Reviews for Darren Aronofsky’s mother! has hyped the film as an impressive and provocative horror movie.
THR : Writer-director Darren Aronofsky wants to have his commercial cake and chomp down on some vexing personal issues, too, in mother!, a very Rosemary’s Baby-like intimate horror tale that definitely grabs your attention and eventually soars well over the top to make the bold concluding statement that, for some creators, art is more important than life. How the film’s compelling star Jennifer Lawrence may feel about this sentiment is another matter, but this is a tale that, like any number of fanciful genre outings, both pulls you in with its intriguing central dramatic situation and pushes you out with some mightily far-fetched plot contrivances.
Indiewire :[“mother!”] uncoils from a murderously tense, tricky and claustrophobic first hour into some of the most sustained escalating insanity (and scorchingly brilliant filmmaking) ever to burn down a cinema screen. An incendiary religious allegory, a haunted-house horror, a psychological head trip so extreme it should carry a health warning and an apologia for crimes of the creative ego past and not yet committed, it’s not just Aronofsky’s most bombastic, ludicrous and fabulous film, spiked with a kind of reckless, go-for-broke, leave-it-all-up-there-on-the-screen abandon, it is simply one of the most films ever.
Variety : If the only thing we wanted, or expected, a horror film to do was to get a rise out of you – to make your eyes widen and your jaw drop, to leave you in breathless chortling spasms of WTF disbelief – then Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” would have to be reckoned some sort of masterpiece. As it is, the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence as a woman who slips down a rabbit hole of paranoid could-this-be-happening? reality… is far from a masterpiece. It’s more like a dazzlingly skillful machine of virtual reality designed to get nothing but a rise out of you. It’s a baroque nightmare that’s about nothing but itself.
Screen Daily : mother! is a personal, end-of-days statement which expresses the angst of these times as well as a deep-seated and bloody loathing for them. It’s an unusual studio picture from Paramount: like much the rest of Aronofsky’s work it will divide and stimulate audiences and critics, but should still be hailed as an original, strikingly unconventional piece on its US commercial release September 15 (shortly after its Venice and Toronto premieres). Awards play seems likely, particularly for Aronofsky’s muse Jennifer Lawrence, embodying and responding to all his considerable neuroses, fears and desires, as an artist, a lover, and a citizen of the planet.
Collider : mother! isn’t quite as fascinating as it thinks it is, and the hellish setting perhaps goes too far, but it is relentless and it sure is something that needs to be experienced. It’s extremely adventurous and is willingly open to both praise and snickers. What was fascinating, for me, was how the audience I saw it with reacted so primal, not too different from the freakish audience in the movie. I was surrounded by shrieks, yawns, laughter, smiles and a man who yelled “fuck you” at the screen as soon as the credits started. You’ll either get something you want from mother! or you’ll feel like you were robbed. And I think that’s pretty exciting for the current studio climate. Nothing is safe about mother! And that’s thrilling for an artist like Aronofsky.
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