Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Meryl Streep
Pierce Brosnan
Colin Firth
Amanda Seyfried
Stellan Skarsgard
Julie Walters
Christine Baranski.
Directors
Phyllida Lloyd.
Screenwriters
Catherine Johnson.
Running Time
109 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Stations Of The Cross
3 Star Empire Rating
Concerning Violence
4 Star Empire Rating
Horrible Bosses 2
3 Star Empire Rating
My Old Lady
2 Star Empire Rating
Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Mamma Mia!
My, my, how can we resist it?


submit to reddit


Plot
Sophie (Seyfried) invites three men (Brosnan, Firth, Skarsgard) who could be her father to her wedding in Greece, unbeknownst to her single mother Donna (Streep). Shock reunions, confusions and Abba’s greatest hits ensue.


Review
Mamma Mia!

Okay, it ain’t West Side Story, but any musical that’s packed them in for a decade, played 170 cities in eight languages and been seen by over 30 million people clearly has something going for it. That something is the songs of innocent vitality and mature heartbreak from the classic Abba catalogue; Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’s tunes inspired and propel a charming, energetic little tale that is basically a hen party with bells on.

Since the greatest actress of her generation can also sing, Meryl Streep was an obvious shoo-in when the show’s creators got the backing of Tom Hanks’s Playtone (looking for another Big Fat Greek Wedding?) to make the movie version. Streep and her comedic bosom buddies, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, make a mighty sweet rumpus as the aging ex rock chicks. Amanda Seyfried and The History Boys’ Dominic Cooper play the young lovers, and are suitably attractive in beachwear. And then Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and token Swede Stellan Skarsgard, as the possible fathers, cavort with a blushing agreeability and are, arguably, more endearing for their air of schoolboy effort than polished musical stars would be.

As you would expect, performance quality thus ranges from Streep emotively nailing ’The Winner Takes It All’ to taverna karaoke. The manly contingent have the sheepish air of men who would rather be at football, but they get how amusing it is when they burst into song, and gamely play along.

The major gripe is that, as we’ve often seen when a respected stage director steps to the screen, the results of mixing realism with theatricality are, well, mixed. Some sequences work. There’s a joyous ‘Dancing Queen’, which sees Streep and gal pals drawing village women down to the sea. ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ hilariously features a beach boy chorus line stomping their stuff in flippers. Other bits betray a maddening want of cinematic savvy. In Streep and Brosnan’s big moment his head is cut off. What the hell? Any kid with a camera could have found another angle or stood Meryl on a crate.

But it’s full of super troupers and smiles. Don’t leave during the credits or you’ll miss the encore, with the stars in 70s satin and platform boots giving ‘Waterloo’ plenty of welly.


Verdict
Cute, clean, camp fun, full of sunshine and toe tappers. Guaranteed to put grins on tweenies who are in to High School Musical, grans with a pair of platforms still at the back of the wardrobe, and a lot of people in between tone.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Mamma Mia!
Empire Star Rating

I was wrong!

I take it all back!! My doubts and negativity was unfounded.   I saw this last night and it's fabulous! I loved it! I got to sing. I got to dance. And in the context of the film, those actors who really can't sing for toffee ain't all tha bad afterall. A truly joyous experience and highly recommended. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by losthighway at 19:17, 03 August 2008 | Report This Post


Just truly awful, but enjoyably awful. Great songs and all the cast can really sing, except Pierce Brosnan whose licence to kill has been shifted to murder the ABBA songs ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 18:00, 02 August 2008 | Report This Post


mama mia

took my mother to see this today and found myself tapping my feet and singing along to the songs.help wheres my shrink....seriously what a very good film didnt stop smiling from beginning to end .meryl streep was great as usual.go and see this film you will laugh,cry sing along and come out of cinema with a big smile on your face. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by andrew peat at 18:46, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: DanCurley No thanks. He's a twat. sp;   I'm not having a go at you Dan but for someone who claims to have no interest in Mamma Mia, You do visit this thread quite a bit don't you?. ... More

Posted by Stewie_Griffin at 13:07, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


Lighten Up

Relationships between men and women, between girls and their fathers, between mums and daughters, timeless musical numbers every few minutes, sunshine-soaked island hideaways, popular actors like Julie Walters, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth etc etc. Ok, it's not cinematically wonderful but it makes people laugh and gives a bit of escapism - they can go with their daughters, mum's friends, aunties, nans, the next door neighbour and have a good night out. Sometimes you just have to have a Coke a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by greatwhite at 08:09, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


Duplicate Post

Sorry ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by greatwhite at 08:08, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: How could you resist this!

well all i can say about this movie is that merrill streep's singing sounds like a dying whale. the set is beutiful. but compared to the musical it's nothing. not to mention confusing. its okay, but not amazing. p; about three stars from me. ... More

Posted by LiritLeBoursier at 23:50, 30 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

i wonder...why is this film so amazingly popular? my local film centre is pretty small and aint often very busy, and yet every showing for mamma mia! has been booked ou, there have been queues halfway down the street with ppl trying 2 get in even tho its already full...its madness down there, but i cant imagine why so many peple from little old wells would want to see it...its busier than hot fuxx ever was, and that was filmed here! any1 got a reasonable explanation? ... More

Posted by richCie at 19:19, 30 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Emyr Thy King I haven't seen the film, I have an open mind so we'll see. However check out this review by #0033ff]rmode]- hilarious. "SOS!!" ote]   No thanks. He's a twat. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 19:09, 30 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I haven't seen the film, I have an open mind so we'll see. However check out this review by "#0033ff"]rmode]- hilarious. "SOS!!"  ... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 16:51, 30 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I have had the misfortune to watch various segments of mamma mia (work in a cinema so have to 'check' screens etc), i have to echo the sentiments expressed here, i have never had a more cringe worthy cinema experience. Embarrassment is the best description of this film, embarrassed for the actors, the audience anyone else that has to endure a minute of this lazy, blandly directed, irritating waste of space. Countless times ive heard the argument, that it great and somehow empowering to see olde... More

Posted by appleby at 15:45, 30 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

You might have me there; but it's been a while since I saw Moonwalker, plus I paid to see Mamma Mia so I'm a whole lot more bitter about it. ... More

Posted by LettyBIRD at 01:12, 28 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Stewie_Griffin Blaming this movie for your shit haircut? sp; Nope, I blame a shiiiiiiiit barber for that... actually, I blame myself, I did ask for a number zero sides and back without any blending in. Looked like a right state (went for a second trim elsewhere to salvage it) p; Thinking of the Abbary era, what ever happened to Rod, Jane & Freddy? I might go and see a musical with them performing in it. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 21:25, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Rebenectomy  Julie Walter's Take a Chance on Me seemed to have been thrown in as an afterthought, as there was no real relationship development between her and Stellan Skarsgård character to warrant the end number. sp;   That's a fair point. I'd never thought of that. ... More

Posted by Stewie_Griffin at 20:22, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Blaming this movie for your shit haircut? Get me the Daily Mail on the phone. Let's ban this sick filth. ... More

Posted by Stewie_Griffin at 20:16, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I'd rather watch keri]The Blair Witch 2ather watch a premonition of my own death where I'm being slowed chewed alive by all my zombified loved ones than reopen k of Shadowssp; I remember once getting a haircut at an Italian barbers and it was so shit the hairdressed muttered "Mamma Mia" under his breath while looking at it. So this film will always remind me of having a shit haircut. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 20:13, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Nothing is as bad as Moonwalker, It's in it's own league of terribleness. Christ i was 11 when it came out and back then i thought Ghostbusters II was awesome and even i thought Moonwalker sucked balls. ... More

Posted by Stewie_Griffin at 20:07, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

L: LettyBIRD The worst movie I have ever seen, it was like an interminable hen night. sp; Is it worse than its musical peer ker ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 19:58, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

Thank goodness it wasn't just me, I've never cringed with embarassment during a film before! ... More

Posted by LettyBIRD at 19:40, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


The worst movie I have ever seen, it was like an interminable hen night. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LettyBIRD at 19:37, 27 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Look on the bright side, whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 17:11, 25 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: DanCurley L: Rebenectomy I saw this last night and must admit I was very disappointed. ou got what you deserved /quote]   Was trying to think of some witty retort, but can’t. You’re right. In fact I’m probably lucky that all I was left with was a feeling of disappointment. That and shame, deep, deep shame.p; ... More

Posted by Rebenectomy at 14:43, 25 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Rebenectomy I saw this last night and must admit I was very disappointed. ou got what you deserved ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 14:27, 25 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I saw this last night and must admit I was very disappointed. I love musicals, on stage and screen, but have no real fixed opinion on Abba (catchy disco, good for a night out but I’m not a die hard by any means), so in many ways I was approaching it from a fairly neutral perspective.   Mostly I had issues with the standard of acting and singing on display. Amanda Seyfried’s performance was good -  polished and professional, but with a fairly stagy feel to it. She acted and sounded... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rebenectomy at 13:23, 25 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

Saw this a second time tonight. It's in no way a perfect movie but it's just damn good fun. I've never seen people react to a movie they way they did to this onr. Singing, talking back to the screen and giving the movie a round of applause. I can't remember the last time a movie got that kind of reaction. ... More

Posted by Stewie_Griffin at 00:47, 24 July 2008 | Report This Post


Previous pageMore user comments

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Vote Now: The Jameson Empire Awards 2015
Tell us your favourite films and stars of the year

The Gift Guide 2014: 50 Must-Have Items This Christmas
Box sets, hardware, clothing, books and stocking fillers to buy

Empire's Jurassic World Trailer Tour
We guide you, Richard Kiley-style, through the secrets of the new park

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

Empire’s Peter Jackson Issue Subscribers' Cover Arrives
Five Armies, three elves, two heavenly creatures and one giant ape

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)