Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 264


Audience Score

User Ratings: 175,883
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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


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 (264) | Top Critics (52) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (123)

Audience Reviews for Maleficent

  • Mar 31, 2017
    I enjoyed Maleficent. It is easy to see how Maleficent would cast that spell on Aurora, and how she might have second thoughts later. Angelina Jolie did a bang up job playing Maleficent.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2016
    While it may have Angelina Jolie in the title role doing a fantastic job, everything is weak - from cookie cutter special effects to a unbelievably weak supporting cast, but the biggest offense of Maleficent is the complete misuse of the title character, missing the mark so completely that it's a mystery as to why the script was made in this format.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2016
    A lavishly OTT computer generated universe sacrifices all heart that the story could've had. Jolie can't seem to make up her mind on how to present the character of Maleficent, drifting between a trashy scary drag queen and a brooding mistress of all evil. I think I would've enjoyed it more if they hadn't changed the original story like having Diaval transform into the dragon and her kiss being the one that wakes Aurora - though this is clever, it doesn't make much sense. Also the fairies are too weird and reminiscent of the bobble-headed Red Queen from Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland. The film is so thickly drenched in CGI it becomes almost like a video game and that's disappointing.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2014
    Disney bastardizes their animated classic Sleeping Beauty with the updated adaptation Maleficent, which follows the recent trend of de-vilifying fairytale villains. Angelina Jolie stars as a guardian fairy named Maleficent who is betrayed by a former childhood friend, causing her to seek revenge by cursing his first born child to a death-like sleep on her sixteenth birthday. Jolie gives an extraordinary and charismatic performance that makes Maleficent a compelling character. However, the film seems to go out of its way to belittle and malign the humans and the three good fairies. Additionally, Disney cheaps out on the special effects; delivering some really shoddy CGI. But, James Newton Howard's score picks up some of the slack by providing powerful and sweeping themes that heighten the fantasy quality. Maleficent has some good action and puts a few interesting twists on the original story, but overall it's an unnecessary and inferior retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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