“Mary Queen of Scots” explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.


Saorise Ronan and Margot Robbie’s wonderful performances as Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth 1 help to turn “Mary Queen of Scots” from what could have been perceived as no more than a BBC drama into a cinema must see.

Starting in 1531 and spanning the 26 years between 18 year old Catholic Mary Stewart’s return to Scotland from exile in France, to her execution at the bequest of her Protestant cousin Elizabeth, “Mary Queen of Scots” is a tale of intrigue, back stabbing and people moving like chess pieces in order to gain favour and power.

Ronan, who has most of the screen time, is particularly good, her meeting with her cousin Elizabeth, whilst fictitious as the pair never actually met, is one of the highlights of the movie.

That’s not to say that the women steal all the plaudits as they're ably supported by David Tennant as Protestant cleric John Knox, James Mc Ardle as Mary’s half- brother The Earl Of Moray and Guy Pearce as Elizabeth’s advisor William Cecil.

“Mary Queen of Scots” does tend to get bogged down in the second half by trying to cram too much historical information into its short running time. However that doesn’t spoil a historical movie that can even be recommended to those that don’t usually like historical dramas.

Highly recommended.

Mary Queen Of Scots (15)

2h 4m

Director: Josie Rourke
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, Ismael Cordova, Adrian Lester, James McArdle, David Tennant, Guy Pearce

UK Release: Friday 18th January 2019

Mary Queen Of Scots - "What Of Us" Clip

Mary Queen Of Scots - "Chosen Godmother" Clip

Mary Queen Of Scots - "Two Queens" Featurette

Mary Queen Of Scots - "Courts And Queens" Featurette