Critics Consensus

It doesn't quite live up to its intriguing premise, but Monsters is a surprising blend of alien-invasion tropes, political themes, and relationship drama.



Total Count: 159


Audience Score

User Ratings: 41,480
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Movie Info

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures... Our story begins when a jaded US journalist (McNairy) begrudgingly agrees to find his boss' daughter, a shaken American tourist (Able) and escort her through the infected zone to the safety of the US border. -- (C) Magnolia


Scoot McNairy
as Andrew Kaulder
Whitney Able
as Sam Wynden

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Critic Reviews for Monsters

All Critics (159) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (43)

Audience Reviews for Monsters

  • Sep 20, 2015
    For a low-budget attempt at a monster blockbuster, Monster's isn't half bad. Set six years after the discovery of possible alien life, the film explores the ramification of transplanted alien life on Earth. Upon the crash of a probe upon re-entry, half of Mexico becomes quarantined, in a joint effort by the US and Mexican militaries to contain the monsters. It's an interesting premise, executed with mixed results. Upon watching Monsters, one is struck by the mature and highly competent direction of Gareth Edwards. The film has deficiencies as far as casting talent and writing, yet Edwards is able to effectively mask those with crisp direction, combined with surprisingly effective visuals. It's a great looking film, and never feels cheaply staged. The film's cast is adequate, but there is some stilted acting. The story focuses too much on a supposed budding chemistry between its two stars, which feels false and a bit clichéd. The political themes are anything but subtle, but also easy to ignore due to their superficial stupidity. What it succeeds at is keeping the audience intrigued, and delivering enough on its premise to distinguish itself from the monster drama, most notably, what would it be like to live with such creatures as an accepted fact? In other words, what would containment vs. all out war look like? 3/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2014
    I suppose that if you go into this one thinking it's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, with action pieces and loads of monster gallore, you'll be quite disappointed. Monsters works more as a road movie with romantic intention and a bit of political message rather than the afformentioned title. Monsters refers to a whole different type of creature and the ride is worth it, for Gareth Edwards has a lot of heart and intelligence to make this genre flick sound fresh, intriguing, sad, funny, contemplative, without ever being overbearing. The take is original, maybe the story not so much and truth is said when maybe it didn't fully delivered on it's premise, but with such a tiny budget and a one man-show that made a huge portion of the flick alone, Monsters is truly a tiny marvel to behold on how it works, stating that you don't need excessive action, over indulgente messages and too many complicated storylines to make a movie work. All it needs is a heart in the right place.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2014
    An ambitious, audacious first feature by Gareth Edwards, who is undoubtedly a resourceful and savvy filmmakers. Unfortunately, its heavy-handed political allegory (more Elysium than District 9) stilted acting, and low-budget effects badly damage what would have otherwise been an immersive, imaginative world.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    I think the real "scary" thing is the misleading title and premise of the movie. At its core "Monsters" is a very human, relationship driven romance and survival/suspense flick last. The real beauty lies in the synergy of the film's writing as the characters unravel seamlessly with the mysteries and effects surrounding the extraterrestrial presence that lurks within central America. It's a great movie for many reasons but is more than often crippled by the same fact, it's very character driven. So if you're not interested in the protagonists or convinced by the romantic chemistry between Mcnairy and Able you'll begin to feel the toll of a meandering plot. Everything starts to slow down and pacing issues quickly become apparent. Nevertheless I can't help but appreciate the themes and character resolutions that come full circle during the films climatic end. Who are the real 'Monsters" indeed :]
    Drake T Super Reviewer

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