Johnny Depp, naturally, is wonderful. I'd read his "take" on the Mad Hatter before going in to see it. And he delivered that idea beautifully. Hatters were actually loony, we know, from the mercury they worked with to make their chapels. Depp felt that the "utlra silly and fast paced" loon version of the Mad Hatter would not actually be the case. Instead of just affecting his "witty" side, all faculties and range of emotions are heightend and exaggerated. He's a much more vulnerable, likeable character (and who doesn't love the Mad Hatter to begin with!)
I found this movie 'empowering' to women with no giant red flag to do so. Yes, there's a red flag for this aspect, but it's kind of like the ones on the end of a toothpick. Very ingrained into the story and subtle. And without the additional material brought to the tale, the impact of the strong female would lost.
My only complaint... and it doesn't even qualify as one is some missing characters. The gryphon, the Mock Turtle, the Cook and the Duchess. You won't find them here. Why? I'm not sure. Oh, yes, the White Knight of the Chessboard is gone to (and Humpty Dumpty - but hey, I can see why. It's utterly silly in the first place and he probably shattered at the hands of the Red Queen.) And that, I suppose, is what happened to the others - killed in the ruthlessness of the Red Queen's rule. I'll buy that and think of it that way. But how about a line for Hatter or the Caterpillar: "If only we could consult the Gryphon, but alas, the Queen has cut off his head for insolence." Something! But, as I said, it's a minor complaint for an otherwise brilliant work. But compared to the landmine plotholes which can be found in some of his films, it's not even an issue.