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a film about the rivalry between two queens or a revisionist biopic of its titular character, so it does neither particularly well. This ill-conceived and poorly executed film also missed a chance to let its leading ladies shine. As Queen Elizabeth, the talented Margot Robbie goes to waste as a costumed mannequin who practically disappears for the middle third of the film.

Historically, Mary Stuart was born in 1542, the only legitimate heir to Scottish King James V. She was briefly married to the King of France. After his untimely death in 1560, Mary returned to Scotland and ruled as Mary I of Scotland until 1567, when she was forced to abdicate after her second husband's murder (which her rivals accused her of orchestrating). She fled to England to seek protection from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, but many English Catholics considered Mary the legitimate Queen of England, so Elizabeth had her imprisoned and later executed.

There are many anachronisms and inaccuracies throughout Mary Queen of Scots, not the least of which was "colorblind casting" that falsely portrays 16th-Century England and Scotland's aristocracy as racially diverse. Mary's Scottish accent was also out of place (she grew up in France), as was her friendship with Italian courtier David Rizzio/Riccio. Most historians acknowledge Mary was probably having an affair with the man, which infuriated her Second Husband. Rizzio might have been bisexual, but he wasn't "one of the girls," as the film portrays.

Though ostensibly based on a book, this film can be considered a remake of the 1971 film by the same name. Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) was directed by Charles Jarrott and starred Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson. Like the 2018 film, the 1971 version featured a fictional meeting between the two queens and speculated that Lord Darnley and the musician David Riccio were lovers. The two films part ways, however, when it came to Mary's imprisonment. The 1971 version devotes more screen time to her 19 years in English captivity, while this version fast-forwards through it.

Mary Queen of Scots opened to mixed reviews and currently holds a 63% positive rating from critics and 44% audience favorability on RottenTomatoes. Its opening weekend took in a painful $194,777 on a $25 million budget. A successful film gets the audience invested in the story. Mary Queen of Scots ultimately failed to connect with audiences because it was more concerned with pushing the filmmaker's social perspective than making us care about who gains the English throne.
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So horribly inaccurate and an insult to scottish history
stephenlacey200321 December 2018
This is so hollywood cliche it scares me lovely costumes but everything else is pure fantsay rather then selling this as historic make it make belive because that is all this film is. Dont use real names use made up ones then they could get away with this but otherwise scotland should sue Mary spoke french had a french accent.
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Absolutely NOT Historically Correct
audra547123 December 2018
As much as a love watch Saorise Ronan, and she was very good in this movie, I would NOT recommend it. It was so far off from being historically correct that it isn't even funny. The previews are NOT what they appear the movie truly is.
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bellmeist13 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, I was looking forward to seeing this since I am a fan of British monarchy, but this is woefully inaccurate to the time period. Definitely the PC version since I was utterly surprised to see minority's playing roles of prominence, did not happen in that time period. Also, the tolerance of homosexual behavior out in the open. I'm sure it happened, but it would be behind closed doors since it was something you could be killed for being against the church. Also, there was zero tolerance between Catholics and Protestant religions. They pretty much killed each other. Mary and Elizabeth never met either. The film had beautiful cinematography, but the screenplay was just ridiculously inaccurate. A shame since Mary has really not had a good film depicting her life that I'm aware of. I guess we continue to wait... Both actresses did their best with what they had to work with.
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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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Awfully Bad With Dismal Aftertaste
taylor_king-890-81549122 December 2018
I can't get past the strong Irish accent of lead actress, Saiorse Ronan as Mary! What a blunder of casting! Coupled with Margot Robbie's portrayal of Mary's cousin, Queen Elizabeth as a cartoon character, who garners no sympathy as a constant whiner, and turns over every ounce of her power to the scheming men around her. And Mary is no better, with scene after scene of starry blue-eyes gazing in to infinity with bravery, while she naively selects and submits to her drunken, debauched husband and trust of her flip-flopping brother, who connives to bring her down. What finished this film off for me was a gauzy curtain scene where the Queens have a showdown, despite the historical fact that they never met. Net takeaway: women are dummies abused by bad men.
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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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Pathetic PC excuse for a period drama - total waste of time
rleecollins16 December 2018
Asian Bess of Hardwick ? Black Lord Randolph? This movie was neither historically accurate nor a period drama. A perfect waste of talent in Saoirse Ronan and Margo Robby. I hope they enjoy the paycheck - please keep the talentless and tasteless director Josie Rourke away from UK period dramas - she will lose money every time.
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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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Revionist History
JennerBrown23 December 2018
For a film that is unironically trying to pass itself off as an important, historically accurate film, I found the casting cartoonish. Who knew that a large percentage of 16th Century UK was non-European people of color! Diversity agenda run amok. What's next, the history of Ming China cast with blonde Danes?

But that's only the beginning of the jarring ways in which this film drags you out of reality. The film is a narrative mess. Profoundly unlike able characters, convoluted split storylines, overly obsessed with ainconsequential gay sex subplot (one wonders if the filmmakers are merely hoping to check off every PC box possible).

Ultimately, the real loser here is the magnificence of British history. Go see The Favourite instead.
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A victim of PC casting, slow pacing, and a complete disregard for using names to identify characters
cgriff-32 January 2019
If you're looking for Saoirse Ronan's Oscar reel, this is it. She does a nice job, but the movie suffers from slow pacing, meaningless dialogue, and virtually anonymous supporting characters.

Is England out of White actors? I ask because a Black face anywhere in England or Scotland in the Tudor Era would have been an anomaly, yet they cast Adrian Lester to play Thomas Randolph, Elizabeth's ambassador to Scotland. Do WHAT??

Lester is a fine actor, but why not have him drive a Honda around London too? It's about as historically accurate. That's not the only case either. What next. Roots with an all-White cast? Hamlet as an Asian prince of Denmark? I know, Caitlyn Jenner as MLK!

When one undertakes to make a historical film, at least pretend to do so accurately. It starts out a nice BBC docudrama, it ends up being Mary, Men in Tights.

Also, shame on whomever talked Margot Robbie into taking a role where she looked so hideous. You are a heartless creature who would draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa.
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Disappointing storytelling
nancyldraper28 December 2018
An emotional portrayal rather than an historically faithful account of Mary's relationship with Elizabeth of England. This was based on a book MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS: THE TRUE LIFE OF MARY STUART which was touted as "the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than 30 years...uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time". While John Guy may have wished to establish Mary as the "intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I" the screenwriter of the movie portrays Elizabeth as weak and distant from her own political processes and there is no credible explanation why Elizabeth made the decisions she did. If Mary was a true and worthy queen whereas Elizabeth was weak and an emotional mess, how did Mary end up on the executioner's block and Elizabeth manage to successfully hold her throne for 44 years? Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give emotionally deep performances, as expected. But the screenplay writer muddles up any political, religious or ideological (or even personal) logic for the climate of the day which inevitably set the course for Mary's life path. There is no clarity in why one was either Protestant or Roman would be such an insurmountable issue, partly because John Knox was so poorly written (despite having hidden the very talented and capable David Tennant behind all the hair). Disappointing story telling. Waste of good actors. I rate this film a 4 (poor) out of 10. I know I may be expressing a minority opinion, because, by and large, the people I spoke to as we exited the theatre, seemed to like the movie, but more troubling, they accepted the historical portrayal while confessing to never having known anything before about Mary, Queen of Scotland. {Historical? BioPic}
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Almost walked out. PC casting, wrong accents, made up junk....
eschar27 December 2018
What's worse, inaccurate dialog/accents or PC casting gone OUT OF CONTROL in a historical drama? I don't know but who gave this woman a chance to direct this story?? Why? These people were white, deal with it, that's life. The theater background of the director is also painfully obvious at points in the performances; way over the top, just like stage actors would do. I guess she thought the audience wouldn't be able to hear the actors (she forgot about the big shotgun mic!) One star. 0 if I could. Don't even bother on Netflix.
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reidandgenene5 January 2019
I really wanted to love this movie. It was beautifully shot, and Ronin was, as always, very strong. And the rest of the cast was fine -- the problems with this Elizabeth were not Robbie's fault. The film was beautiful, but quite, quite dead. And it didn't flow, just a bunch of independent set pieces. Blame the writer and the director.
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History? I think not.
unonjacke28 December 2018
In the 1970's there was a movie about Mary Queen of Scots with Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson which was historically inaccurate but at least fun to watch but this new film of Mary Queen of Scots is not accurate but is not in the least bit fun. Saoirse Ronan's Scot/ Irish accent is inaccurate because Mary spent age 3 to 15 in France so whatever her accent was it was not as as it is depicted. I understand that we live in a PC world but the presence of Asian and black characters is quite ridiculous. If you want to know about these two powerful and exceptional women read a book, watch an educational video but dont waste your money going to this piece of drek.
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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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How awful can a movie get? Go see this film and find out!
charles-6536224 December 2018
What an awful film. I would have left after 15 minutes but stayed when my companion insisted that I do so. There are three reasons for my poor review. (1) The actresses chosen to play Mary and Elizabeth were lightweight for the parts and were never believable in their roles. Saoirse Ronan does not have the gravitas to pull off the role. She may be fine portraying contemporary characters in movies, but not historical ones that are larger than life. Particularly annoying is that she speaks with an Irish accent and she is supposed to be a Scottish queen. The woman who plays Elizabeth is better, especially when portraying her as haughty and aloof, but when she gets simpering the portrayal becomes annoying. Besides, all Elizabeths will be compared to Cate Blanchett's portrayal and will ultimately fall short, and in this case, way short. (2) What a disastrous decision to populate the courts of Elizabeth and Mary with Black and Asian actors. Of course I have no problem seeing these actors in movies... except when it harms the historical authenticity of the portrayal. There were no Black and Asian people in the high courts of both countries during that period. Let alone presenting the English ambassador to Scotland as Black. All this for the sake of artistic license. Such a dumb decision. (3) The director of this film really missed the mark. I blame the director for the odd pacing and stilted dialogue. The real problem is that this movie is very literal, and lacks any type of nuance. It also lacks historical accuracy, for instance, Mary and Elizabeth never met in person. In this movie their meeting is a great example of bad acting, poor direction and cringe-worthy dialogue. I cannot believe the good reviews professional critics have given this movie. My respect for them has diminished as a result. The only good points were the costumes and the cinematography. But if that is a movie's claim to fame... I say what a waste of viewer's time. Don't bother unless you know nothing about history and like your movies superficial and inane.
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So Much For Historical Accuracy
joshuahill-9722513 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Was really excited for this movie, especially after seeing the trailer. I'll start with the few positives: Great acting, beautiful cinematography, and wonderful score. Also, cool to see they actually included John Knox.

Here's where it gets bad: It basically "Hollywood-Washes" most of the elements surrounding the story. For instance, it makes the Ambassador between England and Scotland black. (Would have been cool, but totally inaccurate.)

The film also makes Queen Elizabeth's handmaiden asian.

The biggest misstep is blaming the downfall of Mary, as well as the murder of David Rizzo, because both David and Mary's husband Henry Darnley were gay.

None of this happened, and it basically re-writes the entire portion of English/Scottish history.

Really disappointed with this one.
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Mary'#me2'Queen of PC diversity
swalbj865 January 2019
Just seen this seen this shameless revisionist politically correct quotathon today whilst on holiday in the States. I don't think I've ever been so angry after seeing a historical film before. I can accept the possibility that there may have been one brother in or around Elizabeth I's 16th century court but not 6,7 or 8. Then there's Mary's entourage, which has even more PC boxes ticked. Obviously the director really wanted to 'rub our noses in it' with this social justice man hating rage fest. Avoid this film if you like accurate non box ticking revisionist history.
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The worst period film of our time.
Robinshallrestoreamends24 December 2018
This film strays so much from the historical record that it's not even credible. There were no Black members of Elizabeth's Privy Council, nor were there Asian or Black handmaidens to Mary Stuart. That doesn't even make sense given this time period or politics of the day. It's diffucult to say whether the director was downright ignorant or just didn't care. There were several plot line issues that didn't make sense and the film drags in many places.
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