A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls
  • PG-13
  • 1h 48m
  • 2017
Certified Fresh86%
Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
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Based on the award-winning children’s book by Patrick Ness, "A Monster Calls" tells the story of Conor (Lewis MacDougall), a 12-year-old boy tormented by bullies and struggling to come to terms with his mother’s terminal cancer. Late one night, Conor receives a visit from a gigantic monster. Claiming that Conor called upon him, the monster promises to aid the boy by telling him immersive stories to help him cope with his problems. Directed by J.A. Barona, "A Monster Calls" stars Academy Award®-nominees Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver.
© 2016 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh86%
Critics Consensus: A Monster Calls deftly balances dark themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
Sydney Morning Herald
Sandra Hall

A Monster Calls is an adaptation of a children's book with a title that makes it sound like a horr...

July 26, 2017
New Yorker
Richard Brody

The movie delivers its meaning repeatedly to make sure that no one misses the point; its lessons,...

June 25, 2017
The Atlantic
David Sims

As the movie rumbled toward its inevitably devastating conclusion, the chief emotion I felt wasn't...

June 25, 2017
San Diego Reader
Matthew Lickona

Director J.A. Bayona presents appealing worlds (real and imagined) awash in color and detail, but...

June 25, 2017
Globe and Mail
Barry Hertz

Too mature to lure in the younger set and too one-dimensional to make much of an impression on adu...

June 25, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
Common Sense Says
Heartrending adaptation explores the enormity of grief.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Monster Calls is the powerful, emotionally wrenching adaptation of award-winning author Patrick Ness' heartbreaking young adult novel about a 13-year-old boy dealing with his mother's terminal illness and sudden visits from a loud, scary storytelling tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson). The animated stories within the story are frequently bloody, and all have unexpected lessons about humans' complexity. There's infrequent language (one "dammit," etc.), as well as some schoolyard violence -- Conor is picked on by a relentless bully who physically and verbally abuses him (and one day, Conor fiercely reciprocates). Conor also destroys his grandmother's living room and has a terrifying recurring nightmare about a horrible disaster that nearly kills him and his mum. Many scenes feature upsetting, overwhelming sadness as Conor comes to terms with his mother's mortality and his own complicated feelings about what's happening. For families dealing with loss or grief, this film could help kids acknowledge and express what they're going through, but despite themes of compassion and courage, it can be very difficult to watch. Bring tissues.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama, Fantasy
  • Release Date:January 6, 2017
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
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