Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 433 Ratings

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  • Director: Robert Stromberg
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Romance, Family
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 97 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 44
  2. Negative: 4 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 29, 2014
    Yet nothing in their visually stimulating film registers as strongly as Jolie’s enigmatic, ever-changing face.
  2. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    May 29, 2014
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 31, 2014
    Whatever its flaws, Maleficent is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Walsh
    May 28, 2014
    Despite its pitfalls, Maleficent entertains because of Jolie, who holds the wavering threads of Stromberg's spinning wheel together with aplomb.
  5. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 29, 2014
    While I can see how there is a version of this film that might be able to successfully grapple with its central metaphor, I'm not sure Stromberg is the guy to make that movie.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 29, 2014
    Jolie's performance so overshadows the rest of the cast (and the rest of the movie) that you sometimes feel as if the other characters are, like us, just standing around watching her. This is not, however, the fault of the other actors. It's the fault of screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who doesn't give them much to do that's challenging or interesting.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 30, 2014
    Except for Angelina Jolie, exemplary as the fairy badmother who laid a narcotic curse on an infant princess, this pricey live-action drama is a dismaying botch.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 129
  2. Negative: 21 out of 129
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Nov 13, 2014
    "Maleficent" 10 Scale Rating: 7.5 (Very Good) ...

    The Good: Jolie seems like she was born to play Maleficent as she was perfect in bringing
    the classic villain to the big screen. A mere cock of her eyebrow or well-timed menacing glare would often times be enough to get the point across. Perhaps the best performance of Jolie's career. The story itself is well done and Maleficent's transformation from wronged fairy to evil queen was one of the highlights of the film. As a fan of the classic tale, I was more than a little apprehensive with a film casting Maleficent as an anti-hero, but it was well handled and believable. The special effects were also, for the most part, top notch as expected.

    The Bad: However, a few of the denizens of the fairy realm were poorly done and looked like cartoons. That was especially frustrating since the overwhelming majority of the film was an amazing spectacle. While I was fine with most of the liberties the film takes with the story (you are indeed warned that this is NOT the story you know, but instead is what really happened), there is a key part near the end that drops the film down a notch. I scratched my head at this particular scene as it almost makes you wonder why they made the film to begin with. Copley is hit and miss and on occasion over-acts. I sort of expected this from him though as it seems to be a common issue for him.
  5. Sep 2, 2014
    "Maleficent" is a pretty satisfying retelling of the classic tale. Angelina Jolie flawlessly portrays the titular character (seriously, she deserves an Academy Award); however, this film is obviously directed by a visual effects person. Brenton Thwaites' character was shoo-horned in just to have a love interest, and it's a pretty predictable movie. If you can put those flaws beside, it's a very enjoyable action-fantasy flick. Expand
  6. Sep 3, 2014
    A new and entirely different look at Disney's Maleficent. They've taken influence from Wicked--but, unfortunately, were unable to match it. Angelina Jolie's performance as Maleficent is notable, and may even be recognized by the Globes. Expand
  7. Jun 4, 2014
    I don't even know what to say.......
    I have never seen anything worse than this, well maybe movie 43, but this is disnay this was supposed to
    be for kids.
    This movie has no balls to show blood or say some words that were even in books, but it still manages to be more violant than some 90's thriller movies.
    Such a lack of interesting or atleast logical plot.
    Feels like Angelina Jolie came and said something like - I want to be a main hero of the movie, so I could smile from a big screen to my kids.
    Thats not how you make a movie, thats not how you make a movie for kids and it's not even how you make trash. HAND-------->FACE
    This movie should be banned and not be shown for kids anywhare.

See all 129 User Reviews