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Generally favorable reviews- based on 435 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 435

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  1. May 31, 2014
    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.
  2. May 30, 2014
    Maleficent was truly amazing in my opinion. I loved the back story to Maleficent, it really seemed to make the original story make more sense. The casting was perfect, everyone seemed to fit each character from the original animation perfectly. The plot twists were great, I did not see them coming, as I do in most movies. I went with my wife, and her cousin, none of us expected it to be Great, but we all left deeply satisfied thinking it was one of the best movies this season. Maybe it was because we went in with low expectations that we felt so good about the movie. Maleficent is one of my favorite Disney villains of all time, and it actually makes me yearn for more villain back story movies, Maybe Ursula or Jafar. Expand
  3. May 30, 2014
    Does what it set out to do... recreates sleeping beauty as a slightly darker live action film... Go in expecting this and be happy... it will not wow in any department but it is an all around good flick that delivers what it promised

    Again I don't know what people expect from these Disney reboots ... I mean they are retelling the same story ... we know that and expect it... why try and
    complain about it just don't go see it Expand
  4. Jun 1, 2014
    Entertaining movie. Angelina is wonderful! Not one thing about this movie that I didn't like. Really? People rating it below 60 are obviously haters of the star or weren't paying attention to the movie.
  5. May 30, 2014
    Really enjoyable film great effects and story Angelina Jolie is brilliant its Wicked meets Labyrinth which i think is a great compliment and its a PG film as well .
  6. Jun 1, 2014
    Maleficent is a film that is very well made. Its not fast-paced which is a plus. Angelina Jolie is so good in the role as Maleficent, that words cannot even really describe how spectacular she is as Maleficent so spectacular is an understatement. She really got into the character 'Maleficent' excellently. Elle Fanning is perfect for the role as Princess Aurora, no other actress would have been better for the role as Princess Aurora then Elle Fanning, and no other actress would have been better for the role as Maleficent then Angelina Jolie. This film is perfectly paced and doesn't feel rushed in terms of running time. It's not fast paced and that's a plus in and of itself. It doesn't end too soon, it doesn't end too late. It's just a perfect 98 minute running time.

    What I liked about this film is the cast because they could not have picked a better cast then they did for this film. Another thing i like about this film is that the story is amazing and even with some new twists which makes it interesting as I have noticed with this film. The pacing is great because it doesn't feel rushed like some other movies around 98 minutes can feel. The acting is perfect. Not one movie star in this movie had any bad acting, so i was happily surprised with that not being an issue. Although, I shouldn't have been surprised about that, because the cast in this movie is just absolutely superb.

    The story and the visuals are also things that really stand out in this film like the cast does. I was very happily surprised at how amazing and good the story and visuals are in this film. They are just combined in this film perfectly. Not one time did I have a bored moment watching this film. It is an exciting and stunning film and definitely does not disappoint. I highly recommend this live action Disney take on Sleeping Beauty through Maleficent's point of view to everyone, except to really young children in the single digit ages.

    After my viewing of Disney's Maleficent live action film, I give it an A+ or in other words a 10 out of 10.
  7. May 31, 2014
    This is a terrific movie! Such a fine line between children's fairy tale and serious adult morality. Unparalleled graphics, great story, unmatched actors. 56 points? Metacritic sad.
  8. May 30, 2014
    This film was way better than I expected it to be. Jolie's performance was near perfect. I can see some of the criticism about the action sequences, but the story works and so do most of the performances. The way critics were talking pre-screening, I was expecting a real disaster. The film is good. I'd pay to see it again and I very rarely do that.
  9. May 31, 2014
    This was the best movie I have seen in quite a while! Everything was stunning, and I feel truly privileged that I was able to see such a wonderful film!
  10. Jun 2, 2014
    I absolutely loved this film. Every single thing about it. I am pretty sure that this will be a new halloween costume for me. I know I"ll buy the dvd.
  11. Jun 6, 2014
    Absolutely fantastic :)Perhaps the best movie I've ever seen!With the beginning and this kind of ending story is breathtaking.Angelina is BEAUTIFUL,and is definitely the right person to play Maleficent,and she pulled it off flawlessly:)One of the movies that I am going to watch many times!
  12. May 31, 2014
    I found it rather good, an interesting take on an old story characters were likable and i left the cinema overly happy with the movie, i would watch it again. That alone says everything you need about it as per usual critics have no idea what the hell they are talking about.
  13. May 31, 2014
    Wow! This movie is awesome! Just saw it last night and it was much better than I anticipated. The effects and visuals are great, the acting is great and the storyline has a few unexpected twists that make it so much more up to date and refreshing. My young niece said it was the best movie ever! Good for boys as well though, with dragons, creatures and fight scenes as well as a bit of tongue in cheek comedy. It also carries a subtle yet strong message with. it Will become a classic for sure, along the lines of the movies Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka (the original one). Expand
  14. Jun 8, 2014
    Great movie, haters gonna hate. Jolie plays an awesome role, lots of action to be had, cool effects, and it is a bit too violent for young kids which means it is a darker Disney film for those worried about too much cute. Best of singing!
  15. Jun 15, 2014
    I didn't expect to be as entertained as I was with this movie. So many of today's special-effects-movies seem to rely more on the computer and less on plot and story-telling. This movie was well thought-out and well-paced. Angelina gave a great performance. She could very easily have overacted the part. I can picture some other (unnamed) actresses giving over-the-top performances in such a familiar-type role. Jolie pulled off both characters, both the evil and ultimately good one, in believable fashion. And you can call me old-fashioned---I really liked this much more than that recent stinker of a movie about some Hotel in Budapest. Expand
  16. May 31, 2014
    Absolutely spectacular! Angelina Jolie played the role to perfection. The story was great. I do wish they would have made it a little more dark, but overall, spectacular movie!! Must go see!!!
  17. Jun 3, 2014
    I have seen Maleficent twice now, so obviously loved it. It had my attention the ENTIRE time. Very powerful movie...cried when I was happy, sad and humbled. Just emotional all around, but in a good way. It's Disney and it's a fairy tale. A nice conclusive ending which is how a fairy tale should be. I can't say enough good things about this movie. Absolutely loved it. So did my husband, my kids and my neighbors. Expand
  18. Jun 10, 2014
    While it's fun to "make-believe" that frogs turn into Princes, Maleficent tells the untold tale of what happens when Princes turn into frogs. And it tells the tale from the viewpoint of the person who is physically traumatized and emotionally betrayed by the very person in whom they placed their deepest love and trust and the inner journey to heal from that horrific evil and reclaim your own capacity to love...from the least expected source. This is a brave and true tale, told with stunningly beautiful direction by Stromberg, an ingenious script by Woolverton and timeless, flawless performances by Jolie and Fanning. Reading most of the "negative" reviews of this film, it's pretty clear that many people 1) simply did not grasp the subtle philosophical messages of this film and 2) want to keep their "fairy tale" characters either black (evil) or white (good). But telling those simplistic tales to our children does not prepare them for the complexity of the real world. Congratulations to all involved for crafting a blockbuster masterpiece that will actually create a better world by teaching empathy, understanding and the true meaning of love. Expand
  19. Jun 10, 2014
    OK, so it's not sleeping beauty. It is a beautiful story with great effects and characters. I frickin' loved it. See it for yourself and don't let someone else make up your mind about the movie.
  20. Jun 11, 2014
    I was skeptical over the movie at first but once you get into it you actually start to make various connections to the characters. Its better than the original story because you get to see who Maleficent really is, you get her real back story, you know why she becomes evil, and you can really make connections to her. It has great special effects and great detail not just with the image but the storyline. The
    movie also is a great way to show and demonstrate what TRUE LOVE really
    is. I highly recommend you watch this movie and you'll get what i mean.
    And remember there's always a little bit of Maleficent in all of us.
  21. Jun 8, 2014
    I was thoroughly shocked at the excellence of this film, having been dragged to it by my 8 year old daughter. It was visually stunning, and the faerie creatures were convincing and creative, but that's far down on my list of what makes a movie great in this day of increasingly impressive CGI. What I want is story, character development, acting, and good writing, and Maleficent delivers in a big way. Jolie was simply amazing in claiming this role. I hear they had to cast her daughter to fill the toddler scene because the other kids were too scared of her to perform. That's easy to believe. Maleficent simply radiates fear, power, and her need for vengeance as she seeks to revenge herself on her tormentor's child. She appears heartless, referring to the Aurora as a beastie, and seemingly roots for her death, at least when others are obviously watching. She is utterly 'maleficent,' or so she wants everyone to think. This movie exposes how poorly written Disney tales have always been and unlike the original sleeping beauty, feels like an actual enchantment and is presented as pure poetry. As a 43-year-old man, I didn't expect it to work on me, but like Maleficent herself, I found myself relent the deeper into the film I got. Simply a stupendous film. Expand
  22. Jun 28, 2014
    Fantastic film in every respect. Great twist on an old story: it's dark without being horrifying, and it's enchanting without being sappy or overly colourful. Good script, great actors, and a phenomenal performance by Jolie. Really reminded me of the old Hallmark Classics. Very entertaining and highly recommended.
  23. Sep 13, 2014
    Magnificent! It is like a dream. Such a wonderful remake of a story of Sleeping Beauty. Awesome special effects. Jolie's play is superb, her cheeks, her smile. I will definitely show this movie to my mother.
  24. Jun 19, 2014
    The film exceeded expectations in all, the story was very well written and in my opinion this version became greater than the original. The special effects were used well, the acting is mostly perfect in the role of Angelina Jolie, this is definitely one of the best Disney movies. Forget everything you know about Sleeping Beauty and start afresh. This movie teaches you the true backstory of sleeping beauty with lots of twists and awesome effects. Watching it in 3D is perfect. Expand
  25. Nov 24, 2014
    A classic! Forget the haters. It is a very well made movie. The princess is not really convincing when she plays the innocent and marveled girl but that is ok. The prince well... we don't know a thing about him but.... The problem is that 2h is not enough to introduce all the characters only Maleficient and her servitors are focused in this movie. I think this movie shows the other side of this enchanted world and it is great. A great idea in fact. In that way we see magic effects all over the place. Something you don't find in the original stories. Expand
  26. May 31, 2014
    Every true fan of the original Sleeping Beauty (1959) were skeptical about this and how much it had to deviate from the actual movie, and as more of the movie was revealed, it was only proving to be another female empowerment, victimized villain kind of a movie. But I'm glad I was wrong, for I'm sure only by watching the whole movie can we truly appreciate and understand the very convincing back story and development the character was subject to. Need I mention the perfect casting of Angelina Jolie, Maleficent truly comes to life in full form by Angelina's stunning skills and presence. A twist that's not cliché, sentiments that are deep, humor that's ever so natural and action that always keeps you at the edge of your seat! Maleficent in this movie is not exactly as we know of her from the few minutes we got to see her in the original movie, but let me tell you she's every bit deliciously evil. It was amusing to see Angelina play a role that requires a lot of nuances to pull of this character with a lot of depth as opposed to the one-dimensional character from the movie. Never letting off the grip, she carried the movie on her shoulders. Nothing to take away from the beauty of the rest of the movie which takes breath with excellent direction and visual effects that will truly transport you to another world, and the amazing work by all the 'supporting' actors. Yes, the other characters weren't as fleshed out as Maleficent, but I see that as good thing, given the title and theme. A spectacular balance. I'd also like to bring light on the enchanting score, thanks to James Newton Howard, this maestro is underrated.

    A comprehensive movie, truly a masterpiece.
  27. Jun 8, 2014
    I really enjoyed this movie. The special effects are amazing! Disney did not disappoint! Angelina Jolie was perfect with great acting. I loved the little changes to the traditional Sleeping Beauty storyline. The story of Maleficent is one that anyone, boys or girls, any age will love! I highly recommend the movie but would advise that at times it can be quite scary!
  28. Jun 15, 2014
    Saw it yesterday. I don't even know what to say. It was absolutely incredible. Some people say it was a bit cliche-ish but all Disney movies are like that, and this is so unique I am sure if it didn't have to follow the initial story of sleeping beauty this would have been different. The visuals were incredible. I especially loved the flying and battle scenes near the beginning (I think you can probably tell why because of my user). Certainly one of the most unique and interesting Disney movies yet. I would recommend it to anyone! 10/10 for sure. Expand
  29. Jun 23, 2014
    Pienso volver a verla, iba pensando en un desastre y me encontré con una película que hasta hizo que se me saltasen las lagrimas con muchas partes. Grandiosa la actuación de Angelina
  30. Jun 29, 2014
    Maleficent was a great movie that was visually stunning. It tells the story of the villain in Sleeping Beauty. It gives the other side of the story which makes for great viewpoints. The cast was pretty good too. Stories always get blended over the years and this movie shows this. Overall I think you and your family should see this disney classic that I believe is better than Frozen and a plus is live action. Expand
  31. Jun 30, 2014
    Maleficent is MAGNIFICENT!!! A heart-warming story of a mother's love. True love's kiss is not exclusive for romantic love only, but it is most certainly true in parental love, too. Angelina Jolie was superb, as usual.
  32. Jul 19, 2014
    LOVE IT! I would definitely see it again. Interesting twist to the original story . Great special effects. Entertaining movie. Angelina Joile is wonderful in this movie.
  33. Sep 17, 2014
    Why so many people didn't like it? One of the best Disney movies recently. I'll give 9 because of some points that are confusing, but it's amazing anyway.
  34. Nov 11, 2014
    It was great. As the movie was nearing an end, my 9 year old looked over and said, "I wonder now who is the good guy and who is the bad guy." I think that's a good measure of how much they succeeded in making a new look at an old story. Angelina Jolie was fantastic.
  35. Sep 24, 2014
    In all the movie i was #TEAMaleficent, i love the fact that have a now history that don't depends of a man to break a curse, only depends of love, that all great movie
  36. Oct 7, 2014
    Wonderful job, Angelina Jolie! Perfect and funny! And, what a great story. I lost my mom a few years ago, and the story is right. There is no truer love than a mother's love.
  37. Oct 29, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love this film! The fact that it shows you that Maleficent had a point to what she did and that she really did not mean it. So she really is a hero and villain. It also tells you that in this film Maleficent and Diaval were the only ones that truly cared for Aurora. Stefan was the true villain in this film not Maleficent as the fairytale says. The twist with true love's kiss was not expected I do not think by many. Personally I think that this film has been outstanding. Despite the fact that I am not a big Angelina Jolie I think she did exceptionally well in this film. My favourite two parts in the film was when Maleficent got her wings back and one of the mud creatures accidentally hit her with mud and Diaval started laughing at her so she made mud magically splat onto his face. Expand
  38. Nov 6, 2014
    I absolutely love Maleficent. I just watched it and it is amazing. I would totally want to watch it again. Coodoos to the directors and the actors. Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!
  39. Nov 8, 2014
    Storytelling Doesn't Get better Than This! What a brilliant story about love, betrayal, the lust for power, innocence and redemption. This is also about biodiversity and the clash of two worlds that literally exist side by side: one grossly materialistic, the other deeply spiritual; one ruthless and masculine, the other vital and feminine.

    The spirituality portrayed in Maleficent will
    make believers in earth-centered religions cry tears of joy. What a teachable moment for our children and teens! It teaches us what it means to really be a hero. It reminds us all that the spiritual world around us, as well as the natural world, are quite diverse and amazingly beautiful, indeed!

    Maleficent is a scathing indictment of materialism and the abuse of power. I'm so happy I had the courage watch this film because it so rare that Hollywood makes a film that's neither incredibly dumb or disgustingly violent.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 44
  2. Negative: 4 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Jun 9, 2014
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jun 2, 2014
    Maleficent is an admittedly great-looking, sometimes creepy, often plodding and utterly unconvincing re-imagining of a famous romantic fairy tale as a female empowerment metaphor.
  3. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Jun 2, 2014
    If this tiresome yarn is the ‘true’ story of one of Disney’s most popular villains then, please, give us colourful lies and happy ignorance.