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Ella Enchanted Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Nothing un-beguiles a fairy tale more than forced whimsy and labored magic, which is precisely what plagues Ella Enchanted.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It has a few moments of fun and whimsy, but it lacks the joyous spirit and intelligent humor of the children's novel on which it's based.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Robert K. Elder

    The movie's computer-generated castles, magic visuals and sloppy effects echo a low-budget fantasy movie on cable. It's glossy, shiny candy that tastes oddly familiar yet lacks sugary punch.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The hoot and giggle of a girl-power fairy tale blended from potions of ''Monty Python,'' ''Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,'' and ''Shrek.''

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A high-spirited charmer, a fantasy that sparkles with delights.

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  • See all Ella Enchanted reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Endearing, enduring, with just a few bits of crude humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ella Enchanted has some crude language ("bite me," "cute butt") and social drinking. It is supposed to be humorous when a character gets tipsy and has a drinking problem. There is violence, including fighting, knives, and swordplay, and there are a couple scary scenes where a main character is in peril. A character is hit in the crotch in a slapstick fight. In a more serious fight, it appears that a character is killed, but it turns out not to be the case. Ella's mother becomes ill and dies. Ella is ordered to shoplift and due to the curse, must obey.

  • Families can talk about what it was that made it possible for Ella to break the curse. What did she have to learn or feel to make that happen?
  • Talk about the theme of discrimination and segregation in the story. What creates prejudice?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Several times the characters mention the Grimm brothers, generally disparagingly for having gotten a fairy tale myth wrong, but it still may interest young readers in checking out Grimm's work.

  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's bad characters are frequently unattractive and garishly dressed, which sends an old-school fairy tale message about goodness and kindness always coinciding with beauty.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Ella is praised for being kind and good and is a generous-hearted and noble character one is pleased to see succeed. Characters who are selfish, greedy or evil are duly punished by the movie's end.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Mostly mild, cartoonish, and played for laughs, but some sequences are pretty scary, i.e. when a giant ogre threatens to eat Ella and barbecue or shish kebab her; later she is shown trussed and about to be lowered into a boiling pot. Ella's curse also threatens to make her murder Prince Charmante; she stands threatening to stab him with a knife. Ella's mother also becomes ill and dies.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: One of Ella's stepsisters is obsessed with a handsome prince, to the point where she puts up "prince pin-ups" on her wall and chases him with a crowd of girls. Ella implies she likes Char because of "how cute his butt is." Ella and Prince Char flirt and kiss; there is a subplot about a female giant (dressed in a belly shirt) who falls for a small elf. She shoots him lusty glances and cradles him in her arms. A tough flings a knife at an elf's crotch and threatens to make him "sing soprano."

  • language false0

    Language: No cursing, but some crude language: One little girl says "bite me" at one point, whereupon Ella bites her.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: At a giant party, guests guzzle colored drinks from martini glasses, and a fairy slurs her words and falls off a stool. Ella's diary godmother is said to have gotten an "FWI," flying while intoxicated and shown taking a sobriety test.