Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cinema Clips: A Monster Calls

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 10:00 AM


This is a well-meaning movie with good heart, but it was better when it was called The Iron Giant.

J.A. Bayona’s film of the Patrick Ness book tells the tale of Conor (Lewis MacDougall), a young boy whose mother (Felicity Jones) is dying. Conor is, understandably, having issues, not just with the impending loss of his mother, but bullies at school and a domineering grandma (Sigourney Weaver) he doesn’t quite understand. When things come to a boil, a tree monster (voice of Liam Neeson) shows up to offer guidance and tough love.

MacDougall gives a respectable performance, as do Jones and Weaver, but the film never really works as a whole. The relationship between the boy and the imaginative monster never makes much sense, so the human interactions wind up being far more interesting.

Problem is, this movie is called A Monster Calls, and much of the film leans on the effectiveness of the monster scenes. There are moments where everything jells, but just moments. For the most part, the movie feels disjointed, uneven, and too similar to films that have come before it. And it doesn’t earn the tears it wants you to shed at the end.

It’s just kind of manipulative and weird.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bob Grimm

  • Sweet Street

    Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to Moonlight is one of 2018’s best
    • Jan 17, 2019
  • Troubled Vision

    Despite Sandra Bullock’s fine work, Bird Box is better off unseen
    • Jan 10, 2019
  • Nanny Dearest

    Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins is a practically perfect variation
    • Jan 3, 2019
  • More »
Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Saturday Tour & Tasting

Saturday Tour & Tasting @ Hamilton Distillery

Saturdays, 3-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Pink Martini and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra

PINK MARTINI performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece,… More

@ TCC Music Hall Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 20, 2-4 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Arizona Basketball: Payton Pritchard and the Oregon Ducks Head to Tucson (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Claytoon of the Day: A Manly Cartoon (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Stay Up to See Sunday's 'Super Blood Wolf Moon' (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Claytoon of the Day: Stressing RBG (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, Jan. 17 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2019 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation