Very enjoyable film, we laughed, said "wow!" and got misty-eyed. It is amazing to behold, beautifully shot, and has some truly awesome high points. I also liked seeing plot elements taken for granted turned completely on their ear. All in all it's a fine way to spend 2~ hours. But I agree with the general tone of the criticisms levelled against it: the pacing flounders and the narrative focus is uncertain. King Stephan is given little motivation for his actions or depth to his rather unpleasant persona, which is disappointing, considering the entire point of the film is to give a villainous character a sympathetic backstory. The writers and producers have succeeded in doing that for Maleficent, but at the same time they've created a different one-dimensional villain who is not nearly as compelling or interesting. And the three fairies were not very funny, despite the filmmakers clearly thinking that they were. For us the audience was mostly silent during the pixies' would-be slapstick. And Prince Philip is almost entirely wasted as a character or a presence or a narrative necessity. I think I'll give it 3 (out of 5) stars, whereas the original animated film remains a solid 4.