the Little Red Reviewer

I Am Mother – let’s discuss this movie

Posted on: August 7, 2019

We watched the Netflix movie I Am Mother the other day.    Deceptively simple, the movie takes what looks like an unbelievable simple plot, and actually doesn’t do a ton with it.  This movie isn’t going to win any awards, but it was a good use of my 2 hours, and I’d watch it again.  The robot was hella cool!


And yet.


The movie is more about what isn’t ever said, and what isn’t ever explained.


I keep thinking about this movie, and I can’t get it out of my head.  I like that I’m thinking about it, and i like that i’m thinking about everything that was never explicitly mentioned,  all the negative space, all the showing instead of telling.


In my opinion, the best stories are hiding in plain sight, in the negative space.


Do you have teenagers in the house?  Have them watch this movie, and then ask them what the movie is about.  Younger kids can watch it too, but they might get bored. Adults can watch it too! But I categorize I Am Mother as great for teenagers, as this really is a YA story.


don’t know what I’m talking about?  I Am Mother is a netflix original movie.  A young girl, known as Daughter, is being raised in an underground bunker by a robot, known as Mother. They are alone in the bunker,  Mother will not allow Daughter to go outside due to dangerous contagions.  Daughter is a happy, well adjusted, obedient child.  You know immediately that Mother is hiding information from Daughter, perhaps waiting for the right time to tell her.   As Daughter is preparing for an important exam, there is a knock on the front door of the compound. A woman is begging to be let in, she has been shot in the leg, and is hoping there is antibiotics in the compound.  When the woman sees Mother, she freaks out.  Daughter is pulled between curiosity of the outside world, the strangeness of their visitor, and her love of Mother.

The movie feels a little like the movie Moon – as in for most scenes you only see a human character and a robot character. . .  and that’s it.  It also felt a little like a sanitized version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road – very sparse, very quiet, a parent protecting their child.


I don’t feel like writing a review for this movie, but for some weirdo reason I feel like writing a study guide / guided discussion questions?  Not sure how that happened, but here you go!


(Spoilers ahead!)



I thought it was neat that none of the characters have names.  The robot is “Mother”, the child being raised by Mother is referred to as “Daughter”, and the woman they give limited refuge to is never named.

I thought it was interesting that Daughter never asks the visitor what her name is. They never introduce themselves to each other.  Daughter, who doesn’t know what a name is because she’s never met anyone who has one, never thinks to ask someone “what’s your name?”.  If Daughter doesn’t have a name, how does that affect her interactions with other people? How does having a name “or not”, change how we feel about other people? (maybe it doesn’t?)


The exam that Daughter takes on her birthday (she’s turning 16, i think?),  what is being tested? Her intelligence? Her ability to fix robots? Mother says that the test is partly a test for her too, how can Mother be tested if Daughter is one answering the questions?  Did you catch any of the questions as they were flashing on the screen? Did they seem like normal exam questions?


What is Mother trying to learn how to do?



We find out what happened to Daughter’s older siblings. Do you think Mother made the right decision with those children?


Do you think Mother succeeded in her mission?


What is this movie about?

3 Responses to "I Am Mother – let’s discuss this movie"

I haven’t had a chance to see this film yet, but now you have me even more excited for it! I’ll avoid reading any future comments here so I don’t get spoilers. 🙂


the movie is well worth your two hours, enjoy! 🙂


Oooo, I am intrigued. Movie is now on the watch list. I hadn’t heard of it before, so thank you too. 🙂


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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