Cinderella, Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic fairytale, is making its box office debut to a slew of overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Starring Lily James as the titular Disney princess, Cinderella reimagines the beloved story of a young woman raised by her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) alongside her equally wicked step-sisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Garinger). After Cinderella dazzles the prince (Richard Madden) at a ball with the help of her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), as the familiar story goes, he goes in search of her with a glass slipper as his only clue to her identity.

‘Cinderella’ Reviews

Critics have praised director Kenneth Branagh‘s adaptation of Cinderella, as he stayed close to the spirit of the 1950 animated film while giving it a modern touch. The performances of the actors have also been commended, particularly that of James and Blanchett.

“Director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz have fashioned an enchanting, exhilarating romantic adventure with gorgeous scenery, terrific sets, stellar cinematography and Oscar-worthy costumes. Of course, none of that brings the story home if the acting isn’t there. “Cinderella” boasts a first-rate cast, including Lily James, who has a marvelously expressive face and sparkles in the title role; Richard Madden, who takes the rather thankless Prince Charming role and actually gives it a little depth. The world didn’t need yet another “Cinderella” story, but the one we got is one of the best versions ever put on film.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“As pure of heart as its heroine, “Cinderella” floats across the screen like a gossamer confection, full of elegant beauty and quiet grace.No sly asides, no double entendres and nary a hint of modern-day gender politics dilute this poetically, if not prophetically, imagined storybook fable embraced in toto by director Kenneth Branagh. If you can content yourself with a little enchantment and little enlightenment, “Cinderella” succeeds.” Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

“With a sprinkling of stardust, dashes of good humor, and a respect for the corniest kinds of romance, Cinderella is a winning re-do of Disney’s 1950 animated classic. Generations weaned on the Mickey Mouse studio’s cartoon feature will find comfort in Branagh and company’s grip on the essentials: a truly wicked stepmother, two dithering and demanding stepsisters, a magical transformation of rodents into horses and a gourd into a luxury coach, and a beneficent, wand-slinging fairy godmother.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

Cinderella is a smashing success, something of a perfect storm of fresh-faced new talent, seasoned guidance, opulent visuals and a classic fairy tale. Directed by Kenneth Branagh with a great feel for the real emotions at the heart of a fanciful story, the film does not put a sword in the title character’s hand and ask her to slay dragons. It is instead a fairly straightforward telling of the familiar tale, with a few little plot spins added for spice. The surprise isn’t in the story, it’s in how well the story is told.” – Tom Long, The Detroit News

Cinderella, rated PG-13, is currently in wide release.

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