Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 44
  2. Negative: 4 out of 44
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 29, 2014
    83
    Yet nothing in their visually stimulating film registers as strongly as Jolie’s enigmatic, ever-changing face.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 29, 2014
    80
    Angelina Jolie is so wickedly enchanting in the magical, magnificent Maleficent, you may not notice how transporting this female-driven blockbuster really is.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    May 28, 2014
    80
    A few bumpy patches notwithstanding, the new feature is an exquisitely designed, emotionally absorbing work of dark enchantment.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 31, 2014
    75
    A moderately enchanting, sometimes thought-provoking corrective to the flaws in the story that inspired it.
  5. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 30, 2014
    75
    Jolie's Maleficent is magnificent.
  6. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    May 29, 2014
    75
    In truth, you just can’t wait until the wicked Jolie returns to the screen. Whether a malevolent twinkle illuminates her beady eye or a heartbreaking tear rolls down her alabaster cheek, she is the film’s power.
  7. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 29, 2014
    75
    Calling Maleficent a "modern-day classic," as some have asserted, is overreaching. The production is engaging and appealing but only the passage of time will determine whether it holds in the memory with the strength of its animated predecessor.
  8. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    May 29, 2014
    75
    The movie is a mess, but it's a rich mess. It has weight. It matters.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 29, 2014
    75
    Maleficent imparts a feeling of enchantment. Here is a world that's strange and beautiful.
  10. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 29, 2014
    75
    The result is a rare live-action Disney movie that merits comparison to its beloved feature-length cartoons.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 31, 2014
    70
    Whatever its flaws, Maleficent is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie.
  12. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 30, 2014
    70
    This is really a movie about the evil spell Jolie casts on us — it’s both a celebration and a demonstration of her formidable movie star might.
  13. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 29, 2014
    70
    Though it never plays like a polemic, the film has so much it wants to say the emotional power that might have made it a classic is undercut.
  14. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Jun 9, 2014
    67
    Imaginatively, it places all the known elements of the story in different contexts, completely recasting this familiar fairy tale into a more poignant and resonant work.
  15. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 29, 2014
    67
    Maleficent feels spit-balled into more directions than barely 90 minutes of story time can adequately cover. It's once upon a time, happily ever after and a lot of undeveloped drama in between.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    May 28, 2014
    67
    The characters are boiled down to their essentials, the humor is timelessly broad, and Jolie's at her best when she's curling her claws and elongating her vowels like a black-sabbath Tallulah Bankhead.
  17. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 29, 2014
    63
    For all its limitations, Maleficent manages to be improbably entertaining to watch, due solely to its title character. As befits a star of her regal standing and superb self-awareness, Angelina Jolie has managed to bend even the Brothers Grimm to her indomitable will.
  18. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    May 29, 2014
    63
    While this is Jolie’s show, obviously — and she’s terrifically arch — the surprising dearth of other compelling characters doesn’t offer much distraction when things get off track.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 29, 2014
    63
    This is almost entirely Angelina Jolie's show...this is a performance that goes from point A to point B without seeming rote, or ho-hum.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 533 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 151
  1. May 31, 2014
    10
    LOVE IT! I would definitely see it again. To the Top Critics: This is not American Hustle or The Wolf of Wall Street folks..THIS IS DISNEY.LOVE IT! I would definitely see it again. To the Top Critics: This is not American Hustle or The Wolf of Wall Street folks..THIS IS DISNEY. Treat it like a Disney movie. --- I thought they did a wonderful job recreating Maleficent! My whole family loved it. Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2014
    1
    You can tell this film is directed by a visual effects person--the film is high on visual beauty (often to a superfluous degree) and very lowYou can tell this film is directed by a visual effects person--the film is high on visual beauty (often to a superfluous degree) and very low on interesting or even logical storytelling. I would describe this film as "hilariously bad," with an emphasis on the hilarious and the bad. The audience I was sitting in at some all just let out a collective laugh (I think it was when she started floating people through the air), and after that it just went downhill, with people openly commenting on the nonsensical plot elements and heckling the characters on screen. Basically it takes elements of more successful movies (Lord of the Rings, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, etc) and tries to replicate their successful parts in a movie that adds very little to the story of Sleeping Beauty. The beginning of the film is the most successful; I wish they had drawn out the story of Maleficent as a child--the actress who played her was quite hypnotic. Full Review »
  3. May 30, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Jolie is fantastic as Maleficent but this movie doesn't know what it's doing with itself. The plot is all over the place. Stick to an idea and go for it. The "Sleeping Beauty" is asleep for all of 5mins in this movie. Ellie Fanning who plays Aurora is terrible in this too. A noble attempt to come at a classic from a different angle but it ultimately falls flat on its face. Full Review »