Let's start off with the criticisms
This movie made me ask the question "Why?" a lot. It really didn't take that much away from my enjoyment of some of its parts, but on a whole there were just so many instances where the plot didn't make a lot of sense. I think back to the part where the last fairy, Thistletwit, couldn't give Aurora a gift because she was rudely interrupted by Maleficent. She was supposed to give Aurora her fighting chance at life...and yet...her lack of gift never talked about again? I would have been perfectly fine with them just making her give Aurora some random gift, and given Maleficent the opportunity to deliver the PERFECT zinger ("true love's kiss").
Also why Maleficent? Why is that even her name? Do these people live in a world where this word doesn't hold a negative meaning? Do we not speak English? SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME.
2. Plot Lurching
This is my new term to describe when a plot literally LURCHES forward because it has to. Snow White had so much of this that I head desked at almost every introduction to a new element of the "plot". The movie just continued and things happened because they had to not because they were going to anyway. Sadly, this movie suffers a bit from that.
My main gripes were how Maleficent "transitions" (or rather, does a direct 180) from being protector of the Moors to being Maleficent ruler of the kingdom of the moors (which btw was an anarchy?). The beginning of the movie seemed to stress how important it was that the Moors were not run by any ruler and yet for some reason Maleficent declaring herself ruler of all wasn't a big deal to anyone at all.
Then there was the whole thing where her wings magically reconnected to her as if that were a thing or something.
3. Underdeveloped and Unbelievable Characters
I think I spent a good deal of this movie wondering why and how King Stefan was so evil. Or not evil. I didn't really understand his "greed". I understand that he was greedy for the throne, but he really actually saved Maleficent's life if you think about it. He was selfish yes, but he took away from her the one thing that would have caused anyone and everyone to come and kill her. Was that not an act of grace in itself? And if he TRULY had spent so much time in the Moors with Maleficent, wouldn't you think he'd be a little more understanding of the Moors, the people and how they work? Just...wondering.
The Strong Suits
1. Angelina Jolie's Performance
Now, I am no Angelina fan at all, so I think I am very qualified to say if she was good or not. I found that she was the perfect choice for Maleficent. She really captured the sweetness that I think Maleficent was capable of, but she really executed the vengeful side of the witch queen just as well. Also she looked gorgeous with fake implants in her face and all!