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Cinderella reviews are calling the Amazon movie "good-natured" but "sorely lacking in feminist credentials"

Cinderella
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Cinderella is arriving to Amazon Prime imminently, and reviews are in. 

The film, directed by Pitch Perfect helmer Kay Cannon and starring Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, James Corden, and Pierce Brosnan, is a retelling of the famous fairytale – though with more modern sensibilities, and in the style of a jukebox musical, with hits like Madonna's Material Girl and Queen's Somebody to Love on the soundtrack. 

Reviews are mixed, with critics considering whether the new musical stacks up against other retellings of the same story, and if the humor, pop song filled soundtrack, and attempts to bring the tale up to date really work. 

We've rounded up a selection of the reviews below to give you an idea of the prevailing attitude is towards this take on Cinderella – scroll on to see what the critics are saying.

The Hollywood Reporter – Lovia Gyarkye

"As a big-budget film with a star-studded cast, Cinderella meets the relatively low bar set by most contemporary reboots, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing. The classic fairy tale and its straightforward but powerful lessons in self-confidence, perseverance and the power of imagination provide an alluring foundation for ambitious and visually stunning storytelling. It's sad that, watching this version, you wouldn't be able to tell."

The Independent – Clarisse Loughrey – 2/5

"Cinderella is sorely lacking in feminist credentials. Its protagonist recognises the limitations of her fairytale world – it's verboten for women to own businesses – yet only works to better her own life. If she can land some foreign clientele at the ball and secure her own financial future, who needs solidarity or sisterhood? There's even something telling in the way Cinderella never forms a bond with the film's other #YesSheCan-branded enterpriser, Princess Gwen (Our Ladies's Tallulah Greive)... It's the myopic "girlboss" ideology down to a tee, and it drenches every inch of this film in calculated cynicism – which might not be all that much of a surprise considering its writer-director, Kay Cannon, adapted the 2014 memoir that first originated the term into a short-lived Netflix series."

The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw – 3/5

"Actually, writer-director Kay Cannon's new Cinderella isn't bad, and Camila Cabello makes a rather personable lead, carrying off some of the movie's generous helping of funny lines...

"This movie rather fudges that climactic moment [the fitting of the glass slipper], but has charm in its goofy way: a good-natured and easygoing revival."

Variety – Courtney Howard

"Even though prior iterations of this tale – such as Ever After, Disney's TV movie adaptation Cinderella and Kenneth Branagh's live-action Cinderella – offered similarly enlightened, forward-thinking commentary, Cannon's, for better and worse, is far more obtuse about its machinations. And while it's a noble effort from a capable director, this glass slipper proves frustratingly ill-fitting."

Vulture – Jackson McHenry

"The whole project is hermetically sealed, predictable from the moment Cabello tries to play Ella as Beauty and the Beast's Belle as if she is attempting a TikTok challenge. A musical, theoretically, could reveal something under the surface, whatever thoughts her character isn't able to articulate in dialogue. But there's nothing under the surface here, just a girl trying to sell you a dress."

The Washington Post – Ann Hornaday – 2/4

"Amid the manic efforts to prove its I'm-hip-I-get-it bona fides, Cinderella has its bright spots. Cabello does a capable job in her feature film debut, joining the winking humor with larky good spirit, her Britney-esque vocal pout Auto-Tuned to perfection. Although Menzel brings a pained stiffness to her scenes, her pipes are still impressive, especially when she's joined by her character's vain and vapid daughters, played by Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer. There are moments when Cinderella can't help but recall the summer hit movie Cruella, both in its heroine's narrative arc and its fusillade of pop-rock callbacks; although a few of the latter fall flat, there's an imaginative mash-up during the ball that makes not just for felicitous harmonies but some fun choreography."

IGN – Brittany Vincent – 5/10

"Cinderella, a live-action musical update of the popular fairy tale classic, is a middling reboot that relies heavily on the power of its star-studded cast and modernized narrative to hold viewers' attention. Unfortunately, in an age where it takes more than a few sly remarks and winks at the audience, it struggles to make a real impression."

The Atlantic – David Sims

"Like the worst modernizations, Cinderella feels like the result of out-of-touch executives trying to identify the hip new thing. A town crier raps the news with all the bravado but none of the skill of a Hamilton song. The Emmy and Tony winner Billy Porter zaps into frame as Cinderella's fairy godparent, dubbed Fab G, giving Cinderella a fancy dress to wear and yelling "Yassss, future queen, yassss!" Because I watched the film at home (it was intended for an exclusively theatrical release until Sony sold it to Amazon Prime), these wink-to-the-audience moments played to stunned silence in my empty living room; maybe Cinderella would feel a little livelier with a crowd – but only a little."


Cinderella streams on Amazon Prime Video this September 3. While you wait, check out our guide to the best movies on Amazon Prime to fill out your watchlist. 

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.