The Grade Book: “Maleficent”

"Maleficent" (2014) - The Grade Book - We Live Film

Angelina Jolie Captivates in Revised Maleficent

Plot: Disney’s Maleficent tells the “untold story” of the Mistress of Evil. Betrayed by her childhood friend Stefan, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) curses his child Aurora to eternal sleep.

Director: Robert Stromberg

Writers: Linda Woolverton

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton

Genre: Fantasy, Family

Running Time:  1 hours, 37 minutes

U.S. Release Date: May 30, 2014

MPAA Rating: PG




(Lowest Grade: C- , Highest Grade: B+)

CONSENSUS: Angelina Jolie revels in this tailor-made role as the Mistress of Evil. Though the chain of events are a bit of a head-scratching diversion from the 1959 film, it’s beautiful to look at.


Critic Reviews for Maleficent

Gabriel Alcantara

Grade: B

Because I’m not really attached to Sleeping Beauty, I wasn’t too upset with the liberties this version of the story took. Though it’s very upsetting that they sort of took Maleficent’s villainy away. Thing is, as a fantasy film, this entertained me. Plus, Jolie gives a killer performance. Story-wise, yeah, it’s a bit off.

Tony Estrada

Grade: B-

The film doesn’t quite soar which makes it forgettable and disappointing. I can honestly say I didn’t mind most of the changes of the film. It was interesting to see how Maleficent became the villain she was in Sleeping Beauty. Angelina Jolie is really good as the villainous character and I even enjoyed Elle Fanning as Aurora.

The visuals sometimes look visually appealing, while other times it could use some work especially on those creatures that looked very weird. The storyline was okay, but it doesn’t deliver much pizazz. The three fairies were cartoony as hell and didn’t serve any purpose to the film at all. The characters are only there to be comic relief, but easily fail at it. Sharlto Copley was over-the-top as the king, but to be honest, not as over-the-top as his villain role in Elysium.

I personally didn’t get interested in the film until once Maleficent set up the curse because the first 15-20 minutes were very messy. It rushed through all of the plot points to get to Maleficent being a villain as soon as possible. I did enjoy the finale, but how the finale ended was rushed. The best way to describe this film is cute. I didn’t mind the fact Maleficent was more of a good soul here, but I can see why it will bug people. It’s an OK and entertaining Disney film, but it really could’ve been better.

Chad Gleason

Grade: C-

Visuals were great, but if I were you, I would just watch the 1959 animated film instead. Such a disappointment.

Matt Marshall

Grade: B

Like Alice and Oz, Maleficent will be difficult pleasing die-hard fans of Disney’s previous iteration. Still, for those who embrace the new direction, there’s a fair share of magical moments to take from this choppy tale. For the rest, stick with Sleeping Beauty. FULL REVIEW

Scott Menzel

Grade: B+

While some will argue that it differs too much from the source material, I found the film to be a fresh and interesting take on the well-known classic tale. Angelina Jolie absolutely steals the show and it’s great to see a film that actual focuses on the title character rather than the secondary ones. I enjoyed the film as if it made me feel like a little kid. I recommend it to most who enjoy a different side of a story.

Bryan Sudfield

Grade: B

I really thought I wasn’t gonna like this movie, but I ended up liking it. Angelina Jolie is incredible as Maleficent, she embodied the role and she is, hands down, the best thing about this movie. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen this movie agrees she was fantastic. Even people who didn’t like the movie agree that she was outstanding.

The visuals were also good, but I felt that was focused on more than the story. While the story is decent, I didn’t enjoy some of the changes they made. I understand what they were trying to do, but did they have to change it? I felt Elle Fanning did nothing good in the movie, she was there just to be there. I seriously wasn’t a fun of her in this movie.

Sharlto Copley, who I’m a big fan of, was very underused in this movie and that’s a crime. I felt the pixies were beyond cartoony and I was annoyed by them. And lastly, I felt the story was very rushed (most of the time). I think little kids are gonna enjoy this. People my age (15-18) might enjoy this. I thought it was a decent movie.


What did you think of Maleficent? Which of our We Live Film critics do you agree with? Post your comments down below.

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