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The Iron Lady, Movie

The Iron Lady 2011

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British Prime Minister (from 1979 - 1990) Margaret Thatcher biopic with the great Meryl Streep (in an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning performance) playing the titular Iron Lady. Tells Thatcher's story via flashback, including the lead-up to Britain's controversial involvement in the Falklands War in 1982. Jim Broadbent plays her husband Dennis. More

The Iron Lady blog says the story is about a "woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is an intimate portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman." Hide

DVD / Blu-Ray



106 votes / 32 comments The Talk

  • 82 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • john major

      wonder if they will show how much she screwed the UK out of its assets, British Rail etc.

    • Cookie

      @ John Major... you mean as well as the unions strangling the country at that time. Some would say she was a necessary evil.

    • Elna Scargill

      Yes, Cookie, because the neo-liberal reforms have really worked, that's why the world is doing so well now. Anyone fancy a Pinochet visit?

    • Confused

      Isn't that the same music from the movie MOON. What's with that??

    • sarkozy

      Hey! doesn't look like meryl...

    • Erin

      Who would want to see a movie about that classic tori elitist?

    • Emma8

      whoever just commented should shut up because i love meryl streeps movie

    • mandy

      @cookie because we all want to be communist slaves - worked well for East Europe. Looks like it will be a good movie about a great woman!

    • ken

      i want to see margaret give denis a clip around the head then stand down margaret

    • Jen

      Can't wait to see how Streep does with this one. Good political drama.

    • mark

      I love the thatch. One of my faves

    • Rog

      Love the Streep

    • JimmyBoi

      The must see for the summer

    • Tory girl

      go maggie

    • matt

      jeeez way to make her seem like a good person....I'm sure all the mining families would love this film

    • miss

      she looks different...

    • kam

      Not even a little historically accurate. Hollywood's version of events. ugh.

    • Red

      Looks great. The lady behind the politics. Can't beat Streep.

    • Realist

      Dreadful woman, a Reagan fan and sock puppet for vile Friedmanite economics.

    • Serf

      Thatcher came from a working class background, battled the British class system to triumph in her field. Used her brains and perseverance!

    • Damon

      Why would anyone want to see this? Thatcher was a revolting human being, as worthy of tribute as an AIDS virus.

    • Jess

      When there isn't a decent zombie movie on...

    • joan

      good historical drama-give us more of this!

    • sheffield

      ahh the milk snatcher is made to look all cuddly

    • Kepa

      Gonna see today, hip hip hooraye. Should be good!!

    • Esther

      Unbelievable... if you can rehabilitate Thatcher, who's next for a makeover... Dick Cheney? Torquemada? Judas Isacariot?

    • Dee

      A sympathy vote movie. a) Thatcher would hate the concept, b) a more divisive PM there was not.

    • The film Critic

      Dead and gone. A destructive PM

    • The Truth

      Tramp the dirt down

    • The truth

      She ruined lives and now we see the failure of her ideas. Her end came 40years to late


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



comment / reply
Liam Maguren Flicks Writer

It’s hard to conjure up an actress that could better Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in this biopic, told through a political highlights reel intercut with a dreary tale of aging and self-reflection. From her first chaotic steps into the governmental ‘mad house’ to her frail final years battling geriatric psychoses, Streep never falters. More

Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t compliment her, hardly ever taking the time to capitalise (pun intended) on the significant turning points that defined Thatcher as a relevant political force. Numerous side characters are examined with little depth, a fact that becomes obvious when the film tries to associate them with some heavy importance.

A few scenes did triumph, however, despite being few and far between. With the aid of educated advisers, Thatcher’s presentational transformation from delicate housewife to dominant MP is highly fulfilling (including a voice-training segment that they probably labelled ‘The Queen’s Speech’). It’s also hard not to fist-pump in satisfaction when she performs a verbal vasectomy on her chauvinistic opponents.

As a biopic, The Iron Lady does the bare minimum of what it needed. Paradoxically, Maggie Thatcher was never one to tolerate those who did ‘the bare minimum’. Hide

The People's Reviews


4 ratings and 7 reviews


comment / reply

True Blue...

adamatdramatrain Flicks Superstar (?)

Phyllida Lloyd, director of 'Mamma Mia,' reunites with Meryl Streep to bring this strange and fractured tale of an aged and all too human ex-Prime Minister, on the verge of dementia. In focusing on the aging protagonist and her flashes of memories and chats with her deceased husband Dennis, the film portrays Lady Thatcher as a human being - no small feat in itself. For those who lived through the Thatcher years in the UK, it's almost impossible to see her as anything but The Iron Lady she and Murdoch's media portrayed her as. Giving her a heart is a major achievement in its own right. Yes, Meryl Streep is transformative in her portrayal. But this life required a lot more than 1 hr 45 minutes to do much more than skim the surface. The material deserves at least a nine-hour BBC / HBO mini-series! Squeezing everything down to this digestible Hollywood biopic style running time creates a two-dimensional portrait of a "feminist" heroine rather than a complex, multi-layered, complex person who was far from perfect and far from a political Joan of Arc... But at least this film tries to deliver something different in its non-linear structure. Being way way to slight of time, it fails - but fails admirably. As for Meryl Streep? Her performance alone is enough to garner three (right-wing and very blue) stars.


comment / reply

extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

TheaterofCommon Flicks Superstar (?)

o me British politics is about as exciting as counting rice, the prospect of watching a biopic on the barren Margaret Thatcher had me reaching for handfuls of Uncle Bens. A number of people for whom I have the upmost respect have told me that I should go and see The Iron Lady; they said that it transcended its subject's unpopularity and showed a side of Thatcher that I, or most uninterested people, wouldn't have known.

I consider myself to be open-minded when it comes to the cinema so I tried to dispel all pre-conceptions of what I was about to experience as I strolled down to the newly refurbished Embassy Theatre. I should have seen the early warning signs of what was to come, sadly The Embassy was having what they called "technical disruptions". I was happy enough to wait as the juvenile technician tried to figure out what was going on, but after 22 minutes I was starting to consider a refund and to head somewhere else. Then, as if the cinemas gods were paying attention to my fading patience, the screen flickered into action and the opening credits rolled.

The Iron Lady is the story of Margaret Thatcher, arguably the most unpopular Prime Minister in British history, and the film is delivered in a series of flash backs of Thatcher's life & career seen through the eyes an elderly, frail Thatcher (Meryl Streep). We quickly learn she is battling both dementia and long held grief for the death of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent). The plot then moves awkwardly between the seclusion of growing old alone and the highs of being a world leader. The film is an extremely personal portrayal about the true cost of personal ambition.


comment / reply

A Tory love story.

filmlover Flicks Superstar (?)

I think most people may miss the point of this film. Rather than a biopic of M. Thatcher it is more of a story of the relationship between Margaret and Dennis, the man who propped her up with his undying love even after death. Meryl Streep is extraordinary but it would have been more satisfying for most of us to see a linear tale of Margaret's life. But then, didn't this director also make Mama Mia? If so I rest my case.


comment / reply

Worth watching -- but only for Meryl Streep's performance

Weds_Loafers Flicks Superstar (?)

"The Iron Lady" is up there among the best of the past twelve months or so. Meryl Streep's performance is outstanding and must put her among the top of the Oscar nominees. If there isn't an Oscar for make-up, there now should be.

With the hindsight of a few years, this movies shows (albeit superficially) the resolution and uncompromising determination that was necessary, during the years of Dame Margaret Thatcher's leadership, to bring the UK back from the brink of economic collapse and to restore Britain's place on the global stage with its position on the Falkland's war.

The use of flashbacks was superbly handled and without them this movie would have been somewhat mundane.


comment / reply

Should have been so much more.

BarryNorman Nobody (?)

A stellar cast much underused with little exploration of their characters and influences. Skirted over significant events that shaped a nation and generally underplayed their impact. Heavy emphasis on her now frailties rather than the strengths which made me think this was a movie made by Labour as a cheap shot.


comment / reply


TJH B-Grader (?)

Great acting by Streep but superficial overall, didn't tell me anything I didn't know of Thatcher and was just a romp through UK politics over that time using flashbacks. Without knowing suspect it doesn't have the support of her family as no new material and haven't portrayed how she is as an older person very respectfully. Not that I have any feelings about her one way or other other (bar not paying Poll tax when I was in the UK) but don't feel the producers would have portrayed an ex male PM as demented.


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Kepa Wannabe (?)

Much more of her public life and less of her private and domestic life would have been an improvement as it lacked passion and excitement I thought as I was drowsing and nearly fell asleep. I guess you gotta go and find out yourself & see.

The Iron Lady

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Press Reviews

52% of critics recommend

Consensus: "Meryl Streep's performance as The Iron Lady is reliably perfect, but it's mired in bland, self-important storytelling."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Empire (UK)

One of Streep’s finest-ever performances. But beyond that — whatever Morgan and Lloyd’s intentions — it’s little more than a myth-enshrining exercise. Full review.

Guardian (UK)

A breezy, whistle-stop tour through the unstable nitroglycerin of Thatcher's life and times. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

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

The Telegraph (UK)

This is a brave stab at a contemporary life, and even with its flaws it does Margaret Thatcher a certain grudging justice. Awards should be coming Streep’s way; yet her brilliance rather overshadows the film itself. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

Not Iron Man’s mother, but an adroit if flashy tribute to Mrs Thatcher’s ascent to power. Sly satire and a sublime Streep should tempt in more than the party faithful. Full review.

Variety (USA)

Fuzzy-headed biopic, which glosses over the former British prime minister's politics in favor of a glib, breakneck whirl around her career and marriage. Full review.