Critics Consensus

Mary Queen of Scots: A Period Political Thriller With Smarts

Plus, Ben is Back and Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are Certified Fresh.

by | December 6, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a royal rivalry (Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie) and a number of other films in limited release. What are the critics saying?

Mary Queen of Scots (2018) 63%

There aren’t any new films opening in wide release this week, but we do have one hotly anticipated limited release that is generating a lot of awards chatter. Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie co-star in this period historical drama about Mary Stuart (Ronan), Queen of France and heir to the Scottish throne, who challenged English Queen Elizabeth I’s (Robbie) claim over Scotland. Expectations were high for the film, with a spotlight aimed squarely at its two celebrated young stars and accomplished theater director Josie Rourke at the helm, and while critics concede it isn’t quite as captivating as some had hoped, it still looks spectacular and succeeds as a showcase for Ronan and Robbie’s considerable talents. Mary Queen of Scots may not serve up the most explosive political thrills, but it’s a smart, brilliantly acted slice of history with themes that should still ring true to contemporary audiences.

What’s New on TV

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 2 (2018) 93%

Like Midge herself, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel charges full speed ahead in a second season brimming with warmth, empowerment, and a whole lot of laughs.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Amazing Grace (2019) , a concert documentary of Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Los Angeles performance of the titular gospel album, is at 100%.
  • The Charmer (Charmoren) (2018) , about an Iranian ex-pat in Denmark whose quest to marry into citizenship takes an unexpected turn, is at 88%.
  • Ben is Back (2018) , starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges in a drama about a mother reconnecting with her newly returned drug-addict son, is Certified Fresh at 83%.
  • Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) , a documentary about the controversial Fox News founder’s political influence, is at 83%.
  • Back Roads (2018) , a drama about the relationship between a married woman and a younger man caring for his three younger sisters, is at 82%.
  • Asher (2018) , starring Ron Perlman and Famke Janssen in a drama about an aging hitman who begins an unexpected romance, is at 75%.
  • Vox Lux (2018) , starring Natalie Portman as a pop superstar attempting a comeback whose rise to fame is marked by tragedy, is at 74%.
  • Clara's Ghost (2018) , a comedy-drama about the non-acting matriarch of a showbiz family and the spirit she may or may not be seeing, is at 67%.
  • Tyrel (2018) , about a black man who accompanies a friend to a weekend party and begins to feel uneasy about being the only minority present, is at 60%.
  • Great Great Great (2018) , about a bored woman who cheats on her boyfriend out of fear that they’re heading for a mediocre life, is at 60%.
  • Dumplin' (2018) , about the plus-sized daughter of a beauty queen who upends her mom’s pageant by entering it, is at 50%.
  • Swimming with Men (2018) , about a frustrated accountant who finds brotherhood in the other men like him in a synchronized swimming group, is at 45%.

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