‘Damsel’ Netflix Movie Review: Should You Watch Millie Bobby Brown’s Fantasy Epic?

The latest Millie Bobby Brown film, Damsel, is now streaming, but should you give it a watch?

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Damsel Netflix Movie Review Millie Bobby Brown

Cr. John Wilson / Netflix © 2024

Producing her third feature film for Netflix under the PCMA banner, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown makes her next movie appearance for the platform since 2022’s Enola Holmes 2 with the fantasy adventure movie Damsel, which stars MBB as the titular “damsel” named Elodie.

Helmed by 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo on a script from Dan Mazeau (Fast X, Wrath of the Titans), the film drops Brown in the center of the action (literally) as Elodie, a dutiful woman who agrees to marry the handsome Prince Henry for the sake of her people, gets thrown into a pit where she discovers she won’t be a princess after all. Instead, she becomes a sacrifice to appease a bloodthirsty dragon (naturally) as part of a longstanding agreement between the royal leaders and the dragon itself.

Bent on revenge for herself, her family, and the women who were sacrificed before her, Elodie must make her escape and confront those who have wronged her before another woman suffers the same fate.
Alongside Brown, the cast features Love, Simon star Nick Robinson as Prince Henry, House of Cards and The Princess Bride legend Robin Wright as Queen Isabelle, Oscar nominee Angela Bassett as Lady Bayford, and The Departed’s Ray Winstone as Lord Bayford.

Damsel may not be a make-or-break movie for Millie Bobby Brown, but it’s important for her to reassert herself into the limelight as a leading lady after such a long absence. With Stranger Things final season being pushed to 2025 and her next film, the Russo Brothers’ Netflix sci-fi project The Electric State, still being listed in post-production even though it’s listed as a 2024 release, Brown should hope that she has a bonafide hit on her hands with her fantasy survival film.

In short, she doesn’t. Or at least not critically.

With Stranger Things, she gets to be the special one, the leader, the love interest, and the coming-of-age daughter figure who loves Eggos.

With Enola Holmes, she gets to be the whip-smart burgeoning investigator who breaks the fourth wall and a few hearts while catching the bad guy.

With Damsel, she gets to run for her life, learn empathy for a dragon, and take down some lying, murder-adjacent royals.

While the last part may sound kinda cool, it doesn’t tell much about her character’s personality, skills, or inner desires.

Dmsl Nl1 0091 Ff

Damsel. (L-R) Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie, Nick Robinson as Prince Henry, Robin Wright as Queen Isabelle and Milo Twomey as King Roderick in Damsel. Cr. Netflix ©2023

More to the point, Elodie and the story she is in is basic and thin. She speaks of her mother, but the story never elaborates what that relationship looked and felt like. Her sister says early on that she is “… Elodie. (She) can do anything”, but we don’t get a sense of what makes that statement true. When asked about her greatest strength, she replies with honesty, but we never see her use that virtue to know this about her. She speaks of seeing the world, but not for any special reason besides she read about them. This film spends more time on the backstory of the dragon then it does on giving us a reason to care for Elodie and her family. Why would we follow her adventure of survival and revenge if we don’t buy into her before she is thrown in the pit?

The film seems to think the message of saving yourself and not being fooled by the lies of men is enough to make this film relevant and entertaining. However, while as topical & empowering as that may be, its delivery systems and execution don’t make an entertaining tale that would make the messaging more important and memorable.

As for performances, it’s hard to really pass judgment on anyone as they don’t have much to work with. Millie Bobby Brown does an admirable job with the chase scene physicality and maintains her commanding presence as a center of the frame star, but Elodie is a far cry from the energy and verve of an Enola Holmes or the range and depth of Eleven. Most everyone else is passable except sadly Angela Bassett seems like she’s in a stage play production of the film compared to all the others. Her overacting took me out of most of the scenes in which she performs, especially as her character barely registers as necessary.

Millie Bobby Brown In Damsel

Damsel. (L-R) Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie and Brooke Carter as Floria in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024

Overall, Damsel is a very average, very thin, and often boring letdown for fans of Millie Bobby Brown’s previous Netflix output. While its messaging is in the right place, we can’t ride with a character we don’t know. Survival that begets revenge for a sudden betrayal can be a powerful tool, but without a quality backstory or a more compelling escape puzzle to crack, it’s hard to grab hold & enjoy the ride. MBB should check how fast they can get The Electric State, Stranger Things, or a new Enola Holmes ready to distract from this forgettable film.

Watch Damsel on Netflix If You Liked

  • Enola Holmes films
  • The School for Good and Evil (2022)
  • The Princess (2022)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

MVP of Damsel

Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie

Millie Bobby Brown has “It”. For an actress of only 20 years old, she has shown us time and time again that she can transform into characters and make them into distinct, memorable roles that helped define the current state of Netflix.

Almost as important, she is incredibly selective in her projects and has a strong track record of picking winners in some regard. Once Stranger Things put her on the map, she has only been in franchises. Two Godzilla films, two Enola Holmes films with a rumored third film on the way.

But, sometimes, you have to prove that, even without the legacy of a giant monster or the world’s greatest detective, you can be effective. With Damsel, Millie proves that she can be in almost every scene of a movie and make people lean in when they barely have a reason to engage. She can do action; she can do thrills; she can do romance; she can do drama. She can do it all and only at 20 years old. Hopefully, we can get back to the winners of her past coming soon to her future.


Millie Bobby Brown is a star who deserves better than this under-cooked fantasy tale.

Written by

Andrew Morgan is a film critic & podcaster with 20 years of experience on the sets & offices of film & television. Current podcast host of the entertainment review show, Recent Activity. He lives in the Northeast of the United States.

 Poster Rating: PG-13
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Ray Winstone, Angela Bassett
Added to Netflix: March 8th, 2024

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