Ma (2019)


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Released:  Friday, May 31, 2019  
Length:  99 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre: Horror
Rating: Ma is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Everybody’s welcome at Ma’s. But good luck getting home safe.

Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner who keeps to herself in her quiet Ohio town. One day, she is asked by Maggie, a new teenager in town (Diana Silvers, Glass), to buy some booze for her and her friends, and Sue Ann sees the chance to make some unsuspecting if younger, friends of her own.

She offers the kids the chance to avoid drinking and driving by hanging out in the basement of her home. But there are some house rules: One of the kids has to stay sober. Don’t curse. Never go upstairs. And call her “Ma.”

But as Ma’s hospitality starts to curdle into obsession, what began as a teenage dream turns into a terrorizing nightmare, and Ma’s place goes from the best place in town to the worst place on earth.

Ma also stars Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County) as Maggie’s mom, Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) as a local dad, Missi Pyle (Gone Girl) as his girlfriend, and McKaley Miller (TV’s Hart of Dixie), Corey Fogelmanis (TV’s Girl Meets World), Gianni Paolo (TV’s Power) and Dante Brown (Lethal Weapon TV series) as Maggie’s friends.  

From Tate Taylor, the acclaimed director of The Help and Get On Up, and blockbuster producer Jason Blum (Get OutHalloween, The Purge series) comes a thriller anchored by a daring and unexpected performance from Spencer, one of the most powerful actors of her generation.

Ma is written by Scotty Landes (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) and Taylor, is produced by Blum for his Blumhouse Productions, by Taylor, and by John Norris (executive producer, Get On Up), and is executive produced by Spencer, Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Volturno, and Robin Fisichella.

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Ma images are © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Win a Blu-ray Copy of Ma From FlickDirect and Universal Pictures  9/2/2019 3:42 PM EST
This spring, audiences were treated to Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer's version of a crazy woman in the thriller, MA.  While she seemed like every teenager's cool, older aunt, she had an ulterior motive laying just beneath the surface.  FlickDirect, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, would like to give one lucky winner a Blu-ray Combo pack of this film.To Enter follow these easy steps: ...  More>>

Win Passes For Two To An Advance Screening of Universal Pictures...  5/21/2019 4:15 PM EST
Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer can play almost any character.  We have seen her show her comedic side in Bad Santa 2 and watched as she deified authority in Hidden Figures.  Now she takes on the lead in Universal Pictures latest horror/thriller, MA.   FlickDirect, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, would like to give some lucky winners the opportunity to see the film on May 28, 2019, at...  More>>

Ma Theatrical Review

Kids can be cruel.  The concept is not new and high school bullying can leave scars that last a lifetime.  For many, it builds character and changes who they are as a person.  It makes them emotionally stronger, tougher and hopefully less cruel towards others themselves.  Most grow up to be fairly well-adjusted adults but sometimes those wounds linger and fester causing those adults to become unhealthy individuals.  Most times those people inflict harm on themselves but there is the rare occasion when they try to harm others instead.  Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer; Hidden Figures) falls into the latter category and her story forms the premise of the latest thriller movie, Ma.

Maggie (Booksmart) is the new kid in school.  She and her mom moved back to the town where her mom, Erica (Juliette Lewis; Natural Born Killers), grew up after Maggie's parents divorced.  It is here that Maggie meets a group of kids and they become friends.  Wanting to party, they hang out in front of the liquor store until a nice older lady, Sue Ann, agrees to buy them booze.  The teens then go and party in an abandoned part of town until the police bust them.

Sue Ann again agrees to buy them liquor but this time convinces them to follow her to a remote part of town where she lives. It is here that she offers her basement as a place where the kids can drink.  Suddenly, Ma's (as the teens have nicknamed her) house is the happening place to be but over time Maggie realizes that things aren't as great as they seem and the teens stop going to Ma's.  This upsets Ma to the point where she practically stalks the kids and lies to them to get them to return to her house.  

Note to self… never piss of Octavia Spencer because she can be one crazy mother.  We are used to seeing Spencer play women with a tough exterior though usually in an oppressive setting.  Here she seems sweet and friendly but there is darkness lying just beneath the surface that rears its ugly head when she is shunned by the group of teens.  It is obvious that Spencer could play almost any role to which she sets her mind and she once again proves why she is worthy of three best-supporting actress Oscar Nominations.  

The rest of the cast is very good with Silvers leading a talented group of teens.  Lewis holds her own as the fun but stern when necessary parent.  Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) and Missi Pyle (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) play the quintessential former popular kids who grew up to have pretty good lives but who still bully others. Director Tate Taylor (The Help) does an excellent job of interweaving all their lives while also taking a small role in the film himself.

However, for a thriller, Ma doesn't deliver too much suspense. There are a few jump scares but nothing too over the top and if you saw the trailer you had a basic idea of the plot so there weren't many surprises overall.  The biggest draw would be to see how sinister and warped Spencer can be and some of the nasty torture elements she brings into the mix to punish those that she felt wronged her both in the past as well as in the present.  The ending was also a little anti-climatic so that was a letdown.

Listed under the horror/ thriller genre, I suppose Ma falls into that category but overall it is a tame version of both.  Spencer is really the only reason to watch the movie and, as expected, she delivers.  The concept is somewhat unique but could have probably been executed and marketed better.

Grade: C-



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  • 2/25/2019 5:26 PM EST


    Everybody’s welcome at Ma’s. But good luck getting home safe.Oscar® winner Octavia S...

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