‘Maleficent,’ ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ and other new movies, reviewed

Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie, is a feminist twist on the Disney classic “Sleeping Beauty,” and Jolie shines as the villainous title character. Seth MacFarlane's satirical western “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is full of crude comedy and benefits from its supporting cast. Here are excerpts from the reviews of this week's new releases:

Angelina Jolie plays the titular evil witch in "Maleficent," which puts a dark spin on the "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale.(Frank Connor)

★½ Maleficent” (PG) “…for all its limitations, ‘Maleficent’ manages to be improbably entertaining to watch, due solely to its title character. As befits a star of her regal standing and superb self-awareness, Angelina Jolie has managed to bend even the Brothers Grimm to her indomitable will.” – Ann Hornaday

½ “A Million Ways to Die in the West” (R) “The real problem with ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ is one of editing. There are a million jokes in it, but only 500,000 of them are funny” – Michael O’Sullivan

½ “Documented” (Unrated) “One of the most moving scenes shows Jose Antonio Vargas having a Skype conversation with his mother, who still lives in the Philippines and whom he has not seen since he was 12. The scene makes an effective argument that there’s something wrong with a system that separates a son from his mother...” – Michael O’Sullivan

The Dance of Reality” (Unrated) “On the heels of a documentary about director Alejandro Jodorowsky's visionary adaptation of ‘Dune’ that never got made comes ‘The Dance of Reality,’ a movie that confounds categorization. It’s a surreal autobiography that blends fantastical characters, Chilean politics, religious insights and the painful reality of adolescence. You might call it a coming-of-age epic fairy tale nightmare.” – Stephanie Merry

Macy L. Freeman is an editorial aide for the Weekend/Going Out Guide section at The Washington Post.



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