Elizabeth: The Golden Age Reviews

  • Too bad Kapur's new, glittering sequel shows up feeling prematurely old, square, and cautious.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a kitsch extravaganza aquiver with trembling bosoms, booming guns and wild energy.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Where Kapur's first Elizabeth was cool, cerebral, fascinatingly concerned with complex plotting, the new movie is pitched at the level of a Jean Plaidy romantic novel.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • The movie looks beautiful, enhanced by intriguing camerawork and sumptuous production design. But the music is overbearing, perhaps to compensate for the pedestrian script and dull history lesson.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • We are left choking in the billows and folds of Queen Elizabeth I's fabulous finery without a single insight into the woman among them, let alone the most celebrated period in English history.

    Desson Thomson — Washington Post

  • Where's the political sophistication that made the first movie slightly more interesting? That was a decent game of chess. The Golden Age is checkers.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Highbrow camp masquerading as a history lesson soapier than any bottle of detergent.

    Robert Wilonsky — Village Voice

  • From its extravagant costumes to its pompous score, The Golden Age is packed with distractions. But the biggest of all is the story itself, which works so mightily to tarnish the queen at its core.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • When you see Cate Blanchett in one fantastical gown after another, you understand why Elizabeth's reign was golden.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • The Golden Age feels like two movies: one a bodice-ripping romance, the other a study in statecraft and power. But these strands, one private, one public, come together in the title character and the balancing act she must master.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age is an unholy mixture of the banal and the bombastic.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • There are scenes where the costumes are so sumptuous, the sets so vast, the music so insistent, that we lose sight of the humans behind the dazzle of the production.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • It is a silly film about serious matters, challenged by a multiple-personality disorder -- multiple multiple-personality disorders, in fact -- but more or less saved from pure nonsense by Blanchett.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Cate Blanchett returns to the role that made her a star, and though this sequel to Elizabeth (1998) is less defensible as history, as florid costume drama it's just as entertaining.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Through it all, whether in muslin nightie, damask gown or silvery armor, Blanchett commands the screen as she commands the royal navy. Her unforced majesty makes a so-so film worth watching.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Bogus history can make a crackling good adventure yarn, and Kapur piles on the treachery and romance.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a Rolls-Royce, car-crash of a movie -- classy, beautifully made and ultimately crushed beneath its own pretentiousness.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Elizabeth achieved its power by focusing on the central idea of how a callow princess became a great queen. In trying to re-create the formula, the sequel merely grasps about for a reason to be, and that makes for dull watching, indeed.

    Kerry Lengel — Arizona Republic

  • Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age, from a screenplay by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst, turned out to be more rousingly entertaining than many of its less-than-lukewarm reviews had led me to anticipate.

    Andrew Sarris — New York Observer

  • Overall, pic takes a small-minded view of history and, in its rush to proceed from one tumultuous event to the next, lacks any sense of occasion relative to the significant pageant it attempts to depict.

    Todd McCarthy — Variety

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