Monos

Critics Consensus

As visually splendid as it is thought-provoking, Monos takes an unsettling look at human nature whose grim insights leave a lingering impact.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 134

85%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 33
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Movie Info

MONOS, Alejandro Landes' third feature, is a survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels -- bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom -- who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson). The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force know only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within MONOS the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.

Cast

Julianne Nicholson
as Doctora Sara Watson
Moises Arias
as Patagrande
Julian Giraldo
as Lobo - Wolf
Karen Quintero
as Leidi - Lady

News & Interviews for Monos

Critic Reviews for Monos

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (124) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for Monos

  • Jan 25, 2020
    This year's equivalent to EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT is an auditory and visual hallucination of child soldiers somewhere in the Colombian jungle. The elliptical method of storytelling is strong with this one, and we aren't really given much context for why there are child soldiers out in the jungle holding an American doctor as prisoner, but the overt references to "Lord of the Flies" and "Heart of Darkness" make it fairly apparent there's some sort of war going on. Ascertaining who with or why purposfully frustrates the viewer, so we are left to focus on the characters themselves and their actions. There's a whole lot of intended metaphorical substance behind this sensory experience to do with the self-socialization and with Latin American history in general, but I'll let you sift through that yourself since I'm still unpacking it as well. Perhaps even more enticing than the gorgeous visuals, chaotic beauty of the mountainous jungle, and skin crawling body fascination from all the mud and fire is the method of casting development they started months before shooting. Evidently they took about 20-30 Colombian kids to location and set up camp. They received acting lessons and military training each day until they were whittled down "Survivor"-style to the core cast of eight. Their methodized acting translates impeccably well to the screen as, aside from the artifice of presentation, it's somewhere between Come and See and a "Kony 2012" documentary. Add on Mica Levi's (UNDER THE SKIN, JACKIE, MARJORIE PRIME) minimalist score to the fracas and it is nothing short of a psychedelic experience. Also, it's a compelling commentary on the desperate scenarios that fuel the global migrant crisis, if you're into that sort of thing.
    Steve L Super Reviewer

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