Parents' Guide to

Maleficent

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Visually beautiful but dark retelling of classic fairytale.

Movie PG 2014 97 minutes
Maleficent Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 68 parent reviews

age 13+

Normalizes criminal behavior

The movie to me at least said it's okay to be a criminal and seek revenge as long as someone did something bad to you. I know it's supposed to show a different point of view but I feel like it glorifies villians.
age 4+

Magnificent fairytale with timeless messages!

Whether you knew this was the story of sleeping beauty from another perspective, or not, this movie was enjoyable for all ages, although I believe young children would enjoy viewing it most with a parent or guardian in case there were questions. The lessons about circumstances, love, leadership and diversity are strong, ugly and beautiful, emphasizing good over evil but warning to be careful about false perceptions. I recommend it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (68 ):
Kids say (124 ):

Plenty of this retelling is visually spectacular, with amazing special effects and lush scenery: The moors at their brightest are sweet and enchanting, while the kingdom is a drab and imposing place. Between the art design, the costumes, and the immaculate CGI-aided make-up (has an actress ever had such razor-sharp cheekbones as Jolie in this film?), Maleficent is a true feast for the eyes, which is no surprise, given director Robert Stromberg's history as a visual effects specialist.

Plot wise, however, the movie is a bit of a letdown. Jolie is wonderful at being (justifiably) mean -- with her sharp face, scary green eyes, and clipped speaking tones -- and she's good at delivering the dry one liners. But to reduce her story to the cliche of a jilted and jealous ex-girlfriend is slightly disappointing and undercuts the movie's other message: that you should strive to stay in the light, even when surrounded by darkness. While younger kids might be alternately scared or bored, older kids and adults might wish for a little more enchantment to go along with the effects. Still, Fanning, so lovely and bright-eyed, is well cast as teen Aurora, and worth seeing opposite Jolie.

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