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Snow White and the Huntsman: Movie Review

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If you are expecting a Disney-esque re-imagining of a beloved fairy tale with Snow White and the Huntsman, you have either missed the movie trailer on television or have succumbed to wishful thinking.  This movie journeys quite far from the sanitized animated classic from a bygone era.

Such Snow White staples as ‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall’ and the seven dwarfs play central roles in Snow White and the Huntsman, but Sleepy, Dopey, and Doc have been replaced by the fiercer but likeable Beith, Muir, and Gort.     

First time director Rupert Sanders, best known for his work on television commercials, certainly has done a remarkable job of creating a dark, medieval world filled with scurvy peasants, muck and mire, and odd looking creatures that scurry about.  His highly-stylized visuals are the hallmark of this film.


In a classic tale of good vs. evil, an evil temptress (Charlize Theron, Hancock) captivates a grieving king who has recently lost his wife.  On their wedding night, she kills him to assume the throne.  There is but one problem … the king’s daughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart, Twilight).  The Queen locks the young heroine in a prison-like dark tower in hopes that she will live a tortured existence.  Snow White eventually escapes into the Dark Forest.  The Queen chooses a down on his luck, grieving widower, Huntsman Eric (Chris Hemsworth, Thor, The Avengers ) to capture Snow White and bring her back.  Furthermore, Snow White’s childhood friend, William (Sam Claflin, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ) also sets out to find and save her from the Queen. 

Stewart, a favorite of fantasy-genre fans from her role in the Twilight series, struggles to capture the innocence and inner strength that Snow White possesses.  Limited in range as an actor, Stewart certainly embodies a fighting spirit but seems to be lacking in the ethereal department, a key component of the Snow White character.

Despite a tendency to over-act in some scenes, Theron gives a multi-layered performance that reveals the pure evil of the Queen character but also demonstrates a vulnerability in her insatiable desire to be beautiful.


You can’t fault a movie where good overcomes evil when the fate of the world seems to be teetering toward ruin.  Sanders does a commendable job of drawing a clear line between darkness and light.

People of faith will be pleased to hear Snow White recite the Lord's Prayer ( ) when all hope seems lost while she is locked away in the dark tower.  She is delivered from her prison of woe shortly thereafter.

The likeable but gruff band of dwarves (led by Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, and Ray Winstone) provide much needed optimism in a time of dread.  While their humor is limited, the dwarves more than make up for it in spirit and a willingness to help despite the rather dismal circumstances.


Christian viewers will be highly disappointed over the heavy-handed use of sorcery, black magic, and various spells cast by the evil Queen.  While it is certainly understood that the evil Queen uses magic in the original fairy tale, viewers are subjected to a much darker, seamier use of it in this movie.  

While coarse language is limited, there are many intense sequences of violence that should make parents take pause.  In addition, there are several scenes of brief sensuality involving the evil Queen.


For all of its spectacular visual imagery and special effects, Snow White and the Huntsman falls short in one highly critical area.  Please note, this movie does succeed on many levels.  Cinematically, it is well crafted.  It is visually appealing.  Theron is very good in her portrayal of a tragic figure.  However, as a Christian, I can’t look beyond the sorcery and black magic that dominates throughout.  I would be better served looking in a different mirror.  You will too.

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About The Author


Chris Carpenter is the program director for, the official website of the Christian Broadcasting Network. He also serves as executive producer for myCBN Weekend, an Internet exclusive webcast show seen on In addition to his regular duties, Chris writes extensively for the website. Over the years, he has interviewed many notable entertainers, athletes, and politicians including Oscar winners Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon, evangelist Franklin Graham, author Max Lucado, Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and former presidential hopefuls Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike