‘Maleficent’ Review

Published 11 months ago by , Updated October 7th, 2014 at 1:25 am,

Disneys Maleficent Review starring Angelina Jolie Maleficent Review

Maleficent is yet another old Disney product re-packaged with a big-name star and visionary director, in order to sell a “modern” fairy tale to audiences.

In Maleficent, we are given new insight into the fairy tale of “Sleeping Beauty” – a story that has apparently been improperly told throughout the ages. We learn the backstory of Maleficent, the evil sorceress of the classic tale, here revealed to be a young and powerful fairy tasked with guarding the enchanted woods. Young Maleficent lets her love of a young farmer’s son distract her heart; but as they come of age, the angel-winged fairy and the boy are pulled apart by obligations to their respective worlds of magic and courtly politics. Then one night, during a seemingly happy reunion, the boy betrays his lady-love in exchange for securing himself a crown.

From there unfolds the story of “Sleeping Beauty” we all know and (sort of) love, only this time – knowing what we know about the fallen fairy with the broken heart – the vengeful sorceress of the tale takes on a whole new light. As Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) watches over and interacts with young princess Aurora (Elle Fanning),  the girl she cursed, the pair begin to form a bond that could finally avert the war between Maleficent’s magical minions and the militant armies of her former love, King Stefan (Sharlto Copley).

Sharlto Copley in Malefincent Maleficent Review

Sharlto Copley in ‘Maleficent’

Disney has gone to great lengths to re-invent its signature princess fairy tales for the modern era, by doing away with old gender stereotypes, or (as of late) re-examining villains in order to demonstrate their complexity and/or tragic nature. While such experiments have proven to be successful in cases like Broadway hit Wicked or Disney’s previous tentpole fairy tale retcon, Oz the Great and Powerful, Maleficent is, by comparison, a heavy-handed (and ultimately unnecessary) parable, which only proves that not all villains are created equal when it comes to relevance or intrigue.

The film is the directorial debut of multi-Oscar-winning visual effects and production design guru Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful, Life of Pi, etc…) – and despite all the negatives, it’s not a bad freshman effort. Maleficent looks like a Disney fairy tale come to reasonably believable life onscreen – at least when there’s a mix of the mystical and Medieval. Things tend to go full Avatar whenever the film moves into the mystical realm that Maleficent guards over (bioluminescent creatures everywhere, lush alien settings and creatures, etc.), and the flood of so much green screen and CGI can be alienating and false at points. However, as stated, whenever the film is balancing the mystical elements with the Medieval world, it becomes a favorable blend of the real and digital, and (literally) illustrates Stromberg’s talent and imagination as a visual storyteller. (Note: 3D is definitely not a requirement for viewing this film.)

Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora in Maleficent Maleficent Review

Elle Fanning in ‘Maleficent’

The script by Disney/TV veteran Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Alice In Wonderland, Dennis the Menace) is where the film stumbles in a big way. Alice In Wonderland was criticized by many for being style over substance, with little new narrative insight to offer on the classic tale (more just a tweaked rehash of the same story). Woolverton’s Maleficent script tries to go for more substance, but is still hampered by the limitation of this sub-genre (having to retell a well-known story), while the actual point being made is so heavy-handed and biased that it arguably borders on misandry.

Re-imagining an old tale in modern context is fine (damsels in distress becoming more self-empowered – why not?); but Maleficent treats male characters as either inconsequential or downright despicable, while completely spinning a villain into a heroic figure solely by way of victimization. To anyone who is not overly familiar with Disney’s original 1959 Sleeping Beauty animated feature (read: young kids), this film may be an interesting introduction to the story and characters; but again, for those same kids, the metaphor of sexual assault (and the resultant trauma) is arguably too dark. For those who ARE familiar with the original animated feature, this new version will likely be the inspiration of many eye-roll moments, with its extreme re-setting of the narrative table and obvious contradictions.

Sam Riley and Angelina Jolie in Maleficent Maleficent Review

Sam Riley and Angelina Jolie in ‘Maleficent’

Angelina Jolie is a captivating lead (her cheekbones alone deserve acting credits) and she manages to make Maleficent a fun and interesting combination of simmering emotion, aristocratic poise and sardonic wit. Sam Riley (On the Road) is a good foil for Jolie as Diaval, Maleficent’s shape-changing henchmen who also happens to be the only male character allowed some semblance of actual depth (it’s okay to like him because he’s subservient). The pair have great banter and physical comedy bits (sorcery and shape-shifting), and Riley is particularly good at having his character’s understated expressions and mannerisms help draw out the deeper layers of the Maleficent character.

Other than those two, however, the film is populated by paper-thin (and often annoying) caricatures that seem lifted from the very fairy tale the film is meant to revise. Elle Fanning is almost cartoonishly saccharine as princess Aurora, and Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter 5), Juno Temple (Dark Knight Rises) and Lesley Manville (Vera Drake) give up English thespian cred to run through Three Stooges schtick as Aurora’s fairy godmothers (they also look pretty weird when in Tinker Bell form). Brenton Thwaites (Oculus) is handed the thankless task of playing a prince who is literally treated as an ineffective throwaway character, while Sharlto Copley plays his usual twitchy madman, portraying the king as someone who is about as two-dimensionally evil as the animated film version of Maleficent.

The Fairy Godmothers in Maleficent Maleficent Review

In the end, Maleficent is yet another old Disney product re-packaged with a big-name star and visionary director, in order to sell a “modern” fairy tale to audiences. It has edgy contemporary visuals and theatricality, yes – but beneath that colorful facade, its feminist message is about as a significant and important as a pop-song anthem. In its attempt to depict the “real story” of Sleeping Beauty, this Django Unchained of Disney fairy tales never manages to soar as high as its namesake.


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Maleficentis now in theaters. It is 97 minutes long and is Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images.

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Our Rating:

2 out of 5

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TAGS: Maleficent
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  1. Found the movie a great take on the old witch. The acting was well done. Loved the take on the story.I personally always thought Maleficent got a bad rap in Sleeping Beauty.

  2. A relatively entertaining, realistic and modern take on the original story but badly let down by poor Direction.

  3. Loved this film. Can’t, however, really argue with the criticisms leveled in this review. Most of the male characters were pretty thin and or despicable.

    Felt a lot of anger for both of the Kings’ motivations. As this is a high fantasy world of unreasonably high wealth in the human kingdoms, I don’t quite get the absolute festering hatred the is portrayed against the Fey. We never actually see the Fey doing anything but self-defense save Maleficent – who is pissed off justifiably by human actions. What grievances do the humans genuinely have with the magical folk?

    Really enjoyed watching Maleficent reluctantly, grudgingly, surrendering her anger to the little ‘Beastie’.

    The “Up” scene was probably my favorite moment in the film.

  4. I completely agree with this review 100%. If you saw the original movie as many times as I did growing up, there’s some severely distorted takes on certain scenes that pretty much ruin the original fairy-tale, and recast the ultimate villain as the hero. I can almost see an SNL skit where Hitler is a hero, and turns out to have wings at the end of the war right before he saves the Jews…. It’s F-ing ridiculous.

    Although, if I hadn’t seen the original movie, I probably would have loved this one.

  5. I have not seen this film, not sure I want to. I have read all the spoilers and reviews and can’t believe Disney ussified one of the most powerful villains in their history. The fact that everyone is loving this film so much makes me hate them. If Disney wanted a stand alone film for Maleficent then they should have put more effort into making a better story for her. They took the easy way out and CGI-ed the crap out of the movie and ruined their Classic animated story. So disappointed with what they did to my most beloved villain and favorite Disney animated movie. Indeed a disgrace to the forces of evil.

  6. Angelina Jolie was simply magnificent as Maleficent. She just captures the spirit of a wounded good fairy so well you could feel her pain and suffering to the point of wanting to hug her as sleeping beauty did. BUT the message that men are cruel, opportunistic, power crazy and incapable of TRULY LOVING women is ridiculous. There goes the `fairy-tale’ ending that we as children so passionately believed. Looking back at Frozen whereby it was an act of sisterly love…again a feminist aspect, perhaps we can now look forward to more woman save woman movies rather than the typical man saving damsel in distress. Another thing, why can’t the prince and king be as handsome as Maleficent/sleeping beauty be beautiful…or have we run out of good looking actors too.

    • I agree.
      And why is it that women should only save other women? Yes, I’m glad that movies are getting away from Damsels and Distress…but are women not strong enough to save MEN? Why isn’t that women only save other women? Do people believe men are “so strong” that a women cannot possibly save them? This is why my last favorite Disney movie of female heroism will forever be Mulan. She saved Shang 3 times throughout the movie and in fact her entire imperial army full of men. She saved all of China! When will women realize that in order to be a true hero you must save all kinds of people, no matter the gender? It really defeats the feminist message when all she saves are women. More women in movies should also be portrayed saving men. To show that women can and do save men.

      • I assume we’re not counting magic not resulting from a kiss that brought the prince back to life (otherwise Belle would count & Rapunzel would have more than one or two under her corset).

        Ariel saves Eric twice
        Pocahontas protects John Smith (explorer)
        Esmeralda carries an injured Phoebus (soldier) to Quasimodo
        I’m sure Tiana saves Naveen (disowned prince) a few times
        Rapunzel saves Flynn (thief) from thugs and guards.

  7. While some portions of this review are agreeable (I agree that the fairy godmothers were horrifically butchered), I am a little distressed at your claims of misandry. Complex male characters absolutely own the cinema, on the side and in the lead. Complex female characters? Not so much. Women are constantly put into a select few tropes, and are outnumbered by their male costars in the vast majority of fantasy and action genre films. It’s frustrating to see claims of misandry when in reality, it’s just poor characterization in general. Disagree with me? Fine, BUT please try to understand that it’s not misandry to have a handful of unpleasantly bland or bad male characters–you have plenty of good ones.

    • Look up the original story and watch it. This movie did everything in its power to remove all parts of any male character being good. Even the crow was a slave to Maleficent and was the one who turns into a vicious dragon (in the original it was her).

      So instead of her being the villain throughout, like in the original, she is categorized as a victim and recovers and shows love and compassion. While the men (originally the good guys) are characterized as deceitful,power hungry, opportunistic, can’t show love (throws daughter into room when he sees her and ignores Queen who is sick), crazy, incapable of redemption, what else? oh yea, prince phillip is basically useless (originally was a larger character and is the one who does the kiss).

      • W.B, I have seen the original. Adaptations change the original all of the time, that’s why it’s called an adaptation. But people try to call misandry all of the time and this just isn’t misandry.

    • @Lauren

      To be clear, my review said “…while the actual point being made is so heavy-handed and biased that it arguably borders on misandry.”

      That’s saying the film ARGUABLY touches that point.

      • To be clear, so much as using the word “misandry” in the first place is patently ridiculous. I had no idea this site and its contributors were so intellectually bankrupt as to write that sort of petulant rubbish, but at least now I know not to return.

    • So when films cast women as 1950esque housewives who obey their husband, because that’s what women “do”, you don’t think it’s misogynistic?
      The movie states that all men crave power and at not to be trusted.
      It’s misandry at every level.
      Equal rights has been achieved In western societies. Now it’s just feminism trying to get even.
      Put the shie on the other foot and replace these characters with the opposite gender. You’d be less inclined to agree with yourself

    • So when films cast women as 1950esque housewives who obey their husband, because that’s what women “do”, you don’t think it’s misogynistic?
      The movie states that all men crave power and at not to be trusted.
      It’s misandry at every level.
      Equal rights has been achieved In western societies. Now it’s just feminism trying to get even.
      Put the shoe on the other foot and replace these characters with the opposite gender. You’d be less inclined to agree with yourself

    • Thank you Lauren, for putting the issue so succinctly. A movie with terrible and offensive depictions of male characters is a terrible and offensive movie. It might be annoying, frustrating, laughable, infuriating, shameful, etc. (depending on the individual viewer), but it is NOT evidence of a widespread, systematic devaluing of female characters, voices, and stories. For the author to use the word “misandry” is to position his claim alongside those criticizing Hollywood of misogyny, which is just obnoxious.

    • It can be classified as Misandry…in fact it even leans on a bit of Female chauvinism.
      If it portrays men as more negative and all women as better people, than this is hardly feminist. In movies about men, of course its not right for women to always be portrayed as weak or damsels. However, but downplaying men to reverse the effect doesn’t make it right neither does it make it any more feminist. It defeats the feminist purpose (gender EQUALITY) when a movie downplays men and makes them out to be useless or cruel beings. This is still in fact Misandry no matter how you look at it. It has a hate men message. Not a we are equal to men message. There hasn’t been a Disney movie since Mulan that has portrayed that strong feminist message that we are in fact both equals.

  8. This movie was so awful. I had high hopes. So we’re supposed to discard the old movie now? Her name is “Maleficent”. She’s supposed to be evil! What the hell is wrong with Disney and these terrible adaptations?

    This was only a vanity project for Jolie. What a waste.

    • She went from being the most evil character, a kind of metaphor of the devil, to the nicest evil queen Disney’s ever had. I can’t believe what they did to this story.

      Oh, AND she had her man-crow turn into the dragon, not her… that one hurt.

  9. Is it misandry when women characters finally are allowed to be strong and act the way men characters act? I don’t think so. And frankly, as a male, I find it offensive that the author of this review even mentions a possibility of misandry in this film. I’ve been a long time fan of screen rant, but if they want to continue to promote a misogynistic worldview then I will be taking my readership elsewhere. The director and screenplay writer tried to do something different from modern movies, make a gender flipped movie in which strong characters are women and weak characters are men, as well as creating a complex background for why someone acts the way they do. Stories in the past have always relegated themselves to the false idea promoted by religion of a duality of good and evil. That is not how the real world is, it is populated by grays, complexity in it’s infinite glory. The only people who see the world in good/evil and black/white terms are people with borderline personality disorder, young children, and the extremely religious. That kind of worldview only holds people back from understanding complex situations and motivations. The author of this review needs to grow up and stop reviewing movies from one narrow viewpoint and review them based on a cultural context, because that’s how stories are written and influenced. Be smarter not more bigoted screenrant, I expect more out of your reviews.

    • perhaps you should look up the original story, genius

    • I agree one hundred percent, Dylan, especially with your first three sentences. I think it is about time I take my readership elsewhere, too.

      • @World

        Wow. Really? Okay. Fine.

    • NO it’s not MISANDRY because the women characters are strong, you MISSED the whole point completely. It’s misandry BECAUSE all the men characters are evil and selfish, except the males who are subservient to women (the narrator even says ‘men are selfish and greedy’). And in the movies where men have to work and rescue women just so they can be with them, the women aren’t shown as all evil and greedy (why were men excepted to protect women and put them first in everything, now that is a question that people should ask also because it’s still expected of men). People are complaining because this movie is against men and portrays them as all evil and not because women are strong.

      And Dylan31 how the hell is talking about sexism against men misogynistic?!!! You’re acting like you have a ‘white-knight’ personality where you have to protect women and act as if men should just accept movies and behaviors that are sexist towards them, labeling sexism against men as girlpower. Movies never showed women as all being evil and men, even evil men, as being evil only because a female has done him harm. NO, people like you just look at one side of an argument and ignore how other people see it. You say you won’t come back on here again and I want to say good and goodbye because movie critisim and websites like these are here to discuss our opinions of things and to accept and argue with each other on our points of view and NOT to cry and say ‘oh I will take my readership else’ just because people see things differently. Well so long and just go to websites that applaud sexism against men, who say that in order for women to be empowered men have to be subservient and women have to be above men (ever hear about equality?!). Women complain about movies where women characters are shown as weak and needing a man, well now men are complaining about movies where men are shown as being all evil and selfish and both should be allowed to voice their concerns.

      You stated that evil isn’t all white/black and that is what the director and screenwriter tried to show, and I will agree that evil isn’t ever all white/black, but the filmmakers DIDN’T try to show that. They took a classic female villian and shown that she became temporarily evil because of what a horrible male has done and the male is shown as just being greedy, scared and evil towards his death.

      (and Dylan31 I bet you don’t complain when women complain about sexism, you just agree and accept it but godforbid men discuss sexism against men which is becoming more and more accepted…people like you are the problem, trying to stop people from voicing their concerns. Anyway see ya later)

      • Welcome to progressivism, Andy. If you can’t win the debate, try to outlaw it.

      • Thank you Andy. I appreciate that rational defense.

      • Male-bashing has been going on for a very long time now. It was particularly bad in 90′s television commercials. You couldn’t flip the channel without seeing a woman either hitting a man, kicking a man, and/or insulting a man. “Middle ground” is a slippery slope indeed. Advertisers were hoping to tap into female anger in order to sell their products, a tactic which has worked particularly well in marketing certain kinds of music.

    • @Dylan31 – Nice Soapbox you got there.

      RE: YOUR RANT: That was just pure judgmental B.S. based on literally ONE WORD in a 1000 word review.

      You’re not calling anybody out – you don’t know me, or how I see the world, but you’ve obviously made up a lot of mind about me, despite having none of those relevant facts.

      To your point: I get what the movie did. Taking YOUR assessment of the film: if you “gender flipped” this movie back to the traditional telling and reversed the gender roles, would you like how film portrays the female characters? If not, then you should understand why some people (keyword: people) may have a problem with how male characters are portrayed in the version we actually saw onscreen.

    • Yes – how dare we acknowledge that men have rights and that men shouldn’t be portrayed negatively.

      What’s happening in society? We’re turning the tables on men as a gender punishment.

      Someone can’t even post an opinion on here without nazi feminists shooting them down

    • “The only people who see the world in good/evil and black/white terms are people with borderline personality disorder, young children, and the extremely religious”

      I love how all the people who complain about ‘black and white’, are incredibly simplistic moralisers who are really just objecting to Judaeo-Christian morality (don’t pretend you weren’t), which they think is evil and bad. The irony is wonderful.

      Guess what? Back in ye olde times, we didn’t need phrases like ‘black and white’ vs ‘shades of grey’, because people weren’t idiots that thought everyone’s souls were innately monochromatically colour-coded in the first place. The whole basis of Christianity is that man is *fallen*, in that we are all flawed and have the capacity for evil. Morality has been discussed for hundreds and thousands of years before progressives got up on their little soap-boxes to preach that the grass is green and the sky is blue.

      The whole ‘black and white’ b******* people keeping regurgitating is just a new way for people to play at being sophisticated, “inventing” concepts that every six year old already freaking knows.

      And guess what? You can’t *have* “shades of grey” if “black and white” *don’t exist*.

      And we shouldn’t have to summon Hitler’s ghost in a movie just so people can agree on an unamiguous villain. Very often, people are mean, evil and assholey, for completely arbitrary and non-sympathetic reasons. All it takes is a lack of moral restraint, not a tragic sympathetic back-story.

      Maleficent is meant to teach kids that evil, even the very worst of it, can be resisted and overcome. Some people like to do that with fairy-tales, rather than WW2 re-runs.

      • As Chesterton observed, fairy stories are important, not because they tell us dragons are real, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

    • I think you missed the point. There is a difference between a movie portraying women as strong, verses a movie that portrays all women as strong and all men as bad. There’s nothing wrong with a movie that shows us women as strong. But when a movie downplays the men in the movie to achieve this person, it is no longer a movie that promotes feminism. It becomes a movie that portrays a message of Misandry. Don’t be so quick to be defensive. Its better to rationalize what is actually being said. Malficent definitely had some all men are bad kind of themes. The prince was useless, King Stefan was evil, and the henchman was no more than a slave. So how is this portraying feminism (equality). Feminism is not just for women, it is also for men. It is the concept that both genders are EQUALS. How does this movie portray this? It honestly doesn’t.

  10. People are complaining about the movie too much. Don’t you see? They are giving you a movie from a different perspective. It has nothing to do with the original Disney classic. The movie wants to deliver a different kind of story with twisted plots in it. For me, the movie was perfectly cast and the story was very good, so I give it a solid 5 stars. Angelina did a great job!

    • Yep I think Maleficent is an awesome movie your right that Jolie did a great job.

    • Just because it’s from a different perspective doesn’t automatically denote an Original perspective.

      I haven’t seen the movie, I’ll admit it. But from the plot I’ve read, what they’ve done to Maleficent is not original at all. Because it’s the classic “Villain is who they are because they were victimized”. It’s another twist on the “They had a bad, abusive childhood” in order to explain the motivations of villains. Case in point, Rob Zombie’s re-make of Halloween and now Michael Myers was a “Victim” and not an “Evil on Two legs” or “The Shape”. I don’t have a problem per-se with diving under the hood of a villain. But please, don’t dump yet an umpteenth version of “Bad past” on me because it’s becoming cookie-cutter.

      Secondly, I need to ask a question here to all those commenting about how it’s about time more movies followed Maleficent’s example and groomed strong, female lead characters since society was oh so misogynist eons ago that stifled such a trope. .

      Why is it that in order to elevate women and female characters its required to have the male characters or men stomped all over? Last time I checked, when writing, the rule is to ensure all your characters, regardless of gender, race, creed, color are painted with three-dimensional strokes. Suddenly, I’m finding this rule goes out the window when a movie or story features a female protagonist in terms of the male support or even male protagonist equal. Why? Give me one good creative reason to break the rule?

      No, I will no longer accept “Women had it bad.” as an excuse. I’m all for female empowerment BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF MEN! This goes for storytelling as well.

      It also shows a blatant double-standard when you force the rule’s application for creating/writing female characters then cry as the opposing party wants the rule applied to creating/writing male characters equally. That’s the issue here.

      Also, those who say this a children’s movie; A family entertainment product.

      You seriously want to expose your kids to this level of lazy storytelling and double-standards in writing? Especially your daughters since only the men were written in this flick as two-dimensional, violent brutes or (in the case of the crow) slaves?

      I say all this from the perspective of a survivor: Abused by both genders in his youth who continues to find invalidation, apathy, and disdain whenever I try to share my story about the female abusers since, for some reason, society still blushes at females who harm. Additionally, I am rendered invisible everytime popular culture pushes the notion that “Only men are violent while women are victims and acted upon”. It makes it tough to enjoy stories with female protagonists because the creator just can’t resist subtracting a dimension or two from the male characters.

      In conclusion, enough with the double-standards.

      • As a guy myself, I feel like it bears pointing out that the only character other than Maleficent who resembles anything compelling and three-dimensional is the guy who turns into a crow. I’m not sure that “slave” is quite the right word for him, but if this film has any problem, it’s that the supporting character, regardless of gender, are all rather un-compelling.

        That includes the exceptionally shallow and spiteful king, the random boy-band-member prince, the cute but robotic smiling-machine princess Aurora, and the ditsy pixies. They’re all cheap and forgettable.

        All of that being said, I find Maleficent herself to be the sort of character that we very much could use more of. I was not bothered by this film thematically attacking men, because I did not read it that way. It certainly attacked idiots and jerks.

        Finally, while this film is a bit dark for younger kids, perhaps, I think that it does a far, far better job than most modern fairy tales at actually telling a good, thematically clear, straightforward, worthwhile story. Certainly much better than something like Frozen, in my opinion, even though both films do hinge on a similar point. As well-meaning as they may have been, the lead female roles in Frozen, Brave, Oz etc don’t really work for me. Maleficent does. Not a perfect film, but a good central focus (at least until the end…).

      • I agree with all the points you’ve made. I’m a female myself and I am so sick of women being portrayed as victims with fragile hearts! Why must women become evil because somebody broke her heart? Why can’t she become evil because she simply wants power. The ruined to only decent female Disney has…

  11. That was an awesome movie Jolie delivered a great performance.

  12. I enjoyed this film; Angelina Jolie incarnated Maleficent with beautiful acting. I honestly disagree with the 2 star review; I would give it a 3.5 at least. The movie is meant for a younger audience, but I think it was beautiful for its genre, and I would highly recommended especially if you have kids. IMHO the 2 stars is a relatively low grade, and it would be unfair to try to measure it to other genres. I enjoyed it.

  13. As someone who enjoys a changed story every now and then, I did enjoy the movie. Jolie delivered an excellent Maleficent, for what it’s worth, and the Villain Protagonist trope is applied rather well.

    That said, however, the point about characters not named Maleficent, Diaval and Aurora being flat/bland/g****** annoying is totally true. The fairies were the biggest offenders.

    In short, a change to a classic that I don’t particularly hate, but don’t consider a masterpiece either. 2 stars seems slightly unfair to me.

  14. The comment of all the converstion was “arguably borders on misandry” and were we are arguing. Well done author sir! lol.

    It IS a misandrist masterpiece. Apparently use of that word must send out some sort of auto-defense beacon to feminist apologists, like calling Voldemort in Harry Potter by saying his name out loud, or maybe stabbing your arm with a short stick.

    I love the “it’s not a misandrist film, because look! There’s a misongynist movie over there!” defense. Understand the concept of 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Unless you are just trying to enjoy a guilty pleasure in giving the men what’s coming to them, just enjoy it I guess. But don’t lie about it.

    Lessens for your kids in this one
    #1 Men are inherently evil and beyond redemption
    #2 The women in their lives are worthless to them (wait was there even a queen?) lol
    #3 let’s just destroy a sweet story for children, and have their parents try to explain the rape imagery and why Disney “raped” the animated storyline.

    Oh and you folks arguing others just can’t handle a strong woman in a story? Take a look at the animated maleficent. Powerful, strong. She turned into a freaking dragon, and the prince was lucky to beat her.

    • I agree! I’m a feminist and I believe Maleficent was waaayy stronger in the original than that weak puppy in the new version. And yes you’re right the prince was lucky…because he had three strong female fairies give him the power to destroy Maleficent. The original Sleeping Beauty even passes the Bechdel test. So this new Maleficent movie honestly destroys the idea the women are equals to men. Instead it potrays the opposite of feminism. It even leans on some female chauvinism. Please, don’t think that all feminists think this way. So many other people carry the feminist title, but are down-low misandrists. Feminism is the idea that both genders are EQUALS. And movies should be working harder to portray us (both genders) this way.

  15. I was hoping the best about this Maleficent, but it was such a miss. First of all, Angelina Jolie was such a perfect cast for Maleficent and it saddens me to see the way they went with the good fairy’s story. Still, I need to say the script had some moments of light. The foundation was quite good and it could lead to something totally different. It would be nice to see a love story about Maleficent, Stefan and Diaval. This would work since it would go away from the sleeping beauty and there would be no need to make changes to her evil self in the 1959′s original. It’s quite easy to image what could unfold from a tragic trio, just change diaval origins and role. One of the most annoying things about films it’s how they try to drag origin stories. This movie should have ended with the epich christning scene of princesa aurora (It was amazing in the movie until the kneel part, after that it was just dumb to see maleficent rechange the curse). IMO burn the young/redlips maleficent from the film and make it about Stefan, Mal and Diaval. Also, there is no need to see baby aurora until the end of it cause we already now that story and the background given is so “meh” and sometimes so “WOW”…

    Note: Some shots were quite good to see, but I must say… that fake tree saving jolie’s kid was damn fake.

  16. I absolutely loved the movie, very entertaining, action, drama, comedy!
    Very good back story of how Maleficent became Maleficent.
    I really just was wondering how long before I can see
    it on Broadway☺️It’s gonna be bigger then Wicked!! Just sayin’ lol

    • Sadly…Maleficent should not have been ruined in this way. And thanks to people like you I won’t be seeing another live action from Disney. Disney turned Maleficent into another one of their Disney Princesses. And honestly I’m sick of it.

  17. Everyone is focusing on comparing “Maleficent” to “Sleeping Beauty” and complaining about how it was completely different than the original but not understanding that the point was it NOT being similar to “Sleeping Beauty”. This is a different take on the original which is why they changed the name as well. If they wanted to have another sleeping beauty movie they wouldn’t of changed it!
    I do have to agree with the fairies… I didn’t enjoy them too much. And yes it would of been cool for Maleficent to be the dragon but then it would of been the same as “Sleeping Beauty”.
    Also people are talking about how attention is being taken away from the other characters and onto Maleficent which I didn’t notice but it doesn’t really matter because the movie basically is more about maleficent and why she was evil and her backstory. And I didn’t mind attention of Maleficent because guys!.. c’mon admit it Angelina Jolie was so amazing! Her acting skills her astonishing and you.. or at least I was always waiting to see what she would do next!!! :)

    • Even if the movie is a retelling of the original story, I wish the movie had a more original concept than “oh someone broke my heart, I’m evil now”, which is a common troupe that all female villains seem to fall into since the 1930s. Why can’t we have one decent female villain. Hasn’t been a good live action Villain since Glenn Close’s portrayal of Cruella Deville. If this was Jafar or Hades, this would have never happened to them. Why they always ruin the female villains? UGh. This generation sucks.

  18. Everyone is focusing on comparing “Maleficent” to “Sleeping Beauty” and complaining about how it was completely different than the original but not understanding that the point was it NOT being similar to “Sleeping Beauty”. This is a different take on the original which is why they changed the name as well. If they wanted to have another sleeping beauty movie they wouldn’t of changed it!
    I do have to agree with the fairies… I didn’t enjoy them too much. And yes it would of been cool for Maleficent to be the dragon but then it would of been the same as “Sleeping Beauty”.
    Also people are talking about how attention is being taken away from the other characters and onto Maleficent which I didn’t notice but it doesn’t really matter because the movie basically is more about maleficent and why she was evil and her backstory. And I didn’t mind attention of Maleficent because guys!.. c’mon admit it Angelina Jolie was so amazing! Her acting skills her astonishing and you.. or at least I was always waiting to see what she would do next!!! :):D

  19. Interesting film. Just on the strength of the writing and portrayal of the title character, Maleficent works much better for me than Snow White & the Huntsman, Oz, Brave or especially Frozen. The core story here is really strong and the big moments very much earned.

    That being said, much of the supporting framework is more distraction than anything else. Sharlto Copley and Ellie Fanning both feel miscast and misplayed, and the fantastic element such as the pixies don’t fit the primary tone of the film. And the ending just loses the plot.

    This is a case in which I feel like the writing is fairly good, but the directing is not, which is kind of a rare situation for a modern film like this. I give it three stars, but with the asterisk that it’s more worthwhile than the average fantasy re-imagining. That is solely for Angelina Jolie’s character, though. The rest of the film is what holds the rating down. This could have been much better with different directing and some different choices.

  20. Kofi Outlaw: Thank you, thank you, thank you! When I saw this movie a few days ago I was arguing amongst myself, “I love it but I don’t”, I thought more about it without reading any commentaries anywhere and I thought to myself, “Hmm this movie is bashing on men”. I had to read a commentary to see if I was alone and thank goodness I wasn’t. Men continue to be portrayed as either idiots or completely evil and well this movie does a good job of showing that. I wanted a woman’s opinion and asked one but as I expected they commented that the movie was great and they weren’t trying to deface men but they certainly were. A smarter man will absolutely notice the men bashing here. Men are smart, confident, respectable, big hearted, etc. Not this.

    This is the s*** that annoys me because younger female audiences will get the idea that men are idiots, evil, useless and that they don’t need them to be happy and that is just, “wrong, wrong, wrong!” Also these ideas don’t only hurt woman they also hurt men. Men will believe that they are useless and that we are always to blame for everything. That is very wrong.

  21. When the male characters lack depth and are reduced to plot-driving mechanisms, it’s misandry. When films handle women in this manner, it’s called the movies.

  22. Lol @ misandry. We have one movie, ONE, where all the male characters are “weak” and the men get all up in arms. Besides, all the male characters aren’t even weak. Take the King (not Stefan). In the context of the original movie the King was just doing what men did back then: going on a quest, slaying some magical creatures, and bringing home the gold. Even the speech where he’s all “I sees you all, waiting for me to die.” He’s more concerned about who’s to take care of his daughter and his kingdom than Maleficent. The cliché fetch quest for Maleficent’s head is pretty commonplace for ailing kings in fairy tales. In fact when the king delivered that line about his death I actually expected the nobles to chuckle but turns out the king was supposed to sound bitter, not self deprecating.

    As for the ORIGINAL tale of Sleeping Beauty Disney hardly made it up. In the original tale Aurora is raped by a passing king and because of the way they were back then that pretty much meant they had to get married and Sleeping Beauty even mothered the rapist king’s children and NEVER woke up. Yeah the originals weren’t kids stories. Maleficent is actually more in keeping with the original than the classic animated film is.

    Also: all hail good guy Phillip! He doesn’t want to kiss a sleeping beauty, expresses genuine concern that she’s been enchanted, and only does go through with the kiss at the behest of those stupid fairies insisting it would save Aurora.

    And Diaval subservient? He totally lays down the law for Malficent about Phillip and true love and Maleficent asks permission basically before the horse transformation. He even points out that Maleficent needs him. He doesn’t “take her in hand” and shake her by the shoulders but then, in healthy relationships ya don’t do that. I thought the way he asserted himself was admirable especially since if it wasn’t at least in PART because of him, Maleficent wouldn’t have fostered such a motherly love for Aurora. Also Diaval totally rescues M by pulling that huge iron net off of her.

    Also arguing that this movie is misandric because the cutting off of her wings was some kind of sexual assault allusion is merrily devoid of logic. If that’s the case then the movie goes frommisandric to misogeny at the end since the happy ending basically hinges on the fact that she got her wings or “virginity” back. So just stop.

    No none of these men were “traditionally” masculine, but why is everyone so determined to limit the perception of masculinity and therefore men? That’s the REAL misandry if you ask me.

    • THIS. FTW. This is exactly what i felt from the movie. While the original sleeping beauty was good, i didn’t limit myself to that viewpoint when i saw maleficent. I mean, Sleeping Beauty itself is simply another version of an ancient tale, why should we limit ourselves to one portrayal? Instead, i tried to embrace all Maleficent had to offer and was carried along with the movie.

      I have no idea what your talking about when you talk about femininity and all that. I mean, sure, Maleficent was basically demeaning everyone and ordering them around, but its natural for such a powerful PERSON (whether male or female) to have that view point. It is also natural for people to bow in face of that power (shes just so dominant. from her power to force of personality). She was very traumatized with what happened; of course she would get controlling. Not only that, but the film has her as a central focus. Why wouldn’t it seem that she is above everyone, that she is victimized and all that when it mostly from her point of view? A bit dramatic, yeah, but since its catered to a young audience in a fairytale setting, its understandable.

      Getting of track… I didn’t find Diaval to be very subservient at all. Just expressing caution at a powerful being and following the dictates of his powerful, otherworldly benefactor. She did save his life and he was very proper given the medieval setting of the story. He was the reason why i didn’t get the message that all males were weak, because he was an intelligent and confident male. He just happened to be indebted to the main character because she saved him. It was HIS choice and his honor allowed him to make that choice. He put up with Maleficent treating him horribly because he stuck by that code and in the end developed a better relationship with her.

      All you’ve said about the king is so correct. It was the typical attitude of Kings of that time, even evidenced in history, that the forest was a threat to his rule (filled with fae; powerful creatures he doesn’t control) and a goldmine of resources. He wasn’t power hungry or idiotic, just a typical stubborn king that wants to expand his land.

      Stefan might have been the most despicable character but it was all in Maleficent’s point of view and they had to have some sort of villain. Philip was great, completely agree with you on that.

      Maleficent the movie might “destroy” the character of Maleficent in the original, but rather than viewing them as the same character, i view them as two different ones. The movie was a completely different universe; vaguely connected to the original due to the origin of the fairy tale and characters. It’s like a “meanwhile in another universe”, rather than OMG WHY DID YOU MAKE HER THAT WAY! IF Maleficent was a fae and born protector of the forest [movie] rather than a evil fairy with black magic that doesn’t take to slights demean her (and not inviting her to such an important event! the shame!) [Original]. That’s the fun with different portrayals! so interesting to see what different people do to a character; for better or worse.

      Anyways, i believe you the writer is reading too much into male treatment thing. The movies themes meant to promote justice against a wrong individual, how true love is not limited to romantic and develops over time; not in first sight (like frozen) and how a broken individual can still reach out to people. Its not meant to be taken so harshly or in a mean light. A 3.5 or 4 to me.

    • True, the men are not all weak.
      The others are mindlessly violent, or cowards, or (in the king’s case) rapists.

      When movies portraying women this consistently badly come out, they are rightly labeled as misogynist.

  23. This is very unfair. Saying it’s bad because it focuses heavily on the female characters and not the males. There are countless films that do it the other way around who haven’t been penalised because of it.

  24. I just finished watching the movie. It was very pretty, and rather enjoyable, as long as you ignore the heavy-handed morality fable aspect, with the obligatory “nature is perfect and wonderful, human society is horrible” aspect, and the fact that every single member of one gender is depicted as violent, or completely ineffectual, or a rapist.

    Yes, it literally is the way I described it.

  25. See, I didn’t get “misandry” so much as “misanthropic.” It’s not like the women were strong or admirable characters. This movie basically demonized *humans*.

    There were only two likable human characters in the whole movie, and they were both kids. Other than that, if you were supposed to care about someone, they were either a talking bird or tree or fish or weird little troll or something.

  26. I think if you write a review you should pay more attention. He was NOT a farmers son, he was a servent who slept in the stables. Angelina jolie was great, I loved the story line, animation was perfect. However, HATED Elle fanning as sleeping beauty. She does not have the looks for it, and looks more 12 than 16. She was also a complete ditz. I’d give it 4/5