I just saw it, and... I LOVED IT.
I'm not a Disneyphile, but I've always had a soft spot for the 1959 adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. It's so gorgeous and quirky, and Maleficent is a wonderful villain. I wasn't at all sure what I was going to think of this movie, especially after some of the rather murky reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. Honestly, I left the theater thinking that critics who said the story was too jumpy or vague must not have been paying close attention.
Yes, the visuals are stunning, but beyond that, the story has an emotional depth that took me by surprise. One thing you should know straight up: this movie is definitely NOT an attempt to show what was happening "off camera" during the original 1959 movie. It's actually an entirely new story, but with lots of overlapping elements. I was put off by this at first, but ultimately, I think it was the right choice. Yes, there are a lot of changes to the narrative, and yes, some classic elements of the original story are left out, but that's acceptable in a reboot, which is what this really is.
A few things I didn't like: 1.) The old white-haired king is Stefan's predecessor, not his best friend, and he is not the father of Prince Phillip. 2.) The names of the fairies were changed. The new names are cool and very suitable for fairies, but I thought they should at least be called Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather during the time that they are in disguise. 3.) Aurora's mother dies off-camera for no apparent reason. (Protip: living characters are more interesting than dead ones, so only kill them if there's some payoff in the story.)
The things I loved were too numerous to mention. For me, though, the best part is how they totally lampshaded the idea that Aurora and the prince could be in "true love" after one five minute meeting. Also, it's cool to think that a lot of this backstory, though certainly not all of it, is applicable to the Maleficent from the 1959 movie (and I'd argue that this is in fact the case, canonically speaking). It gives a lot of added depth to an already awesome character.
For me, the biggest moment of getting chills was when Lana Del Rey's version of "Once Upon a Dream" played, when the ending credits began, and I realized that, in this version of the story, the lyrics are actually about Aurora and Maleficent, not Aurora and the prince.
My rating: 4/5 stars. Go see it!