"The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry."
Movie type: Drama Fantasy - Despite the elaborate effects, this is not necessarily a fantasy film; and despite the presence of a young, pre-teen lead, this isn't necessarily a children's film. This is an unusual and rather somber drama film centering on a child's anger, grief, and coping over a terminally ill parent, and given the subject matter and some violent scenes including bullying, parental discretion is strongly advised. The known stars in the film, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, and the voice of Liam Neeson, have supporting roles to the lead, young newcomer Lewis MacDougall.
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Script: Patrick Ness
Starring: The Monster - Liam Neeson, Connor - Lewis MacDougall, Mum - Felicity Jones, Grandma - Sigourney Weaver
Length: 1 hr. 48 min.
Berardinelli, Internet Critic: “Very Good - A Monster Calls is a deeply moving drama that should find favor with viewers of all ages (except the very young). It's a stunning work of artistry and emotional heft with an ending that speaks as loudly to children, parents, and grand-parents. It's difficult to shake and impossible to forget.”
Roger Ebert: “Good A lot of colleagues seem to have been under the impression....that this is a straight-up genre film, a conventional monster movie. Boy, were they ever surprised by "A Monster Calls,â which is in fact a metaphorical allegory of childhood, illness, death, and grief. And an often very powerful film.”
USA Today: “Very Good A Monster Calls dials up a nostalgic and superb coming-of-age journey that'll have audiences grabbing all the hankies. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cry some more, but A Monster Calls pulls off an impressive feat creating an intensely moving fairy tale for today.”
Rolling Stone: “Very Good It's a simple (not simplistic) fable, gracefully adapted by Patrick Ness from his own novel, but laced with troubling psychological complexity manifested in the form of this outwardly monstrous tree.”