Mary Queen of Scots (2018) - Biography, Drama, History

Hohum Score



Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

IMDB: 6.3
Director: Josie Rourke
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie
Length: 124 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 108 out of 442 found boring (24.43%)

One-line Reviews (284)

I could have happily seen a bit more of Mary's House arrest and inevitable downfall, but as that took 18 years it might have dragged a bit.

Admittedly the trailer didn't really impress me, giving the impression of a visually attractive film with two good lead performances but one that had a weak to put it lightly script and a dull story.

A bit boring .

The dialog is also uninteresting and boring, especially when the religious high power using God as their weapon to oppose Mary as their enemy.


The scenery was nice, the costumes were nice, Margot and Saoirse looked the part BUT the movie was too slow and ended up being boring.

While I do not profess to be a student or even aficionado of History ( it was not my favorite subject in school) I did enjoy this movie simply because it entertained ME and I found the constant " surprises" or " twists" to be quite engaging!!

Their carefully worded letters and calculated offers form a genteel yet fraught cat and mouse game as compelling as any modern investitive drama or cops and robbers movie.

It's as if we're being told random information, rather than being shown an engaging piece of cinema with a narrative through-line.

The movie is boring halfway past after a good beginning and the ending is also good.

Dull and plodding .

I thought it was quite gripping in the scenes featuring both of the distant warring family members and I thought it featured some rather impressive examples of cinematography.

It was well worth watching.

Stodgy direction, ridiculous makeup and costumes, a script taken from who knows where, poor acting, and far too many long shots do not a good film make.

The history nerd in me actually quite enjoyed it (for a movie) As long as you watch it with open mind you should be able to enjoy despite slow pace in some areas.

It is a slow drama about relationships and betrayal.

With this all being said this film is rather compelling and has great period costume design.

We had to stop watching the rubbish, apart from that and other inaccuracies it was tedious and drawn out, a boring PC disaster.

Engaging film.

don't waste your money or time.

However, the film is quite dull with its direction.

The pace never comes to life, with a severe lack of sparks or energy the film constantly felt very dull and the fictional meeting lacked tension and intrigue.

The costumes were beautiful and the acting was okay, but the nauseating social justice was byond belief and looked more like an artistic piece of activist propaganda rather than a historical film.

This story has been told far better in other films and TV productions and I wouldn't waste your money renting this one.

I didn't go expecting a precise and historically accurate representation, so rather enjoyed it for what it was- a good period drama.

Saiorse Ronan and Margot Robbie give very compelling performances, which represents the highlight of the movie.

In many ways it is a hot mess, but it's still super watchable and entertaining and I think the acting from the entire cast is incredibly strong.


It is a huge bore and a big disappointment.

An enjoyable historical drama .

If I saw the film in slow mow, I might find more places to insert humor.

The supporting cast, well the men where not much, Darnley whimpered,David Rizzio was a fresh and new take on an intriguing character in Scottish history.

The technical aspects of this film really make the film enjoyable.

The problem is, it's just plain boring .

The dialogue was a bit slow and unnatural, although theatrical dialogue is a common main ingredient in costume dramas.

The diversity of the cast, was just unbearable....

Nothing happens.

I love everything Scotland and I would have walked out.

The Tudor Period has been long-beloved by film and television for its wealth of political drama and intrigue, and the story of how one of the greatest monarchical families in British history eventually came to fall is an equally fascinating one.

The WORST movie I have ever seen.

The machinations of the queens' courts and political intrigue that lead to Mary's end are fascinating.

Despite its flaws, "Mary Queen of Scots" is an engaging experience especially for those who love history.


Don't waste your money

A sure cure for insomnia.

A very good and entertaining film.

The first third of the movie is a bit slow-moving as the diplomatic moves between England and Scotland are highlighted (Elizabeth orders her lover Robert Dudley to meet Mary and propose marriage).

It just feels dry and drawn out and developed in not always the best way.

The pacing is too slow.

Who'd want to watch such a dull film about real life where two fiery queens living in the same country never meet?

Saoirse Ronan has a fascinating face (not at all the 16th century idea of beauty though) and puts across the emotion despite some rather strained dialogue.

Slow, boring, badly filmed .

Then the next scene he was at least two, with nothing happening in between.

Great performances by the two queens but found the supporting characters to be uninteresting and the Scottish accents difficult to understand.

There were far too many times in the film where the narrative with its unorganized structure just fell to a snail's pace.

This film is well worth the watch and entertaining whether you know your history or not.

This based on a true story tale has a great cast, fine production values and lavish sets and costumes but what Josie Rourke's film importantly lacks is a heart and soul, making Mary Queen of Scots a dull, lifeless and sadly rather boring historical epic.

Beyond Slow and Predicatable .

The filming is just stunning (especially the scenes in Scotland).

Too many period pieces have a tendency to portray medieval settings as dollhouses, with far too much style over substance, but there's a deliberate and concerted effort to give the setting a darker and more grounded look that, in tandem with some lush costume design and stunning make-up work, really brings the period to life in far more interesting fashion than most.

Hard to follow.

Elements of the plot may be a bit fanciful but I found it quite a gripping and interesting watch regardless.

Boring, very disappointing, and borderline pointless.

Add on that the rather boring repetitive story telling and you get just a mediocre movie.

My bored to death husband was so relieved when I asked him whether he minded watching something else.

Dull .

Now, lets get on to the reasons that this film is unwatchable.

Saoirse Ronan's Mary is an intense, hot-blooded, passionate young woman.

The PC nonsense has gone too far, but even taking that complaint away, the script is uninteresting, and the acting mainly poor.

Great acting, photography, and costumes, but very difficult to follow the dialogue, storyline, and overall point of the the plot.

However, despite a wealth of historical drama, Mary Queen Of Scots is unfortunately a rather disappointing watch, proving a disjointed and frustrating biopic that fails to deliver the intrigue and tension that the history deserves, and despite some strong performances and brilliant production design, it's a rather dull watch from beginning to end.

Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth make the movie worth watching.

While one may cherish these historical figures and their contributions to the pages of history books and today's way of life, Mary Queen of Scots gives birth to a new, exciting and dramatic take on two unapologetic firecrackers.

She made for a believable and compelling lead in portraying a flawed character struggling with the structural gender imbalances of her time.

Frankly, 'Mary Queen Of Scots (2018)' is just a bit boring.

With all the talent involved, I expected at least something entertaining...

The director is from a theatre background and so the film was like a play - in a boring linear order (except for the totally uneccessary execution of MQoS at beginning) with snippets of information rammed down our throats.

An enjoyable film with two strong female leads, beautiful cinematography and score.

Absolutely boring...

A snooze fest unfortunately.

Interesting drama and entertaining.

And frankly seeing those characters prevented me from being immersed in the story, took massively away from realism (key to any good historical movie) and at times just made it plain ridiculous.

What a waste of time and effort.

The attempts at contrasting the plights of Mary and Elizabeth, done in a way that is as overused and tasteless as the other elements the film tosses in with no regard as to whether they were necessary or fitted, got repetitive and tired very quickly and increasingly became difficult to take seriously, the post-birth scene particularly belonged in a parody.

Potentially worst movie ever...

Fascinating, historical & harrowing (don't let some critics put you off) .

And why did I waste my money and two hours of my life watching it?

Was this a historical epic filled with intense battles?

But thanks to the wonderful Saiorse Ronan, I found it worth watching in spite of its flaws.

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.

Slow & boring .

Sometimes it gets bogged down with the want to be true to history while also trying to be engaging that it fits in a little bit of everything and not enough of something great.

The movie is fast paced and well directed.

The last hour or so was great, fast paced and amazing acting.

Elizabeth orders that Mary is imprisoned in England and eventually receives compelling evidence that Mary had conspired with her enemies to have her assassinated in the Babington Plot.


I was honestly just really bored by the movie.

'Mary Queen of Scots' is, quite frankly, a bore.

Now, while it's clear that the future of England and Scotland lays very much in the balance as the two queens become further embroiled in a potential succession crisis, the movie takes a very confusing attitude to showing the battle for power, struggling to clarify who the people that really hold the power are.

This was by far the worst movie I have ever seen of these two women.

Cliche after cliche spoilt the drama.

It was a fascinating take on power, womanhood, and sisterhood.

While the script often fails to give itself time to breath, both lead actresses gave compelling performances.

The style and visuals are stunning, costume and scenery too.

It's like one of those boring history lessons; all information, no engagement.

This is one of the worst movies released in 2018.

It fails just as badly, perhaps actually even more so, in making interesting people that were actually really fascinating and have for good reason sparked much debate.

So slow.

The film dragged too much and unfortunately will probably influence some people to think people of color had positions of authority in medieval/renaissance Great Britain.

Mary, Queen of Scot's is a dour look at a cold and dreary time.

For me it was very confusing who is who, because the actress are really good fit for the opposite roles.

This is a truly terrible film made worse by the appalling theft of time; had the actors cut back on the utterly pointless "dramatic" pauses we could have been spared about an hour of pain.

Ronan's delicate portrait of a scourged historical figure is riveting.


This film is beautifully photographed and acted - the scenery and costumes are lovely and Saoirse Ronan is a truly stunning Mary Queen of Scots.

Nothing happens.

Artistic license, yes - but, still an entertaining story.

The direction, script, and tone of the movie were dull and boring.

Well folks it was just plain boring no drama just a interpretation of events I've seen more interesting content on the history channel.

Makes hair and clothing today look so very boring, even if it's generally much more practical.

These birthrights even caused much confusion and debate ...

What's fact what's progressive propaganda?

Mary Queen of ScotsThis was a slow burner film and while sometimes that works out it did not on this occasion.

As for the rest it was completely historically inaccurate and mind numbingly boring.

The conspiracy elements are confusing.

It was boring and historically incorrect on so many levels.

Script like the directing is terribly terribly boring & flat.

I just got back from seeing this film (it is only playing at one theater here in Knoxville, TN) and I really enjoyed it!

This was probably one of the most boring films Ive seen for the last 5 years.

Although the two don't meet until the end of the movie, their rivalry and competing designs form the most compelling conflict by far.

Go & get your entertaining history lesson.

It is slow moving and boring through the second act of the movie.

As I said, it has its moments, and along with sublime production design and two strong lead performances, it's by no means a bad film, but when it comes to delivering a riveting and thoroughly coherent historical story, the film really falls flat, with a muddled focus that ultimately leaves it feeling disjointed and confusing.

A variety of intriguing, if inaccurate, sub-plots that unfortunately just made the whole ordeal rather underwhelming.

Plus the film and it's plot points became incredibly predictable.

A little stilted but an engaging period piece .

It's not bad, just a bit dull.

Sure, the movie proposes some post-modernistic version of history, but if you're not too annoyed by historical inaccuracy, the colourful cast and powerful female protagonists are actually an enjoyable change.

This dull and ill-paced movie is just so shockingly bad and formulaic it makes one wonder why they just didn't have a contemporary setting at least in that way they wouldn't have insulted those who demand historical accuracy.

But the conviction of Ronan and Robbie, and a strong supporting cast, nevertheless make this a compelling clash of personalities.

The characters were bland and the plot itself not engaging.

Unlike Robbie, Ronan gets a character that is completely satisfied with herself and has to fight against the others, but mind you, her track is much more gripping, much more juicy and glorifying.

Mary Queen Of Scots is disgusting propaganda and ought to be treated as such.

The ridiculousness of it made me lose patience, along with the unbelievably dull dialogues, the unconvincing acting (sometimes unconvincingly intense, I'm talking to you David Tenant!

I was dragged back to reality when ten minutes of this movie had passed and I contemplated leaving my cinema seat for good, never to return.

The movie definitely has its moments, and with an enthralling face-off between the two queens in the final act, it's certainly a story that has immense potential for big screen intrigue, but it unfortunately muddles its way through the majority of its 2 hour runtime, as such making for a frustrating and unfortunately even dull watch for a large proportion of the movie.

Do not waste your time or moneySlow and outdated, camera work boring, really nothing appealing about the film.

Yes this film was historically incorrect, but I still enjoyed it.

the movie just wasnt that engaging.

Poor acting, even worse script, slow, boring -- not even the scenery is well presented.

Don't waste your time on this drivel.

I found the film very slow and disappointing.

And the movie was boring to boot.

She does a nice job, but the movie suffers from slow pacing, meaningless dialogue, and virtually anonymous supporting characters.

It was stunning.

As for the scene where Mary gives birth and we seee Queen Liz with her legs apart oozing red poppies was utterly pretentious and naff.

A mish mash of boring short scenes that don't make any sense.

Putting aside the historic accuracy of the movie, this is one bore of a film.

That's why the movie just got boring at some point.

It has its moments, but Mary Queen Of Scots is ultimately a rather disjointed, confused and even dull historical drama .

This is seriously a bad film and the worst movie I've seen in years.

Well acted, suspenseful....

One or two scenes stick out as highlights but the rest unfortunately feel drawn out so much so that if you weren't interested in the history or snapped it by its opening, you're in for a slog.

By the end, I was rather bored and ready to be out of the theater.

It was stunning.

Inaccurate and generally just dull .

As Boring As You Might Be Able to Imagine....

Don't waste you money watching this, totall inaccurate historically littered with political correctness such as black actors playing actual white historical courtiers, as insulting as white actors playing Othello.

seems the movie is confusing Isabel 1st with Victoria...

In other words, the audience is immersed in the workings of English and Scottish monarchies and religion to a degree rarely seen on the screen.

Gripping and hard.

The narrative doesn't have a rhythm, it gets boring fast.

A bit boring, I never knew there where black people living in Scotland at the time of her reign.

If you want to be constantly reminded of all-too-pervasive real world issues whilst slowly but surely coming to the realisation that this retelling of the past is both inaccurate and rather dull, then Mary Queens Of Scots may be just the film for you.

If I saw the film in slow mow, I might find more places to insert humor.

Overall, I felt dumber about the history of these fascinating rulers having watched this rendition, a shame considering how incredible both of their accomplishments truly are.

Mary Queen of Scots was a waste of my time.

Visually it is stunning, and the trials of women in a man's world very true if I could only get past all minorities cast as English and Scottish courtiers, which broke the spell of accepting this film as the reality of 16th century Britain, where blood was the tie that bound our nation, they may as well have been wearing pink flamingos on their heads, they stood out in neon as anachronistic.

The fact that the supporting characters are mostly unrecognisable (except for Guy Pearce) makes the characters very confusing too.

The plot is thrilling, depicting the power struggle between two strong-willed women that included homosexuality, infidelity, politics, the poor treatment of women, many PC messages and violent sexual moments bordering on rape.

Overall to be honest it was really boring.

The acting was wonderful and storyline were very intriguing, I found myself engrossed and moved.

Dont waste your time with this crap of a movie!

Josie Rourke's debut has stunning direction and purpose, showing how society has always pit women against one another.

implementations - Mr. Orwell would have enjoyed watching such pieces - of course made with the greater good in mind, that's what "big brother" at least would say ;)Anyway, boring and historical inacurate in many ways: a waste of money and talent and a waste of time for the audience.

Worst movie in years .

The problem is the muddy, disjointed, rather incoherent story AND the truly abysmal editing.

Anyway, Movie The Favourite (Emma Stone) was much more witty, energetic en intelligent, breathtaking.

A Flawed Movie But With Two Tour De Force Performances, It Worth Watching .

Still, it is a joy to watch the performance of Ronan and Robbie, as Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I respectively, separately for most of the movie until at the very end with a riveting sparring (not literally, of course) scene that you will remember for a long time.

Sloooooow and boring version of a great story.

An absolute waste of time!!!

It's just like an bland assigned assay, showing all the well-known events in Mary's life one by one, except glorifying her to the most extent without changing the course of history.

Very boring.

In places, it's a little repetitive, and its portrayal of Knox is dull and obvious, but I enjoyed it for its original and thought-provoking interpretation.

Dull, poorly cast, historically inaccurate and in-your-face PC.

The constant abrupt edits to shift the narrative onto her perspective made the story disjointed and created inconsistent pacing.

It took me completely out of the historical element of it and had me feeling like it was more of a push for diversity propaganda.

Second, the movie's pacing is too slow, dare I say too theatrical, and hence the movie feels overly long at 2 hrs.

For the first twenty minutes or so I watched the clock more than the movie and felt restless and bored with it.

What a huge waste of time and resources on talent that shouldn't have been elevated to anywhere near this caliber of story.

I give it a 4, i'm deducting 2 just for the destruction of History confusing the young.

would of been better done by a female writer, and perhaps the slow pacing, though not uncommon for a historical drama.

Dull .

The movie suffers from so serious pacing issues and some parts are a real snooze fest.

I found this to be quite an engrossing watch.

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.

Her last close ups near the end were breathtaking.

This movie was a waste of time.

It might not be all historically accurate, but like you definitely get the point, and most of it is to help the narrative and make it compelling and relevant today.

Riveting Drama .

It's a real shame the editing of this film is really messy and disjointed, because it feels like with much better editing and pacing it could have been truly great.

I kept looking at my watch as it was ever so slow and 1 hr in it felt like 3 had past.

A mockery of history and 2 hours of revisionist Feminist/LGBT/Multi culti-propaganda to fit the current year narrative.

The worst part about this film, shockingly, isn't what they did to David Tennant, it's instead the poor writing, often dull plot, poorly explained character motivations and the bizzare underlying feeling that the director was trying to make the film somehow 'acceptable' for 2019 through the inclusion of black and ethnic minority characters in roles they never would have had in that time period.

Totally inaccurate bore, check out the Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave version for a more entertaining and accurate telling, without all the stupid modern PC junk!

To anyone reading these reviews and wondering whether to go see this film - please ignore the silly 1 and 2 star reviews; this film easily stands on it's own merits and is well worth watching.

I say what a waste of viewer's time.

Save your money and watch "Rise of the Clans" if you want real drama and real history.

don't waste your time .

A waste of time .

I had enough of this liberal junk, it's unbearable, I'm of to my straight pride march this weekend, anyone left to join me?

Still saw 'Mary Queen of Scots', as someone who really likes period/historical dramas, finds Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I fascinating historical figures and considers the cast talented, on top of wanting to see as many newly released films as possible.

Bad combination of being slow and boring, combined with no historical accuracy.

Waste of time...

BORING Zzzzzzz .

If you must see this dreary downer, take an antidepressant first.

The performances of the two divas are very good, but, sadly, wasted in this plodding attempt to light a fire under this oft told story.

There is too much unnecessary sex scenes, some boring scenes, even cringy moments.

If you want to see a movie with pointless dialogue throughout, this is the one for you!

The movie is totally engrossing with a little background.

When watching movies such as "Mary Queen of Scots", one wants to be as much as possible "immersed" into the time and location.

In some scenes, the writing was poignant and telling, but other scenarios were drawn out.

Pretentious Tug Of War.

Difficult to follow and historically inaccurate.

Things become more gripping when Lord Darnley is murdered.

I believe it is worth the watch.

Saoirse looks the part but the story is a bit hard to follow .

Ultimately though, I felt like the film was hard work and a bit of a slog to get through due to its repetitive "tell rather than show" plot.

To make matters worse, while it fails to provide any historical context or explanation for the confusing story line, it does have time to 'blackwash' history by making the English ambassador to Scotland black.

The real story of Elizabeth and Mary is so intriguing; what a shame that the filmmakers here felt the need to manipulate it for their own agenda.

The scenery is pretty boring.

The story is confusing too.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was a fascinating woman who lived an equally fascinating life, in one of the most fascinating periods of history.

But the conviction of Ronan and Robbie, and a strong supporting cast, nevertheless make this a compelling clash of personalities.

Quite interesting and very enjoyable .

But this movie was so BORING.

Despite its inaccuracies and disjointed narrative structure, there are many elements that do work and give life to the Scottish highlands that surrounds Mary.

The dialog was boring, the gorgeous Scottish scenery was boring, the "struggle" was boring.

For me it checked off all the boxes: beautiful and stunning cinematography, proper historical costumes, dramatic court scenes and palace intrigue as the movie marches toward Mary Queen of Scots final dramatic scene.

The costumes were stunning, and there was a fine ensemble cast assembled.

Final Say -A film that could've been special, especially with such committed lead turns, Mary Queen of Scots is but a dry, dull and forgettable examination of two fascinating woman that fails to ever capture the mind, heart or imagination needed to bring this loaded tale to life.

The cinematography was breathtaking.

It helps to brush up on the events and characters or it can be a bit hard to follow with all the bearded guys who look the same and some events glossed over quickly.

Never mind the historical inaccuracies, the dull scottish vistas, the screwed up face of Ronan desperately trying to remember a scottish accent, the gay husband (really?

Boring and unbelievable .

The movie definitely has its faults (the storyline is a bit confusing to follow, and the motivations do seem lacking), but the story on the whole is a fascinating one.

Don't waste your time on this lost opportunity of a movie.

Unwatchable .

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.

Absolutely stunning.

Utterly ridiculous and confusing casting, there weren't blacks in the Tudor court.

This plodding script, politically corrected for the 21st century, is an innate lie no matter how you define suspended reality.

Then I got into it, riveted by Saoirse Ronan's performance, the stunning, often nearly monochromatic cinematography, and the...

Both Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth deliver believable, compelling performances.

A victim of PC casting, slow pacing, and a complete disregard for using names to identify characters .

The acting in itself was bad enough, but put the lack of story and credible history behind it and you have zero.

The problem is that while Mary Queen of Scots is full of brilliant political intrigue, it makes for a particularly dry and bland movie.

This kind of stuff needs to be left to The BBC and 10 episode treatments, where the retelling of such a unique historical page is much more compelling and done straight forward with the time necessary to develop characters who can be believed.

Before you even read other critics "it was godawful" reviews, take a sip and read, the accuracy of this movie with history is amazingly put in place, i'm historian and i know every details about Elizabeth 1'st and Mary Queen of Scots, Margot Robbie's acting is simply the best in every encounter, the power that both queens posses is hard to imagine, there is deep meaning behind this movie and is well hidden by breathtaking acting, overall details such as : Nox,Dudley, James, the LGBTQ resemblance of the character is amazing as well!

The relationship (and sometimes lack thereof) between Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots is fascinating, and a story meant to be seen theatrically or through a mini-series with a bigger budget.

The first hour was horribly slow, very very boring hence the low stars.

Overall a horrific waste of my time.

Boring and non-historical .

The movie is boring and slow.

The film did begin to feel rather boring, long and I felt I had sat there a lot longer than I had.

Boring AF .

Despite a stunning production and two great lead turns, the movie's screenplay is incredibly muddled, as it fails to double down on key aspects of the history to make for a properly fascinating watch.

It's just a super entertaining, twisted ride filled with countless betrayals and backstabbing.

She gets "big" with stunning sweeping vistas, and intimate with dark chamber meetings.

Unhinged propaganda piece with no regard of history .

Boring and HATED that the director was so up theirs own arse they cast people of colour in a period drama.

Consider it a waste of time.

An intriguing interpretation .