User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 305 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 305
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  1. Feb 3, 2014
    7
    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.
  2. Jul 19, 2013
    8
    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 toLet 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
  3. Jun 15, 2013
    7
    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.
  4. Jun 2, 2013
    7
    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.
  5. Jun 15, 2013
    7
    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.
  6. Oct 26, 2014
    8
    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 filmMama 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
  7. Aug 13, 2014
    7
    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.
  8. Feb 9, 2013
    7
    'Mama' is a great horror movie, but the movie is not all terror, too much drama.
  9. Jun 23, 2013
    7
    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
  10. Oct 14, 2014
    7
    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 IIt'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
  11. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    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.
  12. Nov 23, 2014
    8
    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
    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.
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  13. Nov 23, 2013
    7
    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.
  14. Feb 13, 2013
    7
    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 ofOverall, 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
  15. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    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.
  16. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    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
  17. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    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.
  18. May 21, 2013
    7
    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
  19. Jan 24, 2013
    7
    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 IMama 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
  20. Jan 28, 2013
    7
    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
    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
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  21. Apr 7, 2013
    7
    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
    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.
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  22. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    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.
  23. Aug 13, 2014
    10
    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
  24. Jan 19, 2013
    7
    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 betterTo 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
  25. Apr 10, 2013
    8
    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.
  26. Apr 15, 2015
    10
    Amazing , perfect and fantastic , this movie is **** good. , and i love loveeeeeeeeeeee so much , and i like of my life and story of brasil i love u lady gaga and taylor swift
  27. Feb 15, 2013
    8
    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.
  28. Feb 5, 2013
    7
    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.
  29. May 27, 2013
    8
    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.
  30. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    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.
  31. Jan 23, 2013
    7
    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.
  32. Jan 19, 2013
    7
    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 theThis 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).
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  33. Feb 10, 2013
    9
    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 moviesOne 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. Collapse
  34. Feb 16, 2013
    8
    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.
  35. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    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.
  36. Jan 19, 2013
    7
    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
  37. Jan 28, 2013
    7
    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.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
  38. Feb 19, 2013
    10
    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
  39. Jun 20, 2013
    7
    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.
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.