Those troubled by the increasingly predominant role technology has begun to play in the rearing of today’s children should probably stay far, far away from M3GAN. On the other hand, those who want a front row seat to witness how those perceived dangers might actually play themselves out, have I got a recommendation for you.

" brilliantly executed little horror gem that has a lot of unsettling things to say about modern day parenting"

M3EGAN is a brilliantly executed little horror gem that has a lot of unsettling things to say about modern day parenting. Screenwriter Akela Cooper (Malignant) weaves those thoughts into her story about the potential pitfalls of society’s increasing dependence on technology. The result is a “technology gone awry” killer doll movie that looks and feels like the love child of Annabelle and The Terminator. Then throw in heaps of camp, absurdity, humor, and science fiction, and let’s call it the first must-see of 2023. It’s that fun, folks!

At its heart, the film is a modern day morality tale, of sorts, about parenting in the 21st century… and not a very flattering one, at that. It tells the story of a robotics engineer and toy designer named Gemma (Allison Williams, Get Out) who finds herself the guardian of her nine-year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw, The Haunting of Hill House), following the sudden death of Cady’s parents in a car accident.

Faced with raising her niece with little to no parenting skills of her own, Gemma turns to what all parents do from time to time to buy themselves a little freedom from the rigors of child rearing - she gives Cady a new toy. But this is no ordinary toy. This is M3GAN – stands for Model 3 Generative Android, a first-of-its-kind, semi-sentient, life-size robotic doll which Gemma has programmed with artificial intelligence to learn from its experience, memorize its environment, and bond with Cady.

And bond, the doll does. So much so that Gemma is soon reminded that she forgot to put a morality chip in M3GAN’s circuitry. And the result of that oversight turns out to be as disastrous as one would expect when the neighbor’s vicious dog bites Cady. You can speculate from there how things might play out going forward from a robot programmed to protect its owner at all costs. And you’d likely be correct.M3GAN

Gemma’s creation catches on when her whiny, tech-bro boss (Ronny Chieng, Crazy Rich Asians) sees dollar signs and wants to bring her invention to the toy market. However, doing that would involve a separation of the bond between M3gan and Cady, and we know that’s not going to be a good idea. Havoc ensues.

Speaking of camp and humor, there’s a lot of it in M3GAN. But that’s what makes it so much fun. You will say “that wouldn’t happen,” or “that’s not how that would play out” no fewer than a dozen times, but the screams of “didn’t see that coming” or “okay, that’s disturbing as hell” will far outweigh any of its shortcomings. And M3gan’s meme-ified hallway dance, her singing of Sia’s Titanium, and her four legged romp through the forest is the stuff of nightmares. Still trying to get over that. There’s also the feeling that the film never takes itself too seriously. The fun being had by everyone involved comes through in the final product.

In addition, there’s a ton of heart programmed into Cooper’s story and characters. Gemma’s arc from being emotionally and physically absent from her orphaned niece, to taking full responsibility for the girl’s well-being is a nice touch, as is the heartbreaking realization by Gemma that her own programming decision is directly responsible for M3gan’s horrific actions. Though none of it goes much deeper than surface level, the soul and inquisitiveness Cooper builds into her characters gives the entire experience a much-appreciated depth.

Cooper and director Gerard Johnstone (Housebound) leave a few threads dangling which hint at a sequel that is certain to come. Count me in. I love playing with dolls.

4/5 stars



Blu-ray Details

Unrated Edition

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- March 21, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH; French; Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French (Canada): DTS 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; DVD disc; digital code; two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Universal brings its creepy morality tale to hi-def with its release of the blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code Unrated Edition of M3GAN.

In addition to the film's stellar 1080p 2.39:1 transfer, we get both the theatrical and the Unrated versions of the film on blu-ray as well as a handful of nicely put together featurettes and behind-the-scenes pieces.

Also included is a DVD and a Movies Anywhere redemption coupon for a digital download of the film.


The 1080p transfer of the film is a near perfect one with well-saturated colors, crisp imagery and a beautiful color palette that does the source material proud. This is one to pop in the player and marvel at its brilliance. Needless to say, we loved the film and are equally pleased with what Universal has done here with the video presentation.


The English language DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track in exactly what one would expect from a film like this: just perfect.

While we were only running 5.1 for home viewing, the channel separation was surprisingly immersive with a lively dynamic range that never overpowers, yet always engages. Beautiful!


The included supplemental material, while by no means all inclusive, is a nice addition with three rather short featurettes that spend most of their time exploring the central ideas of the "killer doll" at the heart of the story.

The icing on the cake is the inclusion of the unrated version of the film which goes goes all in on the gore, swearing, and blood that was cut for the film's theatrical run. There's also a new aspect of one of the kills that you will definitely want to see.


  • None

Special Features:

  • A New Vision of Horror (05:51)
  • Bringing Life to M3GAN (-5:22)
  • Getting Hacked (03:45)

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details


MPAA Rating: PG-13.
102 mins
: Gerard Johnstone
Akela Cooper
Allison Williams; Violet McGraw; Ronny Chieng
: Comedy | Horror
Friendship has evolved.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh, I'm afraid that won't work anymore. I have a new primary user now: me."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.m3ganmovie.com/
Release Date:
January 6, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 21, 2023
Synopsis: A robotics engineer at a toy company builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own.