The School For Good And Evil

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Sophia Anne Caruso, Sofia Wylie, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne

Release date: 2022

2 out of 5


Sophie (Caruso) has always dreamed of being a fairytale princess, while her best friend Agatha (Wylie) would just prefer the local villagers didn’t call her a witch in this adaptation of the YA fantasy novel.

Together, the girls are whisked off to a land where there are two schools, one for good heroes and one for evil villains – the problem is, wild-haired Agatha gets dropped at the School for Good, and is forced to wear fancy frocks and learn how to woo a prince, while Sophie finds herself in the gothic-y School for Evil, run by not-that-bad-really Lady Lesso (Theron). As Sophie gets in touch with her inner meanie, and secrets about the school’s origins are revealed, you just know it isn’t going to end well.

Director Paul Feig – best known for the grown-up comedy Bridesmaids – borrows heavily from just about every teen and tween book and movie you can think of, from Harry Potter and Ella Enchanted to The Worst Witch and Once Upon A Time, mixes them together and ends up with a muddle of magic and morals, padded out with middling special effects and often dreadful dialogue.

There are a few fun moments – Sophie’s rock chick makeover will make most kids watching realise that the evil school looks far more fun and cool than the good one – and both Caruso and Wylie do their best with the thinly-sketched characters they are given.

With a running time of just under two and a half hours, it’s incredibly long, and only the most die-hard fan of the books will be able to sit through it without nodding off, despite the presence of scene stealers Theron, Washington and Fishburne. A final scene hinting at a second movie – it’s based on a series of books, after all – seems quite hopeful by the time the end credits eventually roll.

Is The School For Good And Evil suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


The two schools go to war and there are battle sequences aimed at older children and adults.

There are mildly scary moments, such as the initial battle between the two brothers who set up the school, and the scene in which Sophie and Agatha are dragged away from home by a creature that drops them at the schools.

There are scenes of threat, such as a reaper with a scythe, which may scare the under-10s.

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