6.21 h 40 min2013X-RayR
HD. Two orphan girls found after five years in the woods are followed by an ominous presence in this old-school ghost story.
Andres Muschietti
Jessica ChastainNikolaj Coster-WaldauMegan Charpentier
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Isabelle NelisseDaniel KashJulia Chantray
Guillermo del Toro
NBC Universal
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.4 out of 5 stars

9288 global ratings

  1. 70% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Brittany S.Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best Horror Film of the decade
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I watch horror movies everyday they are my go to. The films come and go for me, but Mama remained in my memory. It has a captivating story and interesting characters. The movie did not rely on horror and it focused on a heart wrenching gray tale that makes you uncertain who to root for. The movie has a great cast and the story behind it and the message from start to finish is something all film fanatics need to see , whether they enjoy horror or not. I came into the movie looking for cheap thrills and left with a heavy heart and a debate of emotions about tale it told. I am not a touchy person and for a movie to affect me the way it did shows just how fantastic it is. 10/10. The best horror mover of the decade bar none. The movie's biggest flaw is that it is so good it raised the bar for horror movies for me. I used to only care about the haunts of a movie now I care about the story behind the haunts. Great film.
21 people found this helpful
Brianna CowlesReviewed in the United States on December 19, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Really good creep factor without going overboard.
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It's quite hard to please me with horror movies these days. Most are boring, predictable, and just down right yawn-fests...I had a little bit of a hard time really getting into this one since I had to keep the volume low so it didn't wake my twins from nap. It has a really slow beginning with stupid character syndrome but builds up after the first 20 minutes to give you just enough creep to keep you at least in your seat and paying attention, if not leaning forward a few times. The first actual visual we get of Mama sends the creep through the roof and legit had me seeing things (like her eyes... holy wow!) for a few hours.
The last half hour is where it really takes off like a rocket. Totally worth it. The animation for Mama is amazing and I think at some points is a stop motion effect, perhaps even filmed backwards like what was used in the Silent Hill movie for the Nurses scene.

There's no gore in this movie. The horror aspect is pure creep factor. Watch this one in little to no light and you won't be disappointed.
21 people found this helpful
C. S.Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Profound disappointment
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I bought this, unseen, because Jessica Chastain was in it. I think she's a terrific actress, and more importantly, she's selected roles in projects that are respectable and thought provoking. This movie, however, was a real dud. She and the other actors did a fine enough job but the standard cookie cutter storyline that Hollywood relies on for most horror films couldn't sustain my interest - which is a shame, because an intriguing premise was, once again, ruined by lazy writing.

Expect tons of boring "startle" moments with predictable suspense music in the background. Expect some reeeeaaaal slow movements, to artificially build suspense (typical reactions to unknown situations are freeze, fight, or flight - not acting as if you're moving through a vat of molasses).

If you're looking for good horror films that will make you think, check out Hereditary, Midsommar, Rosemary's Baby, Suspiria (new version - sorry Dario, it's better), The Lodge, Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Shining.

I wondered if perhaps i was being too harsh by giving this movie only one star -after all, it has very good production values, good acting, good cast, good effects - but then i realized that "good" isn't good enough anymore. The amount of money spent on a movie does not correlate to its quality. This movie left no lasting impact on me. If i forget about it the minute it ends, then that really says it all.
5 people found this helpful
Christina H. LinsinReviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Lovely scenery, and some very good creepy scenes; but definitely not scary.
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Part of the suspension of disbelief was affected because I actually live right outside Clifton Forge, Virginia, where a large part of this movie is supposedly set. It would have been nice if the production crew would have done a little research on the area before setting the movie here, but the fact that I couldn't buy into a records room like that in our tiny town, they pronounced Douthat incorrectly (it's "Dow" like the Dow Jones and then a very soft "that" which actually sounds more like thit than that), and the accents were totally wrong for our area is really not the movie's fault. No one outside of this place would have noticed such things. Otherwise, the cinematography is vast and lovely, the scenes are meticulously set (typical of a production involving del Toro), and the acting was pretty good; so it's not a bad movie. If you're looking for something really bone-tingling scary, though, this isn't it. There were a few wonderfully creepy moments, and a few jump scares; but this one didn't leave me afraid as much as it left me thoughtful and sad. I enjoyed the special effects, I loved the character growth of both Annabel and Victoria, and I thought the script was pretty decent. Worth the $4 and couple of hours i spent in this world.
One person found this helpful
TLLReviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the BEST horror movies ever!
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I am usually laughing at horror movies, jump scares just don’t scare me, gore makes me yawn...but THIS movie...that Mama character (played by the Uber talented Javier Botet) is a thing of nightmares!!! Thank you to the Muschietties and Mr. Del hats off to you for making me afraid of the dark again!!
4 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
More Dark Fairy Tale than true Horror film.
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Much better than I thought it would be. Very much a "de Toro film" feel - same dark, beautiful film qualities, great atmosphere, unique character/monster designs, etc. As per usual with de Toro, this movie is more of a Dark Fantasy story than a traditional Horror story - if you aren't familiar with other pieces of his work like "Pan's Labyrinth" or "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", think about it like the old original European/Grimm's fairy tales - gory, creepy, filled with dead bodies - definitely not Disney. Without giving anything away, the ending is about as "happy" as would be possible in the setting of the movie. Well acted, the kids are amazing, the artwork used during the titles and elsewhere is beautiful, tightly scripted, and ending comes full circle leaving the viewer strangely satisfied. Good scares, used wisely, not just jumping out of your skin with loud sounds every 4mins. If you like del Toro, definitely should watch.
23 people found this helpful
victorinoReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well written and acted, but issues
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Good premise, good script, excellent acting. Silly title, a total throwaway. And does every two-bit producer think that ghosts need to be fully visible? SO UNSCARY! Ghosts are DEAD, they're SPIRITS, they don't have bodies so you can't see them, at least not entirely. The imagination is much more frightening than showing us yet another weird mask with glowing eyes, along with the elongated spindly fingers, walking like an insect on all fours and twisting the head around. Been there, done that. Ghosts are about MOOD, sadness, anger, loss... But this was decent, better than than the usual. del Toro probably would have made a better movie if he weren't reined in by dull-brained moneymen.
G. BramlittReviewed in the United States on December 31, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
A villain with maternal instincts.
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May contain spoilers!

Who says all ghosts have to kill everyone for no reason? Mama is the story of Lilly and Victoria who are raised by an entity called Mama after their father has a bad day at the office and decides his, and the rest of his family's, life is over. The uncle and his I-don't-want-no-children girlfriend, Annabelle, are left to raise Lilly and Victoria. After Annabelle is forced to take care of the girls because Uncle boyfriend has an accidental fall (thanks to Mama), she discovers her own maternal instincts and takes a liking to Victoria and Lilly. Meanwhile, the psych doctor has discovered that the girls know Mama to be a crazy mother from the 1800's who committed a partially failed suicide. I say partially failed because she was trying to kill herself and her baby by jumping off of a cliff (which remarkably resembled Pride Rock from The Lion King). They baby was snagged on a limb and only Mama made the successful suicide. So Mama died without her baby - which the nuns from the church were trying to keep her from. When crazy dad takes the girls into the woods to kill himself and them, Mama intervenes and snaps dad's neck - saving the girls.

So Mama has spent the last few years raising the girls - feeding them cherries, singing to them, taking them on midnight joy rides through the air, and protecting them (they do a good job of portraying this in the credits - very clever). But when Uncle Brother's search team finds the girls, Mama isn't happy.

So this isn't your typical "I want everyone dead - because I can" movie. Mama only wants her girls. Mama dwells with the girls at the new house unbeknownst to Annabelle. That is until the good doctor digs too deep and threatens to interfere. So Mama takes him out and decides it's time to take the girls to the only place where she can be with them without anyone interfering - "Pride Rock". Annabelle and Uncle Brother try to save them by giving Mama the remains of her dead baby from long ago. But really, which would you rather have - a sack of dried up bones? Or two living children? Victoria (the oldest) has taken a liking to Annabelle, but Lilly loves creepy Mama - seemingly because that's really all she knows. What's interesting is that Mama doesn't kill Annabelle because she supposedly promised Victoria that she wouldn't. With her last bit of strength, Annabelle clings to Victoria to stop her from going over the cliff. Mama shows some compassion and lets Annabelle keep Victoria. The movie ends with Mama going over the cliff with Lilly. They are cloaked in some dark shroud and burst into a cloud of black moths after they hit the same branch that Mama's baby was snagged on. Roll credits.

Ok - so 'Mama' has a decent hook. You get a silhouette of Mama in the first 10 minutes and the credits do a good job of portraying some needed exposition. And it's interesting to see that Mama is doing what she does best - being a protective Mama. So when Uncle Brother comes along, you can sympathize with someone taking 'her kids'.

All three acts are pretty clear. The change comes when Mama is done tolerating everyone trying to take her kids away. The climax could have been a bit more suspenseful. It seems to have more story than scary bits. Which isn't a total waste, but they really could have had Mama play more of her creepy self. You really only get a lot of Mama near the end of act 2 and 3. The acting was pretty good. How they get younger kids to do what they do is pretty amazing. The little girl who plays Lilly was great. Annabelle, Jessica Chastain, is the clear protagonist and is an identifiable character. Uncle Brother wasn't very useful - but effective.

I watched this movie twice if that says anything. I thought it had a good story - like Insidious. But if you're looking in your face scary parts - you might be better with something like Paranormal Activity.
11 people found this helpful
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