Matt Montada’s review published on Letterboxd:
Cruella serves as one of the more subversive Disney reboots that has come out in recent memory. Even if it tends to borrow plot elements from other films, they feel decently executed enough to a point where the film treats itself like its own thing. Along with decent enough writing, there is a solid amount of entertainment value due to the film’s energetic directing, good humor, and strong performances, particularly from Emma Stone & Emma Thompson. Stone, in particular, makes the character her own while adding a sense of gravitas to her along with staying true to her essence from the original 101 Dalmatians as well.
Speaking of which, I thought that the film’s take on Cruella felt like something unique for Disney, even if most of it, as mentioned before, feels like a mixture of Taxi Driver and The Devil Wears Prada thrown together in a blender. Do i think she needed a backstory? Not necessarily, but I appreciated the film’s attempts at giving a different take on the character as well. Plus, the film is super solid from a technical perspective. The sets and costume design fit the time period well while also making for neat visual eye candy. The cinematography, editing, and musical score are decent enough work as well that serve their purpose in a fine manner. The soundtrack is easily the highlight of the film. Each song fits the time period while also serving as a unique way to tell the story.
All-in-all, despite questioning why one of the greatest Disney villains ever needed a backstory along with not being perfect overall (forgot to mention that the pacing gets wonky at times as well), but there were enough good things about for me to say that it is worth checking out. Pure fluff? Yes. Visually stunning and all-around well made-enough fluff? Absolutely.