Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Powerful queens go to war in intense, dark fantasy sequel.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 46 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Everyone is capable of change, and individuals don't have to play into their reputations or their darker natures. Reinvention and rediscovery are possible. On the other hand, Queen Ingrith's take on letting lies take hold until they're believed by a critical mass is negative -- but important. Empathy, collaboration, and teamwork are promoted.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Maleficent loves Aurora and raises her to be queen of the Moors. Aurora is guileless and loves her godmother, her Moorfolk subjects, and her fiancé, who is a kind and generous young prince. Conall, like King John, believes in peace and in striving for coexistence, not war.


War between the fae and humans leads to mass destruction and near-genocide of fae via poisonous concoction that turns fae into dust (think Avengers: Infinity War) or lifeless plants. Humans also kill fae with iron-based weapons/arrows. Humans are captured in the faerie forest. Screams. One beloved character sacrifices herself for the good of the fae. Someone curses the king. Maleficent is grievously injured twice; once, she technically dies. Aurora is injured and hurt.


Aurora and Philip kiss and embrace several times. A powerful warrior fae smells Maleficent in what seems like a sensual way but it's repulsion at her scent of humans. Another dark fae saves Maleficent, carries her, looks at her lovingly, protects her. Two little fairy creatures hold hands, kiss on the cheek.


Snarky insults: "You reek of humans," "humans are hilarious," "show them no mercy," etc.


No product placement in the movie, but there are off-screen promotional tie-ins to Maleficent-themed merchandise, including apparel, toys, accessories, and games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine in goblets at a meal. Philip asks for "more wine" during a tense dinner. A lethal powdery concoction is used to poison and kill the fae.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the even darker sequel to Maleficent, Disney's live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty. After Aurora (Elle Fanning) becomes engaged to Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson), his mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), threatens not only Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) but all of the Moorfolk. The fantasy violence is more intense here than in the first film: Frightening sequences include war, mass destruction, and a near-genocide of the fae/fairy folk (think Avengers: Infinity War-like deaths). Characters are seriously injured, and one beloved character sacrifices herself. At one point it seems like no one will get to live, much less find a "happily ever after." Characters drink wine, and romance includes a few kisses, embraces, and some longing looks -- but it's the love between mother and daughter that's really at the core of this story. Themes also include empathy, collaboration, and teamwork, as well as the possibility of reinvention and rediscovery.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLcv October 19, 2019

No blood does not equal little violence

I just went to see Maleficent with my almost 10
year old and we both enjoyed it - entertaining and many themes to talk about (particularly the bond between moth... Continue reading
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byKaitis1Mom October 21, 2019

Maleficent: The Mistress of (All) Evil ?

Maleficent is beautifully done. It’s got a lot more fighting and violence than the first; it’s darker than the first. But the characters definitely have more de... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byFortnitequeen247 October 26, 2019


If you haven't seen it. Go do so now! It is the best movie I've seen so far. Better than the first one. Elle fanning is in it. She looks so pretty in... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byJjta78283 October 22, 2019

LOVE the plot

It was different from all the movies Disney has been making lately and I love how Aurora was super strong in the movie and fought for herself. It has an importa... Continue reading

What's the story?

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is the sequel to Disney's popular 2014 Sleeping Beauty retelling, reuniting Angelina Jolie as dark godmother Maleficent and Elle Fanning as the lovely Aurora, queen of the Moors and all its fae/fairy folk. The bond between the two women is tested when Aurora accepts a proposal from her beloved Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) of neighboring Ulstead. When Philip's mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), demands that Aurora and Maleficent attend a celebratory family engagement dinner at Ulstead castle, Maleficent tries to be cordial -- until Ingrith openly insults her and the Moorfolk. In a moment of chaos, King John (Robert Lindsay) appears to be cursed by Maleficent, so Ingrith declares war on the Moorfolk. Meanwhile, Maleficent flees and is nearly shot down, only to be saved by fellow winged dark fae who've been hiding from humans for generations. Maleficent must decide whether to join her fellow fae to fight or to seek peace with the humans.

Is it any good?

Fabulous costumes, vibrant art direction, and the on-screen dueling of two Hollywood queens -- Jolie and Pfeiffer -- save this from being another uneven, unnecessary sequel. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is even darker and more violent than its predecessor. The manner in which Moorfolk are killed is as chilling as the disturbing moments in Avengers: Infinity War or War of the Worlds. But the brief scenes in the Moors, with its various fae creatures, are still enchanting for younger audiences. The romance, already established, isn't swoon-worthy here, but at least the future in-law troubles drive the paper-thin storyline.

Pfeiffer stands out as Ingrith, who's unwilling to entertain the prospect of peace with Maleficent and the fae. She's at her best as an ice queen mother-in-law with a penchant for war. Jolie is always a treat, but the subplot involving her original people is underwhelming, even with the always wonderful Chiwetel Ejiofor as one of the two dark fae vying for Maleficent's attention (the other, played by Ed Skrein, is a smarmy warmonger). The cast is stronger than the screenplay, so -- given the (spoiler alert) presumed happily ever after ending -- audiences may be left thinking/hoping that this is the last of the Maleficent films, but not the last of Jolie and Pfeiffer working together.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. How much violence can younger kids handle? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How is the idea of love explored in the movie? Are there are kinds of "true love" other than romance? Which characters have a loving relationship, and which don't?

  • How does Aurora demonstrate empathy? What other character strengths are depicted in the movie?

  • Do you think there should be another sequel, or do you feel this particular story is resolved?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Character Strengths

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