CRUELLA – A Review by Cynthia Flores

CRUELLA – A Review by Cynthia Flores

Right off the bat, let me warn you. This new live-action origin story for the villain Cruella de Vil from Disney’s 1961’s iconic animated classic 101 Dalmatians is not for children. I repeat this is not a movie for the little ones that adore the animated classic. So let them re-watch the original or the 1996 live-action of the story starring Glenn Close instead. 

That being said, the new film Cruella from director Craig Gillespie is a blast. The film’s style is a mix of cool camera moves seeped in revenge. All of this is done to a killer 60’s soundtrack. The best way that I can describe the vibe of this film is to tell you to think of 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada and 1999’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels being mashed together and kept at a PG-13 rating. This will give you a good idea of what the film Cruella is like. 

The film starts with Cruella / Estella as a young, gifted girl with a flair for fashion. She is being raised by a single mother, Catherine (Emily Beecham), and has a full head of black and white hair. She looks a bit like the character the singer SIA uses in her music videos. After we see her childhood and the trouble she causes in school, a tragic event leaves Estella as a grifter in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution. Estella grows into a clever and creative young woman. She is determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they can build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). She is a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly Haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.

If you grew up watching the animated 101 Dalmatians, then you’ll have fun catching all the nods to the original in Cruella. So, if you love fashion and good music, then you will enjoy this origin story of the infamous Cruella de Vil.

I give Cruella a 4-star rating. Enjoy the two Emmas (Stone & Thompson) chewing up the screen in this dazzling visual feast.


Directed by: Craig Gillespie

Written by: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis

Rated: PG-13

Selig Rating: 4 Stars

Running Time: 2hr 14min

Comedy / Crime

Wide Release: In theaters May 28th and on Disney+ with Premier Access

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry 


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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