Movie Review: A Monster Calls



A Monster Calls (2016)

Genre:Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson

IMDb:7.7 of 6,000+ (Feels about right for this movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% and 7.7/10. (One of the few times I completely agree with Rotten Tomatoes.)

Plot: A young boy seeks assistance from a tree monster to help deal with his mother’s terminal illness.

What I Didn’t Like.

The movie is a downer. It is to be expected when you know a child is dealing with his mother’s illness, but there was never a reprieve from the tragedy.  I am fairly well verse in the sands of agony and even then there was always something no matter how small which made life not constantly terrible. Perhaps the monster voiced by Liam Neeson was the one shining spot in this boy’s life, but not enough.

The first act of the film is a bit slow. It takes a while to build and the unpleasantness is overwhelming.

At first the special effects seemed very average, but it did improve quickly.

What I Did Like:

I must commend all the actors for doing a wonderful job. First, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones were excellent in supporting roles. Both of them should be nominated for their work in this film.  They added heart and depth to the situation. Sometimes the emotions boiled over in such a manner, it took a talented actor to shine light on it. They were almost masterful in this film.  Also, Liam Neeson’s voice was outstanding. The majority have known about his beautiful voice for decades, but once you remove it and place it into a giant creature, takes on a new life and it is magical.

The young Lewis MacDougall blew me away. I am not a fan of many child actors, but Lewis was way beyond anyone I saw in 2016. Further proof that Pan (2015) as a whole was the problem, because this kid was incredible.

I understand this is based off a novel and that makes sense. The themes in this film are very mature and complex. It dives into a very difficult situation and offers several vital tidbits of advice for us all. In a world that arguably tries to shield the young from everything they will eventually face, this film sugarcoats nothing. It goes after pain, death, and suffering like few films I’ve ever seen. Unapologetic and real and that coming from a fantasy film is quite impressive.

At first I wasn’t feeling the special effects, but once the monster was established, I found him quite impressive. The variety of artistic style mixed with special effects in this film was impressive.


A Monster Calls is among the more powerful films I saw in 2016 (or released in 2016). The visual effects are stunning, the acting of everyone involved is superior to most. The themes are very mature, but they are important for all of us to accept. If you appreciate good film making and can put up with some heart wrenching scenes, I strongly recommend you check out A Monster Calls.

The Ladder:

A Monster Calls

The Jungle Book

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Pete’s Dragon




About Andrew the Movie Guy 14

Andrew was born and raised in New England. Fell in love with movies at an early age thanks to Disney's Golden Age in the 1990's. Developed a respect for older films thanks to his grandfather. Now has viewed well over a 1,000 films from the very first films all the way to the present day. Andrew's favorite movies are numerous, but he counts The Princess Bride, Jaws, Arsenic and Old Lace, 12 Angry Men, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Lion King among his regular top five of all time.
This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Movie Review: A Monster Calls

  1. Pingback: Leftovers of January 2017 | andrewthemovieguy14

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s