Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. It's a delightful piece of filmmaking with a marvelous cast topped by Meryl Streep in one of her smartest and most entertaining performances ever.
  2. 88
    The movie takes the ABBA jukebox musical that ate London, and is still eating Broadway, and turns it into a surprisingly sensuous experience.
  3. The chorus backs the soloists powerfully, and they are as fresh as the rest of the film: fat and fit, homely and handsome, young gods and old codgers – in short, people you might really see in Greece. Reality in a musical? That alone makes it worth your open-eared attention.
  4. 75
    An exuberant if not always brilliantly crafted adaptation of the campy ABBA musical.
  5. Mamma Mia! is fun, the music's terrific and the cast is appealing.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    The good-natured silliness is contagious. When Streep runs singing through a Greek village, it's like a spirited homage to "The Sound of Music."
  7. 75
    It's airheaded just like the songs it embraces but, if you enjoy them, there's every reason to believe you'll appreciate the film.
  8. This is an actress (Streep) who can pull off anything -- including a shamelessly kitschy musical.
  9. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    It makes bursting spontaneously into song seem like a perfectly reasonable--indeed, highly desirable--thing to do, and it leaves the audience wanting to do the same. I see a big uptick in late-summer karaoke parties.
  10. Yes, of course this is fairly old-fashioned entertainment, but it's really, really entertaining.
  11. 63
    As a story, Mamma Mia! is a sham, a narrative so rickety it makes "Grease" seem like Shakespeare. It fails as a musical, too, since only about half of the songs have any bearing on the scene that preceded them.
  12. Reviewed by: Emily Rems
    63
    Before plunking down your cash for a ride on the Mamma Mia! express when it pulls into town, just ask yourself one question: Do I really dig ABBA?
  13. Taken for what it is – a fluffy, intergenerational farce as a frame for some seventies musical nostalgia – Mamma Mia! just gets away with it, in spite of director Lloyd's lack of cinematic inexperience.
  14. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    Cute, clean, camp fun, full of sunshine and toe tappers. Guaranteed to put grins on tweenies who are in to High School Musical, grans with a pair of platforms still at the back of the wardrobe, and a lot of people in between tone.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    60
    By the end-credit sequence, when the stars appear in spandex outfits to reprise Dancing Queen, the audience may be singing along as if they'd overdosed on ouzo.
  16. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    60
    Scribe-creator Catherine Johnson (also in her first screen outing) and theater-opera vet Lloyd can't seem to find the right tone or style for their globally celebrated material.
  17. It's tempting to say that Mamma Mia! has the worst choreography of any big-screen musical in history, though that would imply that what happens in the film IS choreography.
  18. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    50
    This plot is not being taken terribly seriously. It's mostly a pretext for songs that are mostly a pretext for acting silly.
  19. 50
    Meryl Streep can do anything: sing, dance, do splits, act her heart out. She (almost) saves this clumsy, overwrought film version of the Abba musical that's been running on stages from Broadway to Barcelona since 1999.
  20. 50
    This movie wasn't made for me. It was made for the people who will love it, of which there may be a multitude. The stage musical has sold 30 million tickets, and I feel like the grouch at the party.
  21. It's funny what you buy completely onstage and resist completely, or nearly, on-screen. Case in point: Mamma Mia!
  22. By turns entertaining and excruciating.
  23. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    The direction is slack -- it's Lloyd's first feature film and it shows -- the choreography clumsy and every ten minutes there's yet another gratuitous showstopper shouting in your face and insisting you have a good time.
  24. On the scale of modern musical adaptations, it's not a disaster of "The Producers" proportions. But it is missing the razzle-dazzle of a success like "Chicago."
  25. I COULD do without "Dancing Queen" stuck in my head, but that will unstick soon enough, and with any luck so too will the memory of Streep noodling on an air guitar.
  26. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    50
    It's little more than droopy ditties draped around a threadbare plot.
  27. Though the filmmakers may have been imagining they were re-creating the old days of MGM musicals, it's the Village People's misguided "Can't Stop the Music" that comes to mind instead.
  28. 50
    You can have a perfectly nice time watching this spirited adaptation of the popular stage musical and, once the hangover wears off, acknowledge just how bad it is.
  29. 50
    This is a movie guaranteed to please crowds, if only because it insists on their affection so strenuously.
  30. 50
    All singing! All dancing! All squealing! The money-minting Broadway musical has been adapted into the year's most aggressive chick flick, with a score of irresistibly catchy ABBA tunes sweetening the dumb story like peaches in cottage cheese.
  31. 50
    The incongruous mix of real locations and stage sets, real voices and overdubs, is a constant distraction, while the choreography lumbers in group numbers and goes flat in more intimate ones.
  32. 42
    Like a party where everyone is so desperate to have a good time that it makes you miserable.
  33. Poor Pierce Brosnan. Sport that he is, he does his level best to be a song-and-dance man but it's just not in him. He's touchingly awful. The same could probably be said for the entire movie.
  34. Seyfried (of Big Love and Mean Girls) is a radiant object and can sing, but I'd like to forget the others--especially Brosnan, whose singing is the best imitation I've heard of a water buffalo.
  35. 30
    Ferocious onslaught of obligatory good cheer.
  36. I can see how Mamma Mia! might be a fun stage musical. As a movie musical, it's a train wreck.
  37. 20
    Watching Streep and her two BFFs, played by Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, grinning and giggling their way through Mamma Mia! I felt I was being thoroughly, and unenjoyably, punished.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 132
  2. Negative: 22 out of 132
  1. Sep 26, 2011
    4
    What I sure know is that they have the crappiest script of the year...
  2. ElliottW
    Dec 18, 2008
    5
    I'm going to give it a five. I personally didnt like it very much, but my mother did, so I suppose this film is only good for the girls.
  3. Mar 26, 2012
    2
    There were some great actors in this movie, but everything else was the mot bizarre piece of film work I had ever seen. It certainly seemedThere were some great actors in this movie, but everything else was the mot bizarre piece of film work I had ever seen. It certainly seemed like everybody in the movie was having fun, but I wanted to find the nearest match so I could set the T.V. on fire. Weird as hell. Full Review »