Here is our selection of the Cruella reviews. In the film Emma Stone plays One Hundred and One Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil in this origin story directed by Craig Gillespie and co-starring Emma Thompson.

The film got worldwide release from May 28, 2021. It’s also streaming on Disney+.

Cruella - Emma Stone
Cruella – Emma Stone as Cruella © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc, photo by Laurie Sparham

New York Times’ Cruella Review

By AO Scott

  • Cruella is a vaguely retro costume party with a doggedly retro playlist — a treat for fashion-curious kids whipped up by the boomers and Gen Xers who hold the keys to the Disney IP storage locker.
  • Estella’s nemesis and role model is a famous designer known as the Baroness, a self-described genius who recalls Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread and, of course, Cruella DeVil in both her cartoon and Glenn Close incarnations.
  • The film itself traffics in less intense emotions, which makes it easy enough to watch but hard to care much about.

Full Review here

FRO Rating: 3 Stars
3 out 5 stars from our reading of the review
Cruella - Emma Thomson
Cruella – The Baroness (Emma Thomson) © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc, photo by Laurie Sparham

Los Angeles Times’ Cruella Review

By Justin Chang

  • It may seem counterintuitive, but the easiest way to enjoy “Cruella” — and it’s plenty enjoyable, even when it overstays its welcome — is to try and forget that it has much of anything to do with One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
  • Like so many other storybook villains subjected to elaborate image makeovers, from Wicked to Maleficent, Cruella — played here by a wholly committed, glammed-to-the-nines Emma Stone — isn’t much of a monster.
  • Cruella isn’t a bad movie, even if its heroine is nowhere near bad enough.

Full Review Here

FRO Rating: 3.5 Stars
3.5 out of 5 stars from our reading of the review
Cruella - Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser and Emma Stone
Cruella – Jasper (Joel Fry), Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and Cruella (Emma Stone) © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc

The Guardian’s Cruella Review

By Peter Bradshaw

  • There’s an unexpectedly huge amount of old-fashioned fun to be had in Disney’s spectacular new origin-myth story.
  • Thompson gives it everything’s she’s got – which is a considerable amount, and then some – as an imperious fashion designer called the Baroness with a prestige outlet at Liberty’s department store in London’s stately West End.
  • The big screen is surely the place to marvel at the film’s digital recreation of London in the mid-70s, with top-notch work from costume designer Jenny Beavan and production designer Fiona Crombie, who lay on the outrageous accoutrements with a trowel.

Full Review here

FRO Rating: 4 Stars
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Cruella - Emma Stone
Cruella – Emma Stone as Cruella © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc

Hollywood Reporter’s Cruella Review

By David Rooney

  • To fill [Glenn Close] shoes — or should I say her furs — is a daunting undertaking. But it’s one Emma Stone tackles with admirable hustle and considerable charisma in Disney’s new Cruella.
  • Running roughly 2 hours and 16 minutes, Cruella pursues a long, at times slow, path to contextualizing the titular figure’s origins.
  • Ironically, contrary to the disposition of its titular character, Cruella requires dialing down the cynicism and buying in a little. But after such a wretchedly constrained and constricted year, who isn’t ready to revel in a little chaos?

Full Review here

FRO Rating: 3.5 Stars
3.5 out of 5 stars from out reading of the review
Cruella - Emma Thomson and Andrew Leung
Cruella – The Baroness (Emma Thomson) and Jeffrey (Andrew Leung) © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc, photo by Laurie Sparham

Entertainment Weekly‘s Cruella Review

By David Rooney

  • They’re not bad, they were just drawn that way. Or at least that’s what the current big-screen mini-boom in villain origin stories from Joker to Venom and Birds of Prey‘s Harley Quinn seems to suggest — a trend so far-reaching now, it’s even touched Disney.
  • The costumes, by Jenny Beavan, blossom into full fantasy as the story moves into the ’70s: a Vivienne Westwood fever dream of punk-rock couture, swathed in yards of trash-bag latex and chiffon.
  • Those endless pieces of flair can also feel like a noisy substitute for a story line that never quite materializes, subsumed instead by showpiece moments that seem to lurch from scene to scene.

Full Review here

FRO Rating: 4 Stars
Rated B- = 4 out of 5 Stars
Cruella - Emma Stone
Cruella – Emma Stone as Cruella © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc

Reviews Round-Up

New York Times3 Stars
Los Angeles Times3.5 Stars
The Guardian4 Stars
Hollywood Reporter3.5 Stars
Entertainment Week3.5 Stars
Cruella star ratings table

So the average of the ratings works out at 3.5 out of 5 stars.

FRO Rating: 3.5 Stars

Release dates

  • Australia & New Zealand: May 27th, 2021
  • US, Canada & UK: May 28th, 2021
Cruella - Poster: Emma Stone
Cruella Poster: Emma Stone as Cruella © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online