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Generally favorable reviews- based on 251 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 25 out of 251

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  1. Jan 22, 2013
    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. Feb 10, 2013
    One of those very rare horror flicks tat never fail to impress u.A lot of genuine scary scenes.Even if ur one of those people who can sit through all of the scenes that cause a stir the storyline will never disappoint u.the story has been well written.The movie is calm and quiet throughout the story moves at a decent pace...also not one of those dull movies or those set of horror movies that end on a depressing note..and yes, it also does a brilliant job at making u jump out of your seat when u have to unlike most other movies that try to force tat upon u and fail. Expand
  3. Jan 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was a disappointment - expected more from Del Toro, even if he wasn't directing. The premise was interesting enough and riffing off financial collapse (now that is a horror movie) was a promising start. But despite good acting and decent cinematography the film falls into cliches and is disjointed. And can we all admit that CGI is not frightening? It just pulled me right out of the film and any hope of feeling horror soon turned into annoyance. There were a number of jolting moments but generally these turned out to be cheap stunts to get a rise from the audience. I'd recommend as a rental. Expand
  4. Jan 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's a bit of a clunker. The movie is shot very well, creepy dark gloom and one especially cool flashback. The acting is for the most part serviceable if not solid. Jessica Chastain in particular does well with the material (better than the morose standing about and pouting we got to see from her in ZDT). The movie's story is standard stuff so dont expect anything big or game changing here. Though overall the movie is mediocre, the parts that are bad, are incredibly bad. One scene in particular stands out, In a dream world Luke (nicolai coster-waldau) speaks to a ghost who speaks in what could be one of the worst professional audio mixes in a decade. Another part of the film is the scripts use of characters. Luke as a character is unnecessary, he really does nothing and the film would have been more effective without him, which in turn would have given you a shorter and tighter film. As well the script has plenty of inane, why did this, or that doesn't make any sense, moments. Overall the film is alright, but I'd think twice about paying theater prices too see it. Expand
  5. Apr 26, 2013
    It was a good movie,starts slowly but bottom stage get the momentum,and ended nicely.Well written script and decent effects.End was better than i predicted.
  6. Jan 30, 2013
    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
  7. Aug 13, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Mama has a really crazy story, having the so called "entity" feel much more realistic and physical-ish. The Mama entity is so chilling to see, loved every aspect, it's so interesting to see that the kids are so natural and relaxed around it. Couldn't ask for a better cast; I love Jessica Chastain, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau characters they have great chemistry. This cinematographer, Antonio Riestra... wow amazing at keeping me at the edge of my seat. Also props go to Michele Conroy for editing. And don't I want to forget the Director, Andrés Muschietti, for doing such an amazing job! Mama will forever remain in my Top Horror movies of All time!! Expand
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers. "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. Collapse
  9. Jan 31, 2013
    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
  10. Jul 19, 2013
    Let me first just get this out of the way, Mama isn't a scary movie. Despite its lack of any sort of fear it's still an enjoyable movie thanks to it's well written plot. It's filled with mystery and likable characters. As you learn more details about the plot, and what exactly "Mama" is, you begin to see a bitter-sweet side of the story. It's actually kind of a sad tale. Mama managed to keep watching, and most importantly interested, because I actually cared about the characters and their fates. I watched this movie in hopes of getting a good scare, and while the movie didn't deliver any frights whatsoever it still kept me entertained and I find that impressive. So I recommend Mama, not for frights, but for story. Expand
  11. Mar 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Mama is a horror film of 2013 directed by Andres Muschietti. The plot begins with Jeffrey who kills his wife and flees with her ​​daughters. During the escape Jeffrey upset, has a car accident and the three find themselves in a forest. Wandering find an abandoned cabin where Jeffrey decides to kill her children and then himself, but he can not aim because a strange creature kills him. This same creature will take care of two children for five years as it will be discovered by men hired by Lucas's brother Jeffrey. Annabele him and (his girlfriend) will take care of them but the mysterious creature will do anything to be with the girls. A horror film that manages to scare in places with excellent shots and great actors, the film succeeds in some places even to touch. Final and the storyline by no means trivial although I think some important parts of the film were cut (in fact we do not know what he later found in the woods Lucas after the ghost of his brother told him to go there). Expand
  12. Jan 27, 2013
    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
  13. Feb 10, 2013
    This is definitely the best horror movie I have seen in 2013. The quality of the movie is outsanding and the story is amazing. I could watching over and over again.
  14. Apr 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Not bad horror containing plenty of jumps, probably more laughter at what was just so ugly. This story line has been done so many times the concept is nothing uniquely new. What this film had is one of the best "crackhead" (pun) monsters on film, visually nasty. Riminiscent of The Ring, The Grudge, The Excorist and other good horrors. Disappointment into what was turned out to be such a lame ending, this equated to, a bird in the hand is worth more then two on the branch. While playing that boohoo melody with its white lights and moths/butterflies CGI. The biggest flaw I had with this film was the doctor doing his own investigation right after running away. Not much expectation from a dumb slang title.

    Middle road scores for having such a nasty Mama
  15. Feb 5, 2013
    Actually, I don't like movies under "Horror" category. But Mama is different, it tries hard to avoid the cliches and succeeds in that. Also the movie has a good story to tell, unlike most horrors, which includes the theme of motherhood love. I recommend this movie to every horror lover, the score would be about 9 if I liked horror category in general.
  16. Aug 27, 2014
    Mama es una película de terror que no solo ofrece algunos sustos de vez en cuando, si no que además contiene un cierto atractivo en la historia que inducirá al público a algo triste y una tanto macabro a la vez.

    El film contiene una trama interesante y alentadora, que da una sensación de que no solo es una película de terror, si no que también encuentra de alguna forma una diversidad
    alternativa al lado familiar., además, el film, contiene un final un poco atrevedor y curioso. Expand
  17. Jun 4, 2013
    "Although Mama is on the more "compulsively scary" side of things. It lacks the effort that make films like "Insidious" scary. Its bland and hardly effective, also suffering from a frigid conclusion, Mama was still not as terrible as it should have been" C+
  18. Jan 30, 2013
    For 5 years, 2 little girls are raised in the woods by a ghostly specter. When they're returned to civilization, they move in with their uncle (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) and his girlfriend (Jessica Chastain). Of course, their "mama" comes with them. This is a relatively well-told ghost story with a creepy atmosphere, some nice surprises and a few good scares. Since there's only one evil presence, the intrigue is limited. To make things worse, it completely falls apart by the time we get to the laboriously overdone ending. Fans of the genre might enjoy much of it, but it's not special in any way. (And what happened to the dog?) Expand
  19. May 7, 2013
    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.
  20. Apr 28, 2013
    This movie was too typical, it wasn't bad nor good....though it was very boring...i hope they don't make a part 2 of it like the ring 2, where they show how the so called ''mama'' origins will be showed..i hate predictable movies like don't bother to watch this movie in theatres, waste of money it would be :o ...all i have to say is don't make predictable,boring,stereotypical movies..sinister is a good horror movie out so far... Expand
  21. Jul 13, 2013
    Disappointing and lacking in scares or chills, yet enjoyable. The film may have a great performance from Jessica Chastain, but her character is unlikable and not a lot of people will care for her. There are indeed some creepy moments, but the film lacks scares and some moments come off as unintentionally hilarious and really silly, probably due to lame and unnecessary CG. The film's ending is strange but beautiful yet plenty of people will probably not like it. Overall, Mama is decent but disappointing and lacking in scares. Expand
  22. Apr 29, 2013
    Pretty good horror flick, starting with a typical cheesy premise, but ending quite strongly. Chastain as usual is great, and Mama ends up being an interesting 'monster' character, typical with any of Del Toro's produced films.
  23. Feb 24, 2013
    Just saw this yesterday and I'm a little conflicted.......let's starts with the good:the opening scene was interesting enough but I don't know if I missed a key part that explains why the father started killing people then his ex-wife(child support maybe?)then decides to kill his two daughters...then himself...I wanted to know what drove him to this point but like I said...there were no explanation for his actions...even his brother never says why(maybe he was just as clueless as I was)the scenes were well done for the most part and the acting was believable and the locations(mainly the spooky looking house in the woods) were great! The character development of the female lead was good...she go's from i don't want kids to really putting her life on the line(like any loving mother)for the two girls, speaking of the girls, the youngest is a complete nutcase! The bad: A lot of the story just felt weak and/or rushed! They also should have explained the history of the spirit haunting the two girls more thoroughly instead of just tacking on the whole....she was insane story....she should have had more dept to her character....this horror movie actually had a good story but just fell short which is disappointing because it had good material to work with. Also, when the guy was pushed down the stairs...he clearly saw the monster but whats the first thing he did when he got out the hospital? He went to the woods and got lost....? The therapist was smart enough to figure out what the ghost wanted but was to stupid to bring what he needed to stop the ghost got and himself killed? There's also an identity crisis with mama because the director(or writer) didnt know who was actually the leading star. I thought it was the uncle/boyfriend but he gets sidelined early in the movie and the woman pretty much finish's what he started! In the end its a pretty scary movie with a good(if not disappointing) story. Its not perfect but it was good enough that anyone can enjoy it even if its just a rental so i give it a 6/10 Expand
  24. May 13, 2013
    I have been eschewing horror films for quite a long time, not my cup of tea to be constantly under the fusillade of twisted images of supernormal creatures and the menacing sound effects antedated by portentous background scores, while trying to squeeze any sort of excitement and satisfaction from it (or just a natural aging process). But MAMA, outsmarts a myriad of its sort by casting Jessica Chastain as its sadistic prey, so when I got the BluRay disc, it is not easy to say no to it, not when Chastain wears a Gothic makeup.

    THE ORPHANAGE (2007, 8/10), which also has a Spanish pedigree, has left an indelible impression on my memory and its credo of a mother’s salvation can be easily transplanted into MAMA, only this time the mother is a gawky ghost, thus, Chastain’s character, initially a childless bass player in a rock band, has to undergone the transference of her own mother nature to fight for the girls, it is a tug-of-war of two mothers (Coster-Waldau’s proxy-father figure as one can anticipate, would have to sidestep aside to leave enough space for the maternal battle, he would be in the hospital since the half-way through and never returns home to aid his girlfriend even when he recovers and completely senses the spooky thing is happening with the two girls, instead, he would go directly to the haunted cabana, at least give your girlfriend a head’s up, man!). It is sufficient to say there are nothing too ground-breaking MAMA brings to its mother genre, the scares and twists are both predictable and fully-informed ahead, and a certain amount of casualty among supporting players is indispensable (and overused).

    What’s quite impressive is the ingenious shooting prowess from Muschietti and DP Antonio Riestra, for example, during Coster-Waldau’s hospital stint, a semi-long shot at their home, in a fixed gaze, implies Mama’s existence in the house by disinterestedly concocting all 3 extant characters in one frame while a fourth one is off-camera and does the interaction. Another one comes within the spine-tingling motion, a tracking close-up focus on the elder girl until she is locked outside the door when Mama is trailing both girls. Also the sepia and over-saturated flash-back takes are smartly interpolated, and the shots from a camera in the darkness is not a new invention but pay their dues by the in-the-blink-of-an-eye fright (poor doctor!).

    Chastain shoulders on a very understated development from a punk bassist to a surrogate mother, Muschietti has a good sense of reining the holistic haunting aura instead let it slip into a drama competition (although if one has Chastain, he should not squander the opportunity). Megan Charpentier, plays the elder sister of the two, whose transition is the most telling proof of a mother’s love, the ending is redolent of THE FORGOTTEN (2004, 5/10), and the motherly clasp always win!

    MAMA, expanded from Muschietti’s own short film, is a qualified scare-fest, but one advise should be alarmed to all the makers, whatever gristly creature you are contriving, if it appears continuously on screen for more than 5 minutes, the terror efficacy will be dampened no matter how unsightly it is, so play your trumps parsimoniously is a wiser option if your intention is to scare audiences out of their wits.
  25. Apr 29, 2013
    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
  26. Jan 23, 2013
    Great scary movie. I thought the story and the cinematography were great for a scary movie. It has been a long time since I can say that for a scary movie, probably since "Strangers." My only cons was the fact I laughed everytime they said 'Mama' and the ending did not make alot of sense. Also, Jessica Chastain was a smoking hot as a goth rockband chick.
  27. Feb 5, 2013
    Pretty decent film. But nothing special.
  28. Sep 1, 2014
    Terrifying all around. Well-thought of and beautifully executed. Jessica Chastain proves she will never fall into typecasting as she boldly takes on this role.
  29. Jun 15, 2013
    A rare horror movie that doesn't combine stupidly with a ridiculous story. Mama carried enough thrills and scares to make up for the sometimes sleepy scenes.
  30. Jun 15, 2013
    A horror movie that is actually not tasteless, disgusting, or pure crap. Well acted and filmed. It is scary without being ridiculous. It was gripping, but it got a little cheesy at the end.
  31. Jan 19, 2013
    To start off, let me say that I am a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro's movies. I love his vision and the diversity of his characters and situations he creates in his stories. that said, Mama was somewhat of a disappointment. The movie was great with it's scares and chills(mama is definitely creepy), but the ending should have been so much better thought out and executed. I believe a better ending would have given this movie a stronger lasting power with fans of horror. Still its worth a look. Expand
  32. Feb 13, 2013
    Overall, a watchable film. The performances are good especially that of Jessica Chastain. The plot is different, no doubt about that, but the script gets a bit confusing at times (there are plot-holes (avoidable), the writing hasn’t been executed in the way it should have been, it also gives you the feeling that there would be a sequel to it) but if you like old school scares instead of torture-porn/cheap gore, then you might like it. Visuals are pretty good and the film also incorporates the element of emotion which is almost always absent in horror films. Expand
  33. Nov 23, 2013
    Although certainly creepy Mama relies largely on moments that make you jump instead of really scariness. Also it as a movie falls slightly into the horror movie stereotype in some fashions such as having a wise older character that pieces it all together first. Other than that though, it is well directed and all the acting is good.
  34. Apr 27, 2013
    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.
  35. Feb 9, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
  36. Feb 9, 2013
    'Mama' is a great horror movie, but the movie is not all terror, too much drama.
  37. Aug 3, 2013
    January horror flicks aren't usually produced by Guilermo Del Toro, nor do they usually star an Oscar nominated actress. Suffice it to say, though it's no masterpiece, Mama is an above-average scare show.
  38. May 4, 2013
    "Mama" succeeds in generating a few genuine scares, but it predominantly provides some lingering, and creepy images--despite indulging into numerous clichés. It is a well-made film that delivers mild chills and thrills, with a solid cast to help gloss over the expected bag of tricks. It also helps tremendously to have Guillermo del Toro as an Executive Producer.

    In the prologue to
    "Mama," we learn of a shooting at a financial firm after an economic crash. A distraught executive named Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) arrives home, quickly collects his two young daughters, Victoria and Lilly, and speeds off. They end up in an abandoned house deep in the forest, where Lucas apparently intends to shoot his daughters before he can kill himself. But that is not quite how it works out. Five years later, Lucas' brother Jeffrey (also played by Coster-Waldau) has never given up hope. Jeff's team of searchers comes across the abandoned house we saw a century ago in a nightmare. Dad's long gone, but the girls are still there crawling around on all fours and making noises like wild animals. How could they have survived on their own? They are taken into the care of their dead father's brother and his rocker girlfriend away from the cabin they've called home all this time. Mama is none too pleased about this development, as I'm sure you can imagine. The girls are kept in isolation for a few months as Dr. Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash) records their every move while helping with their assimilation, given that Victoria keeps making cryptic references to an unseen Mama. Lilly sleeps under the bed, still occasionally eats bugs, and screams whenever anyone tries to touch her. The girls hardly seem ready for ice cream and bedtime stories, but Jeffrey is determined to give them a normal life. Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti, managed to keep an entire back-story up their sleeves to reveal it in teasing fashion, which works to a degree, maintaining viewers engagement with the film. In addition, there are some creative nightmare sequences--a highly stylized dream set in which we see a crazed young woman screaming bloody terror before leaping off a cliff with her newborn.

    Overall, the casting for the film is fine, especially the role of Annabel, played by Jessica Chastain, who slowly sheds her tough-talking exterior from "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012). Her nurturing instincts take over in this film, displaying her incredible range as one of the finest at her craft at this time. There are ideas and themes present in "Mama", but they are not quite fully developed to satisfaction, as the film does confuse at times when it seems to suggest that the idea of settling into a normal family unit could in fact be the real horror. Come the end, Muschietti may not have worked out all his own unresolved issues, but he does manage communicate his fears effectively. And besides, that's what sequels are for.
  39. Feb 15, 2013
    I thought this movie was great. Definitely a fresh twist on the Horror genre. Movies like this are best experienced in a packed theater with everyone around you clutching their armrests.
  40. Feb 16, 2013
    The worse thing in the movie is that it should be more scary, because the story its self is more scarier than its execution, but still very good movie, despite that the pacing is terrible, but if you are looking for a decent scary movie, that people under 12 won't be scared of it, watch MAMA it is really fun and scary but not horrifying, really, I am so disappointed that it is not scary is it should be. Expand
  41. Jan 28, 2013
    Storyline: Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) star in this stylish, scary horror flik which is about two abandoned kids, living in a shack in the wilderness after their father crashes his car. Wait a minute, Hansel and Gretel anyone? Nah, this is way better.

    Acting: After seeing Jessica Chastain in 'The Help' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' it's nice to see her try
    something very different as she plays a rock chick with tattoo's. She pulled it off easily and very convincingly. She's doing something right because that's 3 great movies in as many years. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau who is better known in his native Denmark first came to my attention in the excellent 'Headhunters' done a decent enough job but two seasons of 'Game of Thrones' has made it hard to picture him as anyone other than Jaime Lannister, know what I mean? Maybe it's just me. The two little girls were pretty good as well.

    Direction: I had never heard of Andrés Muschietti until this and on checking I see Mama is a remake of a short he made in 2008 but this is his first feature. What a debut. I know it's a lowly horror but English isn't even his first language so I think he's done an excellent job.

    Production: While $15 million is no small sum it still makes this a fairly low budget movie. The film has a great feel and look about it thanks to the sets and the make-up and special effects while there aren't lots of them they are extremely good. A well put together film.

    Conclusion: This is way better than your average horror with great scares. Scary little girl horrors are great and there are 2 in this, even better. Highly Recommended.

    Score: 7.5/10
  42. Jan 19, 2013
    This was definitely one of the better horror movies to come out in recent memory. Being a father of two young daughters (coincidentally the same age apart as the two in the film) the movie certainly had a way of pulling at the heart-strings in developing many lovable characters. As a parent, the story comes off as an almost unbearably sad in parts. This, however, also creates one of the key downsides of the film as well, at least when seeing it with a full auditorium. The PG-13 rating, as is the studio's want, creates larger audiences, but it also invites younger audiences as well. Seeing a movie like this with today's teenagers, who do not have children of their own (and by the way they acted, hopefully never do...) and thus can't relate to more than half of the raw emotions that are depicted in this movie, becomes a very frustrating scenario. It was clear that the younger daughter, Lilly, was seen by these teenagers as frightening and terrible, where all my wife and I could see was a frightened and terrified, helpless little girl.

    All and all, the movie was fun (though deeply depressing) to watch. It was so artfully shot, well-lit, and well-acted, that you find yourself willing to forgive some of the not-so-stellar writing (i.e. - anything near the beginning pertaining to Jessica Chastain's character being in a rock band).
  43. Jan 19, 2013
    I came in to the movies to watch mama with very low expectations however I was surpised that the movie was as good as it was the best part of the movie are the two lil girls they are creppy from start to finish and they really make this movie diferent from other paranormal centric movies I recomend this movie but only wile its in theaters so you can enjoy how creppy this movie is
  44. Jan 24, 2013
    Mama is the perfect suspenseful and dark horror movie to start off 2013, and also proves to be a good first directing effort from Andres Muschietti. This film is able to achieve what so many horror films fail to do, and that is to scare us. The last scary horror film in theaters was "Sinister" and it showed that there is still hope for the horror genre, and Mama showed once again that I am right. The film does make some mistakes and has a lot of horror film clichés that keep it from being great, but I still urge you to check out this film and experience a very creepy film. Jessica Chastain has already established herself as one of the top actresses in Hollywood currently, and she perfectly fits this performance and has us really follow her to the end. What is so interesting and unique about a film like this is that I rarely have had a PG-13 horror film scare me, mainly because most horror films are rated R because they want to push the limits of horror. But Mama was able to provide good scares while also being able to be suitable for most people. Most people will have a mixed reaction when they see this film, some may like the film, some may hate it, and some might like it but think the ending killed the tension. I felt like when we finally see the ghost of Mama it destroyed a lot of the mystery and fear, but it still was a satisfying conclusion to a good film. There is a lot of CGI used in this film and most of it is used very smart, but there are times where they can go a little overboard with the special effects. It takes a while to adjust to this film, but soon you get used to it and find that it Expand
  45. Nov 25, 2013
    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.
  46. Jan 28, 2013
    The movie was able to build a great atmosphere and I really enjoyed the acting. That being said I was kinda disapointet that it was more of a "jump scare" movie then a true horror movie, the design of MAMA didn't really do it for me and once they showed her full shape the suspense behind having a monster behind you disapeared. There were also some bloopers which I am not gonna mention. Overall watching this with friends ended up being a fun and enjoyable experience. Thats why I am giving it a 7/10. Expand
  47. Feb 25, 2013
    This film was not what I had expected. Although the idea of the story was compelling, the film just seemed to lack. The acting I think was most definitely up to par, and I can surely say that Jessica Chastain and the two young girls play their roles very well. I just believe the structure was unbalanced. There is a lot of build up, to what I believe was a very anti-climactic ending.
  48. Feb 1, 2013
    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
  49. May 2, 2013
    es una película de suspenso pero lo deja a uno pensando en el amor de las madres y ademas es un deleite visual tambien krx,wls,tredmyhx4t5yhyi54ljnhflhjnt
  50. Feb 17, 2013
    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.
  51. Feb 16, 2013
    I am not an authorized critic or anything like that. I am just a normal everyday person. I give a rating of 8 because it is a good movie but the ending sucked. Other than that, the movie is scary and takes strange turns but keeps your attention throughout movie.
  52. Aug 15, 2013
    Although it's lacking in anything that is truly frightening, the story is kind of sad... Still though, I feel like this has been over done. Not a bad movie, but nothing really special either.
  53. Feb 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. i think mama was a very scary movie it scared the out of my cousin this is a movie i would love to watch again and it show all the stuggles a mama has to go to to see the girls she raised ps why dose lily die why Expand
  54. Mar 4, 2013
    Incredibly freaky and sad movie. It scared the heck out of me and out the same time the ending made me really sad. It's special effects looked wildly real and wildly freaky. Del Toro is a great director and a master of horror and drama.
  55. Jun 2, 2013
    I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this film it really does have some creepy moments. Horror movie fans should like this if you like story over gore. See Mama.
  56. Oct 9, 2013
    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.
  57. Mar 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Before I get started, let me say that this movie had good qualities. The acting was, for the most part, well done, even by the children. The beginning of the movie had me excited; the back story of the girls was interesting and I felt that the pictures in the opening credits and Lucas' search for the girls were a good start for making characters the audience could care about. Before we kept seeing Mama (or the Skinny Woman, as I think the credits called her), the hints at her were nice. I really liked when she first played with Lilly. The suspense, despite a bad plot and pay off, was good. But, there were also lots of problems. The characterization quickly went nowhere and any development felt forced. The color editing was dumb, utterly failing to create atmosphere and making sure that the audience couldn't be a part of the story. The story, while a bit used, could have been salvageable with a better ending, but with the way it is, there is no feeling of conclusion. So Lilly, Gene, and Dreyfus are dead, how do you explain that to the police? Does Victoria overcome the psychological scarring that all of her childhood has clearly been? Once the excitement dies down, are Lucas and Annabelle, with no previous experience and now, presumably, without the house, able to properly care for Victoria, assuming that she wasn't taken away after the bodies are found? Also, while Mama's design was certainly one of the better parts of the movie, I don't understand the choice to show so much of her (and then, since so much was shown, why include the overdone flashes-of-light-in-a-dark-room bit?) It provided a few jump scares at first, but the CGI was distracting. Everything else in the movie, the moths, the leaves and vines, the dirt, the cabin, the feral girls, and the design of Mama itself, was natural, so having something as unnatural as the clearly CGIed ghost was jarring, and not in the good horror way. And, combined with knowing everything about Mama, there was nothing left to the imagination, robbing the movie of a lot of potential horror and creepiness. Yes, it might have scared you at the time, but I doubt anyone will be having any nightmares about her, and if not for the bad parts, this alone would have made the movie completely forgettable. Well, maybe I would have remembered it, if only for how hard I tried to figure out the "meaning" of the themes and symbols. There were moths as a sign of Mama, moths that Lilly ate, the cocoon that Mama formed around herself and Lilly, and the blue moths that were Lilly? I know that they usually do mean death and rebirth and all that jazz, but what does that have to do with Mama? Didn't we already learn that ghosts were simply emotions? Are moths compulsive, "motherly", or desperate like the ghost? (For that matter, what emotion was Mama?) What do the cherries mean? The previously mentioned focus on nature? The long limbs and weird walk of Mama? If they don't have a meaning then why are they there? And, now for a weird (mostly joking) observation. Was... Was Dr. Dreyfus' secretary wearing the three wolf moon shirt? No, I'm being serious. Because that messed me up for the rest of the movie. I was in a whole internet mood and everything was weird. Mama was the Bongcheon-Dong Ghost looking for her baby or (before we saw her face) the female Slenderman ("skinny woman", remember?) kidnapping children. Jeff was an inverted Jeff the Killer: he was in all black against a light background and wanted Lucas to wake up. The pictures Annabelle found felt like something you'd see as the image on a page of the Creepypasta Wiki and honestly, the concept felt like it would feel in place there. In the end, this isn't the worst movie I've seen in a while and I can say I was more surprised that it had good parts than that it had bad. Expand
  58. Apr 7, 2013
    A creepy and mostly original ghost story. Jennifer Chastain is excellent as the goth and reluctant surrogate mother a nice change from the suburban mom that is more typical for these character types. The youngest actress who plays "Lily" does a great job juxtaposing cute and creepy as the most screwed up "wildling."

    You can clearly see Guillermo Del Toro's influence given his obsession
    with bugs. There is too much use of "The Grudge's" groaning sound effect someone needs to come up with a new and more original sound.

    When they eventually show "Mama" in all her glory it starts looking a bit cheesy. But of the three similar titles put out in the last six months (Sinister, The Possession), this is the best of that lot.
  59. Apr 10, 2013
    Del Toro is great. Mama is a fantasy movie with scares. Some people will love it, some people will hate it... I liked. Mama is a great "horror" movie, great for what I was looking for.
  60. May 21, 2013
    Andy Muschietti did really good job with this one, great acting cast, interesting story. There aren't many horrors out there like this one, sure it has let downs, but for horror fans it's good time overall
  61. May 6, 2013
    A decent horror movie with a few scares. Ending was kind of a let down. Nothing really spectacular about the movie but for the first 75% it was entertaining to watch and gave a few scares. Nothing big that cant be missed here.
  62. May 19, 2013
    I expected very much from this movie because of its great trailer!
    The movie was not bad but there were not so many moments which really scared me as I have hoped for.
    The ending is one of the best horror movie endings I have ever seen!
  63. Jun 5, 2013
    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
  64. May 27, 2013
    This was a good horror movie. Make no mistake: it is not a slasher flick or gore fest. Yes, it uses a lot of tried and true methods. But, the director manages to put these different aspects together in a way that creates a cohesive entertaining movie.
  65. Jun 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have to say that after Guillielmo del Toro's Don't be afraid of the dark which was a truly bad film. Mama was different. Despite the fact that it had some plot gaps the film was quite interesting. That creature called Mama was scary and funny at the same time. It had some scary moments like the scene with the photograph and it can scare you in some moments. I didn't expect the ending. I was thinking of something really different I can say that the two little girls impressed me too with their performances. I don't understand why five years after the disappearance of the children they were keep trying to find them. And seriously for five years they didn't find the car where they were with their dad. Those two things i didn't like in the film. Some things that could not make sense. If you forget about that the film is interesting and it will scare you at some moments. Expand
  66. Jun 19, 2013
    Mama incredibly brilliant ..

    I must say that Mama did not surprise me because I expected much of the movie The movie is great, got scared, drama, emotion, great acting either party girls as the cast The older scenes ranging make you hair stand on end, I must say it took me about 5 fright within the film finally is a great horror movie and is among my favorites Mama really scary.
  67. Jun 20, 2013
    Well acted. Appreciate the development of the characters, but they painted things into a corner and left what I feel are a couple of sloppy loose ends, without giving anything away. What was clearly intended to be a "twist" was completely predictable. Some good scares though, minus the gore. Well done in that regard.
  68. Aug 6, 2013
    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
  69. Feb 3, 2014
    From first glance, Mama looks like a great horror movie flick with lots of jump scares and frightening moments. Instead, it resorts to a more emotional side with drawn-out story telling. Did this pay off? Just barely.
  70. Feb 24, 2014
    I freakin' Love this movie I saw it twice in theaters I don't know how to describe it with out spoiling. The creepy moments put me on edge. It reminds me of the grudge seeing the relative's face when they find her dead.
  71. May 13, 2014
    This was an OK film until the end. Towards the end of the film, they try to recreate the classic horror film scene in Psycho where the chair is turned around to reveal a dead person. In Mama, they tried to recreate this classic scene from horror film history by having the Aunt be standing there twitching, as the girls walk up to her from behind. When they get close to her, she turns round to reveal her face. This would have been a bad scene due to the fact it is blatantly a ripoff of the scene from Psycho; however, they made a bad scene worse by having the worst laughably bad CGI/Mask in the world. It's less scary than in Psycho, and that was 1960 and Mama was in 2013. If that isn't bad enough, they tried to use this trick TWICE! Most of the film is decently written and the children are surprisingly good actresses for their age, but the ending is as bad as those "lik if yoo cri errytim" comments on YouTube. Expand
  72. Feb 28, 2014
    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.
  73. Jul 21, 2014
    From Horror Sci-Fi Film maker and producer Guillermo Del Toro presents Mama which is a good horror movie with class, fun but there is something not right about the horror movie its short and its just a same horror movie i think we all see this before. Grade C-
  74. Aug 13, 2014
    The movie is not scary at all but the story is interesting and the actors are really good.There is some good scenes with mama but the rest is a little bit boring.
  75. Apr 28, 2014
    I was actually pretty creeped out about this movie. This movie was dark and scary. The characters were developed really well. I thought the step mom and the kids did a very good job on acting. The problem is the over use of CGI of the mama ghost. It was so crappy sometimes you start to laugh. The other problem is the ending. It was so **** Overall I thought it was a okay Pixar live action horror movie. Expand
  76. Oct 26, 2014
    Mama is a lot better than I expected. The story is so well-crafted. I wouldn't really classify Mama as a Horror movie although I did get a few scares here and there throughout the movie its really not a movie designed to make you scared. I see it as a more of a mystery. Jessica Chastain develops beautifully in the lead role. I really didn't like her character for the first hour of the film but in the end you find yourself on her side. The movie leaves you guessing until the very end and it concludes with no loose ends. This film really didn't really didn't get what it deserved if you ask me. I consider Mama underrated and a must see. Expand
  77. Oct 14, 2014
    It's more of a twisted fairy tale than a horror movie, but there were some damn unsettling scenes in the film. I really liked the characters and disturbingly gorgeous shots, and the acting, especially from the kids, was top-notch. Be warned, though, after Mama reveals herself in all her CGI glory, it stops being scary and just more bedtime story-ish That wasn't a detractor for me because I like more dramatic horror films like this film. Even when the film wasn't being too scary, it still had a creepy atmosphere and compelling story, although it doesn't completely transcend its genre clichés. Expand
  78. Nov 13, 2014
    "Mama" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Average) ...

    The Good: Great buildup with genuinely creepy moments. The subtle horror works well for the first three quarters of the film and yo wonder what is going to happen next. The antagonist (ghostly "Mama") was interesting and a well done "monster" while still cloaked in secrecy.

    The Bad: When all is revealed, it becomes more than a little silly.
    Especially when we get to see "Mama" full on. She isn't scary anymore, just bad effects and silly sounds. Jessica Chastain's character isn't very likeable. She changes for the better by the end of the film, but I couldn't stand her for the majority of it. Just another ghost story that can't quite carry the weight of it's awesome premise and build up. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.