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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: A feisty widowed single mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her rambunctious
    15-year-old ADHD son. As they try to make ends meet, Kyla, the peculiar girl across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance, and hope is regained.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 22, 2015
    100
    There’s so much that is brilliant and unexpected and often downright thrilling about Mommy, the fifth feature (a fact amazing in itself) from 25-year-old Quebec enfant terrible Xavier Dolan.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jan 20, 2015
    90
    Mommy is first and foremost a mother-and-son story, but it's also a surprisingly delicate exploration of lonely lives, and the temporary islands of companionship that make them bearable.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 24, 2014
    83
    As a director, he finally shows a willingness to work on the same wavelength of the material instead of adding distracting bells and whistles that overstate his characters' grievances.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 30, 2015
    75
    It feels like living inside a pressure cooker with one particular family — experiencing their turbulence as if from the inside, while always a little glad to be watching from a safe distance.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 22, 2015
    70
    Mommy is certainly a showcase for powerful acting: Anne Dorval is the coarse but affecting Diane, Antoine-Olivier Pilon is terrifying as Diane’s teenage son, Steve.
  6. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    May 24, 2014
    67
    If Mommy counts as a slight creative step back, and I would argue that it is, it's at least an elegant and purposeful one.
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jan 23, 2015
    25
    Willfully over determined and perversely stylized.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    A perfect movie. Beautiful, haunting, funny, brutal, hysterical and heathbreaking all at once. Outstanding performances and a visually perfectA perfect movie. Beautiful, haunting, funny, brutal, hysterical and heathbreaking all at once. Outstanding performances and a visually perfect and varied style. Expand
  2. Apr 7, 2015
    10
    I really liked the movie Mommy, from the director Xavier Dolan with the three main characters played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Anne Dorval andI really liked the movie Mommy, from the director Xavier Dolan with the three main characters played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clément. It's a dramatic film, which was released last october. This film is Canadian with English dialogues.

    As the film shows, the story is about a relationship between a mother and a 17 year old who has behaviour problems.

    According to me, this film should be seen because it gives an understanding of lots of things in terms of strange behaviours that a human can have. It gives a huge amount of emotions, which is the most important thing, especially in cinema. This film is beautiful, and transports us in different kinds of sensations. We are often in empathy with the charaters, wa want to follow them as far as are can in their story.

    The framing of the film in very important at some moments, we see that the director has taken great care of the filming ans the scenes full of feelings. The actors play a crucial rôle to transmit this impact.

    There is a moral that can differ according te the spectator, thanks to the stressfull end. Go and see to understand !
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  3. Apr 3, 2015
    10
    An exhilaratingly original, exciting and audacious work from director Xavier Dolan that holds one spellbound for every one of its 139 minutes.An exhilaratingly original, exciting and audacious work from director Xavier Dolan that holds one spellbound for every one of its 139 minutes. Despite subject matter that could have been either downbeat or depressing the film manages to project both hope and humour in its telling of the relationships between three damaged individuals. Dolan’s skill as a visionary director is on display constantly and his bravura use of the camera is imaginative. This includes the unusual decision to film in the 1:1 ratio as if to reflect the restricted lives under the spotlight. Simple shots and a blend of techniques are equally breath taking to behold and have maximum impact within the context of both the scene and the story as a whole. Dolan is also very well served by his three principle actors who deliver sublimely knock out performances. Anne Dorval as the thick skinned but tackily dressed mother of a violent and uncontrollable son, is a gutsy and loud presence that can’t be ignored. Suzanne Clement, on the other hand, subtly shows us the layers of a withdrawn wife and mother who’s stuttering only begins to subside when around these two larger than life individuals. As the son, Antoine Olivier Pilon is one moment tender and loving and in the next dangerously out of control. All three performances are outstanding and complement each other beautifully.
    Technically the film is also great. The editing is seamless and impressively clever. The sound is good and the use of music to accompany the visuals is cannily inspired. Wow! This is really not to be missed.
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  4. Jan 31, 2015
    10
    MOMMY is so wonderful, insightful, energizing, and scary, that I truly cannot imagine a better film coming out in 2015. I loved everythingMOMMY is so wonderful, insightful, energizing, and scary, that I truly cannot imagine a better film coming out in 2015. I loved everything about this latest work from Xavier Dolan. Once again I am thrilled to celebrate a filmmaker who really captures who we are today. This film has the pulse and sensibility of 2015 without trying desperately in any way to be hip or cool. In fact, the film ain't hip it all. It just is TODAY! Expand
  5. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    A beautiful story about a mom who wants the best for her son and a boy who can't always control himself but loves with mom above all. ThisA beautiful story about a mom who wants the best for her son and a boy who can't always control himself but loves with mom above all. This story shows us that love is not always enough to save someone but it's always important to have hope. With spectacular performances from the cast, a powerful script, a touching soundtrack and a beautiful editing, Xavier Dolan proves one more time that he's here to surprise us with every single film he does. Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2015
    9
    A brutal depiction of a mentally challenged teenage boy from explosive tantrums to angelic clarity- Mommy is an emotional roller coaster rideA brutal depiction of a mentally challenged teenage boy from explosive tantrums to angelic clarity- Mommy is an emotional roller coaster ride driven by Xavier Dolan's deft direction.
    When love is not enough- a mother's frustration for not easing her child's suffering- only exacerbates an already volatile relationship. Raw performances and claustrophobic camera work shine a much needed light on a broken system and a society's inadequacies in dealing with this probelm. For we are all trying to hold it together- yet, for some it is easier than for others.
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  7. Feb 17, 2015
    5
    Nothing annoys me more than walking out of a movie annoyed at the director and screenwriter and here I am, three hours later, still annoyed atNothing annoys me more than walking out of a movie annoyed at the director and screenwriter and here I am, three hours later, still annoyed at the director and screenwriter of “Mommy”, both being Xavier Dolan who also edited it.

    The basic story is interesting in that it deals with a mother whose son has been kicked out of a juvenile facility after causing a fire burning 75% of another boy’s skin. The mother, Diane, nicknames Die and played by Anne Dorval, has been a widow for 3 years and the son, Steve, played by Antoine Olivier Pilon, hasn’t accepted his father’s death and had been previously diagnosed with ADD and/or possibly also being bi-polar. They are both capable of moods swinging form high highs to low lows. One moment he can be choking her and the next moment kissing her on the lips while she can be as tender with him as any mother can be and in the next moment bashing him over the head with a framed picture.

    Both the mother and son lean on their neighbor across the street who lives there with her boyfriend? Husband? And their young daughter. She, Kyla, played by Suzanne Clement, had been a high school teacher but due to something--a nervous breakdown?--has stopped teaching and she can barely talk in full sentences and stutters horribly except around the mother and son.

    Both mother and son are foul mouth speakers along with being flirtatious whenever the opportunity arises or, sometimes, instigating sexual innuendos. The language, in some instances, is definitely R rated.

    It is a good straight told story of a subject that isn’t often a theme for movies, mainly in the first half but then the director/screenwriter/editor enters the picture. I want to excuse him because he is 25 years old but this is his fifth picture so he should know better. The film is mostly in a 1 to 1 ratio so most of the time you feel as if you are looking at it on a large cell phone. The screen is widen a few times but only effective and noticeable the first time. There are one too many blurry collages not too mention choppy editing that I guess is suppose to be ’artistic’. Also the screenwriter leaves way too many questions unanswered that are an important part of the story.

    Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clement and Antoine Olivier Pilon give excellent performances, especially the latter who has to handle showing all sides of a teenager with mental illness that changes him constantly.

    Aside from running far too long--two hours and 20 minutes--I felt frustration at how Dolan was taking a good story line and getting excessive with the camera. I found myself going from being interested to being bored and back and forth all during the movie and, finally, leaving annoyed.
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