Maleficent (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Maleficent (2014)

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Critic Consensus: Angelina Jolie's magnetic performance outshines Maleficent's dazzling special effects; unfortunately, the movie around them fails to justify all that impressive effort.

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Movie Info

"Maleficent" explores the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the classic "Sleeping Beauty" and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king's newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever. (c) Walt Disney Pictures

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Cast

Angelina Jolie
as Maleficent
Elle Fanning
as Princess Aurora
Brenton Thwaites
as Prince Philip
Imelda Staunton
as Knotgrass
Sam Riley
as Diaval
Juno Temple
as Thistletwit
Kenneth Cranham
as King Henry
Janet McTeer
as Narrator
Hannah New
as Princess Leila
Sarah Flind
as Princess Leila's Handmaiden
Isobelle Molloy
as Young Maleficent
Michael Higgins
as Young Stefan
Ella Purnell
as Teen Malificent
Jackson Bews
as Teen Stefan
Angus Wright
as Advisor to King Henry
Oliver Maltman
as Advisor to King Henry
Gary Cargill
as Nobleman
John O'Toole
as Nobleman
Harry Attwell
as Nobleman
Anthony May
as Nobleman
James Hicks
as Military Nobleman
Mark Caven
as General
Chris Leaney
as General
Jamie Maclachlan
as Soldier in Wood
Shaun Smith
as Soldier in Wood
Vivienne Jolie-Pitt
as Aurora (5 yrs.)
Eleanor Worthington-Cox
as Aurora (8 yrs.)
Peter G. Reed
as Voice of Guard
Liam McKenna
as King Henry's Captain
Steven Cree
as Overseer
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Critic Reviews for Maleficent

All Critics (201) | Top Critics (45)

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

Full Review… | June 16, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

'Maleficent' is an admittedly great-looking, sometimes creepy.

Full Review… | June 2, 2014
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic

It's a technological marvel starring the world's biggest celebrity: the full weight of Hollywood spectacle incarnate.

Full Review… | May 31, 2014
indieWIRE
Top Critic

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… | May 30, 2014
The Atlantic
Top Critic

All would be forgiven if the film had more magical feeling.

Full Review… | May 30, 2014
Orange County Register
Top Critic

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… | May 30, 2014
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Maleficent

Robert Stromberg doesn't get magnificent with Maleficent. 90 minutes may seem short at first, but once the storytelling takes place, it seems fitting. There really isn't much material to indulge or amuse between the introduction and conclusion. The back story, while enough to put the pieces together, lacks sufficient background for characters. With that said, the film does have enough production value to surpass mediocrity. For the most part, the CG effects are agreeable with the film's personality. The few scenes of bright color contrast the overly dark atmosphere and tone of the picture. The film belongs to Angelina Jolie, as it should. Listening to her line delivery hits the spot. Elle Fanning has a few moments of delight herself. Maleficent never reaches the epic status, but for a family oriented fairy tale, it gets the job done.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Disney has produced a nice update to Sleeping Beauty that reflects society's more evolved value towards women. Whereas the original paints women as helpless beauty prizes for "nice" males, the updated tale envisions that a woman's power, self-worth and joy is found without need of tethering herself to any man. The contrast goes further and bravely darker, with a man's horrible treatment of a woman as the creation story of the updated tale's "villain." However, redemption for males is also found in the re-imagined prince who is confused by the notion that a woman needs a man to save her. The message is that, like adventure, love is all around and in many forms. Rather than the need to show the audience a marriage to make a happy ending, we simply see the prince and princess laugh together from across an opening in a forest. Their value and contentment is found individually, and they willfully connect through the sharing of each other's joy.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

Try it at your own risk. IMO, best leave it for kids (although I'm not sure if even they'd enjoy this just another fairy tale that's best left untold, no matter how it turns out in the end........... as if it were a surprising twist!!!).

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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