I had to make a lil' writeup about this movie because I have Strong Feelings about it.
Spoilers after the cut, if you are bothered by them. You've been warned!
Into the Woods.
It is quite interesting, and the mix of several different fairy tales, weaving them into a single one, is quite masterfully done.
I have an issue with the third act.
Jack is faced with the fact that the giant is attacking BECAUSE he stole, yet the blame is immediately shifted to someone else. He doesn't have to face much repercussion for his actions. He had no reason at all to steal, yet there isn't any moment when he examines this reality at all.
Furthermore, a few minutes after the blame shifting, Red Riding Hood starts wondering if killing the giant is the right thing to do. The giant is not only justified in attacking, but it is stated she seeks only Jack, for he is the only one responsible for the death of the other giant. However, immediately this possible moral dilemma is handwaved with a short musical number that boils down to "Everyone makes mistakes!"
This is NOT a good message.
I have a thing for grim fairy tales, and I'll admit that I have a very soft spot for Red Riding Hood, and to see a possible moral dilemma where the protagonists realize they are NOT heroes dismissed, even ignored, is a storytelling faux-pas in my eyes.
Even outside of storytelling, when someone realizes that their point might not be right, further examination is to be done, and rectifications made should it be proven that the current path isn't the best one. The worst thing that can be done is to ignore any insights. That is a path towards stagnation, and a good way to stunt critical thought and character growth.
While the movie is good for its first two acts, and Meryl Streep is the fantastic actress we all know and love her for, the writing becomes lazy and shallow by the third act, to the point where I'm fairly certain that Meryl's character doesn't die by sinking into the tar pit, but simply decides the rest of the characters are beyond any help, and leaves.
Go ahead and watch it, for musicals and fairy-tale inspired stories that don't shy away from their grim origins are always a pleasure to experience. This is just my opinion, and I'd love for everyone to form their own.
Just keep in mind, should you write your own story. Don't backpedal on any character development.