A Monster Calls

2016, Adventure/Drama, 1h 48m

267 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

A Monster Calls deftly balances dark themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is dealing with far more than other boys his age. His beloved and devoted mother (Felicity Jones) is ill. He has little in common with his imperious grandmother. His father has resettled thousands of miles away. But Conor finds a most unlikely ally when the Monster (Liam Neeson) appears at his bedroom window one night. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth that powerfully fuses imagination and reality.

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Critic Reviews for A Monster Calls

Audience Reviews for A Monster Calls

  • Jan 22, 2018
    An artistically gifted but bullied school boy has to deal with his mother's approaching cancer death and is visited by a tree monster a night. What sounds like a fantasy adventure is actually a pretty serious drama about children being confronted with loss. Especially the short stories the monster tells are beautifully animated and the protagonist is a highly talented young actor. One has to wonder who the audience for this is, though. Children will find it too dark and uneventful, adults may be put off by a CGI tree creature. Especially the ending is very touching, though.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2017
    Painfully predictable and trite, A Monster Calls is a macabre and overly melodramatic coming-of-age film. The story follows a young boy who seeks the help of a mysterious tree creature when his mother becomes terminally ill. Unfortunately, the boy's not a very sympathetic character; reacting with violence and anger to everyone and everything around him (which gets really tired really fast). It's cliché. However, the stories that the monster tells are rather interesting, as is the animation used in them. And, Liam Neeson does an incredible job at voicing the monster; making him threatening and dangerous, with an air of ambiguity as to whether he's an agent of good or evil. Additionally, the score is emotionally evocative and compliments the scenes especially well. A Monster Calls is formulaic and heavy handed, yet it does have its heartwarming moments.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2017
    Very rarely would a film like 'A Monster Calls' come along as a sleeper hit of the year become a film that makes me cry. It's a wholeheartedly wonderful film filled with outstanding cinematography, special effects and animation to go with it's central subconscious message trapped inside the imagination of a young boy's grief an anger. Lewis MacDougall is a performance standout, that both he and the magnificent Ent-like tree monster voiced by the one and only Liam Neeson overshadow the other human minor roles which are also very good with what minimalism they have to work with. I must also warn viewers if they're planning on seeing this film, to have some sort of a happy back-up after the credits roll from this very cathartic but deeply human and endearing picture, it's a film so likely to make grown men cry, any age group would enjoy it no matter what. This is a film that must be experienced no matter what as it's one of 2017's most unique and shining gems I can't help but think of it's huge possibilities it'll have when come the BAFTAs for the British film awards.
    Luke E Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2017
    It's rare for a film of this kind to argue for total honesty and acceptance of hard truths where children are concerned. Lewis MacDougall gives one hell of a performance.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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