audience Reviews

, 97% Audience Score
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Following in the footsteps of its older sister Maleficent, Cruella tells the story of Cruella de Vil, the antagonist of Disney's 1961 animated film 101 Dalmatians. Set mostly in the 1970s, it marks the third live action adaptation of the Dalmatian franchise. Is it necessary to know/remember the animated film or the 1990s adaptations? Not necessarily, as the film stands on its own merits, serving to show us exactly how the villain came to be. It's bright, flashy, bold in its storytelling, and no doubt will be the inspiration of many Halloween costumes this year. At the outset of the film, Estella (Stone) spends her youth with fellow small-time criminals Jasper (Fry) and Horace (Hauser) as they pickpocket and sneakthief their way through London. After getting a job in a high end fashion store, Cruella's shenanigans attract the attention of Baroness von Hellman (Thompson). Hiring her as a designer, the film is set on its path of twists and turns and reveals that make the film a fun ride, if not a bit long. An undertone that was carried throughout the 1970s of the younger generation challenging the ideas of the older one is constantly seen as Cruella's clothing designs gain increasing attention over Baroness von Hellman. Acting wise, Emmas Stone and Thompson carry the bulk of the movie squarely on their shoulders. The back and forth between the two are the highlight scenes of the film as Cruella continually upstages and challenges Thompson's Baroness von Hellman. Played with a wink and a smile, Stone delights as the titular Cruella, almost pulling off an upper-class British accent as she gives in to her darker nature and lets her true light shine. Thompson, always at the top of her game, also delights as she's allowed to play her meanest, nastiest, most narcissistic self. The pair have amazing chemistry together and it's evident they enjoyed each other's company, as both have expressed interest in a sequel. Joel Fry (in a completely different turn than his earlier outing In the Earth) and Paul Walter Hauser make a companionable team of ne'er-do-wells that assist Cruella with her plans and machinations. While Fry is given a bit more to do than Hauser is, both still rise to the challenge as Fry acts as something of the audience's moral center and Hauser filling the comedic relief role. I'd be more than happy seeing a movie of just the hijinks those two are capable of getting into. Unfortunately, Mark Strong and John McCrea aren't given a lot of screen time in the film. Strong's role in the story comes into focus towards the end of the second act turn and into the third, while McCrea pops in and out as needed. Still, it's always a joy to see Strong on screen and McCrea plays Artie with such exuberance that it's impossible not to like him when he's in focus. Directed by Craig Gillespie, Cruella is a visual feast for the eyes. For those who are fashion forward fans and those who enjoy a good extravaganza, Gillespie and his production team certainly deliver on all fronts. Gillespie, who's previous film I, Tonya received awards-worthy buzz, does a worthy job here as well, handling the development of Cruella and the cat-and-mouse game between her and Baroness von Hellman deftly. Sweeping shots and dazzling cinematography add to the technical acumen of the film as well; for all its focus on fashion and the beginnings of a puppy-murdering villain, the eye to detail in the film is razor sharp. At a baffling 134 minutes, it's unclear why so much time is needed to tell this story; the aforementioned cat-and-mouse game played between Cruella and the Baroness, while an entertaining tete-a-tete, does tend to drag the second act's pacing of the story down. One or two less montages could've made for a snappier, quicker pace while not losing out on story elements. Flashy dresses, gowns, and tuxedos are offset by the grimy look of Estella, Jasper, and Horace, even though they retain their own individual sense of style. Cruella is a ringing reminder of the bonkers skills of costume designer Jenny Beavan (who's other credits include Defiance, Sherlock Holmes, and Mad Max: Fury Road). Beavan's eye for flair, style, and signature approach to each character is a major plus for the film. While Emma Stone and Emma Thompson are the face of the film, the costuming is the true star; I fully expect to see this movie nominated not just for Costume Design but for Production Design and Makeup and Hairstyling as well. The soundtrack of Cruella is so pervasive it's almost a character all to itself. Hardly a minute passes by between score and needledrops, rarely giving the film a moment to stand on its own. Following in the footsteps of predecessors like James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy and Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, Cruella is hit song after song, most of it cribbed from the rock genre. While not as on the nose as Zack Snyder offerings, Cruella's musical selections (which range from Florence and the Machine to Queen to Ike & Tina Turner) fit the tone and mood, at times leading the scene and at other times being a button at the end. While not quite distracting, the lack of quiet time in the movie is noticeable as it seems Gillespie is eager to get to the next drop, giving the parents in the audience something to glom onto. In the end, Cruella is a fun, beautifully made movie that combines a punk rock mentality, a flair for the overdramatic, and just enough sinister to keep the young ones wary of the titular character. While not an acting masterpiece, it's obvious Emma Stone and Emma Thompson are having a blast playing these characters, chewing the scenery around each other. Dazzling outfits, fun performances, and a soundtrack that never takes its foot off the pedal, Cruella is a great film to watch on a Friday night.
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    The proper example of what's wrong with modern movies.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    I just don't see what others do. It's not that it was a bad story with the Baroness and the fight over fashion but it does not tie back to the 1961 movie. Some of the music was good - some rubbish. It was supposed to be over the top but the black/white hair being a birth defect and not a preference was more Dark Knight than Disney.
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Amazing costumes and soundtrack
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    This was not a movie about Cruella De Vil. There is no way that the charactet portrayed here could kill puppies in the future. The odd part is if they set it up for her to hate dalmations by having her mother be killed by dalmations, but then chose to have her endeared to them in the end.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This was pretty good. A few unexpected moments, and honestly a darker Disney movie. It was really good though.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Worthwhile comparing it to other Disney Remakes such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent, Beauty And The Beast, Lady And The Tramp, Mulan & The original remakes of the 101 Dalmatians movies.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    One of the best movies I've seen for quite some time. Emma was fantastic. An absolute must see movie!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    <<SPOILERS>> I absolutely fell in love with this film. I cried for cruella her first moment alone in the city with no family other than hoodlums to take her in. She had no one but her inner strength and a few good scruffs to take her in despite the rich wanting to burn her down. I relate so much. Cruella wasn't born. The world created her. And I will ALWAYS stand behind her character. I think those dogs she made coats of were closer to hyenas anyhow. Bless her little soul. As far as director and film in general it was shot wonderfully, and deserves an Oscar, lets be honest there were alot of shit films that year. Cruella took the crown ;)
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    I went into this movie expecting just another middle of the road Disney flick with poor character development and goofball dialogue. Surprisingly, this film is my favorite film from 2021! The two Emma's showcased their talent with plenty of witty dialogue (kudos to the writers!). Emma Stone deserves another Oscar…simply amazing work! If you haven't seen this movie yet (even if you aren't a fan of 101 Dalmatians…I don't think I've ever watched any of the Dalmatians flicks all the way through before Cruella), give it a try.