A Monster Calls Reviews

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July 26, 2017
A Monster Calls is an adaptation of a children's book with a title that makes it sound like a horror movie. Neither of these things should obscure the fact that it's the most mature film of the year -- and one of the most moving.
January 23, 2017
The movie delivers its meaning repeatedly to make sure that no one misses the point; its lessons, rendered even more explicitly than the ones in Conor's classroom, are missing only the chalkboard and pointer.
January 8, 2017
As the movie rumbled toward its inevitably devastating conclusion, the chief emotion I felt wasn't sadness but annoyance at the dashed grander potential.
January 6, 2017
A Monster Calls is a fairytale about the bogusness of fairytales -- about the reality of unhappy endings and the darkness and light that lives within us all. Guess your kid has to learn about existentialism eventually, right?
January 6, 2017
Director J.A. Bayona presents appealing worlds (real and imagined) awash in color and detail, but while his movie and its monster are very interested in exploring and explaining humanity, they don't quite get people.
January 6, 2017
Too mature to lure in the younger set and too one-dimensional to make much of an impression on adult audiences.
January 6, 2017
This is a tough movie that takes on adult issues and doesn't shy away from the grim realities of its subject matter. But that's what makes this grim children's story work. It's a work of lovely darkness.
January 5, 2017
This makes for one overcrowded assemblage of issues.
January 5, 2017
Filmmaker J.A. Bayona keeps things visually interesting at all times in A Monster Calls. On a storytelling level, he doesn't pull his punches.
January 5, 2017
A Monster Calls is unconventional storytelling in the best way. But parents should be aware that it's not exactly a feel-good film to share with their kids.
Top Critic
January 5, 2017
Why is it so rare to find films "for children" with this kind of maturity and attention to technique?
January 5, 2017
Rich in folkloric symbolism, this fantasy from director J.A. Bayona starts promisingly but eventually sinks under a wave of pop psychology.
January 5, 2017
A Monster Calls isn't so much for kids as it is for grownups. It's a reminder of the time when we, too, thought only of ourselves-and found it too much to bear.
January 5, 2017
Bayona packs his tale with spellbinding visuals and honest emotion, and if the ending doesn't reduce you to tears, you may be the real monster.
January 5, 2017
The movie is memorable for its stunning and inventive imagery, especially when the tree-monster's tales spring to life as little works of art set in motion.
January 5, 2017
"A Monster Calls" is the rare film that addresses the mysteries of childhood without succumbing to schmaltz.
January 5, 2017
The visuals are up for the challenge in this fantastical meditation on childhood grief. The writing, however, is not.
January 5, 2017
Though well-made on every level, with gorgeous visuals and raw, heightened performances, "A Monster Calls" is more emotionally intense than the average children's movie - by a factor of maybe two or three hundred.
January 5, 2017
"A Monster Calls" is a portrait of coping that's both fascinating and heartbreaking.
January 5, 2017
Bayona remains a director whose work should be anticipated, and "A Monster Calls" is a solid fantasy drama.
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