Emo Philips’s review published on Letterboxd:
M3GAN has just sashayed into my heart, the perfect combo of Terminator, Chucky, mean girl, and femme fatale. This movie is FUNNY. If you had asked me a year ago whether the "evil doll" trope in horror was totally played out, I'd have said absolutely. But I stand corrected, in awe of our new robot overlord (overlady?).
To those saying this would be better with an R rating, you may be right. But I've always thought that having a doll antagonist like Chucky or M3GAN gives you so much more latitude to give them a total beating than you could with a child, while still maintaining a PG-13 rating. Also, while this movie doesn't have much in the way of gore, the story is very dark, as are the core themes around handling grief and neglect.
The effects are pretty good until the end. I thought the first death in the snow was really well-executed, and M3GAN seems mostly a practical effect (a girl doing a robot walk) until the third act, when the CGI really kicks in. The story in general loses a bit of its charm as M3GAN's passive-aggressive sassiness gets replaced with a less humorous "emotional psychopath" persona. While the "technology" begins on already unstable ground, it eventually goes a few steps too far even for me as M3GAN gets full God-mode.
The casting is excellent here. Of course Williams is great as the well-meaning but terribly misguided technologist, but the real stars are Ronny Chieng as the bombastic CEO and, well, I don't even need to mention you-know-who. Violet McGraw also does a great job as the young Cady, always great to see good cold performances.
It's fun, it's got a lot of laughs, and even if it kinda loses itself in the final few scenes, I think it's a really enjoyable time!
Horror Films I Recommend (although it's largely a comedy)