7.5/10
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198 user 333 critic

A Monster Calls (2016)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

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A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother's terminal illness.

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Writers:

Patrick Ness (screenplay by), Patrick Ness (based upon the novel written by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,535 ( 181)
38 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lewis MacDougall ... Conor
Sigourney Weaver ... Grandma
Felicity Jones ... Mum
Toby Kebbell ... Dad
Ben Moor ... Mr. Clark
James Melville ... Harry
Oliver Steer Oliver Steer ... Sully
Dominic Boyle ... Anton
Jennifer Lim ... Miss Kwan
Max Gabbay Max Gabbay ... Steven
Morgan Symes ... Lawyer
Max Golds Max Golds ... 5-Year-Old Connor
Frida Palsson ... Lily's Mum
Wanda Opalinska ... Female Nurse
Patrick Taggart Patrick Taggart ... Teacher
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Storyline

The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Conor, and it asks for the one thing Conor 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. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother's sickness. Will Conor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Conor be able to speak the truth?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Stories are wild creatures. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un monstruo viene a verme See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,909, 23 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,730,982, 20 January 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,919,166
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Affecting an English accent was second nature to Sigourney Weaver, since her mother was British. See more »

Goofs

When Conor and his dad have a conversation in the car, Conor's seat belt is on at first, disappears, and reappears a few times between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Conor: [having a nightmare] Mama! Mama!
Conor: [waking] How does the story begin?
The Monster: It begins like so many stories. With a boy, too old to be a kid. Too young to be a man. And a nightmare.
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of a Monster Calls (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Tear Up This Town
Written by Tim Rice-Oxley
Performed by Keane
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the most emotionally powerfully films I've seen in a while
10 December 2016 | by Josh BartonSee all my reviews

Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is one of the most emotionally powerful films I've seen in a long time. Directed by J. A. Bayona, this is a film you'll want to be making sure you have a pack of tissues ready for.

Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) lives at home with his terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones). Bullied relentlessly at school on a daily basis and with no friends, Lewis finds himself spending most of the free time he does have helping his mother.

One night, Conor encounters a monster (Liam Neeson) in the form of a giant yew tree. With the help of the monster, Conor learns a number of valuable life lessons, as well as facing the nightmarish reality he knows will come soon enough.

Reports of A Monster Calls causing audiences to flood theatres with tears during the festival circuit have been well documented however, even they couldn't prepare me for J. A. Bayona's stunningly beautiful film. The warning of emotional distress was even there for all to see as the classification certificate appeared on screen prior to the film.

This is an incredibly moving story, depressing for the most part however, thanks to the fantasy elements of the story and the relationship Lewis has with the monster, it can be strangely uplifting at times. The film packs one hell of an emotional punch towards the end but it doesn't just spring it on the audience because you can sense that is exactly where it's going from the very beginning.

The performances of Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell are all good but there is no debating here that the film ultimately belongs to the young Lewis MacDougall, who manages to deliver a performance that would make you think he's been acting for years, when this is in fact only his second film. MacDougall really makes you empathise with Conor and his performance in the final stages of the film is sensational.

The visuals deserve a special mention as well, the monster in particular brought to life quite brilliantly through special effects and a gruff vocal performance from Liam Neeson. They go hand- in-hand with Bayona's visionary style as a director to make A Monster Calls a must-see film.


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