First Wave Of MALEFICENT Reviews Shower Angelina Jolie With Praise

Reviews for Walt Disney Pictures latest film, Maleficent, have started to pour in. This first batch mainly consists of international film critics. Be careful as many of these reviews contain a fair amount of spoilers.

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By nailbiter111 - 5/27/2014
London Film Review: "Blast from Start to Finish"
"Maleficent is a blast from start to finish. A terrific, visually stunning fantasy story that slyly subverts and rewrites a classic Disney tale, Maleficent is anchored by a fantastic performance from Angelina Jolie, who is truly magnificent. Far from the one-dimensional villain we already know, Maleficent is a more complex character and Jolie nails it brilliantly in a scenery-chewing, show-stealing performance. She’s having an absolute ball with this one, and it really shows; given a strong character that she can sink her teeth into, Jolie goes to town. Her portrayal of the fun-to-be-bad girl tempered by the acknowledgement that Maleficent’s wickedness comes from a place of injury and pain is a real joy to watch." - Dave Ollerton


Telegraph: "Lacks True Enchantment"
"For a reminder of how wonderful Frozen is, watch Maleficent. This summer blockbuster season, Disney has turned out a live-action reimagining of their own animated version of Sleeping Beauty, from 1959. As recently as six months ago, this might have felt subversive, even significant, although after seeing Elsa and Anna letting it go on icing-sugar mountains and finding endings happier than any standard-issue handsome prince could provide, the fun on offer here feels relatively thawed. " - Robbie Collin


First Post: "Frozen felt Clever, Charming, and Fresh. Maleficent, Less So"
"But Fanning as Aurora is too boringly sweet — especially compared to the fabulous-in-every-way Maleficent, with her blazing lips, fashionable black headgear and exaggerated cheekbones, not to mention her way around a quip. 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. As the minutes tick by, you might even start feeling a bit like Sleeping Beauty herself comes to feel: Drowsy." - Jocelyn Noveck


Hollywood News: "Jolie pumps Pathos and Venom"
"Had Jolie not been cast it’s not certain that there would be quite so much of a buzz around this film or that an audience could empathise with the character in the same way. In many ways it feels like a part that Jolie was born to play, with her being known for both her positive charitable efforts and her wild-child eccentricities. An accomplished Oscar winning actress, Jolie pumps pathos and venom into the character in equal measures making it clear that even when she is bad, you know why. Surprisingly there is also a great deal of humour within the film, most of it coming from Maleficent’s interactions with young Aurora." - Kat Smith


Movie Waffler: "Performance of Her Career"
"The actress gives the performance of her career, ranging from malevolent but melancholy rage to hilariously deadpan comic timing. A scene featuring an encounter between Maleficent and the infant Aurora (played by Jolie's daughter Vivienne) is one of the year's standout movie moments, the type of simple human encounter we see all too rarely in modern Hollywood productions." - Eric Hillis


Village Voice: "It's a Beautiful Snooze"
"For now, Maleficent is Jolie's last scheduled on-camera performance, and despite its eye-rolling silliness, it certainly sends her out like a star. It's less kind to the promising Elle Fanning, whose Princess Aurora is a grinning, passive fool. We're meant to love her for her innocence — even Maleficent herself slowly comes around — but with the grown woman hogging the show, she never resonates as anything more than a lunatic toddler." - Amy Nicholson


Digital Spy: "3D effects Look Atrocious During the First Third"
"Much like the character of Maleficent veers between hero and villain during the story, the film straddles the line between magnificence and misery. Yet the consistent splendour of Jolie's spellbinding portrayal, the energetic presence of Fanning and a rousing climax that reinforces classic moral values go a long way to salvaging this uneven production." - Ben Rawson-Jones


Flicks & the City: "One of the Most Visually Beautiful Films"
"Disney has exceeded itself in this enchanting tale that will delight both the grown ups and children in the audience in equal measures. Visually stunning to watch, Maleficent transports you into a fairytale realm and Jolie’s heartfelt and alluring performance will captivate you from start to finish." - Stephanie Soteriou


“Maleficent” is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

Maleficent is being directed by Robert Stromberg, based on a screenplay by Paul Dini and Linda Woolverton. The cast includes: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, Miranda Richardson and Imelda Staunton. Will land in theaters May 30, 2014.
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Ranger14 - 5/27/2014, 10:39 PM
Not a big Jolie fan, but she's alright.
ChiliConCarney - 5/27/2014, 10:39 PM
Actually, really want to see this.
NemesisEnforcer - 5/27/2014, 10:40 PM
About time this release started getting peppered with fake reviews. I was wondering what the f*ck was going on.
ChiliConCarney - 5/27/2014, 10:41 PM
@ Ranger

TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 5/27/2014, 10:42 PM
Not interested really at all. Well, not interested enough to buy a ticket, much less sit through it. She lost her sexiness. BAck in her Lara Croft days, if she smeared on enough chapstick, you'd have my ass in a seat. But now? meh.
ndwwrestler2 - 5/27/2014, 10:44 PM
Sounds like the "Alice In Wonderland" of 2014. You know? That movie that you thought would suck, but ended up being pretty good.
ChiliConCarney - 5/27/2014, 10:50 PM
@ ndw

Surely, you must mean the original Alice in Wonderland and not the most recent incarnation that included this little gem:

ndwwrestler2 - 5/27/2014, 10:55 PM
@ChiliConCarney I mean the one directed by Tim Burton. Honestly I know nothing about the original Alice in Wonderland.

I was watching the movie with my nephew, and my expectations for it was SO LOW. But I ended up actually liking it...didn't love it, but I liked it.
MightyZeus - 5/27/2014, 10:59 PM
Not sure if i want to see the film, i actually made a promise to myself that after the terrible film of Hansel and Gretel i will not watch any more films based on fairy tales although i should have made that promise sooner after watching Snow White and the Huntsmen. Some parts in the trailers reminded me of Lord of the Rings.
sKeemAn - 5/27/2014, 11:01 PM
Now I have to sit through 2 hours of this with the Mrs. I might as well try to enjoy then.
ChiliConCarney - 5/27/2014, 11:04 PM
@ ndw

Wow. Well, I guess you did what I should've done. Lowered expectations. The only part I truly enjoyed was the river of heads (sounds morbid, I know, but was really looking forward to a Nightmare Before Christmas/Alice in Wonderland mashup kinda look). If we see a film version of this story again, it should follow this game's interpretation:



Not to a "t" 'cause that would be really hard. Mostly just in tone and content.
DudeGuyMan - 5/27/2014, 11:05 PM
Pending - 5/27/2014, 11:06 PM
This reminds me too much of that terrible Snow White and the Huntsman movie. Every time Disney tries to do "EPIC" they fail miserably, it's embarrassing.

This grim and gritty fairy tale movement needs to die.
MightyZeus - 5/27/2014, 11:08 PM
"This grim and gritty fairy tale movement needs to die."

I agree. I thought it should have died sooner with Snow White and the Huntsman.
mmadadamm - 5/27/2014, 11:09 PM
All I care about is a live action Aladdin
ChiliConCarney - 5/27/2014, 11:10 PM
@ mmadadamm

POTUS - 5/27/2014, 11:25 PM
I'm POTUS

Looks like more possibly planted reviews, like those for Cruise's new flick. I've never seen Jolie as a draw, she's got a lot of negatives with the public, and Disney may have made a serious miscalculation in casting her...hell, the movie premise may even be a mistake after the success of Frozen. I'm hoping for DOFP to hold strong and keep Jolie down...just to keep things interesting.

I'm POTUS
HeadPool420 - 5/27/2014, 11:36 PM
I think I'll watch some unrated Gia and get my naked Jolie fix!!!!
NeoBaggins - 5/28/2014, 12:24 AM
"Maleficent is Jolie's last scheduled on-camera performance"


JoJo1982 - 5/28/2014, 12:31 AM
Umm not so great reviews I see
BlindJustice - 5/28/2014, 1:22 AM
All the Frozen lovers don't want their animated gem to fade away and forgotten about so soon I see. I don't think the movie will be phenomenal in my opinion, but it will be better than I expect. Who is the target audience for this flick anyway? It seems a bit too dark for little kids and most teens will be taking dates to either X-Men or Blended...same goes for the young adults.
Ceejay - 5/28/2014, 1:41 AM
lol, only fanboys can have this kind of reaction to something without macho muscled men or spandex!

This film has always looked like being the most outstanding movie of the year since the first trailers. I expect it will be pretty huge this summer, probably the biggest of the bunch above Planet of the Apes and Transformers. I'm going to tomorrow and catch X-Men a 2nd time too.
batz11 - 5/28/2014, 2:36 AM
May be bat-shit crazy, but she's an amazing actress...Salt one of my favs from her...plus, she's sexy as [frick]...remember this scene, [frick] me...

dethpillow - 5/28/2014, 2:53 AM
i think this looks great. i wish comic book movies could have the kind of real deal depth that even that little clip attached to this article shows.

i don't think this is gonna be the greatest movie or anything, not even saying that, but i think she had a ball with this character and she's gonna own this movie.

can u imagine how much fun this must have been for her to do. u really put your soul into things u love like that.

comic book movies seem like they are getting more and more specific, specialized or something, and less universal. that's not good. that's very bad. their strengths are in their universal qualities.

this doesn't look like grim and gritty comic book movie type of fairy tale like i know what u guys are talking about and i agree. screw that stuff.
this just looks like a bad ass reinterpretation of what's really going on at the heart of the mythology.

if we could do a Bible movie like this... it would make $3 billion dollars, i swear to god. i have seen it in my head, and people would go absolutely apeshit about it.
dethpillow - 5/28/2014, 2:56 AM
it would be a 9 part set of movies, covering Old Testament, and New Testament in it's own weird way. sex, time travel, monsters, angels, devils, the murder of God, the false Yahweh, just all kinds of weird updates and encompassing the whole of the old testament.

so much money. and such great material for movies. the Bible, for what anyone says, like how it gets ragged on a lot, The Bible is a great mythology.
hands down, heads off. great shit going on there.
dethpillow - 5/28/2014, 2:57 AM
Aronofsky copped out. and he just had a pretty silly vision of it, actually.

but that and combined with copping out and compromising...that's why Noah sucked.
u gotta do it all the way, people would go absolutely [frick]ing apeshit over it.
Kyos - 5/28/2014, 2:58 AM
I'm not exactly a big fan, but I think Jolie looks fantastic as Maleficent, and I'm convinced she gives a great performance. I can't say that and the beautiful visual are enough reason for me to want to watch it on the big screen, though. :/
ICEMAN5151 - 5/28/2014, 3:43 AM
This film will be worth the price of admission. she has become the character visually and her chops are strong enough to pull it off. she is still beautiful and talented and this story is timeless!
YoungThanos - 5/28/2014, 5:15 AM
Disney #1 Baby! Who gonna stop it!
fortycals - 5/28/2014, 5:53 AM
Funny you guys wish grim and gritty fairy tales to end, considering most of them started that way. Until Disney lightened them up, most (mostly brothers grim) were pretty Damn dark and didn't have happy endings.

This looks good but lately I have had little faith in Disney's live action properties. They have been flopping hard in the last couple of years. Last big hit they had(live action) was the Pirates movies. I hope this is a return to form.
GodzillaKart - 5/28/2014, 5:57 AM
Not too excited about this film, but Jolie does look like she delivers an amazing performance.
Chcl - 5/28/2014, 6:47 AM
i will see the movie tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

come on people lets see it on theathers!!!!!!!
dethpillow - 5/28/2014, 8:11 AM
@fortycals - no, totally, fairy tales are like real deal "grim and gritty" that's why I assume that when people say "grim and gritty" fairy tails they are meaning in a contrived way.

like just a change of clothes, and that's the way that I was saying these trends are bad, and i see the same thing with some comic book movies, it's not tapping into what's actually universally dark about a character or a story, but it's just changing clothes and patting itself on the back becuz it's happy about that, and it's more into just vague statements about things then actually doing any of these elements justice.

that's basically what I hear when I hear "grim and gritty". just total fakeytown.

fairy tales are so %5000 times more sexual and scary and dark and actually about things we have goddam nightmares about, and about things that make some people kill other people over.

not like super hero comic book movies. fairy tales are real deal. a lot of "kid" stuff actually is way more real deal than this castrated so called adult stuff that doesn't ever actually say a single thing about the horrors of life.

it's like how when u were a kid and you'd look at your parents and aunt and uncle watching the news. or at least i would and just have this feeling of tedious soul sucking bullshit that i didn't even recognize in words like that, but felt the same. oh no!!! the news! fakey fakey news! frown! do u recognize the implications?

it's the same thing as having to hear about the goddam NSA in TDKR and Winter Soldier 2. oh dark, i heard about that grimness in the gritty news today. dark NSA. for [frick]'s sake. that's not real deal. it's just slobbering over some fakey feeling of control.
dethpillow - 5/28/2014, 8:21 AM
airy tales beat everything.

except certain runs of Spider-Man.

i would say that David Lynch maybe beats fairy tales, but he's actually making fairy tales. him and people like Cocteau, Kubrick, these later Von Trier movies... they are truly about what lies beneath. instead of being little broken egghead machines obsessed with sticking the right block in the right hole. and doing it as pompously and ridiculously as possible. cuz i guess they are from outer space and they heard that somehow that is gonna equal great meaning.

that's how i see all that "grim and gritty" that CBMs are obsessed with and the fairy tale reboot movement that some comic books are obsessed with too. it's sure sign of fakeness and the epically meaningless.
BoomTubeB - 5/28/2014, 9:58 AM
1 question ?

fortycals - 5/28/2014, 10:45 AM
@dethpillow
I definitely get where you're coming from. It's a style vs substance argument. While others say they wish they go away, I'm wishing they go deeper.
RetroFit - 5/28/2014, 11:16 AM
Sounds like she's a great part of an average movie. Too bad.
RetroFit - 5/28/2014, 11:17 AM
Jolie is beautiful. Makes me go
BlindJustice - 5/28/2014, 11:56 AM
@fortycals - EXACTLY! You'd think no one here has ever read a REAL Brother's Grimm fairy tale! Or even thought about the reality of some Mother Goose nursery Rhymes...

It never says Humpty Dumpty was an EGG...
NetmanTripleSec - 5/28/2014, 12:11 PM
As I figured. Looks cool visually but will suck.
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