User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 240 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 240

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  1. Jan 22, 2013
    2
    If you like horror movies with non stop CGI, a storyline used over and over, unlikable characters, no real scares, and a ghost that looks like something out of a bad cartoon. Than this is for you. The theater was laughing non stop at the stupid that is Mama. Its as dumb as the title.
  2. Jan 30, 2013
    3
    The story line is great. However, the digital effects of the movie were not up to expectations. For a preteen, I would suggest this as a great hand-holder. As for adult thrill seekers, don't waste your time. The scenes drug on and on. The best part of the film is the ending, but it's not worth the wait. However, the acting done by the two little girls in the film is far from what's expected. They even "out act" all the adults in the film, by far. The movie would have been better if it wasn't for the bad producing and directing. Again, wouldn't waste my time. Expand
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Hey, I love you, girl," Lucas, a hirsute graphic artist tells his boho flatmate, Annabel, the bass guitarist in a three-piece indie-rock band, on the precipice of her incipient entree into womanhood. She's going to be a mother, or rather, a surrogate matriarchal figure, better known as the stepmom. Lucas' two nieces, Victoria and Lilly, missing for years and presumed dead, are found, miraculously, alive in a woodland cabin, and seemingly without parental supervision. On that fateful day in the band's rehearsal space, when Lucas breaks the news to Annabel of the girls' improbable recovery, the goth girl doesn't look none too pleased. Suddenly, her cool beau comes with baggage. Annabel, while talking it over with the lead singer, decides on a reactionary life-choice that betrays her persona, so soon after thanking god in the loo for the close call on a home pregnancy test. The femme singer, quite pointedly, calls Annabel "dude", as in, "You didn't sign up for this, dude," a sisterly endearment loaded with trenchant points in that the masculine appelation evokes a testament to such feminist ideals, chiefly, the outright rejection of traditional female roles. On her own volition, Annabel follows Lucas to suburbia, taking up residence in a two storey Virginia colonial, as part of an agreement with a behavioral scientist that accedes complete access to the girls for an empirical study on feral children. Like the wild child from Francois Truffaut's L'enfant sauvage, the girls walk on all fours and undergo an enculturation period. Alone in her vanilla trappings, Annabel, the exiled hipster, rocks the colonial. Quite a sacrifice for a "girl" whose desert island, all-time, top five musical artists would definitely include Kim Deal. Unlike Laura, Rob's long-suffering girlfriend in High Fidelity, whose slumming is protracted by her love for a arrested owner of a record shop, a sad diletantic man-child who wouldn't allow the paralegal to grow. Annabel's transition into adulthood, however, is abrupt, and especially curious, since she's the same person: same close-cropped hair, same raccoon-style eye makeup, differing from Laura, who tells Rob, "I couldn't go to work with my hair dyed pink." And yet she gives it all up. And not for something good like a career. The woman in flux chooses to be a homemaker with a surprising minimum of fuss. At the film's core, Mama beats a sexist heart, because the filmmaker suggests that all women, down deep inside, want to be mothers. Laura, too, despite being career-minded, was once an expecting mother-to-be, but fails to carry her child to full-term, since, as she tells it, due to Rob's one-night stand. But let's not forget the record shop owner's rebuttal to his transgressive behavior, in one of many instances where he breaks the fourth wall. On the bus, Rob humbly admits that Laura is the smart one; he realizes how Laura played him, convincing the in-film narrator that seeing other people was his idea, when, in actuality, she had already started anew with another man: the dreaded Ian. Laura not only outsmarts Rob; she outsmarts the audience. Laura, a former party girl, who first meets Rob in the midst of his deejay gig at a club, also worked as a legal aid during the day. Rob's infidelity came at the right time; it provided her with a convenient excuse to terminate the pregnancy. The film seems unaware that she chose to ascend through the ranks of her profession, rather than sit at home with a baby. It's a gambit that pays off, as indicated by Rob, when he muses aloud about the incongruity between her handsome salary and the "dump" she once resided in. The maternal instinct is neither engendered in Laura nor Annabel, but whereas High Fidelity allows for upward mobility as a transition into so-called respectability: a good job and a better man, signifiers both of personal growth, Mama has a fifties mentality, in which Annabel gives up the life she invented in order to rear children, as proof and verification of her finishing. She trades her bass for a laundry basket. Akin to Sylvie, the stepmother figure in Housekeeping, the aunt who inherits two girls that accept their new guardian in varying degrees(Ruth, the protege; Lucy, the rebel), just like how Victoria likes Annabel better than Lilly. Equipped with glasses, she sees that "mama" is just a stay-at-home mother. Today, women who reject the traditional role of wife and mother have someplace to go, but this being the 1950s, Sylvie just got lost, returning home from her vagabond's itinerary of constant walking after her nieces' orphaning. While window shopping, she cringes at the vacuum cleaner display. Her sister, the one who chose to vacuum, ended up driving her car over a cliff. Hopefully, Lucy will have better luck. Mama, too, plunges in the water, taking Lilly with her. Victoria survives; she wants to be like Annabel: independent, but the film won't let her out of the house. Expand
  4. Jan 31, 2013
    3
    We went to see this "movie", and I had high expectations....long story short: it sucked! I sooooo badly want to give specific reasons, but that would mean spoilers, because judging by the posts, there are people who believe this is "gonna be good". Trust me, the 3 minute short was far better. I am not a "troll", just another pissed off consumer! Let's put this way: we actually LAUGHED when it ended, and I never do that at a "scary" movie..."Mama Mia" was scarier. I would say "save your money", but different tastes will definitely help pay the producers bills, so go ahead, see for yourself. Hell! You might like it, but if you have any idea what a "good" horror movie is, you are gonna be REALLY disappointed because this film was not made for you. Expand
  5. Jan 27, 2013
    0
    I went to the cinema manager and asked for my money back. Happily he did give us free passes to any other movie of our choosing. He did say, though, that we weren't the only ones looking for refunds on this colossal pile of excrement. Even the visual effects were tired. Looks like every other supernatural film that has come out since the Ring. I wish I knew how to spell the sound of a human retching, that would explain my feelings on this movie. Expand
  6. May 7, 2013
    3
    Started off slow, but I didn't mind it. The story slowly started to evolve. Along the way, there were a few scary moments. But 3/4 of the way, the movie fell apart. The movie became very cheesy and the suspence was gone.
  7. Apr 29, 2013
    0
    This year's Woman in Black. They take a popular actor at the time (in this case Nikolaj Coster Waldau, known for playing Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones) and put him in a poorly made movie about a vengeful spirit and hope it sells. Mama is simply a god awful movie with no suspense what so ever. A terrible generic story with cheap scares, that honestly don't scare at all. The fact that people actually like this trash proves how poor their taste are. Expand
  8. Apr 27, 2013
    4
    A CGI mess, How this film received so many positive reviews, is beyond me. Cliche after cliche, Horror isn't in it's DNA, no more than a suspense film.
  9. Feb 9, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers. No, No, and No! This movie was way overpriced, way too slow getting started, and even more under developed than I had expected after watching what seemed to be enticing previews for it. I don't understand why directors wish to push half developed movies; oh wait, Yes I DO! It's for the stupid teenagers who theatre hop and giggle all through the movie, like the ones that sat near me tonight in the theatre. They made an very mediocre movie even worse since I had to half listen to them and half focus on the movie as I continued to ask questions like why did it start with the delusional father killing the wife?, and what possessed him to take the girls to the wood?, and why the ghost was called mad and in a 19th century asylum? Very unsatisfying movie. I wish I would've waited to rent it once it on bluray instead of the paying $9.50 to watch it in a loud theatre. Collapse
  10. Nov 25, 2013
    4
    It's not terrible but it's not good. The creature isn't scary, the jumps suck and it ending made no sense to me what so ever. The acting isn't very easy to judge due to the fact there is very little character development, the story is a good idea but the CGI sucks and the creature design seriously looks like something from Tim Burtons Corpse Bride.

    A little eerie but not worth your time.
  11. Feb 1, 2013
    4
    I give this movie a 4. The best moments of the movie were shown during the trailer. There were a couple of "jump" moments. Chastain was unrecognizable and a little long in the tooth for the "rocker" part. The movie had promise but really just fell apartt. The rendering of Momma herself was a disppointment. Don't waste your movie dollars. Dad loses money, loses it in general, kills his wife, and makes off with this too little girls in the dead of winter. He has a car accident and arrives at a seemingly abandoned cabin the wood. There's something strange in the cabin and dad is soon dispatched. The two little girls are left to fend for themselves. Fastforward 5 or so years later and they are found by some hunters who were hired by their uncle to search for them all this past years. The girls are feral, dirty, and fearful. The older girl recovers more quickly than the younger one. Someone seems to have followed them to their uncle's home. Neither their uncle nor aunt are really prepared to raise normal kids much less this two little girls. Who's momma, what does she want, and is she real or just a figment of the girls' imagination? Expand
  12. Feb 17, 2013
    0
    Guillermo del toro has made great films in the past but this time the presents logo has let him down. Mama is not a great film. It doesn't give you creepy jeepers from movies like Paranormal Activity, it's a crappy horror movie with bad CGI effects and jessica chainten was "meh". This film absolutely has no story, the0 is only for some of the creepy performances. 0/10. Nothing more.
  13. Oct 9, 2013
    2
    When my brother invited me to premiere I was very exciting because I've heard many good reviews about this film. Later, I left cinema, scared but not for "Mama" but bad movie was it. This film hasn't sense. Okay, a evil ghost thought that two little orphan girls are her daughters but film has struggles to explain the real reasons. Sorry, but "Mama" is not for me.
  14. Jun 5, 2013
    1
    it wasnt scary you could see the how computized mama is and none of the pops scared me or gave me the chills none of them. from the previews i thought this would be good so i watched it an it wasnt good you will laugh if your a true horror fan alright except your little sister who will be screaming her head off while your laughing and the computerized mama
  15. Aug 6, 2013
    4
    Mama initially struck me as potentially great collaboration of Producer Guillermo del Torro and director Andres Muschietti. And if you were to judge that statement based on the first 20 minutes or so of the film, I would have considered that statement to be accurate. However, as we all know, things are not what we expect them to be. Without going into much detail, The rest of the film strays from being a fresh horror movie and instead Delivers an unoriginal, predictable, and sadly disappointing movie. Expand
  16. Feb 28, 2014
    3
    Bad movie,very stupid,the mama character is very bad computerised,no story,they wonted to make an unexpected ending but they fail because thats was stupid too.The only good thing in the movie was Jessica Chainstains performance.I canot say this is worth watching at all. sorry for bad english if there is some not my mothern language.
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 26, 2013
    67
    Mama is one of those pictures that holds you aloft on its vaporous mood of dread – the occasional silliness of the plot mechanics don’t matter so much.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Feb 26, 2013
    50
    Beautifully envisioned, badly constructed, the only truly terrifying things in the new horror movie Mama are the fake tattoos, short black hair and black T-shirts meant to turn "Zero Dark Thirty" star Jessica Chastain into a guitar-shredding, punk rocker chick.
  3. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Feb 22, 2013
    40
    It has been converted into a proficient, machine-tooled horror flick, stuffed full of shocks and buttressed with back-story. Mama got so flabby the second time around.