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Cruella: Reinventing The Past (Spoiler Free)

Emma Stone is Cruella!

In this extraordinary retelling of a classic villain, Disney doesn't play it safe. Clocking in at 2 hours and 14 minutes, the movie spends it's time fleshing out the past of Cruella/Estella and what her motives are. The best part of this movie is its cast, but also the transition from a hard working girl whose begging the world to recognize her talent, to a rebel who begins to display her true colors. Though, the montage in the middle of the movie proved to be one of the most inventive and creative set of sequences of all time in filming history. While the film may not be perfect as a whole, it is still a must see! It certainly deserved a higher rotten tomato score of 74%. Yes, this review is spoiler free.


Emma Stone:

She is the perfect actress for this film. Emma's dynamic range of emotions and acting techniques are truly unmistakable and amazing. She really keeps Cruella/Estella grounded and unique and helps broaden a classic tale by diving into the past of one of the greatest Disney villains ever (as of now ofc). You cannot miss her performance in this film as an anti-hero.

Emma Thompson:

As the main protagonist, Emma Thompson does an excellent job by matching the level of talent and dedication to her role as Emma stone did. She flawlessly portrayed herself as an evil rich woman who stole credits and designs and stopped at nothing to remain wealthy. Yet, her character didn't feel as shallow as I just presented it as. Instead, her performance and contribution was prominent and outstanding. She really kept the tension between Cruella and Baroness (Emma Thompson) lively and authentic.

Joel Fry:

As Jasper, Joel Fry continued to be a standout actor in the film. He played a grown up friend of Cruella/Estella and a thief living in an abandoned building. He was a joy to watch as he and Emma presented a great amount of chemistry on screen. The only real downfall of Jasper is that he was included enough to pose as a significant person in Cruella's life, but not enough to become her boyfriend. It seemed like a missed opportunity to weave in a bit of romance, which often felt teased, but the movie never committed to the chemistry that the characters clearly had. Therefore, Jasper was really only there when it was convenient for the plot or as friend who gave oddly great advice for a thief.

Paul Walter Hauser:

Paul Walter Hauser as Horace Badun was a great casting choice. He really brought some light to the film that often got too carried away in its darker aspects. He played the friend of Jasper and Cruella and was often just a character to who helped push the plot along. His strength was his accent and making the character believable, but by the second half, his serious tone diminished as he spent the second half of the film being used for comedic relief.

The Good:

  • Emma Stone as Cruella/Estella is a performance that should not be missed or forgotten. She truly brought the character to life in the best ways possible and her acting was unmistakably powerful.

  • The supporting cast Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Mark Strong, and John McCrea were casted almost perfectly and really kept the story to be somewhat believable, and overall entertaining.

  • The plot was actually fairly complex with twist and turns.

  • Cruella/Estella's character development and arch is something to admire and appreciate, with great artistic choices.

  • The stylization of the film and the overall artistic means used were well thought out and just damn brilliant.

The Bad:

  • The film's weakest point is its run time. With two hours and fourteen minutes of run time, the film begins to drag in the third act. While seeing Emma Stone embrace Cruella more over Estella is fantastic and emotionally impactful, the final twists and turns felt dragged out and eventually lost its steam. It would have been better if they cut 20 minutes of the film or used that time to better develop the side characters.

  • Cruella/Estella's friends were underdeveloped and Mark strong was given a short stick when it came to character development and script material.

  • The beginning of the film rushed through introduction and slowed it all to a halt by its finally.


Cruella reinvented the past of this story by expanding the universe through a historic telling of how Cruella came to be. Emma Stone made herself become Cruella, and she pulled through in every aspect. Her supporting cast, all had great moments to shine and to keep the movie together. If you have Disney + and you like a deeper story about villains, then this is the film to watch. If you dislike what Disney has been doing with the classics and their reboots such as Beauty and The Beast, (not to say that film was bad... but) look no further. Cruella does everything it can to be different and to be bold. Therefore, it worked and you will find many messages to take from this story. Cruella, directed by Craig Gillespie is a film that everybody, especially families, should watch!

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