— Matt Zoller Seitz, rogerebert.com
"[A]fter the brutal attack, Maleficent quickly retools itself, heading into a whirlwind of tones while ignoring the darker implications of its opening story. In a brisk 97 minutes, decades of narrative are distilled into boilerplate genre elements: The chills of a rape revenge fantasy, the mirth of slapstick, and the adrenaline of action."
— Monika Bartyzel, Girls On Film
"[W]elcome to Walt Disney's I Spit On Your Grave."
— Drew McWeeny, HitFix.com
So intoned the critics of Disney's Maleficent, which (so far) has managed to gross over $756 million since opening May 30th. Many reviews, as a matter of fact, touched on this rape-as-metaphor idea in some form or another, to the dismay of many moviegoers/overprotective parents who outright refused to believe that the Mouse House would sneak such subversively sinister material into one of their patented family entertainments. Never mind that Angelina Jolie herself admitted as much during interviews ("The core of [the movie] is abuse, and how the abused have a choice of abusing others or overcoming and remaining loving, open people," she told the BBC on June 10). The cold hard truth is that, from Hans Christian Anderson to Charles Perrault to the Brothers Grimm, even our fondest fairy tales have always been metaphors for something. What matters is how those metaphors are presented to the eyes and ears of anyone old enough to comprehend them.