“A Monster Calls” stars Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell, and Liam Neeson. Released on December 23, 2016, the film is about a young boy who encounters a giant tree-like monster.
The film is directed by J. A. Bayona, who also directed The Orphanage and The Impossible. It is based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. It received a wide release on January 6, 2017, but since it was released first in 2016, I will count it as a 2016 release. I had no idea what to expect from this film, other than the fact that it has a giant tree monster that may or may not have been Groot’s long-lost father. While it didn’t earn any Golden Globe nominations, it made its presence known at the Critics‘ Choice Awards where it earned two nominations, including Best Young Performer for MacDougall and Best Visual Effects. However, it wasn’t enough to generate some big box office numbers during its theatrical run. After watching the film for the first time, I can understand why it’s not doing well at the box office, but man, the way they told this story was absolutely brilliant.
Strong performances from the cast, including MacDougall as Conor.
Liam Neeson as the “Monster”.
Bayona’s ability to blend fantasy elements with the film’s mature themes to create deep storytelling.
The third act was emotional.
May be too depressing or scary for younger kids.
Final thoughts: “A Monster Calls” is a surprisingly emotional film filled with strong performances, remarkable visuals, and its mature themes. I am not kidding about it being “surprisingly emotional”. This film made me realize that I should have brought a tissue box with me. While it may not be for everyone, especially younger kids, I can see it being relatable to those who are dealing with this type of problem. If it’s playing at a theater near you, I suggest you check this one out.