I will try to express my views on the movie. To start with I thoroughly enjoyed it. From a purely entertainment view, it has good acting and singing. Sometimes the acting is purposely over the top and campy, sometimes dramatic and touching and often funny. From a writing viewpoint, it has bright and dark moments, a central theme, and a satisfying conclusion. From a philosophical view, it has simile, metaphor, and innuendo in multiple levels and layers that intertwine the individual plot lines into a tapestry of the human experience.
The depth of the underlying philosophical metaphor is profound to the level I am still contemplating it. That being said, it is not necessary to understand any of it to enjoy this movie. Billy Magnussen and Chris Pine were excellent and hilarious as the brother princes of the realm, characters so shallow they are not even giving names in the story, just Cinderella's Prince and Rapunzel's Prince. The special effects were great, but totally unnecessary to tell the story. It makes me wish I could see the live stage version (being extremely careful of what I wish for). Finally, while never on screen or graphic, the implied violence of the original fairy tales, like the evil step mother cutting of the toes of the evil step sister to try to fit into Cinderella's slipper, makes it questionable for young children and makes me wonder how they got a PG rating.
To everyone except for those that just cannot stand musicals, and maybe even to some of those people, I say it is a fun ride that you will most likely enjoy.
I actually see that it is getting no so good reviews, I have to blame this partly on people's expectations as set by a very poor ad campaign. From all the ads I saw on TV, I did not know it was a musical. I am assuming a lot of people thought it was a normal fairytale action movie (Nope, musical) for kids (No so much), and would just be mindless entertainment (it has that too, but really is better with thought). I guess it could be that a lot of people simply don't get it..
As far as the professional reviewers it is 70% like it, Less than I would have expected for a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee, but then many that did not like is say it was not a great adaption of the original play. Movie adaptations are rarely as good as the original source material, that doesn't make the movie bad.