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Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 247 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Jan 16, 2013
    83
    Plenty of horror movies are willing to settle for making audiences jump. Mama is more ambitious by far: It makes sure viewers are emotionally committed even when they aren't clutching their armrests or covering their eyes.
  2. Reviewed by: Emily Rome
    Jan 16, 2013
    75
    Nothing in the movie is quite original, yet Muschietti, expanding his original short, knows how to stage a rip-off with frightening verve.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 17, 2013
    75
    Mama is skillfully made, and although Chastain is the best thing in it, she's not the only thing in it.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 18, 2013
    60
    It's a good, old-fashioned sit-around-the-campfire ghost story, one that delivers on its sole reason for existence: to raise the hairs on the back of your arms.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    The atmosphere is appropriately creepy, and there are some starts, if not outright scares...But it just gets stupid.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jan 16, 2013
    12
    The premise isn't even worthy of executive producer Guillermo del Toro, who will apparently lend his name to any film as long as it fulfills its quota of moths and vulvic openings.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 77
  2. Negative: 11 out of 77
  1. 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
  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 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. 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. Expand
  4. Feb 24, 2013
    6
    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
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    6
    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
  6. Jun 4, 2013
    5
    "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+ Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 77 User Reviews

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