A maddening, nerve-shredding masterstroke of auteur ballsiness, "mother!" is writer-director Darren Aronofsky's (2010's "Black Swan") jolting answer to cinematically capturing what it is like to be trapped in a nightmare. A literal nightmare, that is, born from the infernal bowels of one's most distressing subconscious reaches. From beginning to end, he does not let up, sweeping along viewers and his increasingly frustrated, baffled, horrified protagonist for a ride on a runaway train that keeps accelerating even as its parts begin to dismantle and its destination careens ever closer toward a cliff of nothingness. Inspiring awe and, at times, virtual disbelief in the taboo places Aronofsky dares to take his heightened, sky's-the-limit narrative, "mother!" superficially reminds (whether intentional or not) of Roman Polanski, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, and Gaspar Noé while nevertheless invoking its own singularly blazing vision.
The mother (Jennifer Lawrence) of the title, it turns out, isn't a mother at all, she and her esteemed poet husband (Javier Bardem) living a life of halcyon solitude in the rural fixer-upper farmhouse where he grew up. Like a sewing machine needle piercing the night, their tranquil existence is abruptly and unpleasantly interrupted by the knock of a man (Ed Harris) at their front door. He claims to have mistakenly assumed their home was a bed-and-breakfast, and before she knows it her husband has invited this stranger to spend the night with them. The next day another unwanted visitor arrives in the form of the man's wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), a meddling force of nature who sweeps in and threatens to take over. Others will follow, including the mysterious couple's bickering grown sons (Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson). The more out of control everything becomes, the more helpless our disheartened and bewildered heroine grows. If she doesn't find a way to stop this madness before it's too late, might she be swallowed up entirely?
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review