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Mama Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Say it five times and she's Candyman. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    57

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mama itself is above average as a piece of filmmaking, even if its scare quotient is middling or below. That's OK with me. I was content to be impressed by the skill of the first-time director, Andrés Muschietti; absorbed by the performances and smitten by some startling images.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Mama represents a throwback and a modest delight for people who like a good scare but prefer not to be terrorized or grossed out.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Nothing in the movie is quite original, yet Muschietti, expanding his original short, knows how to stage a rip-off with frightening verve.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    Movies like Mama are thrill rides. We go to be scared and then laugh, scared and then laugh, scared and then shocked. Of course, there's almost always a little plot left over for a sequel. It's a ride I'd take again.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Mama reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Uneven movie has very scary scenes, some involving children.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mama is a horror movie starring Jessica Chastain and produced by Guillermo Del Toro. It's very light on blood and gore, but there are lots of powerfully scary, spooky images, as well as scenes of young children in danger. Language is light (with one use of "f--k" and about three uses of "s--t"), and there's one brief scene of adult kissing and sensuality. Mama is a bit more ambitious than other horror films, and many horror-crazy teens will be able and eager to see it. But some of the movie's themes around motherhood and caring for children are a better fit for adult viewers.

  • Families can talk about Mama's violence. Do horror movies have to be gory to be scary? How did the movie's spooky scenes affect you?
  • What makes Mama scarier -- or less scary -- than other horror movies? How much spooky stuff does it show, and how much is hidden?
  • Do you think the children in the movie appreciate or understand the lengths to which the two "mother" characters care for them and love them? What messages is the movie sending about parenthood?
  • How does Annabel come to appreciate the role of motherhood? What is she like before that?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Mama brings up some heavy, complex ideas about motherhood, fear, love, devotion, protectiveness, and selflessness. Some of the characters learn to change, opening their hearts and accepting new kinds of relationships.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The girls' uncle is a selfless character who doesn't have much money but still wants to take care of his nieces. Annabel learns a great deal over the course of the movie, moving from being a very selfish person to a more giving and caring one.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many very spooky, creepy, and outright scary images, but very little actual blood. Children appear to be in danger in many scenes, especially a few early ones in which 1- and 3-year-old girls are with their panicked, unhinged father. (They survive a car wreck.) Secondary characters are killed, but only offscreen. A few semi-gory drawings are glimpsed.

  • sex false1

    Sex: The main character and her boyfriend kiss and start to undress each other, but they're interrupted. No nudity is shown.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is heard once during a voicemail message. "S--t" is said a few times, and "Jesus Christ" is used at least twice as an exclamation. Other words include "hell," "ass," butt," "crap," "oh my God," and "shut up."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Enterprise Rent-a-Car is mentioned by name.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue

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