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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 252 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: 51 out of 79
  2. Negative: 11 out of 79
  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. Nov 23, 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.
  3. 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. 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 Expand
  5. Nov 22, 2014
    Summary: Mama has some effectively creepy moments, but its final act is flawed and unsatisfying. 60/100 [C+]

    I saw it long ago and I really
    don't remember the majority of the scary scenes and some parts of the plot, because after leaving the theater, the film was very forgettable to me and I have to be honest, I don't want to see it again. I remember some scary scenes in the first half and a few creepy scenes during the first hour. But overall, it was a bit unlikable, insipid, strange, and mostly uninteresting. Though it definitely has excellent performances and the character "Mama" itself is terrifying.

    I actually enjoyed the film (for the most part) but the whole third act is a mess and the reveal of "Mama" was kinda laughable and unnecessary. I usually like this type of films but this one mmm... I don't know. Yeah, it's definitely a good film but it isn't my type of horror movie. It has a weird Guillermo del Toro's vibe, specially in its strange final act. This movie is based on a short film called "Mama" and let me say that this little short is scarier than the film, I recommend it so much.

    The director Andres Muschietti has lots of potential, but he doesn't show it here. Also, "Mama" doesn't bring something new to the genre, most of the scary elements in the film are lights being turned off and fake jump-scares and I hate that in horror films. I saw it in theaters with my sister and she loved it, except the ending. But, anyway I'm quite sure that some horror buffs will be satisfied. In conclusion, it's a pretty average horror film, well acted and scary at times, three stars out of five to me. [C+]
  6. 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
  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 79 User Reviews