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mamma mia the movie review

Upbeat, silly ABBA musical has sexual innuendos.

Mamma Mia! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Allusions to infidelity, abandonment, and sexual i

Characters stick pretty closely to archetypes ("th

Men and women yell at each other about past disagr

Sexual innuendo in song lyrics and conversations (

Occasional mild profanity: "son of a bitch," "crap

A few labels: Duke University T-shirt, logos for G

Characters drink alcohol, act drunk. Some cigar sm

Parents need to know that Mamma Mia! is a 2008 movie inspired by the musical inspired by the music of Swedish 1970s hit-makers ABBA. This lightweight, sun-kissed musical will likely appeal to the teen girls (and their moms) who make up much of the fan base of the Broadway musical it's based on. Language is…

Positive Messages

Allusions to infidelity, abandonment, and sexual indiscretions. A daughter lies to her mom. Otherwise, truly earnest and warmhearted, with strong themes of friendship and parent/child bonds.

Positive Role Models

Characters stick pretty closely to archetypes ("the writer," "the cougar," "the banker," and so on), despite outward appearances of strong, independent-minded women who are seemingly determined to make their own way in the world. Most of the lead characters must come to terms with past sexual indiscretions.

Violence & Scariness

Men and women yell at each other about past disagreements and misunderstandings; a mother and daughter argue.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

Sexual innuendo in song lyrics and conversations (for example, a hand drill is waved around in a suggestive way to signal sexual intercourse). One character is very open about her cougar-like sensibilities, preying on a younger man and vice versa. Lots of reminiscing about sexual escapades of the past. One scene shows a man's naked backside, though not in a sexual context. A sex toy is seen briefly during a dance sequence. Quick kiss.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Occasional mild profanity: "son of a bitch," "crap," as well as UK terms such as "bollocks" and "bugger." Frequent sexual insinuations. A woman points at her friend's breasts and asks, "Where did you get these?"

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

A few labels: Duke University T-shirt, logos for Greek taxis. And, of course, the entire movie helps promote ABBA songs (and also the Broadway musical the movie is based on).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol, act drunk. Some cigar smoking. References to marijuana.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mamma Mia! is a 2008 movie inspired by the musical inspired by the music of Swedish 1970s hit-makers ABBA. This lightweight, sun-kissed musical will likely appeal to the teen girls (and their moms) who make up much of the fan base of the Broadway musical it's based on. Language is quite tame overall ("ass," "bitch," UK terms such as "bollocks" and "bugger"), but sexual innuendoes do fly -- there are plenty in the ABBA song lyrics alone -- and one of the main characters is a woman who gets pregnant but doesn't know who her baby's father is. A sex toy is seen briefly during a dance sequence. There's a quick kiss between two men. There's also a brief, nonsexual glimpse of a man's bare butt and a fair amount of drinking, but it's mostly in the context of everyone having fun on a Greek island, and it's all pretty social in nature. Characters also drink throughout and often appear to be drunk. Expect references to marijuana. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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Community Reviews

  • Parents say (53)
  • Kids say (173)

Based on 53 parent reviews

Not My Favorite, But Great Film

What's the story.

In MAMMA MIA!, with her wedding fast approaching, 20-year-old Sophie ( Amanda Seyfried ) does the unthinkable: She invites three men -- Sam ( Pierce Brosnan ), Bill ( Stellan Skarsgård ), and Harry ( Colin Firth ) -- from her mother Donna's ( Meryl Streep ) past to the Greek isle-set festivities without telling her. Donna dated all three one long-ago summer, and one of them is Sophie's father, though she's not sure which one. But Sophie is convinced that one of them should walk her down the aisle, even if it means wreaking havoc just before the big day.

Is It Any Good?

Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, this movie is a frothy concoction that manages to entertain despite the fact that it's disjointed, nonsensical, and fairly cheesy. Onstage, you can forgive all these shortcomings -- the music, the dancing, and the theatricality of it all sweep you away. But on-screen it's a more hazardous bet. Though some of the musical numbers soar -- "Dancing Queen," of course, and the infectious "Mamma Mia!" -- many more hit the wrong note. Although Streep is formidable (who else can meld camp with believable emotion?) and actually sings quite prettily, the dance numbers might make you laugh in all the wrong places. Seeing Streep in Spandex, her straggly mane tossing about, is a little like witnessing your mom let loose at a party after one too many drinks: Your heart soars at her joie de vivre, but you also kind of want her to stop. Still, Streep's acting chops serve her well; Christine Baranski , who plays Donna's cougar-y sidekick, also fares well, and Julie Walters is just plain fun. Brosnan is dashing as always, though singing isn't his strong suit. And Firth and Skarsgård seem like afterthoughts.

In the end, it's Seyfried who frankly saves the whole enterprise. Her Sophie beseeches you to check your judgments at the door. Her voice is outstanding, managing to ground the silliness of ABBA's greatest hits. And the island? It's so heavenly that it mitigates the film's flaws. So what if it's all a little off? In the end, Mamma Mia! manages to move you with its unabashed exuberance. The eponymous tune does, after all, go: "Mamma Mia, how can I resist you?" For a few moments, anyway, it's the 1970s all over again. Bring on the disco ball.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about who Mamma Mia! is meant to appeal to -- older fans who've been listening to ABBA since they first hit it big, or younger folks who might be familiar with the Broadway show. Do musicals translate well to the big screen? What makes them successful (or not)? What messages does the movie send about relationships and marriage?

Musicals have been a film genre almost since the days in which movies first had sound. What are some of the elements of musicals, not only in terms of performers singing but also in terms of production values, choreography, and style?

Do you think the frequent sexual allusions and insinuations are necessary for the movie? Why, or why not?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : July 16, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming : December 15, 2008
  • Cast : Amanda Seyfried , Meryl Streep , Pierce Brosnan
  • Director : Phyllida Lloyd
  • Inclusion Information : Female actors
  • Studio : Universal Pictures
  • Genre : Musical
  • Topics : Friendship , Music and Sing-Along
  • Run time : 108 minutes
  • MPAA rating : PG-13
  • MPAA explanation : some sex-related comments
  • Last updated : January 28, 2024

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Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia! (2008)

The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.

  • Phyllida Lloyd
  • Catherine Johnson
  • Meryl Streep
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Amanda Seyfried
  • 859 User reviews
  • 173 Critic reviews
  • 51 Metascore
  • 16 wins & 27 nominations total

Mamma Mia!: Trailer #2

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Colin Firth

  • Harry's Housekeeper
  • Harry's Driver

Rachel McDowall

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More like this

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Did you know

  • Trivia Pierce Brosnan had no idea what the project was about when he signed on. The producers told him it was being filmed in Greece, and Meryl Streep was starring. Brosnan said he would've signed on for anything involving Streep, describing her as "that gorgeous blonde I fancied terribly in Drama School."
  • Goofs Just after Tanya and Rosie arrive, Donna takes the laundry down and says "You'd think they would figure out a machine that would make the beds." Her mouth doesn't move during part of the sentence.

Donna : Somebody up there has got it in for me. I bet it's my mother.

  • Crazy credits After the final scene of the movie Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters appear on a sound stage in matching 1970s glam-rock costumes and sing "Dancing Queen". When they finish Meryl 'asks' the audience if they want an encore. The three ladies are then joined by Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard who are similarly attired. Along with Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, they provide a rendition of "Waterloo" as the main credits roll.
  • Alternate versions Starting August 29, 2008, it was released in select theaters under "Mamma Mia! The Sing-Along Edition". Like Hairspray, the film was released in theaters with the lyrics at the bottom of the screen for audience participation.
  • Connections Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Dark Knight/Hancock/Meet Dave/Journey to the Center of the Earth/Hellboy II: The Golden Army/The Wackness/Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)
  • Soundtracks I Have A Dream Written by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus Performed by Amanda Seyfried Courtesy of Universal Music

User reviews 859

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  • Apr 14, 2022
  • How long is Mamma Mia!? Powered by Alexa
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  • Do they ever reveal Sophie's dad?
  • What does "Mamma Mia" mean?
  • July 18, 2008 (United States)
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Mamma Mia! The Movie
  • Skopelos, Greece
  • Universal Pictures
  • Relativity Media
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $52,000,000 (estimated)
  • $144,330,569
  • $27,751,240
  • Jul 20, 2008
  • $694,640,739

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 48 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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Review: “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” Saves the Best for Last

mamma mia the movie review

By Richard Brody

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If you fused the virtues of the original “Mamma Mia!” and its new sequel, “ Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ,” the result would be one good movie. The methodical plotting and programmatic sentiment of the earlier film are balanced by the vigor and charm of its cinematic choreography. “Mamma Mia!” is a musical starring a cast of actors who aren’t primarily singers and dancers, and the movie’s director, Phyllida Lloyd, films their singing and dancing with a lively warmth to match their playful and hearty efforts. The sequences give the impression that she really wants to see what the musical action is like when she films it a certain way, and, at moments (notably, in the finale, centered on Julie Walters), the kinesthetic surprises strike emotions that the comedic action only strains at.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” stands the earlier movie on its head (while using only a few of the songs that were prominently featured in it). Dramatically, it is far more elaborate than the original. Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep), the American woman who stayed on the (fictitious) Greek island of Kalokairi, built a small hotel, and raised her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), there, has died. A year after her mother’s death, Sophie, who’s about twenty-five, has finished renovating the hotel and is preparing—with the help of Sam (Pierce Brosnan), one of her possible fathers, and the one who married Donna at the end of the earlier film—its grand reopening. She’s hoping for her other two fathers, Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth), to show up, awaiting Donna’s friends and musical cohorts, Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski), and fighting with her husband, Sky (Dominic Cooper), over the next turn in their lives.

Though the main characters of the original all return and their roles are certainly not deepened, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is nonetheless a movie of its script, written by Ol Parker (who also directed), Richard Curtis, and Catherine Johnson. Its drama is, in effect, built on mourning, which, far from being merely expressed or enacted, is embodied in an intricate flashback structure that serves a peculiar function. It brings the past to life, not for the movie’s characters or for its dramatic necessities and connections but, rather, directly for viewers. In “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the recovery of the past outleaps the psychology of the characters and the present-tense action and delivers, directly to viewers, a celebratory commemoration of Donna.

Those flashbacks, set in 1979 and 1980, tell the story of Donna when she graduated from college (Oxford) and headed to Kalokairi by way of Paris. They offer younger versions of Donna, her friends, and her three lovers, and they’re the heart of the movie, owing in large part to the performance of Lily James, as young Donna, who brings a dramatic depth and substance with a seemingly calm effortlessness to a role that’s written as if on postcards. Young Donna is introduced as the valedictorian of her graduating class, and her speech quickly bursts into song, joined by young Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) and young Rosie (Alexa Davies).

Parker, working with the choreographer Anthony Van Laast, offers production numbers that are more fanciful than those of the earlier film but which, with only a few exceptions, are less satisfying, because they are for the most part filmed with the inventiveness and spontaneity of a Super Bowl halftime show. This is all the more surprising inasmuch as the movie’s cinematographer, Robert Yeoman, is among the most original of the time—he has worked on all of Wes Anderson’s live-action features. His contribution to Parker’s dance scenes are most conspicuous in the best of the musical numbers (for “Waterloo”), one that’s set in an absurdly large and sumptuously decorated Parisian restaurant. Donna has a meet-cute with young Harry (Hugh Skinner) in the lobby of a rumpled hotel; soon they’re sharing a meal at which he bursts into romantic song and she joins him, in a series of fantasy moments that are reminiscent of rectilinear Andersonian capers.

There’s a peculiar idea, a curious prefabricated sociology, underpinning the diptych. It’s the story of a strong and independent young woman who follows her heart—and her desires—freely, who successfully realizes her life plan and raises a smart and capable daughter who nonetheless has an altogether more conventional set of dreams and expectations. Without a father figure in her life, Sophie summons the three men who might be her father; all three of them, young dorks who left Donna behind to make their own way through life, become successful on their own terms but remain emotionally unfulfilled. Belatedly, and through the agency of Sophie, they return to Donna and find a ready-made family that they plug themselves into, bringing their bourgeois worldliness and experience to the handmade, sweat-made, more natural and more rugged but provincial beauties that Donna has made (but which aren’t quite enough for Sophie, who hasn’t herself made them but merely been raised in them).

The entire symbolic heft of the series is in the very presence of Streep in the role of Donna. She sings and dances, but she doesn’t even have to; she only has to be there in order to exalt Donna as a self-willed, supremely transformative powerhouse. (Her brief presence in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is deftly, movingly threaded into the action.) James has a tough job—to suggest a Streep-like level of composure and purpose along with the inchoate energies and risky uncertainties of youth—which makes her performance all the more impressive.

The new movie’s generational reach, of course, includes Cher this time around, as Ruby, Donna’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother. It’s a brief but lavish role that’s rendered wraith-like in its inadequate scripting, and Cher does as much with it as the text allows. Parker’s direction is no help at all; his sense of sentiment runs far ahead of his sense of glamour and spectacle. The same narrow vision that keeps the dance scenes turgid also keeps Cher from being more than a mere signifier of herself; Parker’s direction doesn’t respond to Cher, it confines her.

Nonetheless, there’s an irrepressible charm to the sight of the gathered performers singing and dancing with a festive vitality. It’s hardly different from a peek at a good party, and it’s got hardly more artistic imagination animating it. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” however, saves the best for last. It features a touch that’s so exquisite, simple, and obvious—a sort of end-credit sequence that Parker has the good idea to keep in the body of the film—that it would be worse to elide than it is to spoil. Implausibly, fantastically, but delightfully, all of the characters, through the generations, are brought together in one grand revel—young and mature Donna, her friends Rosie and Tanya then and now, the three men and their callow selves—as if dancing with themselves. It’s a concluding touch with all the naïveté of a high-school skit, and it bursts through the programmatic gloss of the story to restore its whimsical amateur inspiration.

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If you loved the first “Mamma Mia!” movie back in 2008, well, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” offers even more—and even less.

The sequel (which is also a prequel) features a bigger cast, a longer running time, extra subplots and additional romantic entanglements. But it’s emptier than its predecessor and has even lower stakes. It’s less entertaining, and for all its frantic energy, it manages to go absolutely nowhere.

Once again inspired by the music of ABBA and set on a picturesque Greek island, the second “Mamma Mia!” is the lightest piece of Swedish pastry with the sweetest chunk of baklava on the side. And while that may sound delicious, it’s likely to give you a toothache (as well as a headache).

At one point, during a particularly clunky musical number, I wrote in my notes: “I am so uncomfortable right now.” But while the goofy imperfection of this song-and-dance extravaganza is partially the point—and theoretically, a source of its charm—it also grows repetitive and wearying pretty quickly.

No single moment reaches the infectious joy of Meryl Streep writhing around in a barn in overalls performing the title song in the original film, or the emotional depth of her singing “The Winner Takes It All” to Pierce Brosnan . Along those lines, if you’re looking forward to seeing Streep show off her playful, musical side again, you’re going to be disappointed. Despite her prominent presence in the movie’s marketing materials, she’s barely in it.

That’s because Streep’s free-spirited Donna has died, we learn at the film’s start, but her presence is felt everywhere in weepy ways. Her daughter, Sophie ( Amanda Seyfried ), is re-opening the inn her mom ran—now christened the Hotel Bella Donna—on the same idyllic (and fictional) Greek island of Kalokairi where the first film took place. Writer-director Ol Parker (whose relevant experience includes writing those “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” movies) jumps back and forth in time between Sophie nervously putting the finishing touches on the big party she’s planning and the story of how her mother originally ended up on this remote slab of land in the Aegean Sea—and became pregnant with Sophie in the late 1970s without being entirely sure of who the father was.

Lily James plays young Donna as a firecracker flower child—a friendly mess of wild, blonde curls and high, platform boots. (James’ sunny presence is one of the film’s consistent bright spots.) We meet the younger version of her best friends and jumpsuit-clad backup singers, Tanya ( Jessica Keenan Wynn , doing a dead-on impression of Christine Baranski ) and Rosie ( Alexa Davies , standing in for Julie Walters ). And we see her flirt and fall for the three guys she has giddy flings with the summer after college graduation.

First, there’s the skittish Harry ( Hugh Skinner ), who tries to charm her with his halting French in Paris. Next comes the sexy Swede Bill ( Josh Dylan ), who woos her on the boat that carries her out to the island. Finally, there’s aspiring architect Sam ( Jeremy Irvine ), who’s already vacationing on Kalokairi when she arrives. They will grow up to be Colin Firth , Stellan Skarsgard and Brosnan, respectively, and they will be forced into singing ABBA songs that clearly make them miserable.

Ah yes, the ABBA songs. They provided the confectionery connective tissue for the smash-hit stage musical and the original movie. This time, the ‘70s Swedish supergroup’s tunes that are the most rapturous are also replays from the first go-round: a flotilla of fishermen singing and prancing to “Dancing Queen,” or the splashy finale uniting the whole cast for “Super Trouper.” Much of the soundtrack consists of lesser-known songs, and the uninspired way those numbers are staged and choreographed rarely allows them to soar.

Once again, though, these actors are such pros that they can’t help but make the most of their meager material. Baranski and Walters in particular have crackling chemistry again. The brief moments in which the supremely overqualified Firth, Skarsgard and Brosnan pal around with each other as Sophie’s three dads made me long to see them together in something else. Anything else. A documentary in which they have lunch on the porch under sunny Greek skies, even.

And then Cher shows up. Now, it would seem impossible for this superstar goddess ever to be restrained. But as Sophie’s frequently absent grandmother, Cher seems weirdly reined in. Again, it’s the awkwardness of the choreography: She just sort of stands there, singing “Fernando,” before stiffly walking down a flight of stairs to greet the person to whom she’s singing. (As the hotel’s caretaker, Andy Garcia conveniently plays a character named Fernando, which is an amusing bit.)

But if you’re down for watching A-list stars belt out insanely catchy, 40-year-old pop tunes in a shimmering setting, and you’re willing to throw yourself headlong into the idea of love’s transformative power, and you just need a mindless summer escape of your own, you might just thoroughly enjoy watching “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” Don’t think, and pass the ouzo.

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material.

120 minutes

Meryl Streep as Donna Sheridan

Lily James as Young Donna Sheridan

Amanda Seyfried as Sophie Sheridan

Pierce Brosnan as Sam Carmichael

Colin Firth as Harry Bright

Stellan Skarsgård as Bill Anderson

Dominic Cooper as Sky

Julie Walters as Rosie Mulligan

Christine Baranski as Tanya Chesham-Leigh

Andy García as Fernando

Cher as Ruby Sheridan

Writer (based on the original musical by)

  • Catherine Johnson

Writer (originally conceived by)

  • Judy Craymer

Writer (story by)

  • Richard Curtis


  • Robert D. Yeoman
  • Peter Lambert

Composer (music by)

  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
  • Anne Dudley

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Movie Review: Mamma Mia! (2008)

  • General Disdain
  • Movie Reviews
  • 8 responses
  • --> July 22, 2008

You’re among friends so I promise I won’t laugh at you. You know you’ve secretly wanted to see a musical set to the songs of Swedish super group ABBA. Okay maybe not, but at least admit you’ve always yearned to hear the singing voice of Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep. No to that too? If that’s the case then perhaps Mamma Mia! isn’t the movie for you, that is unless you can look beyond the aforementioned “highlights” and see through to what actually amounts to an entertaining movie.

But first let me jump right into the singing since it is the main driver of the film. Simply put, it is nothing to write home about. Actually, a large portion of it is rather painful to listen to, with the biggest offender being Pierce Brosnan. His dashing good looks and sexy English/Irish accent can’t mask the fact that he is just as tone deaf as William Hung was. Yes ladies, he has a flaw. For you cougar hunters, Meryl Streep isn’t much better either. She keeps her voice at a relatively soft, off-key monotone which I found distressing because I actually had to strain to hear her clearly (which may have something to do with my going to one to many Metallica concerts, although I doubt it). The only actor on the set of Mamma Mia! with at least a tiny smidgen of ability was Amanda Seyfried, which I assume is a blessing based solely off of her tender age.

Overriding this blight is the obvious fun the actors are having at the expense of their shortfalls. They know they can’t sing a lick but that doesn’t stop them from making the most out of the playful script, which is simple and unassuming. Streep is Donna, the owner of a Greek villa and the single mother to daughter Sophie (Seyfried). Sophie is getting married and wants nothing more than to have her father walk her down the aisle. There is a slight problem though – Donna played the field back in the day and there is a tossup as to who the father is. Maybe it is the British banker Harry Bright (Colin Firth) that she spent the night with. Perhaps it is American architect Sam Carmichael (Brosnan), who shared a few nights in her bed as well. Or maybe, just maybe, it is Swedish thrill seeker Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgard), who managed to squeeze some time in there as well. No matter who it is, they’re all invited to the event; unwanted by Donna, being scrutinized by Sophie and utterly confused by the whole situation.

This predictably leads to some heartfelt and goofy moments between all involved. When confronted with the very real possibility that they may have a 20-year old daughter that they’ve never met, each of the “fathers” step up to the plate – all are more than willing to make up for lost time. Adding credence to all these moments is the fact that Amanda Seyfried has an innocent glow about her that it is very easy to fall for. As for silliness, just watching people inexplicably break out in poorly choreographed dance sequences is enough for me to laugh and shake my head in disbelief. It is something I’ve never been able to get used to when watching a musical – it always seems comical (even when not meant to be) and completely unnatural.

On the merits of telling a good story though, Mamma Mia! gains marks. It is certainly a fun movie that captures the viewer’s interest – for the most part. The idea of having a girl seeking out her birth father rings true with our current state of affairs. Telling it in a fun, lighthearted manner makes it all the more palatable. The failure is casting actors and actresses that don’t have an iota of strength in the singing or dancing department. It is rather enjoyable at the onset to see these accomplished thespians make fools of themselves but just like the final evisceration scene in Braveheart , you find yourself hollering for the torture to stop.

While I haven’t seen the Broadway version of Mamma Mia! that the movie is based on, I can’t help but think that the Broadway version is better. For the price though, as compared to a Broadway showing, the film adaptation is worth the cash. Give it a watch — especially if you don’t have the 100+ dollars needed for a mezzanine ticket . . .

The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

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'Movie Review: Mamma Mia! (2008)' have 8 comments

The Critical Movie Critics

July 27, 2008 @ 1:50 pm NarnianWho

I really enjoyed this movie! But I do agree that Pierce Brosnan’s singing was a bit hard-on-the-ears at the best of times!

It was a fun movie, bit of a soggy ending, but amazing location it was set in and some decent romance between Sky (Dominic Cooper) and newcomer Amanda Seyfried who has a beautiful voice. Not really a ‘guy film’ but very entertaining and a stable plot throughout.

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The Critical Movie Critics

August 13, 2008 @ 5:09 am patrick

this is one of the few plays i’ve actually seen, which ended up being great… it’s funny to think of ol’ Pierce taking a stab at singing, yeeesh

The Critical Movie Critics

September 20, 2008 @ 3:45 pm Chuck L.

The movie could have benefited from great sexual tension between the characters of 3 single men and 3 single women in their late thirties. Unfortunately the parts were cast to actors who were sixty.

The Critical Movie Critics

September 27, 2008 @ 12:53 pm Lisa V

I’ve seen the movie because all my female friends recommended it with a big smile. My personal opinion -disaster. Wrong cast, total euphoria, disorder and brainless story.

The Critical Movie Critics

October 7, 2008 @ 1:26 pm emma

thts complete cheek to say especially bout Meryl Streep she is a great singer ur just too tone deaf to realise it urself and u say its predictable yet u contradict urself when u say u have not seen the broadway show tell u wot get a life and stop wasting ur time on a long shot comment which goes purley un-noticed as its one its awards and so did Meryl Streep. get a life

The Critical Movie Critics

November 8, 2008 @ 8:31 pm Mirian

I have seen the movie and I really LOVED IT!!! I went with my husband, daughters (5years), my mother, sisters, brother and sister in law and we all like it. We are now huge fans and my daughters has the soundtrack and love the music.

The Critical Movie Critics

April 29, 2009 @ 3:10 am Ticket Loot

So bad that it’s brilliant, kinda like Austin Powers (the 1st) or Snakes on a Plane? If so, then I’ll have to check it out.

The Critical Movie Critics

March 11, 2010 @ 3:23 am Kate The Portrait Artist

I liked this but my husband thought it was the worst thing he had ever seen saved only by Pierce Brosnan’s singing which was so bad that it was good. I think it has the feel good feeling at that part of Greece is simply delicious!!

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Mamma Mia! Reviews

mamma mia the movie review

[Streep] not only takes a risk in a camp-laden, sometimes mawkish musical, but she, once again, fleshes out her character into a three-dimensional, vibrant part of the story.

Full Review | May 5, 2023

mamma mia the movie review

Sometimes you just need a trip to the Greek isles, some '70s pop, or maybe both to get into the summer mood.

Full Review | Nov 18, 2020

mamma mia the movie review

The award magnet Streep is practically guaranteed a comedy/musical Golden Globe nomination for her performance here.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/4.0 | Sep 15, 2020

mamma mia the movie review

It's not fun or carefree, it's just tacky - lost in a sea of clichés and contrivances that somehow makes even its fantastic music lose its appeal.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4 | Jul 6, 2019

It's impossible not to go along with the feeling when such a strangely life-affirming song as Dancing Queen is blasted in your ears.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Dec 13, 2018

mamma mia the movie review

Mamma Mia has been made with the most delicious, joyful abandon and all it asks is that you joyfully and deliciously abandon yourself to it and don't make too many observations.

Full Review | Aug 23, 2018

mamma mia the movie review

Inventive song-and-dance numbers, with a Greek chorus of island residents, and hilarious pratfalls ensue as the wedding preparations go on amid the lighthearted family drama.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Aug 13, 2018

In the (slightly altered) words of ABBA, you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life at Mamma Mia!

Full Review | Original Score: A- | Aug 17, 2017

mamma mia the movie review

After 40 minutes, it feels a bit like scarfing an entire bag of Doritos.

Full Review | Nov 6, 2014

Like a big gay Terminator, Mamma Mia! will track down your cynicism and blast it into smithereens: it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you're having fun.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Oct 14, 2012

It would be easy to underrate the deceptively effortless master acting class that Meryl Streep puts on here.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Jul 24, 2012

mamma mia the movie review

Full Review | Original Score: B+ | Feb 18, 2012

Yeah, it's all a little bit on the camp side. It's a musical based on the songs of ABBA. A little bit camp is probably the height of restraint.

Full Review | Original Score: 6.5/10 | Apr 8, 2011

A mostly ghastly spectacle

Full Review | Aug 25, 2009

Mnoge od scena su nadrealno %u0161a%u0161ave

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10 | Jul 15, 2009

After this, after "Movin' Out" (based on the deplorable songbook of one Willliam Joel), it's not even satire to suggest that the next big thing will be a musical inspired by the oeuvre of Howard Jones

Full Review | Original Score: 0/4 | Feb 18, 2009

mamma mia the movie review

...certain sequences are inherently far more affecting and engaging than others.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Feb 10, 2009

mamma mia the movie review

More fluff like "Mamma Mia!" than "Made of Honor" would make mid-year moviegoing a happier experience.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5 | Jan 6, 2009

As for Meryl Streep, you sense that she's thinking what you're thinking: That she can't actually be in this movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/10 | Nov 20, 2008

The story is ... urh. No film has ever had a more irrelevant story.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Oct 18, 2008

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Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried and ‘reliable delight’ Julie Walters in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again review – full of hits and emotion

This slick sequel delivers sharp one-liners, joyously contrived plot twists and an emotional punch that left our critic reeling…

W atching the original Mamma Mia! in 2008 , I had something approaching an out-of-body experience. Having initially scoffed at everything from the contrived join-the-pop songs plot to Pierce Brosnan’s unique vocal stylings, I felt my feathery inner self depart from my dour exterior and start dancing in the aisles. One minute I was a miserable critic; the next, everything had gone pink and fluffy. As I said at the time, never before had something so wrong felt so right .

A decade later, this sequel-prequel hybrid (a surprisingly smart combination) produces similarly head-spinning results. In the 1979 sequences, Lily James plays the young Donna, graduating from Oxford (via a High School Musical -style rendition of When I Kissed the Teacher) before heading off on an endless holiday wherein she will try on a pair of dungarees and a trio of handsome suitors. Meanwhile, in the present, Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie is striving to fulfil her mother’s vision (she had a dream!) with the newly renovated Hotel Bella Donna, while wrestling with the prospect of history repeating itself on this idyllic island.

As we flip-flop through the singalong hi-jinks, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan and Jeremy Irvine grow up to become Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Pierce Brosnan, while Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies prove dab hands at essaying younger incarnations of dynamic duo Christine Baranski and Julie Walters.

Taking over the directorial reins, Ol Parker (who made Imagine Me & You and the underrated Now Is Good ) delivers a slicker package than Phyllida Lloyd’s record-breaking original, full of elegant camera moves, snappy choreography and mirrored shots juxtaposing disparate frames, both temporal and spatial. Alongside Parker, the credited writers include Richard Curtis, who may or may not be responsible for such post- Four Weddings zingers as “Be still my beating vagina” and “It’s called karma and it’s pronounced ‘ Ha! ”’

Yet as before, the real pleasure comes from the sublime agony of hearing your favourite Abba tunes crowbarred into the narrative in increasingly preposterous ways. Occasionally the twists are subtle (the whoopingly affirmative “woh woh woh” of Waterloo briefly becomes a commanding “whoa” – as in “stop!” – during a restaurant seduction scene). More often they’re laugh-out-loud ludicrous (the scene in which Cher calls Andy Garcia’s Señor Cienfuegos by his first name evokes Ben Elton’s script for We Will Rock You ). Crucially, such creaks appear to be entirely knowing, encouraging us to laugh with the story, rather than at it – something I’m not entirely sure was true of the original stage musical and film.

Cher and Andy Garcia in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

It helps that the ensemble cast are extremely likable and admirably game; the lyrics to Dancing Queen may insist that “you can dance, you can jive”, but the fact that many of the men can do neither of the above doesn’t stop them from having the time of their lives anyway. By contrast, the women are on top form – from Lily James, who could charm the birds from the trees with her song-and-dance skills, to Julie Walters, whose brand of note-perfect physical comedy (it’s all in the expressions and gestures) proves a reliable delight. Meanwhile, Omid Djalili is a scene-stealing hoot as a withering customs and passport control officer (NB: stay to the very end of the credits).

None of this would mean a thing if Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again didn’t also pack an emotional punch, and I feel duty-bound to report that I came out of the screening an utter wreck. The tears started early, as James and co danced around a cameoing Björn Ulvaeus, then flowed freely as the hits continued, climaxing in a Dunkirk -style flotilla routine complete with a cheeky nod to Titanic , the film that the original Mamma Mia! famously outperformed at the UK box office .

Yet having always believed that Abba’s greatest song was a melancholy gem from the Arrival LP, it was the spine-tingling reworking of My Love, My Life that hit me hardest. I wasn’t just crying – I was convulsing with tears, desperately trying to stop myself from audibly sobbing. Seriously, the end of Apocalypse Now proved less traumatic.

Much has changed in the 10 years since Mamma Mia! challenged my ideas of “good” and “bad” film-making. I have certainly mellowed, and perhaps my critical faculties have withered and died. But I simply can’t imagine how Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again could be any better than it is. I loved it to pieces and I can’t wait to go again!

  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Mark Kermode's film of the week

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‘mamma mia’: film review.

It's a delightful piece of filmmaking with a marvelous cast topped by Meryl Streep in one of her smartest and most entertaining performances ever.

By Ray Bennett

Ray Bennett

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'Mamma Mia!'

No matter how many blockbusters there are, Universal Pictures’ screen version of the global hit stage musical “Mamma Mia!” is the most fun to be had at the movies this or any other recent summer.

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Credit goes to the original show’s creators, producer Judy Craymer, director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Catherine Johnson, for seeing their vision through to such a polished and enjoyable picture. Hanging a tale of a woman whose daughter might have been fathered by one of three attractive men on a bunch of ABBA songs sounds simple, but its simplicity is as deceptive as the masterfully crafted songs themselves.

Streep plays Donna, a former singer, who has raised daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) alone at a fading resort on a remote Greek island. Sophie finds her mother’s diary from 20 years earlier and discovers that there are three men who might be her father. About to be married to boyfriend Sky (Dominic Cooper), she sends invitations to the celebration to all three on behalf of her mother but without telling her.

Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard, as the possible dads, show up on the island where Donna is readying the wedding, helped by her two best pals (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski). The scene is set for songs, dancing and romance, all staged brilliantly, with many energetic and colorful performers, and beautifully shot.

Seyfried (from TV’s “Big Love”) and Cooper (“The History Boys”) make appealing juvenile leads while Walters and Baranski contribute greatly to the film’s good-natured comedy. Each has a big solo number with Baranski belting out “Does Your Mother Know?” to a randy beach bum and Walters entreating a reluctant groom with “Take a Chance on Me.”

Streep is sensationally good in rendering the whole yarn credible and in making dramatically moving songs such as “Slipping Through My Fingers,” sung to her departing daughter, and “The Winner Takes It All” to a lost love. It’s no stretch to think of her performance in Oscar terms, ranking with previous musical winners such as Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And when Streep teams with Walters and Baranski for dynamic and crowd-pleasing numbers such as “Mamma Mia!” “Dancing Queen” and “Super Trouper,” there’s not an audience anywhere that won’t be smiling.

Production: Littlestar Prods., Playtone Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski; Director: Phyllida Lloyd; Screenwriter: Catherine Johnson; Producers: Benny Andersson, Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Rita Wilson; Executive producer: Mark Huffam; Director of photography: Haris Zambarloukos; Production designer: Maria Djurkovic; Music: Stig Anderson, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus; Costume designer: Ann Roth; Editor: Lesley Walker.

Opens: July 4 in the U.K.; July 18 in North America (Universal Pictures)

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mamma mia the movie review

  • DVD & Streaming
  • Drama , Musical

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mamma mia the movie review

In Theaters

  • Meryl Streep as Donna; Amanda Seyfried as Sophie; Pierce Brosnan as Sam; Colin Firth as Harry; Stellan Skarsgård as Bill; Julie Walters as Rosie; Christine Baranski as Tanya

Home Release Date

  • Phyllida Lloyd


  • Universal Pictures

Movie Review

All her life, 20-year-old Sophie has lived with her single mom, Donna, in their little hotel on an idyllic Greek island. For most of that time, though, she’s secretly longed to find the father she’s never known. A man that her former hippie mom refuses to talk about.

When Sophie happens upon Mom’s diary, she finds clues that point to three lovers from her free-spirit past. So, since Sophie is about to be married, she invites all three men to her wedding—feeling that surely she’ll know the one the moment she lays eyes on him.

Donna has also invited a couple of people to the festivities—her two lifelong friends and former bandmates Tanya and Rosie. They arrive with drinks in hand ready to recapture some of their wild and crazy past as Donna and the Dynamos. But you can think of them as just color. Because the remainder of the movie revolves around Sophie trying to decide which of the potential dads will walk her down the aisle and Donna plotting how to goosestep them out the back door.

Old romance is rekindled, nuptials fast approach and chaotic, musical mayhem ensues. Mamma Mia! What a wedding!

Positive Elements

Sophie earnestly wants to find the father she never had. She longs for some connection, if only for one symbolic walk down the aisle. She says, “I feel like a part of me was missing and when I meet my dad everything will fall into place.” (Sadly, Sophie’s fiancé, Sky, her mom and eventually even the movie itself all point out that she’s silly for trying.)

Each of the men who show up behave as gentlemen and take Sophie, briefly, under their wings for a fatherly moment. She thrives under the attention.

Despite their struggles over and during the wedding, it’s obvious that Donna earnestly loves her daughter and believes her to be the greatest gift in her life.

Spiritual Elements

Sophie’s wedding is set in a small Greek church with a cross on the front wall. An elderly Greek gent crosses himself in church. Throughout the musical, island citizens join in as a “Greek Chorus.” A quick shot at the end of the picture shows this group sitting on a heavenly cloud. Donna looks skyward and intones, “Somebody up there has got it in for me.”

Sexual Content

We’re spared the visuals, but all the activities in the story are based on three sexual trysts that Donna had in the course of a couple weeks, 21 years prior. Sophie reads aloud from her mother’s diary and helps paint the bed-hopping picture (over which her girlfriends joyfully squeal).

Sexuality and sexual wordplay are a large part of the present, too. Donna and her bawdy gal pals, for example, are repeatedly referring to and using inanimate objects (such as a power drill and a door knob) to symbolize Donna’s need to “get some.” Tanya, in particular, is presented to be something like Sex and the City ‘s Samantha. They reference her repeated marriages, breast enhancements and g-string panties; and she’s later hit on by a guy about a third her age. When she has a song with this teenage-looking boy who’s obviously attracted to her, she slides to her knees in front of him (but out of the camera’s view), leaving her hand on his chest. It’s a trick to make audiences think she’s performing oral sex on him. (And his expression helps.) When she gets up, though, we see that she’s really just tied a towel around him like a diaper and we realize that the song is about her essentially telling him he’s too young for her.

Tail shakes, leg spreads, crotch grabs and pelvic thrusts in the choreography also speak their own kind of sexual language. The Greek island environment supports lots of low-cut, midriff-baring outfits and swimsuits on the girls. And the guys from Sky’s bachelor party all run and dance about with bare chests. Bill, one of Donna’s former lovers, turns around in a towel and reveals his naked backside.

Sophie and Sky kiss on several occasions. When Sophie tells her friends that she has a secret, they automatically assume she’s pregnant.

It’s pointed out late in the film that another of Donna’s former flames is now gay. “She was the first woman I ever loved … and the last woman I ever loved,” he says. Later he’s shown, shirtless, embracing an equally bare-chested Greek man.

Violent Content

Donna falls through a trap door and lands on a mattress. Rosie feels the burn when sliding down a banister railing.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused a dozen and a half times or so. “Frickin'” stands in for the f-word. And the British crudities “b-gger,” “s-dding” and “b-llocks” are spoken once apiece.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine, beer, Mai Tais and other umbrella-topped alcoholic concoctions flow freely through the movie’s partying scenes. Donna and her friends are often downing something. Rosie opens a proffered beer with her teeth before swigging it back. The older ladies get tipsy a couple times, and Tanya and a young friend of Sophie’s are both shown severely hung over. Tanya offers a depressed Donna some sort of prescription drug; Rosie downs the pill instead.

Sky grabs a cigar as a prop for his bachelor celebrations, but we never see him light it.

Other Negative Elements

Donna laments, “I brought this all on myself because I was a stupid, reckless little slut.” But her friends pooh-pooh that as the unreasonable morality of her mother talking. It’s mentioned that Sophie is like her and Donna replies, “If she were more like me, she wouldn’t be getting married at 20. Rosie adds, “Or marrying at all.”

[ Spoiler Warning ] Following through on that last thought—in the big twist at the movie’s end—Sophie decides that marrying Sky isn’t necessary. The two will simply live together and travel the world.

Inspired and enhanced by a passel of bouncy ABBA tunes, Mamma Mia! played as a stage musical in more than 160 cities, motivating over 30 million people to sing along with old favorites and, in some cases, even dance in the aisles. I was one of the former, working hard to keep my toes clear of the latter.

One thing I noticed with the live production, though, that’s even more true with the big-screen version is that you can’t really think too hard about what the show is saying and still enjoy it. There are way too many problems for that. Mamma wants you to simply sway along with the frothy fun and marvel at how the nostalgic and infectious music is cleverly stitched into the emotional drama.

Helping you down that path, director Phyllida Lloyd, who also helmed the stage version, does a good job translating her creation to celluloid—buoying the tale with a broad musical theater feel, chipper choreography and lots of Greek chorus backups to flesh out the sound. Amanda Seyfried (as Sophie) is the film’s shining star, practically glowing in the early going as she seeks out her dad. Even Meryl Streep (playing Donna) is surprisingly good at giving her songs all the physical and vocal pizzazz that you’d expect from a Broadway lead.

Here’s where we get back to that thinking part, though. Sure, there are your typical musical theater holes in the story logic, but this goes deeper than that. What starts as a young girl’s longing for a family she’s never known, ends up being a jaded lecture on how conventional families, wisdom and morality are all just downright silly and antiquated concepts.

Older women need not mature and learn from their mistakes, just party-hearty and strut your stuff, Mamma Mia! maintains. Poor moral choices don’t really have consequences. That’s your mother talking. It all works out in the end. Whatever your particular sexual bent or gut-centered desire, go for it. If you wanna shack up and sail away instead of saying “I do” and “I will,” well, just do it. We’ll all strip off our shirts, sing and dance, follow our hearts and it’ll be A-OK. (Or maybe that’s ABBA-OK.)

You might not notice or care about the implications of that kind of worldview while in a “Dancing Queen” trance. But you will the second you stop and think about it.

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After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.

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Film Review: ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

The sequel to 'Mamma Mia!' takes the first film forward — and back — to create another kitsch romance powered by the blissed-out ABBA jukebox.

By Owen Gleiberman

Owen Gleiberman

Chief Film Critic

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Mammia Mia Here We Go Again

“ Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ,” the perfectly titled sequel to “Mamma Mia!” (it opens 10 years to the week after the first film), kicks off on a bubbly high. It’s 1979, and Donna, the free-spirited expatriate-on-a-Greek-island innkeeper played by Meryl Streep , is now played, at the end of her Oxford undergraduate days, by Lily James , in honey-gold ringlets, with a smile that could light up several city blocks. She comes onstage to deliver a graduation speech, and instead tugs the gown off her shoulders to do an unexpectedly fiery rendition of “When I Kissed the Teacher.”

Ten years ago, in “Mamma Mia!,” most of the actors approached singing ABBA songs as if they’d been given a free pass on karaoke night. Some belted, some crooned, some warbled, and even the great Streep kept  declaiming  the lyrics as if she thought every line of singing was supposed to be a line of acting. Then, of course, there was Pierce Brosnan , who sang “S.O.S.” sounding like a seal with a ping-pong ball stuck in his mouth.

Lily James transcends all that sloshed-emoting-at-the wedding tomfoolery. Standing there in her go-go space boots, joined by fellow Donna and the Dynamos members Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies), she tears into “When I Kissed the Teacher” like a tiger, and though it’s a less-than-great ABBA song, the staging is more dynamic than anything in the first “Mamma Mia!” The number has propulsion and flair, which makes you hope that the film will be a sustained lyrical experience — not just a semi-irresistible pastiche but an honest-to-God musical to remember.

True confession: I’m a religious nut about ABBA, one who saw the Broadway production of “Mamma Mia!” three times, but I didn’t love the movie version of “Mamma Mia!” The cheeseball plot, which was like “Gilligan’s Island” recast as a romcom, was never designed to be anything but a delivery system for the incandescence of ABBA’s music. Yet it actually worked less well with major actors — Streep, Brosnan, etc. — demonstrating, in every line, what stick figures they were playing. (Also, the Broadway performers sang a lot better.) The movie was fun, in its way, but it was also an uneasy fusion of rapture and camp that clunked.

But now that there’s a “Mamma Mia!” sequel, it can be said with certainty that the ABBA musical is a form unto itself — a shamelessly innocent (or maybe just shameless) scrapbook pieced together out of the world’s most sublime ear candy, a story that sprawls in four directions at once (each subplot seems crafted by a different cookie cutter), an overdose of clowning by middle-aged actors who’ve been encouraged to take a fearless pride in what raffish physical specimens they’ve become, all held together by the transcendent classiness of Meryl Streep.

Streep is barely in the new movie, since Donna died the year before it starts. Yet she hovers over it in spirit and does eventually show up, at which point you will cry. Donna’s daughter, Sophie, is played once again by Amanda Seyfried , who has grown from an ingénue with goldfish eyes into a beautifully tough and sculpted presence (think vintage Sarah Jessica Parker), and she sings a cross-continental duet with Sky (Dominic Cooper), her true love, after he announces that he’s going to leave her to work in the New York hotel business. As these two croon “One of Us” ( “One of us is lonely…” ), the movie is barely 10 minutes old, and already you can feel your heart breaking. That’s the ABBA effect, but it’s also a testament to how keenly the writer-director, Ol Parker, lays out the song’s wistful rapture.

Sophie, who is honoring her mother by relaunching her inn as the Bella Donna Hotel, can barely make a move without casting a sadly adoring glance back at Donna and all that she represents: the soul of women who are free and strong and passionate, and therefore melting and yearning and gorgeously melancholy. That’s the holy spirit of ABBA, and in “Here We Go Again” that spirit infuses you with a swooning musical high, even if the giddy soap-opera convolutions take up most of the space.

The movie cuts back and forth between Sophie planning her hotel relaunch party — can she weather a heavy rainstorm? will she get back together with Sky? will all three of her dads show up? — and James’ Donna, 40 years before, finding her way to that Greek island and spinning through the trio of romantic entanglements we first heard about in “Mamma Mia!” “Here We Go Again” is another kitsch patchwork; it’s as if you were watching the CliffsNotes to an old studio weeper that happened to be carried along by some of the most luscious pop songs ever recorded. Yet the feeling comes through, especially at the end — a love poem to the primal bond of mothers and daughters.

Each of the actors playing Donna’s young suitors is just callowly sexy enough to be appealing. First she meets Harry (the Colin Firth character), played by Hugh Skinner as the world’s most polite preppie punk, in a Johnny Rotten T-shirt and too-small leather jacket. They do an exuberant duet on “Waterloo,” and then it’s on to her adventure with Bill (the Stellan Skarsgård character), played by Josh Dylan as a hunky blond sailor who agrees to ferry her to the island. The young Pierce Brosnan is played by Jeremy Irvine, who squints with enough purpose to let us know that he’s Donna’s true love.

“Here We Go Again” uses a few of the same songs that “Mamma Mia!” did, such as the title number and a virtual restaging of “Dancing Queen,” with a chorus running through the woods and winding up on that same beach, where they perform what amounts to a slightly less awkward version of a group dance number out of a ’70s TV variety show. Yet since ABBA’s greatest hits were basically strip-mined for the first film, most of the songs here are less high-profile ABBA gems, and that means that the movie conjures a more reflective, downbeat mood.

That’s not a bad thing. Several of the numbers soar, like “Andante, Andante” (which could be the film’s slow-love anthem) or “Angel Eyes,” led by Sophie as a warning against men who are too seductive to be true. One of ABBA’s greatest songs, “The Name of the Game,” was dropped from the first film and appears here, though I wish the movie went with its interlocking emotions more; the number starts off well but turns into a piece of orange-picking slapstick.

And then, of course, there’s the walking pop royalty that is Cher . She shows up near the end, playing Sophie’s grandmother (though she looks more like Lady Gaga’s aunt), and if there’s any single testament here to the “Mamma Mia!” aesthetic, it’s the way that Cher’s performance of “Fernando” is hung on a story hook so contrived that it actually contributes to the song’s passion. The film barely pretends that there’s a reason for it to be there. The reason is: We want to see Cher sing “Fernando.” When she does, my my, how can you resist her?

Reviewed at AMC Empire, New York, July 16, 2018. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 114 MIN.

  • Production: A Universal Pictures release, in association with Legendary Pictures/Perfect World Pictures, a Playtone/Littlestar production. Producers: Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman. Executive producers: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Richard Curtis, Phyllida Lloyd, Nicky Kentish Barnes.
  • Crew: Director, screenplay: Ol Parker. Camera (color, widescreen): Robert Yoeman. Editor: Peter Lambert. Music: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus.  
  • With: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, Cher, Andy Garcia, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski.

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mamma mia the movie review

"Shrill and Stagey"

mamma mia the movie review

What You Need To Know:

(RoRoRo, FeFe, HoHo, Pa, LLL, SS, N, AA, DD, M) Very strong hippy Romantic worldview with strong feminist view where girl searches for her father who could be one of three men because her mother slept around at the time she was concieved, plus some solid homosexual references, including men kiss and want to “get married” and there are pagan references to a Greek goddess; 6 obscenities and at least 48 profanities (two strong); some pratfalls, but no serious violence; constant discussion of sex by women and, to a lesser degree, by men in wedding party, during one song woman places mock phallus between her legs, woman slides down banister hurting herself, young African American man tries to have relationship with older woman, who mocks “going down” on him, one person turns out to be homosexual, and two men kiss; brief rear male nudity, some upper male nudity and low cut dresses; lots of alcohol use, some to get drunk; drug references; and, lying and deception.

More Detail:

MAMMA MIA! is the movie version of the hit Broadway musical. However, the translation from stage to screen leaves much to be desired. The movie comes across as simply a musical stage play shot on location in Greece. It is not reminiscent of the great movie musicals of yesteryear.

Many people will know the story because of the Broadway musical. Young Sophie, who is the only actress in the movie with a beautiful singing voice, is about to be married to Sky on the Greek island where she and her mother own a hotel. Sophie does not know the identity of her father. She sings to her friends that she found a diary where her mother describes her trysts with Bill, Sam and Harry at the appropriate time to give birth to Sophie.

A flashback shows Bill, Sam and Harry were each hippies, as was Sophie’s mother Donna. Donna stayed on the Greek island to raise Sophie alone because Donna’s mother told her not to come home when she heard Donna was pregnant.

Sophie invites the trio of men to come to the wedding. Donna, however, does not know about the three potential fathers showing up. When they arrive, she is horrified and embarrassed. The groom, Sky, gets upset because he realizes that the whole wedding may be just a ruse so that Sophie can find her father.

Lots of musical numbers describe the actions and emotions leading up to the wedding. Although no one wants to spoil this mediocre movie, it does not end on a Christian note but rather on a Romantic one.

MAMMA MIA! is a movie for aging hippies about aging hippies. In fact, it says so in the movie. Donna’s two friends continually reminisce about their youth when they were 17, footloose and sexually liberated. There is some hope that conscience, morals and decency are going to prevail when Donna becomes concerned about confronting her three boyfriends. One man has turned into a homosexual, the other is a never married adventurer, and the third, Sam, played by Pierce Brosnan, had a failed marriage. Instead of fulfilling the moral imperative for Sophie to discover her true father and her mother to deal with the issues in her life, the three men all agree to be Sophie’s father.

The movie has some elements to recommend. Amanda Seyfried who plays Sophie has a beautiful voice. Some of the numbers are memorable, but most of them are earthy, unbearable and too loud. Even so, Meryl Streep does a great job with the song, “Winner Takes All,” but it is a Broadway style show tune that will not appeal to younger audiences.

There is much overt and implied sexual conversation and activity in MAMMA MIA! During one particularly sexually charged song, a young black man tries to take advantage of one of Donna’s older friends, and the friend commits a lewd act. There are similar off-color moments scattered throughout the movie.

The island on which the story takes place is supposed to be the location of the Greek goddess Aphrodite’s fountain. During the movie, they find the fountain, which explodes in the middle of the courtyard. Thus, the Greek Goddess of Love defines the storyline.

Much of the music is too shrill to be enjoyable. Most of the cast is intentionally unattractive and unappealing. The camerawork is beautiful, but the dances leave much to be desired and are reminiscent of the sex-filled comedy LOVE GURU.

It is extremely difficult to successfully adapt a musical to the big screen. Since this musical comedy is beloved, and yet the movie is so shrill, it appears as if the director has not taken the time to translate it effectively from one medium to the other. Even if she had done a better job, she would have needed a stronger moral compass to appeal to media-wise viewers.

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Review: ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ Takes a Detour and Loses Its Kick

mamma mia the movie review

By Wesley Morris

  • July 18, 2018

So let me get this straight. You want to make a sequel to a very popular movie (based on an even more popular musical ) whose best asset was Meryl Streep, a very famous actor, who after decades of intergalactic acclaim, was unveiled, at last, as a major movie star. And you’re going to make that film — “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” — with every other member of the movie’s original cast, except for her but including poor Pierce Brosnan, whose singing, as a lovelorn widower, remains a dare to file a noise complaint.

And you’re going to keep the musical’s Abba-centric conceit — only you used up all the great Abba songs the first time. So now you’ve got to lean on second- and third-tier stuff like “My Love, My Life,” “I’ve Been Waiting for You” and “Kisses of Fire.” And because you suspect some of us might, not unreasonably, prefer numbers set to “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo,” and because you’re running embarrassingly low on credible options, you recycle those songs, but with as little movie-musical imagination as you can get away with.

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Now you don’t have Ms. Streep as Donna, the American proprietress of a Greek villa, and so because of scheduling, money, perhaps Ms. Streep’s dignity, you’ve killed Donna off. But you still need an element that lends the proceedings a whiff of showbiz. So you import the opposite of Meryl Streep. You import someone with one screen self (and one name!) as opposed to dozens, someone with buoyancy, immortality and a welcome sense of campiness, someone who can sing. You bring in Cher. But you don’t bring her aboard to play Donna’s sister, childhood bestie, long-lost lover or even rival Mediterranean hotelier. You hire Cher (who’s 72 to Ms. Streep’s 69) to play — oh, I can’t. Do I have to?

You hire Cher to play …

Her mother.

It takes about 90 minutes to get here. Because, in part, the movie, which Ol Parker wrote and directed, has to thumb-twiddle with a plot involving the grand reopening of Donna’s villa by her daughter, Sophie, who’s still played with a damsel’s distress by Amanda Seyfried. Oh, the stress. Will any of her three fathers — Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth and Mr. Brosnan — show up? Will her boyfriend, Sky (Dominic Cooper), or her mother’s best friends (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, lascivious as ever)? And what about that catastrophic storm from the first movie? Yes, yes, yes, and yes — but it’s a pitiful cinematic event, especially compared with Hurricane Cher.

When she does arrive, it’s almost ominously — by chopper, the way, in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the SEALs sneak up on Osama bin Laden, or how, on “Game of Thrones,” a dragon might invade Westeros. She’s Ruby, some kind of Vegas-encrusted entertainment legend who arrives in a bleach-blond wig and an outfit made with the pelts of a dozen disco balls. Meryl Streep’s mother? LOL. Lady Gaga’s younger sister? Bingo.

I know. It’s weird to fixate on a person who shows up with only 20 minutes to go. But believe me, it’s no hardship abandoning all the flashbacks to the tail end of the 1970s and the opening bits of the 1980s, when an obnoxiously blissed out 20-something Donna, who’s played by Lily James, sleeps her way around southern France and Greece, and does so immaculately, it must be said.

These are monotonous interludes meant to expand on and explain the legend of Donna — how she turned her university valediction into “When I Kissed the Teacher,” a number that not even the Muppets would endorse; how she wound up pregnant with a daughter of uncertain paternity; how she turned a bunch of dust and debris into the sort of seaside splendor you find only in a Nancy Meyers movie. It’s cruel to put an actor in the cross hairs of Streepists. So Ms. James deserves some credit for agreeing to make herself a target. And even though she did nothing for me (she’s ruthlessly plucky with young Donna’s platitudes), I’ll admit to admiring her choice to not even bother “doing” Meryl Streep. She seems a lot likelier to wind up as Dyan Cannon , a star of eventually spiked loveliness who is to Ms. Streep what a Lakers hat is to Carmen Miranda’s.

In the first movie, Ms. Streep luxuriated in a mode other than technical virtuosity. The director Phyllida Lloyd launched her upward toward the camera as a nifty metaphor for stardom. Now she’s haunting the new movie courtesy of what looks like an unflatteringly framed publicity still from the previous one. It’d be unhappier if it weren’t also passive-aggressive. The movie won’t let us miss her!

Her incandescence was an asset. It both attracted and blinded you to what, ultimately, was a movie about the pernicious allure of cultural imperialism. (You mean, a Greek enclave full of Brits, Americans and Mr. Skarsgard singing hits by Swedes couldn’t find even one vaguely Hellenic arrangement?)

Ms. Streep’s near total absence leaves a hole Cher is expected to fill. It’s too little, way too late, of course, and because it’s Cher , it’s also too much. The movie doesn’t know what to do with her, anyway. For one thing, the camera maintains a mysterious, disturbing distance. Her appearance does weakly justify all the Latin-lover hot air that Andy Garcia has to blow as Sophie’s glorified help. (His face is safely hidden behind a thicket of gray bearding.) But she’s so natural (and spectral) here that you don’t know why they didn’t just build a different movie around her and her decades of hits. Although, she’s no dummy. Her own collection of Abba covers is coming, and, as I write this, “The Cher Show” hurtles toward Broadway. So maybe her work here is best appreciated as a pop-up ad.

Mr. Parker does give the movie these flashes of old, literal-minded Hollywood staging, like when young Donna’s virginal suitor (Hugh Skinner) shoots “Waterloo” all over a French restaurant. But most of the movie’s 18 numbers just kind of sit there. You don’t feel much. So even when you get a goodie like “Dancing Queen,” wherein a lot of tan and actual brown people gyrate in unison on landward boats, you can simultaneously admire a perfect pop song and spare a thought for the real boat-bound migrants who’ve perished in waters just like these.

Most of the musical sequences are creaky, but not that far from some of what Damien Chazelle was going for with the singing and dancing in “La La Land” : passionate amateurism. But that’s some of what made the first movie such a kick. Nobody was Barbra Streisand. None of the songs were Stephen Sondheim’s. You were watching very good actors do karaoke in an Anglo-Nordic telenovela. Now you’re watching them do it in a sequel, which means you’re also watching something more inscrutably sad: karaoke of karaoke.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Rated PG-13. “Singing,” “dancing,” “sex” and Christine Baranski. Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes.

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Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Review: Touring version of ‘Mamma Mia!’ goes big and loud, too much so

S ome 25 years after it debuted in London, the ABBA jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” has firmly established itself as a true crowd-pleaser with broad appeal and terrific songs.

In addition to spending 14 years on Broadway, the show has found a worldwide audience and has been staged in more than 50 countries on six continents, playing everywhere from China’s Shanghai Grand Theatre to the Hollywood Bowl. It inspired a hit film, a hit sequel and a third reportedly in the works. Locally, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ version stands as the company’s biggest success and ran for nearly a year.

The touring production that opened Tuesday at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre has plenty going for it, including some spectacular performers and stunning choreography, not to mention the infectious pop songs of the Swedish foursome.

It’s also big. And loud. So loud that when the orchestra kicked off the second act overture, I noticed visible winces from audience members still chatting in the aisles. Throughout the briskly paced show, it increasingly felt like it was designed for a cruise ship audience that began drinking at their (late) brunch, a crowd that needs to be clobbered over the head in order to keep their attention.

The plot is revealed in the first few minutes. Sophie (Alisa Melendez) is preparing for her wedding, which will take place on her mother Donna’s (Christine Sherrill) resort on a Greek island. She’d like to invite her father, but the problem is she doesn’t know who he is. After snooping through her mother’s diary, she learns it’s one of three men her mom had relations with: Sam (Victor Wallace), an American architect and estranged ex; Bill (Jim Newman), an Australian writer and one-night stand; and Harry (Rob Marnell), a British banker and another one-nighter.

Sophie’s solution to finding her true father? She invites all three to her wedding, unbeknownst to her mom, with the notion she’ll know for sure once she meets him in person. From there, the show follows the events that lead up to the wedding ceremony, which has some doubt hanging over it due to Sophie’s young age of 20.

While the breezy storyline bounces along with even breezier songs, “Mamma Mia!” also examines the power of female friendship, the nature of sexual relationships and the foundation of marriage, all while maintaining an infectious cheer. (Fans should be sure to watch the 21st episode of the 3rd season of “ 30 Rock ,” which hilariously roasts and celebrates the musical.)

From the very top, the cast cranks up the energy to a 10, leaving them nowhere to go from there. A little more nuance would have gone a long way, even in a show as goofy as this one.

Playing the lead role of Donna gives Sherrill plenty of moments to shine. She’s an exceptionally strong vocalist who belts out each number so powerfully, scenemates like Wallace have to nearly scream to keep pace. Sherrill, who at times brings to mind the actress Jean Smart, also has a tendency to sing behind the beat. It’s a neat, but utterly unnecessary, trick that got to be jarring.

Little about the sparse, ugly set suggests it’s taking place on an island where people go to vacation. Yes, I get that Donna’s resort is a bit run down, but it looked more like a prison camp than a weekend getaway.

That said, Sherrill shows obvious chemistry with her on-stage best friends Tanya (Jalynn Steele) and Rosie (Carly Sakolove). And Sakolove makes the most of her comic-relief role with some outstanding physical comedy that’s a pleasure to watch.

With few exceptions, the large cast delivers the thrill and charge of an actual, big-budget Broadway production. And they bring an impressive athleticism to the numerous dance numbers, including an eye-popping sequence featuring the high-stepping men clad in snorkels and flippers.

This production of “Mamma Mia!” is by no means a bomb, but there are far better ones out there.

‘Mamma Mia!’

  • When: Through Sunday
  • Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
  • Tickets: $169-$49 via hennepintheatretrust.org
  • Capsule: This “Mamma Mia!” gets to be too much

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Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream

Zoë Ball (Self - Host) Samantha Barks (Self - Judge) Alan Carr (Self - Judge) Amber Riley (Self - Judge)

Brona C. Titley

A talent or reality search for the next Sophie and Sky in the Westend musical Mamma Mia. Six boys or six girls will compete for the roles - singing, dancing, and acting challenges, inspired by the movies or musical.


Screen Rant

10 prequels that lead perfectly into the original movie.

By taking audiences back, these prequels expand their franchises and provide backstories that benefit and fit perfectly within their original movie.

  • The best prequels seamlessly connect to the original film, expanding the lore without undoing established stories.
  • Some prequels, like Alien: Covenant, may change fan theories but rank high for their commitment to violence and action.
  • Prequels, such as Rogue One, strike a balance between telling a standalone story and seamlessly transitioning into the original film.

The best prequel movies have the opportunity to give audiences a backstory to beloved characters and, when done right, the connection between the prequel and the original film is done flawlessly. A good prequel movie is generally able to stand on its own, while still being connected to the established lore in the original film. Prequels often uncover the mystery present within their original films, but that's not always what fans of the franchise want.

In the Alien franchise, for example, fans had already theorized and come up with their explanation for the creation of xenomorphs , and it differed from what was explained in the prequel film. However, other films seamlessly end the prequel where the original begins, leaving audiences with no lingering questions. Prequels seem to be appreciated most when they effectively expand on the world-building of the franchise , rather than undo what's already been settled.

Gene sees the Better Call Saul commercial on Marion's laptop

10 Movie & TV Prequels That Were Also Sequels

10 alien: covenant (2017), prequel to alien (1979).

Daniels pushing through plastic sheeting with a gun in Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant

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After Prometheus ' connection to the Alien franchise overall was a bit lost, Alien: Covenant found its roots. Alien: Covenant 's link to 1979's Alien is slightly more obvious, detailing the xenomorphs' origin story and citing the android David (Michael Fassbender) as the creator. Many fans felt this confirmation, and the film as a whole, was unnecessary because it wasn't distinct enough to be an entirely new film, and the backstory messed with fans' preconceived ideas of how the xenomorphs came to be. However, the film is enjoyed for its commitment to violence and action, ranking high among the Alien franchise .

9 The Thing (2011)

Prequel to the thing (1982).

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and a male scientist looking at a mutated alien in The Thing prequel.

While it may not have been a success critically or at the box office, The Thing thoroughly sets up the events in the film from 1982, also titled The Thing . The 1982 film, directed by John Carpenter, follows a group of researchers in Antarctica who come in contact with the horrifying titular alien. Therefore, the 2011 prequel, directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., recounts the events that lead up to their encounter whilst at the research station . The Thing ends the way Carpenter's film begins, as a helicopter is chasing a dog whom the alien creature is imitating.

8 Monsters University (2013)

Prequel to monsters, inc. (2001), monsters university.

Though it lacks in comparison to the original in terms of heart and critical recognition, Monsters University is a welcomed return to the beloved characters from Monsters, Inc. Billy Crystal and John Goodman returned in Monsters University , reprising their roles as Mike and Sulley to tell the story of how the two met and became scarers . Before becoming the friends seen in the original film, Mike and Sulley started as rivals. As a prequel, Monsters University establishes a coherent backstory to the two's friendship and a little context on "scaring" in the monster world, as seen in Monsters, Inc.

7 Bumblebee (2018)

Prequel to transformers (2007).

Bumblebee lying on the ground next to Hailee Steinfeld.

Taking place in 1987, Bumblebee provides a backstory for the titular Autobot that perfectly ties into the original movie, Transformers (2007). Bumblebee includes origin details such as Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) giving him his name after originally being called B-127. Additionally, Bumblebee's inability to speak like the other Autobots and only through radio clips is also addressed. Departing from the over-the-top action expected of a Transformers movie, Bumblebee is grounded by the human and Autobot relationship between Charlie and Bumblebee. This was refreshing to the franchise that had become lost in special effects and action sequences in the years prior.

6 Prey (2022)

Prequel to the predator franchise.

Naru (Amber Midthunder) looking up at the sky with trepidation in Prey

Although Prey isn't as immersed in Predator lore as one might expect from a prequel, the film does provide a look at the early days in which the Yautja, or the Predator, visited Earth. Prey takes place in 1719 where Naru comes into contact with the Predator, eventually killing it and becoming the new War Chief of her village. While Prey makes loose references and nods to the Predator franchise , there is a specific link to one of the original films.

In Prey , Naru is given a pistol by a translator for the French voyageurs. This pistol is the same one that was given to Mike Harrigan by a Predator in Predator 2 . There are some fan theories as to how the pistol ended up in Predator 2 and in the Predator's possession, although a proven order of events has yet to be provided.

5 The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes (2023)

Prequel to the hunger games (2012), the hunger games: the ballad of songbirds and snakes.

Decades pass between the events of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and the original film, but the 10th annual Hunger Games explored in the former set the precedent for future Games . Parts of this include the introduction of mentors and sponsors for the competing tributes, with many of these elements being suggested by Coriolanus Snow. In addition, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes provides the backstory for a young Snow and helps connect the dots as to how he made the transition into the ruthless president of Panem .

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray, and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games movies

The Hunger Games Franchise's Complete Timeline Explained

4 x-men: first class (2011), prequel to x-men (2000).

The X-Men wearing matching suits in X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is a prequel that creates a connecting path to the original X-Men film, albeit with a few inconsistencies along the way. X-Men: First Class is set in the '60s and chronicles how the X-Men group came to be . One of these inconsistencies is the creation of Cerebro, a device used to detect mutants. In the original film, its creation is attributed to Charles Xavier, but the prequel suggests otherwise, crediting its creation to Beast, Hank McCoy.

Another major difference between the prequel and the original film involves the relationship between Charles Xavier and Mystique. X-Men: First Class explains that the two are essentially siblings, yet things change by the time events of the original film occur, as Xavier and Mystique don't acknowledge one another or their relationship. Nevertheless, looking at how the group came to be in X-Men: First Class is entertaining, largely thanks to the cast's performances.

3 Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984)

Prequel to raiders of the lost ark (1981).

Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark , which came out just a few years prior. However, Temple of Doom is not without controversy as the film has poor cultural depictions and is much darker than other films in the Indiana Jones franchise. The prequel takes place just one year before the events in the original film and follows Indiana Jones on his journey to India to retrieve a mystical stone. Despite the insensitive choices made, Temple of Doom impacted the Indiana Jones franchise on a wider scale, including the ambitious stakes Indiana Jones experiences.

2 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Prequel to mamma mia (2008).

Donna, Tanya and Rosie dancing and singing on a bar in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is both a prequel and a sequel to the original film, Mamma Mia! As a sequel, Sophie is opening up the family hotel after Donna, her mother, has passed away. That said, as a prequel, Here We Go Again utilizes flashbacks of a young Donna (Lily James), detailing her trip to Greece and how she became pregnant but unaware of her child's father. The events established in the prequel portion of the film mostly fit the original film, but the minor head-scratching details don't derail Here We Go Again 's backstory of a beloved character.

1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Prequel to star wars (1977), rogue one: a star wars story.

The events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story take place one week before A New Hope . Rogue One follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and the Rebel Alliance on their plan to steal the Galactic Empire's Death Star, ending how the original film began. Rogue One manages to strike the perfect balance between implementing the franchise's lore and acting as a standalone film that is entertaining and provides cameos for Star Wars fans . Unlike issues found in other prequels, there's little to no confusion as to how Rogue One transitions into A New Hope .

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Tony Ganios, Porky's and The Wanderers star, dies at 64

Ganios’ fiancée, Amanda Serrano-Ganios, shared that he'd died on Sunday morning following a surgery for a spinal infection.

Tony Ganios, best known for playing fan-favorite character Meat in the Porky's films, has died. He was 64.

Ganios’ fiancée, Amanda Serrano-Ganios, shared the news of his death on social media on Monday night, revealing that he died on Sunday morning following a surgery for a spinal infection.

"The last words we said to each other were 'I love you,'" Serrano-Ganios wrote . "Love is an understatement. You are everything to me. My heart, my soul and my best friend. #I love you #tonyganios."

Responding to people reacting to the news on social media, she added in a subsequent post, “It's just unreal to me right now. It was so fast. He hadn't felt well and hid it from me for days. When he finally told me, and was taken to the hospital, his spinal cord was severely infected. They did surgery, next morning, his heart stopped. I'm crushed." Serrano-Ganios separately told PEOPLE of the news , "I'm just completely empty inside now. He was my best friend, my soul mate. I just love him so much."

Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Born in Brooklyn, Ganios made his onscreen debut as Perry in the 1979 coming of age film The Wanderers . That film also starred Ken Wahl, and the two would reunite years later in the latter's '80s crime series Wiseguy . Wahl shared his condolences on social media on Monday, writing alongside a throwback photo of the two, "Rest In Peace, Buddy ..... I love you."

Ganios followed The Wanderers up with three films in 1981 — Back Roads , Continental Divide , and Porky's — the latter of which he would become best known for. The film would become a teen sex comedy franchise, spawning two sequels, 1983's Porky’s II: The Next Day and Porky’s Revenge in 1985, both of which he also starred in.

He also had roles in 1984's Body Rock , 1990's Die Hard 2 , 1991's The Taking of Beverly Hills , and 1993's Rising Sun.

In addition to Wiseguy , other credits on the television side include the TV movie Ring of the Musketeers and stints on The Equalizer and Scarecrow and Mrs. King .

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