Box art for Mama


drama, horror, thrillers

Guillermo del Toro, creator of Pans Labyrinth, presents this supernatural thriller starring Jessica Chastain about two girls found five years after disappearing into the woods.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 21
    see all Mama reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: 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.

- Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail, Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rotten: The metaphorical mother-child connection becomes a mystical horror show of significant power. Sadly it comes too late to save "Mama."

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Friday, January 18, 2013

Rotten: Even if the beats are familiar, Muschietti sustains a remarkable mood throughout: wintry, elemental and stark, like a late Sylvia Plath poem.

- Dana Stevens, Slate, Thursday, January 24, 2013

Audience Reviews

2 stars

two stars

- YodaMasterJedi, Saturday, May 25, 2013

2 stars

two stars

- YodaMasterJedi, Saturday, May 25, 2013

1 star

So here is another cliched and dumb Guillermo Del Toro produced horror-fantasy that turns out to be something very disappointing and unimagintave. I myself have never liked that much of Del Toro's films or the ones he has produced. Mimic is by far Del Toro's most interesting work to date and while it does has it's flaws it still has imagination and originality in it that he has never again matched since then. Same cannot be said Del Toro's overrated Pan's Labyrinth which is still too polished for it's own good and resembles like a Tim Burton at his most corniest and weakest. But while Del Toro was a producer for this feature film directed by Andres Muschetti it is still Muschietti's flaw mostly to rely on heavy CGI which is quite honestly extremely ridicilous at some points. There are some moments of geniune eeriness, but mostly this is just one of those familiar scary films that cheaply uses loud noises way too many times to gain shocks from the audience. Mama includes the first truly average performance from Jessica Chastain, but with a screenplay this weak there is not a much for here to do here so the blame is not her's entirely. Kids are typically lifeless and very one dimensions as are most of the sidecharacters. Muschietti throws in many pointless sideplots and has cooked up an extremely unsatisying climax which does not bother to explain anything. It is a classic case of a story that has too much ambition for it's own good. Overall there is nothing interesting or fresh enough here to actually recommend this film. I found it hollow, lifeless and without true moments of horror in it. It is like any other below average horror-films that gets released these days. If you are looking for a well made horror-fantasy then you will not find it here. This is a lame debut from Muschietti who hopefully delivers better film next time. However this film does not certainly promise him a bright future in a horror-genre.

- emilkakko, Saturday, April 27, 2013