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Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Disney villain is de Vilishly delightful, daring, and dark.

Movie PG-13 2021 134 minutes
Cruella Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 55 parent reviews

age 18+

How this can be rated as Okay for kids, is beyond me

Yes, the artistry is good. There are a few funny moments. But for kids?! The movie glorifies evil and vengeful behaviour. There is no redemption. It glamorises vengefulness, it makes getting your own back look like somehow the noble act. The message is that revenge equals reward. There is also a subliminal message that alcohol equals creativity. It makes the devil look glamorous and attractive. To any parents saying this is a suitable movie for kids, I would say, wake up! What kind of role models do you want your kids emulating?
12 people found this helpful.
age 12+

While not the worst Disney remake, it still suffers from many of the same problems.

While not the worst Disney remake, it still suffers from many of the same problems. This is mostly in the changing of villains to make them seem oppressed and innocent. These iconic and evil antagonists shouldn’t be re-written to accommodate modern morales. Disney should stop reusing their old films and instead create new role models for their audience.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
9 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (55 ):
Kids say (176 ):

Sinisterly superb, this is a well-crafted, phenomenally acted, artistically drenched triumph that's a whole lot more responsible than most other villain-as-main-character films. And yet it does make a hero out of a criminal. So, there's that. It's easy to see why Disney might feel that the accolades for Joker and the merchandising bonanza for Harley Quinn should belong to them: They started this trend of reexamining villains with Maleficent in 2014. But Angelina Jolie's evil fairy wasn't relatable or aspirational, whereas many young fans wanted to be vandal Harley Quinn. Just like many cinematic villains before her, Cruella is portrayed here as misunderstood, the product of trying to survive in a cold, unsympathetic world. She overcomes Oliver Twist-like adversity to find herself in a Great Expectations-like relationship with her boss, Baroness von Hellman. When the past she's worked to put behind her comes back with a (literal) vengeance, she "snaps." And she becomes awful, as in awfully glamorous and rebellious. Deliciously played by Stone, Cruella seeks her revenge with such smashing style that it's easy to think that it might encourage some kids to embrace their own mischevious side.

That likelihood is encouraged by the fact that the movie is just so great, in every way. The art direction feels lifted straight from a Vogue shoot, and the fashion is fabulous. Just as punk rock was taking over Carnaby Street in London during the '70s, Cruella stands up to wreck entrenched sensibilities of stuffy haute design through bold, glam, rock-inspired creations, delivered with defiant disruption. The movie's robust soundtrack is loaded with iconic music from the 1970s; it feels exciting every time a note starts to play. The script is divine, and the actors seem to delight in their characters. Thompson's narcissistic fashion designer is such an ingenious character creation, and Paul Walter Hauser's take on henchman Horace is both authentic to the original animated depiction and a brilliant improvement. Another welcome modernization: bringing more diversity to Cruella's world. Some moments from the 1961 animated classic are revisited (Cruella driving recklessly with Jasper and Horace in her grand Panther De Ville), while the repugnant concept of turning dogs into a coat is dealt with in a satisfying way. There's no question that it's much harder to tell a dark story about a hero turned bad and keep it appropriate for younger audiences who love the source material, but the magnificent craftsmanship shown by director Craig Gillespie proves it can be done. Darling, let the black-and-white hair trend commence!

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