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Maleficent Reviews

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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As for the screenplay, by Linda Woolverton, it treads carefully, and all too kindly, in the footsteps of "Wicked" ...

Full Review Source: New Yorker

June 16, 2014
Richard Roeper
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'Maleficent' is an admittedly great-looking, sometimes creepy.

Full Review Source: Richard | Original Score: .5/5

June 2, 2014
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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As a cameo, Jolie's performance might have proven spectacular; but as a protagonist, she doesn't give us enough to hold onto. For all her efforts, she remains yet another special effect, however spectacular.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

May 30, 2014
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
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All would be forgiven if the film had more magical feeling.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: C

May 30, 2014
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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At least Disney was smart enough to cast Jolie. She has a genuinely heroic presence. If only the movie were equal to it.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C+

May 30, 2014
Andrew O'Hehir
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Whatever its flaws, "Maleficent" is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie ...

Full Review Source:

May 30, 2014
Ella Taylor
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It hardly matters that Jolie's accent rambles a bit between pungent Cockney and plummy Buckingham Palace.

Full Review Source: NPR

May 30, 2014
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Jolie's commitment to the part is admirable: She gives this Maleficent a real emotional urgency. But the rest of the movie lets her down.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

May 30, 2014
Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
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Long live the feminist revisionist backstory.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

May 30, 2014
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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In the blood-red lipstick and midnight-black gown and cowl of her Sleeping Beauty antecedent, Jolie's Maleficent is magnificent.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

May 30, 2014
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Children of all ages should be dazzled.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

May 30, 2014
James Berardinelli
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Angelina Jolie's interpretation of the title character, which transforms the animated icon into a complex, fully realized woman, provides emotional depth and breadth.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

May 29, 2014
Dana Stevens
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Maleficent doesn't reinvent any wheels when it comes to the fairy-tale genre -- but the fairy tale already comes with pretty hardy wheels, and this sweet, child-friendly adaptation creaks along on them quite nicely.

Full Review Source: Slate

May 29, 2014
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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This is Jolie's film because of the Maleficent she makes. Everyone else, even Aurora, fades in her presence.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

May 29, 2014
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
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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.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 29, 2014
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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[It lacks] the sort of nightmarish visions that made Walt Disney's early animation features so powerful. This looks impressive, though, making use of highly imaginative, state-of-the-art 3-D effects while still evoking old-school Disney animation

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 29, 2014
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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For all its limitations, "Maleficent" manages to be improbably entertaining to watch, due solely to its title character.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

May 29, 2014
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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I'm still not sure if the movie's smack-down between patriarchy and matriarchy is the way to go, but at least nobody here is warbling about what she wants before hitting the road to self-actualization.

Full Review Source: New York Times

May 29, 2014
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Jolie comes to this party ready to bite, but the movie muzzles her. Even at 97 minutes, Maleficent is still one long, laborious slog.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 29, 2014
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club
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A movie that doesn't quite work as a fantasy or as a subversion of the same.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

May 29, 2014
Kristin Tillotson
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Like Sleeping Beauty lying in her coma, "Maleficent" is mesmerizing to behold, and hard to fully embrace.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 29, 2014
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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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.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

May 29, 2014
Frank Lovece
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"Maleficent" misses the mark.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2/4

May 29, 2014
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Suffocatingly elaborate yet insufficiently bewitching.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 29, 2014
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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[Stromberg] is more about visuals than storytelling, and that lack of cohesion costs Maleficent where it counts.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 29, 2014
Sara Stewart
New York Post
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It's often arresting to look at, but never has a strong sense of where it wants to go.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

May 29, 2014
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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There's really only one special effect in "Maleficent" worth mentioning, and that is Angelina Jolie.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

May 29, 2014
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The formula works.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 29, 2014
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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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.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 29, 2014
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Disney's uneven rethink of its classic villainess.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

May 29, 2014
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Angelina Jolie is so wickedly enchanting in the magical, magnificent "Maleficent," you may not notice how transporting this female-driven blockbuster really is.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

May 29, 2014
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The direction by Robert Stromberg is an immediate mess. A long-time special-effects whiz making his filmmaking debut, he crowds every scene with gimmickry; the opening CGI landscapes are so overdone they look like bad cartoons.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 29, 2014
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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In a movie crammed with special effects, Jolie is the most startling and wondrous of all.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2014
Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
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Maleficent feels classical in nature. 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.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

May 28, 2014
Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
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A demonized witch is a feminist icon? Hardly. It hinges on a man, as though the sheer power of being rejected by one dude is enough to make any girl nuts.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly | Original Score: C

May 28, 2014
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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It fails to live up to its early promise, mostly because of an uneven tone and murky character development.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2014
Matthew Kassel
New York Observer
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Robert Stromberg's visually stunning if narratively predictable debut feature.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2014
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
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A few bumpy patches notwithstanding, the new feature is an exquisitely designed, emotionally absorbing work of dark enchantment.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 28, 2014
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
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In the end, "Maleficent" is fun for its appealing visuals - especially in the forest - and for watching Jolie. But that's not enough to make the whole film interesting.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 28, 2014
Andrew Barker
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Uncertain of tone, and bearing visible scarring from what one imagines were multiple rewrites, the film fails to probe the psychology of its subject or set up a satisfying alternate history, but it sure is nice to look at for 97 minutes.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 28, 2014
Alonso Duralde
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The aggressively unpleasant visuals certainly detract from the overall film, but Maleficent makes for a fascinating entry in an ongoing wave of projects that give "bad" women of literature a chance to present their side of the story.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

May 28, 2014
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