- Movie Rating -

The Mother (2023)

| May 12, 2023

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Netflix releases Niki Caro’s Lion-Mom action picture The Mother, which is about an unfussy and unchallenging as an expensive, high-gloss paint-by-numbers action movie can get.  Its an odd choice from a director previously responsible for more cerebral fare like Whale Rider and North Country.

The Mother stars Jennifer Lopez as an FBI informant who barely escapes alive when the safehouse where she is being housed is besieged by gunfire.  The scene is a bloodbath, but Lopez survives along with her handler named Cruise (Omari Hardwick) and the unborn child residing in her womb.  While recovering from her wounds she is told by an humorless agent (a very icy Edie Falco) that she has two choices: she can go on the run with her infant child or she can terminate all parental rights and the child will disappear into foster care.

A decade passes and The Mother continues to watch over her daughter – with a sniper rifle in hand – just in case the day comes that the bad guys catch up to her.  The rest you can pretty much predict.  This is a movie without a lot of meat on its bones.  Every line of dialogue is dedicated to the central plot and the Caro’s script is free of those pesky character details that give movies like this flavoring.  You could cut any scene of this movie into a trailer.

All of the efforts here have gone into the action scenes which are shot in the mode of quick editing and dat-dat-dat-dat music scoring that was new and fresh around the time that “24” came on the air.  We never get to know any of the characters, good or bad, which makes the action perfunctory and really kind of empty.

The one thing that the movie has is Jennifer Lopez.  She still projects that movie star aura wherein she can look glamorous even in a gunfight.  It’s too bad that the movie never really gives her anything to do other than look gruff and determined.  She’s a movie poster waiting for a good movie.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2023) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Drama