I will be brief. People interested in seeing this movie want to know one of two things: 1) Is it tame enough for little kids? and 2) Is it interesting enough for adults? The answer to both is yes. Regarding the first point: This is Disney, after all. Regarding the second: This is Angelina Jolie.
This is the part of the Sleeping Beauty saga we haven’t heard before; the other side of the story, if you will. Maleficent (Jolie) is cursed and left with a scarred heart bent on revenge. The human world has betrayed her and Maleficent is drawn to the dark moors. She curses Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) to fall into a death-like sleep, but realizes too late that the sleeping beauty may hold the key to restore happiness to the land.
Suddenly, every hero or villain needs a back story. Peter Pan has Peter and the Starcatcher, the Wicked Witch of the West has Wicked, and Darth Vader has Star Wars Episodes 1-3. How long can this go on? I mean, did Attila the Hun never get his father’s approval? Did Caligula have abandonment issues? Were Cinderella's wicked step-sisters bullied? At some point, enough is enough.
That being said, Jolie is amazing here. She makes the iconic sorceress equal parts vicious and vulnerable. Between her performance and the spectacular special effects, you almost don’t see the mediocre movie going on in the background. It’s a 7.