"Cruella" (2021) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #110 Gem Mint 10.0


“Cruella“ (2021)

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis, Dodie Smith (Novel)

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, John McCrea, Emily Beecham, Mark Strong, Kayvan Novak

Rated: PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements

Runtime: 2h 14min

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Country: United States / United Kingdom

Language: English


"A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil."


You might like this if you like: Disney, Dogs, Dalmatians, Animals, Fashion, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, previous "Dalmatian" movies in the franchise, Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, John McCrea, Emily Beecham, Mark Strong, Kayvan Novak


Paul Walter Hauser (left), Emma Stone (middle) & Joel Fry (right) in "Cruella" (2021)


After re-watching the two classic "Dalmatian" films in order to refresh myself on the universe, I finally got to sit down and watch “Cruella” (2021). I had only heard good things and remembered the trailer looking pretty intriguing; hence sending me back on the reruns.


I think immediately I appreciated a bigger shift in perspective than I had just gotten in the previous two. From the trailer, I was already praising the fact that they were doing a ‘Cruella’ movie. What a perfect character to get to their origin story.


Emma Stone in "Cruella" (2021)


I appreciated the modern take (and by that I don’t mean it was rampant with iPhones or something - just being made now in 2021). They did use modern music which I thought I wasn’t going to like, but ended up really enjoying most of their needle drop moments.


The dogs caught my eye because they looked so damn good and pretty early on I started realizing they were going the CGI (computer generated image) look. Which is fine, but the only reason I noticed was because they were basically doing stunts that no dog could do. It looked amazing! That first slow-motion shot I leaned forward in my chair like "how the hell did they do that?" Some of the best animated dogs I’ve ever seen. After that opening Dalmatian chase scene and realizing they were CGI, I just started to appreciate getting to see all that they could do with them!


"Cruella" (2021)


Felt like a good balance of dark drama, almost horror, but also has its kid moments. On top of all that, it was really fun and Emma Stone was more charming as ‘Cruella’ than I expected to find 'Cruella', at least in past iterations.


It looked absolutely beautiful.. The costumes of course, the sets, makeup, and well.. just about everything was stunning work!


Emma Thompson in "Cruella" (2021)


As I was a fan of them in the originals, it was pretty great to get to see Jasper and Horace’s origin too. That scene with the ‘rat’ was amazing! Emma Thompson as a new character was brilliant! Essentially gave me that 'Glenn Close' satisfaction from the 1996 adaptation with Emma Stone providing the fresher, more youthful side of things. It's funny to me imagining two incredible actors like that on set who are BOTH named 'Emma' and wonder if it was confusing at all seeing as they were the two leads together.


Also, always love Mark Strong. Had a great little role in this!


Emma Stone in "Cruella" (2021)


Overall, I really loved that they were able to tell what felt like a fresh story in this universe! Seemed like the writers had some room to play with but were off to a great start just by picking ‘Cruella de Ville’. Oh and stay around for the CREDITS! Loved that little ending!


Written by Sam Gall on June 19, 2021


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


"This a punk rock concert with a fierce kick, dominated by show-stopping performances and tunes. It plays against type for Disney, and that's a very good thing." - Dan Buffa, KSDK News (St. Louis)


"The fabulously fashionable workplace drama I never knew I needed... better than the recent live-action remakes of earlier Disney animations because it is merely inspired by the cartoon, not a recreation." - Asia Frey, Lagniappe (Mobile, AL)


"Director Craig Gillespie and star Emma Stone have fashioned a wildly entertaining, enjoyable over-the-top success that managed to please my kids and me equally." - Christopher Schobert, Filmswoon


"Stone & Thompson's performances are great, costume design & cinematography are award worthy, & each moment is so much fun. One of the best live action Disney adaptations" - Samuel Leggett Jr., JVS Media & Productions/Team JVS


Official Trailer:


Behind the Scenes:


Available on various VOD platforms


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