Maleficent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Maleficent Reviews

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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
June 16, 2014
As for the screenplay, by Linda Woolverton, it treads carefully, and all too kindly, in the footsteps of "Wicked" ...
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
June 2, 2014
'Maleficent' is an admittedly great-looking, sometimes creepy.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/5
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
May 31, 2014
It's a technological marvel starring the world's biggest celebrity: the full weight of Hollywood spectacle incarnate.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
May 30, 2014
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.
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
May 30, 2014
All would be forgiven if the film had more magical feeling.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 30, 2014
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 | Original Score: C+
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
May 30, 2014
Whatever its flaws, "Maleficent" is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie ...
Top Critic
May 30, 2014
It hardly matters that Jolie's accent rambles a bit between pungent Cockney and plummy Buckingham Palace.
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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 30, 2014
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.
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Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
May 30, 2014
Long live the feminist revisionist backstory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 30, 2014
In the blood-red lipstick and midnight-black gown and cowl of her Sleeping Beauty antecedent, Jolie's Maleficent is magnificent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 30, 2014
Children of all ages should be dazzled.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 29, 2014
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 29, 2014
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.
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 29, 2014
This is Jolie's film because of the Maleficent she makes. Everyone else, even Aurora, fades in her presence.
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Tom Russo
Boston Globe
May 29, 2014
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 29, 2014
[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
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
May 29, 2014
For all its limitations, "Maleficent" manages to be improbably entertaining to watch, due solely to its title character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 29, 2014
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.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 29, 2014
Jolie comes to this party ready to bite, but the movie muzzles her. Even at 97 minutes, Maleficent is still one long, laborious slog.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
May 29, 2014
A movie that doesn't quite work as a fantasy or as a subversion of the same.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Kristin Tillotson
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 29, 2014
Like Sleeping Beauty lying in her coma, "Maleficent" is mesmerizing to behold, and hard to fully embrace.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 29, 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.
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Frank Lovece
Newsday
May 29, 2014
"Maleficent" misses the mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 29, 2014
Suffocatingly elaborate yet insufficiently bewitching.
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Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader
May 29, 2014
It's fine to tell old tales anew, and it's fine to mold them to some new purpose - say, a narrative of maternal repentance. But it's not fine to do it so artlessly.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
May 29, 2014
[Stromberg] is more about visuals than storytelling, and that lack of cohesion costs Maleficent where it counts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Sara Stewart
New York Post
May 29, 2014
It's often arresting to look at, but never has a strong sense of where it wants to go.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 29, 2014
There's really only one special effect in "Maleficent" worth mentioning, and that is Angelina Jolie.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 29, 2014
The formula works.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Matt Zoller Seitz
RogerEbert.com
May 29, 2014
A film of resonant gestures and dream logic, in which ancient and contemporary predicaments jostle against each other ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
May 29, 2014
Disney's uneven rethink of its classic villainess.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
May 29, 2014
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 29, 2014
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 28, 2014
In a movie crammed with special effects, Jolie is the most startling and wondrous of all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
May 28, 2014
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 | Original Score: B-
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Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
May 28, 2014
There's an ultrasappy, unnecessary and modern spin on the classic happily ever after. You know, because so many people have complained for centuries that the end needed a do-over.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
May 28, 2014
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 | Original Score: C
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 28, 2014
It fails to live up to its early promise, mostly because of an uneven tone and murky character development.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Matthew Kassel
New York Observer
May 28, 2014
Robert Stromberg's visually stunning if narratively predictable debut feature.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
May 28, 2014
A few bumpy patches notwithstanding, the new feature is an exquisitely designed, emotionally absorbing work of dark enchantment.
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Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
May 28, 2014
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew Barker
Variety
May 28, 2014
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.
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
May 28, 2014
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.