'Cruella' Called ''The Devil Wears Prada' on Steroids' in First Reviews: 'Sinfully Entertaining'

Craig Gillespie’s reimagining of the Disney classic villain is receiving glowing reviews ahead of its premiere, with critics calling Cruella an "absolute kick"

Disney’s Cruella
Emma Stone in Cruella. Photo: Walt Disney Studios

Cruella is finally almost here.

Coming from I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, Cruella reimagines Disney's iconic villain in the long-awaited prequel to 101 Dalmatians, following the origin story of Cruella de Vil. Stone is the second actress to take on the role of de Vil for the big screen after Glenn Close played her in the 1996 101 Dalmatians adaptation and its 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians.

The highly-anticipated performance from Stone in Cruella is hitting theaters and Disney+ this week, with critics praising her in early reviews.

Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt says the live-action revamp is "a collection of pin-drop lines and killer GIFs," noting that Stone's performance as Cruella is "both worthy of empathy and naughty enough to be safely but certifiably outrageous."

Calling it "The Devil Wears Prada on steroids," Moira MacDonald of the Seattle Times says "Cruella is an absolute kick, and if you've been looking for a reason to go back to movie theaters, here it is."

"With a wickedly impressive fashion sense, an electric retro soundtrack and it's sinfully entertaining title character, Cruella is the coolest Disney film in forever," says Brian Truitt of USA Today, noting that the film taps into similar themes as the 2019 film Joker and Stone perfectly captures the iconic villain's characteristics.

Gillespie, 53, noted that there were some similarities between the two characters that fans possibly saw in the trailer for the Disney film.

"There are some really deep, emotional things that Cruella's dealing with that send her to the villainous darker side," Gillespie said. "So in that sense, it is [similar]. But it's definitely its own thing. Just to sort of reframe Cruella, I thought it was important to show this darker side of her."


Kate Erbland from Indie Wire writes, "Stone is talented enough to ride the many vagaries of Estella and Cruella; the trappings around her can feel outsized and nutty, but she's always believable. It's a spectacle that only Disney could mount."

The film also stars Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson. Cruella will be available in theaters and on Disney Plus via paid Premier Access on May 28, with the movie coming to all Disney+ subscribers on August 27.

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