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Movie Review

Mirror Mirror also known as “Mirror, Mirror”

MPAA Rating: PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor.

Reviewed by: Laura Busch
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Fantasy Fantasy Adventure Comedy Drama Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2012
USA Release:
March 30, 2012 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: June 26, 2012
Copyright, Relativity Media click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Relativity Media

jealousy

taxing poor people enrich the wealthy and powerful

RIGHT AND WRONG—How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

sin

magic spells and potions

ROYALTY of the Bible: kings / queens / princes

a treacherous, evil queen in the Bible: Jezebel

an indomitable young woman

What happens when a child loses both parents? How should they cope with it?

fair and respectful treatment of people who are undersized

aging’s negative psychological effects on some people

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Julia RobertsThe Queen
Lily CollinsSnow White
Armie HammerPrince Alcott
Nathan LaneBrighton
Sean BeanKing
more »
Director: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Producer: Citizen Snow Film Productions
Rat Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Relativity Media

“One bad apple”

“Mirror Mirror” brings a new twist on the classic Snow White fairytale to life in a fun live-action movie. Snow White (Lily Collins) was born into a wonderful and happy kingdom ruled by her parents, the King and Queen, but Snow White’s mother dies in childbirth, and an evil woman soon marries her father and becomes Queen. After Snow White’s father dies, the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) usurps control of the entire kingdom. Under the Evil Queen’s rule, the kingdom is in financial ruin, and its citizens are destitute. The Queen plans to marry the kind and wealthy Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) for her own selfish gain. When the Queen discovers that Prince Alcott truly loves the Princess Snow White, she banishes Snow White to the forest, leaving her to be eaten by beasts. After being banished to the forest, Snow White is rescued by a group of seven dwarves, and they band together to rescue her father’s kingdom and restore happiness to the land.

“Mirror Mirror” is a lively and humorous retelling of the Snow White story. Julia Roberts delivers a solid and entertaining performance as the Evil Queen. I really enjoyed her portrayal of this character. Nathan Lane, who plays Brighton—the Evil Queen’s assistant, also gives a wonderful comedic performance and provides a lot of laughs. “Mirror Mirror” is visually stunning, and its beautiful costumes and sets bring the story to life and, at times, reminded me of director, Tim Burton’s signature aesthetic. “Mirror Mirror’s” highly stylized approach to filmmaking makes for a beautiful aesthetic, and the film’s often over the top approach is at times reminiscent of a stage production. Some of “Mirror Mirror’s” humor in telling the story, as well as certain stylistic elements, also reminded me a bit of the classic film, “The Princess Bride.”

The character of Snow White has a strong sense of right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing. She is a big-hearted person, who shows a great deal of sympathy and love for the people of her kingdom. Snow White is appalled and saddened by the havoc that the Evil Queen has wreaked on her father’s (Sean Bean) once happy kingdom. She and the seven dwarves band together to do whatever they need to restore her father’s kingdom and save Prince Alcott from the Queen’s deception. In one scene, Snow White tells the dwarves, who are bandits, that they must not steal from people. The loving relationship between Snow White and the Baker Woman (Mare Winningham), who works in the castle kitchen, is also another positive aspect of this film. Many elements of “Mirror Mirror’s” worldview align with the Christian worldview. For example, the film shows how destructive vanity, greed, and selfishness truly are. The film also portrays the use of magic in a negative light. The film’s dialog warns several times, “magic takes a toll” and we as viewers see the harmful toll that the Queen’s magic, selfishness, vanity, and greed take on her.

Potential viewers should be aware that there is a lot of sword fighting action (bloodless). Several characters hit each other, and there is a fair amount of slapstick violence. All of the fighting is fast-paced bloodless action. In one scene, we see the Evil Queen preparing for a party, and her beauty routine is a bit gross—it involves worms and other bugs that may upset some viewers.

In a couple of scenes, Prince Alcott is seen shirtless, after losing his shirt in a fight with some bandits. In one scene, the Queen’s assistant describes Prince Alcott as being “semi-nude.” The Queen offers him a shirt to put on, both times. There are a few brief chaste kisses in the movie. There is a bit of name-calling. The words runt, idiot and jerk are each used once, and, in another, the Queen uses the phrase, “for the love of God.”

Overall, “Mirror Mirror” is a well-crafted, fun, and lively retelling of an old family favorite, with a positive heroine in the character of Snow White. However, I do not recommend this film for families with very young children, as the fast-paced fighting sequences and scenes in the woods may be a bit too scary and intense for younger viewers, but I do think that “Mirror Mirror” is a solid choice for families with older children.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie really captures the feeling of a fairy tale. There were young children in the theater with me, and they seemed to like it. It was clever and funny. An extremely modernized version of the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The casting was good, especially with the actress playing Snow White. The actors were all good sports, performing their fairy tale roles, especially Armie Hammer playing the Prince, who has lots of goofy moments.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Halyna Barannik, age 66 (USA)
Positive—I expected this movie to be awfully cheesy, and it was. What surprised me, though, was its unpredictability. This is a completely fresh version of the Snow White story, and much of it was very creative. I want to compare it to Disney’s “Ella Enchanted,” except it was much better than that (because it wasn’t completely ripping off a beloved book!). Snow White and the Prince were likable; Julia Roberts was fun to hate, and the Dwarfs were hilarious. Probably about the only thing I didn’t like was one gross scene when the evil queen is getting her “beauty treatment”… which involved maggots and snails and all manner of nasties getting dumped on her body. Don’t ask me why, because I’m not sure.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Kadie Jo, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this cute and funky version of Snow White. It looked and felt very much like a fairytale: outlandish, with people a little larger than life (caricature-like) and good ultimately triumphing over evil. For the most part, it was family-friendly (some dialogue may be unfit for the littlest ears and the Prince leaping on top of the Queen may be deemed inappropriate) and contained good messages, like standing up for yourself and caring for other people. Lily Collins was a sweet Snow White and Armie Hammer a handsome prince, but I especially enjoyed Julia Roberts in the role of the Queen; she displays her versatility as an actress and in my opinion, was quite good. As another commentator said, she “was fun to hate!”

I also enjoyed the song at the end of the movie; while at first it seemed almost discordant with the rest of the film, it is upbeat and catchy, and I’m still singing it to myself, so I’m glad it was there! The best part of the movie, however, was the costumes. They were large and sweeping, with brilliant colors, pleasing to look at and almost a character in the movie themselves.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah C., age 21 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this fun and creative new take on Snow White. It was fresh, interesting, and in many ways visually stunning. I especially liked the views from the castle, the costuming, and visual effect of the Queen passing through the mirror. Good acting by all of the cast. Several messages about vanity and self-centeredness vs. Purity and compassion. As a Christian I was glad to hear the messages and repeated warnings from the “reflection” of the Queen in the mirror: there are consequences, a price to pay, for using magic/witchcraft. Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tori, age 40+ (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie opening day with my friends and we loved it! (Most of us, anyway.) The movie was fun, lighthearted, with romance, action and comedy. I love Lily Collins and Julia Roberts. They did a great job in the movie. The rest of the cast also performed well. I also loved the song at the end of the movie, which I was singing as the credits rolled up.

Lily is multi-talented, and I also think it’s good how she’s a good role model, while still having fun. (This girl doesn’t drink, not that would make it a bad role model, but you never hear about her getting into trouble). Anyway, this version was a fun take on the Snow White fairytale.

I am extremely excited for Kristen’s version (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) and possibly Soaries Ronanan’s version. I highly recommend this film. However, perhaps God’s name shouldn’t have been used in vain. I had a bad habit of doing that, though, but I am working on it. A good alternative perhaps would have been “oh, for the love of all that’s holy”? Other than that, a great movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Gwen, age 20 (Canada)
Neutral
Neutral—I like movies that have a lot of meaningful lines or sage advice, or a great moral ringing clear and true when the movie is over. This one fails on both counts. It was gray, and I wanted to “spew it out”. The “good guys” weren’t always good. When Snow White said it was important for the queen to know that she was defeated, I just felt depressed. I’d like a movie where I can leave the theater feeling hope. This one left me wishing for more.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Trina, age 44 (USA)
Neutral—The good thing about this movie is, it’s mostly clean, but a bit boring. It moved rather slow, and I almost wanted to leave, I was so bored, and I can appreciate a good story. And, of course, the whole spells and potions is not of God. There was one kiss and no talk about sex or other sexuality; they even had the two get married before showing any other kinds of affection. The movie wasn’t horrible, just boring. My 15 year old niece with me said the same thing, when it was over.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Samantha, age 37 (USA)
Neutral—…“Mirror, Mirror” is a film targeted toward young girls, and I knew that walking into the film, but I was still intrigued as to whether or not I would actually enjoy the film. The acting was fairly decent. The best performances, in my opinion, were by Julia Roberts and Lilly Collins. Their performances were REALLY good. The music was okay. The lighting was fine. The film itself was a little dark in some areas, but still suitable for children. The story was good, with the exception of a few plot holes. Good lessons could be drawn about bravery, courage, and even thievery was frowned upon in this film, which was a plus, in my book. Overall, a decent film, but one, like I said, that is meant for young girls.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Alexander Malsan, age 22 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I walked out of the movie more than half way through. It was looking like a good movie until Hollywood did the reverse roll switch—it became boring after that. Everything was going fine in the movie “Mirror Mirror” until the liberal writers, yes, sadly at Disney of today, turned it into a feminist movie. What could have been a nice movie, to see the dashing prince rescue Snow White turns into a feminist twist. As usual for liberal Hollywood, it puts a twist on a classic story. The minute the 7 dwarfs said to Snow White that she needs to defend herself and then trained her to be the best ninja fighter in the Kingdom, it was over for me. Eventually, she fights the prince and humiliates him and sends him packing, where we find him defeated before the whole Kingdom. I walked out of the film when this boring Snow White becomes a circus act of fighting skills over men. Another typical Hollywood movie doing its best to de-emasculate men.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Robert, age 65 (USA)
Negative—This movie shows a lot of Snow White’s cleavage and also has mostly naked men (except underwear). I think that this reviewer did NOT accurately represent this movie…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jenny, age 30 (USA)
Negative—It may seem odd that I have rated this as offensive. It seems that the reviewer and some of the commenters missed some of the sexual undertones, so I will lay them out quickly. Cleavage was apparent on the queen, the princess, and the wedding attendees—the latter after their outer clothing is removed, and they are left in their undergarments. The prince missing his shirt twice is bad in that the queen ogles sexually and clearly doesn’t want to see him beshirted. During the sword fight, the prince continuously slaps Snow White on the rear end with his sword and later says something like, “Didn’t you learn from your spankings?”

Nathan Lane’s character is turned into a cockroach and despairingly relates the trauma of being taken advantage of by a grasshopper (Rape is NOT funny.), and at the wedding, one of the dwarfs ends up under the skirt of a lady and laughs at her undergarments. The prince is completely emasculated. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Amy, age 37 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—WOW. This was so stupid! I mean really. The actors were horrible, and Julia Roberts had such a stupid role. I felt bad for Julia Roberts that her name was even on the cover of this movie. I will never watch this again. If you want to see a really good real life tale of a princess, then watch “Enchanted.” Now “Enchanted” was the best princess film ever. But back to “Mirror Mirror.” Let’s just say I will never watch that again. That was a sure waste of $20. If you have to see it, just rent it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Meaghan, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed “Mirror, Mirror.” I thought the beginning was really cool—did a really good job. The way the queen tries to make herself “beautiful” was quite humorous. My 4-year-old brother was laughing the entire time. I thought that it was a little dark, but a wonderful twist on the average Snow White story.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sarah, age 11 (USA)

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