Parents' Guide to


By Shannon Lucas, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature, visceral depiction of a turbulent reign.

Movie R 1998 124 minutes
Elizabeth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

British film with weaknesses

UK film with weaknesses in acting and direction. Parents should expect some very gruesome scenes. The film opens with a burning of heretics at the stake which is very drawn out. The outgoing queen is close to madness and very volatile. There is alot of political intrigue ending with many deaths. Apart from the burning at the stake the violence is not acted out in most cases. It usually comes intermittent and is short. A notable exception is a camera pan after a battle in scotland which shows numerous soldiers lying dead or dying on the ground. Some have limbs cut-off, on others brain on his backside is exposed (I'd say that is somewhat of a close-up), others have intestines and viscera exposed. There is a beheading (not acted out) and several cut throats. The film sexualizes its characters somewhat. There are several sex scenes. One notable is intertwined with the arrest and assassination of traitors, which some may think sends bad messages. The scenes deliberately try to be erotic (dimly lit, music, camera pans, moaning, fully nude and slow thrusting, caressing, undressing, ...) The score of the film is derived from church music of the era and adds to a eerie atmosphere through-out. Most regulators have given this a 16+. Notable exception was Germany with a 12+. Considering the disembowelments, exposed brains and burning at the stake, this film may be suited to 14+.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
age 15+

Brilliant film, but for older teens and adults only

I tried showing this to my 12 year old: MISTAKE!! From the burning at the stake of 3 heretics in the opening scene, through the numerous beheadings and dismemberments soon to follow, this was NOT a movie for anyone without an extremely strong stomach. Brilliantly acted and with a gripping story, and a remarkable, real life heroine. it's worth waiting for, but not for youngsters.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (7):

This well-done dramatic biography accurately depicts the great ruler's life, but it's not for the faint of heart. Cate Blanchett's superb acting skills demonstrate the emotional evolution that Elizabeth might have undertaken as she ascended to the throne in such turbulent times. Director Shekhar Kapur develops the tension of the times in a way that never lets the audience completely relax. From the first scene of martyrs being burned through the war with the Scots and all of the murders of her enemies, one gets the sense that these were times in which few could be trusted. Despite its qualities as a fine film, Elizabeth is too mature and violent for younger viewers.

Movie Details

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