The Gist: Maleficent is a beautiful, kind, winged, magical girl who lives in an enchanted forest and is tasked with taking care of it. Reached maturity, when the forest is attacked by the local king, she successfully defends it. Enraged, the king promises his daughter in marriage to anyone able to defeat Maleficent. An old friend of hers, greedy for the hefty prize, betrays Maleficent, and steals her wings, setting her on the path to darkness. Seeking revenge after he becomes king, she will target his daughter with a powerful curse.
Maleficent is a slight rewrite of the Sleeping Beauty tale, although it could almost be seen as an origin story. As such, it works phenomenally well, unspooling a fable of love and hate for the ages.
Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent with such gusto that she effortlessly brings her to life, and Sharlto Copley easily embodies the juicy part of the bad guy.
The Bottom Line: When I heard that Disney was producing Maleficent, my first thought was, Why can't Hollywood make something original instead of rehashing old tales? So you can imagine my surprise when the end result was so entertaining, well made, engrossing and enchanting. Two thumbs up and a heartfelt recommendation for this film!