Love and Monsters

Critics Consensus

Led by a charming star turn from Dylan O'Brien, Love and Monsters peers into the apocalypse and finds an action-adventure with surprising emotional depth.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 66

88%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 51

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Movie Info

Seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, Joel Dawson, along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land. After reconnecting over the radio with his high school girlfriend, Aimee, who is now 80 miles away at a coastal colony, Joel begins to fall for her again. As Joel realizes that there's nothing left for him underground, he decides to venture out to Aimee, despite all the dangerous monsters that stand in his way.

Cast & Crew

Tandi Wright
Pauline Dawson
Michael Matthews
Director
Brian Duffield
Screenwriter
Dan Cohen
Producer
John H. Starke
Executive Producer
Lachlan Milne
Cinematographer
Debbie Berman
Film Editor
Marco Beltrami
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for Love and Monsters

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Love and Monsters

  • Nov 06, 2020
    "Love and Monsters" starts off as a teen romance flick interrupted by the apocalypse, but thankfully it becomes much more than that and ultimately very entertaining. There is a welcome trend recently in apocalyptic movies (possibly due to the ongoing pandemic) of finding originality vs. defaulting to a zombie plague. Former "Teen Wolf" and "The Maze Runner" star Dylan O'Brien is an affably geeky guy that stumbles into the hero role. The monster scenes balance decent special effects with fun action. I would have liked to see more of the beginning's "life in the bunker" setup as it would likely have given the movie more emotional depth. But overall this is a very enjoyable family-friendly adventure.
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2020
    Imaginative, quirky, and monstrously fun, Love and Monsters is a winning sci-fi monster movie and more evidence to the unique amusements provided in full from a Brian Duffield (Spontaneous, The Babysitter) story. In the near future, after blowing up a world-threatening asteroid, the ensuing chemical debris causes many lizards and insects to grow to world-threatening sizes, killing a majority of the population, and forcing the survivors to live underground in vaults. Our hero is Joel (Dylan O'Brien), a very Jessie Eisenberg-esque guy who isn't so good at survival skills in this new world. His group looks at him like he's a helpless kid who can't defend himself. Joel discovers that his teenage crush, the girl he's been writing letters to, is alive and he pledges to make the 80-mile trip on the surface to reunite with her. The resulting journey can be episodic but each section is impactful, each monster encounter is different and contributes to a fuller understanding to the world, and the character arc finds ways to surprise you, like when it acknowledges that Joel's foolhardy romantic gesture is exactly that, him not fully accepting how the world has changed both he and the object of his desire. That sparkling creative voice of Duffield's is alive and well throughout. His worlds feel well thought out, lived in, crazy but with purpose, and his characters are often teenagers with pointed attitude but they feel like characters rather than mouthpieces for overt stylized dialogue and pithy banter. O'Brien (The Maze Runner) is an interesting choice and gets to be far more neurotic and physically comedic than I've ever seen him. He's an underdog that's easy to root for. There are moments of wonder, moments of unexpected empathy, moments of suspense and terror, and plenty of moments of comic bemusement in the face of this crazy world. Joel befriends a very Woody Harreslon-esque father (Michael Rooker) with an adopted daughter in tow (the Zombieland character dynamics are pretty apparent but not a major detraction) and they form an enjoyable fractured family to help Joel become a better survivalist. I loved a small moment with a beaten down robot helper that manages to be sentimental as well as subverting sentimentality. The conclusion feels like a Walking Dead episode but it brings together many of the dangling storylines and proves satisfying for the character's arc, a better understanding of the creatures in this world, and for Joel's sense of self and community. The special effects are amazing for a movie that shockingly only had a tiny $28 million budget. Love and Monsters is a movie that makes the most of its time and money to tell a bigger story but one with enough wit, heart, and personality to draw you in and leave you happy for more post-apocalyptic monster adventures. All hail Duffield, king of spry and accessible quirk within the Hollywood system. Nate's Grade: B+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2020
    Films like this are very rare these days. The number of times a studio greenlights an original idea that has the feel of something that would've been in theatres over a decade or two ago is slim to none. Love and Monsters, although meant for the big screen, has just become available to watch at home and I feel that this gem of an adventure will go way under the radar. With a fun concept from start to finish and a real emotional core throughout, I had an absolute blast watching this film. Here's why Love and Monsters deserves your time.  After attempting to save the planet, the human race accidentally created an apocalypse. Many years later, separated from his girlfriend, family, and now surviving with a group of warriors, Joel Dawson (Dylan O'Brien) ventures out to find the love of his life. With the world now infested with giant, mutated insects, the journey will not be easy. The premise itself feels almost too familiar to fully enjoy, but the visuals make it feel unique and the fun tone and uplifting performance by O'Brien made it all worth it. I've also been a fan of his performances for some time now, so I may be a little biased in that regard.  Love and Monsters takes the concept of characters being dropped into the apocalypse and spins it on its head. Just when you think it's about to get predictable, it pulls a little fast one and keeps you on your feet. Sure, some of the voiceovers can be a bit much and even a little distracting, but again, Dylan O'Brien is just a very likable actor and he sells pretty much any material he's ever given. At its core, this is a family adventure film, but it's also PG-13, so there is an emotional depth that gives it a layer I wasn't expecting. Yes, it's a little too tame sometimes, but I felt that gave it more charm.  More than anything, I'm impressed that director Michael Matthews hadn't worked on anything of this scale before. His work here is miles ahead of many Hollywood directors coming out of the indie realm and I really hope he continues to get more work. It would be unfair if the improbable box office for this movie hurts his future chances. It's not that I absolutely loved this film or anything, but Matthews' touch was very apparent and the movie felt like it had a personality. That's something most Hollywood movies lack these days. In the end, as I said, this isn't anywhere near a perfect film, but it's the most fun I've had watching a new release in many months. If you're looking for something to immerse yourself in a world that's both unique and entertaining, Love and Monsters could very well be the film you need right now. I was invested in the character of Joel Dawson from beginning to end and the emotional core of the movie really worked for me. I watched this film with a giant grin on my face and right now, that's really all I can ask for, especially when the movie itself is well-made. Though it has faults throughout, I absolutely recommend checking out Love and Monsters, now available to stream on some services.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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