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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 240 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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. 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. Expand
  4. 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 Collapse
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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+ Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 77 User Reviews