Mama - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mama Reviews

January 1, 2014
The problem is that [the] movie barely meets the minimum generic requirements, and thus comes off as pretentious for presuming to hover so airily above them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 1, 2013
[The movie] has more integrity than its creepshow peers. The story basically comes down to a dead-looking woman who doesn't want to be a mother fighting for parental custody against a long-dead woman who does. (Grad students, start your theses.)
Full Review | Original Score: C+
February 20, 2013
By splitting the action between several different characters and locations, the plot dissipates the suspense and lacks focus, as if it has been bolted together from disparate, ill-fitting pieces.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 25, 2013
Screenplay contrivances aside, it's as stylish and atmospheric as modern horror gets.
January 24, 2013
Even if the beats are familiar, Muschietti sustains a remarkable mood throughout: wintry, elemental and stark, like a late Sylvia Plath poem.
January 21, 2013
I was guessing right till the bitter, scary, transcendent end.
January 20, 2013
It starts out strongly, using evocative visuals and an unsettling backstory to establish a creepy tableau, but it proves unable to sustain those strengths all the way to the finish line.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 19, 2013
Is this Chastain's reputation-besmirching Norbit? Pshaw -- for my money, it's her best performance yet.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
January 18, 2013
The metaphorical mother-child connection becomes a mystical horror show of significant power. Sadly it comes too late to save "Mama."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
January 18, 2013
It's an interesting effort ... although, sadly, in the end "effort" is really the crucial word.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 18, 2013
There's something eerily effective about juxtaposing childhood innocence with the violent, the supernatural, the deranged. Evil shines all the more brightly when held up against the sweet promise of youth.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 18, 2013
Chastain has an excellent time. And so did I, for most of the movie: It's much more suspenseful than violent, being careful not to allow us to figure out Mama too quickly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 18, 2013
There's something dead and rotting at the center of "Mama," and it isn't the ghost of the woman who lends the horror film its title.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
January 17, 2013
[A] respectable entry into the horror genre that values chills over kills.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 17, 2013
"Mama" is skillfully made, and although Chastain is the best thing in it, she's not the only thing in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 17, 2013
This is a picture about how a mother's love can be nourishing at its best but suffocating in the extreme. Chastain embraces that idea wholly, without squeezing the life out of it.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 17, 2013
The fact that Guillermo del Toro is an executive producer of Mama is a tip-off that this won't be just another horror film with misbehaving and soon-to-be-dismembered teenagers or a drooling, slime-soaked monster.
January 17, 2013
More effective than you might expect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 17, 2013
Instead of delivering buckets of guts and gore, this ghost story offers a strong sense of time and place, along with the kind of niceties that don't often figure into horror flicks ...
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
January 17, 2013
"Mama" announces the arrival of a director who works unusually well with actors-the two children are truly scary-and who creates highly charged environments, effective sound designs and powerful fantasy sequences.
January 17, 2013
Though "Mama" doesn't work, it has the ghost of a good idea at its core.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
January 17, 2013
Surprisingly, this patchwork pastiche often works.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
January 17, 2013
Like another del Toro stamp-of-approval Spanish horror entry, The Orphanage, Muschietti's Mama is full of arty tropes - sepia-toned flashbacks, flickering lights, menacing murmurings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 17, 2013
You know something is up when what looks like a cheapie fright flick is produced by Guillermo Del Toro and boasts an Oscar-nominated actress in Jessica Chastain. Mama doesn't live up to their potential, but the film knows how to creep you out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 17, 2013
"Mama" is a smartly refreshing departure, a truly scary movie exemplifying horror at its purest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 17, 2013
The frustration ... is how much the movie leans on made-ya-jump scares and contrived plot devices when its quieter chills and already fraught setups are so potent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 17, 2013
If you're going to have a ghost in your movie, it might be a good thing to present a viable alternative to that ghost. "Mama," however, presents a battle between two not very good options before crumbling like a sheet on a string.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 17, 2013
The atmosphere is appropriately creepy, and there are some starts, if not outright scares. But it just gets stupid.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
January 17, 2013
An elegant and edgy thriller, Mamais a ghost story laced with fairytale sensibilities, benefitting from the nightmarish, artful influence of executive producer Guillermo del Toro.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 17, 2013
Mama is clumsily written and choppily edited, but Chastain doesn't have a bad scene in it, and you can see why she chose to be in this supernatural ghost story.
January 17, 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.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 17, 2013
"Mama" succeeds in scaring the wits out of us and leaving some lingering, deeply creepy images ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 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.
Full Review | Original Score: B
January 16, 2013
What's under the bed? Who's behind that door? What's making those vaguely satanic noises? These and other thought-provoking questions are entertained in Mama, a visually polished but overly repetitive chiller.
January 16, 2013
It never hits the high notes of Mr. del Toro's own films or successfully weaves between reality and fantasy as it should.
January 16, 2013
In essence, Mama represents a throwback and a modest delight for people who like a good scare but prefer not to be terrorized or grossed out.
January 15, 2013
Mama never delivers the primal terror its premise would suggest.
January 15, 2013
Expertly conjured atmosphere only gets Muschietti so far.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5