Maleficent is a live action Disney film, which stars Maleficent – iconic villain, witch extraordinaire – as an almost cuddly redeemed hero. By the laws of gods and men, this film shouldn’t work and even Angelina Jolie’s name didn’t seem likely to save it. But some miracle of film production must have happened along the way, because the critics actually seem to like this new incarnation of our favorite villainess.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie delivers a complex and thriliing performance as the villainess.

The Hollywood Reporter’s review notes the great origin story, which helps to humanize Maleficent and make her into a relatable protagonist. In that respect, Angelina Jolie does great work with the role. “Angelina Jolie doesn’t chew the estimable scenery in Maleficent — she infuses it, wielding a magnetic and effortless power,” Sheri Linden writes about Jolie.

Watch the trailer for Maleficent below.