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"A Monster Calls" Movie Review

Updated on December 17, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.


If Moonlight or La La Land neither one win the Best Picture award, then it should go to A Monster Calls. The film is beautiful, deeply emotional, and dramatic, filled with life lessons and intelligent quotes to live by. It's especially impactful if you have had someone dear to you pass of cancer. There's no worse feeling than being lost and feeling all alone, as if the burden is solely laid upon your shoulders. The film tackles this feeling masterfully and sincerely, giving us all a sense of hope and endearment.

A Monster Calls introduces us to Conor (Lewis MacDougall) who has been having a tough time in his life. His grades are declining, he's a consistent victim of bullying, his father left, and he's being forced to live with his grandmother who he can't stand. Oh, and his mother is terminally ill. Conor is a victim of circumstance and he calls out for help. He gets an answer from a tree monster. The Monster (Liam Neeson) tells Conor that he must tell Conor three tales and at the end Conor must tell a tale of his own. Then, The Monster will perform some healing. Conor assumes that The Monster meant his mother (Felicity Jones) would be the one to be healed. Story after story, Conor doesn't quite understand what the point is. He becomes more and more frustrated, begging for his mother to be healed. Finally, Conor comes to the confrontation that we've all been waiting for, and one we'll not forget anytime soon.

The acting was remarkable. Even though he was only a voice actor, Liam Neeson brought a certain aggression to the role of the Monster which made it all the more real. Perhaps the most incredible performance of all was by Lewis MacDougall, whose only other role was in the underwhelming film Pan. I'd say Lewis has more than redeemed himself and I hope to see more spectacular performances in his future career.

In conclusion, I highly suggest this film to anyone out there who could use some inspiration or anyone going through a tough time in their life. The film teaches so many things, including the fact that there's meaning and beauty around every corner, if only we'll open our eyes to see it. I give it a 4 out of 4.

© 2017 Nathan Jasper


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