“The legal definition of torture has been much aired in recent years, and I take Mamma Mia! to be a useful contribution to that debate,” writes New Yorker critic Anthony Lane in a 7.28 posting.

“I thought that Pierce Brosnan had been dragged to the edge of endurance by North Korean sadists in his final Bond film, Die Another Day, but that was a quick tickle with a feather duster compared with the agony of singing Abba√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s ‘S.O.S.’ to Meryl Streep through a kitchen window.”