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A Monster Calls is the tale of Conor, a young boy who is trying to deal with the illness of his single mom. Help comes in the form of a Tree Monster that begins to tell Conor a series of stories. As Conor’s mom grows sicker Conor grows increasingly frustrated as the Monster’s stories seem not to help. Angry and falling apart as the clock ticks by, Conor lashes out at the Monster and his unrelated stories. Are these stories a waste of time, or do they hold more weight then Conor knows.

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This film is well directed by J. A. Bayona who keeps you invested in the movie by “Rooting” it in strong story telling. Along with good directing there were some strong performances by its cast. One surprising performance was that of child actor Lewis MacDougall (Conor), who does a great job leading this small cast. Felicity Jones (Mum) is also great here even though she might not have too much screen time, each scene she does have is heart felt. It goes without saying that it is always a treat to see Sigourney Weaver (Grandma) to round out this small cast. The power of this film is in its story, unfortunately it is a very somber one! This is a very emotional film that will leave you feeling somewhat sad if not crying. And although the stories told here were told very well, I wasn’t very impressed with all of them. But there was some cool special effects that kept me entertained.

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This is a very solid film, well made and well directed. The story and tone of the film are extremely melancholy and will definitely leave you feeling gloomy. That does not mean it was a bad movie, in fact it means the opposite. But lets face it, the re-watchability of such sad films is not great, unless you like feeling depressed. With that being said its still a recommendable movie, especially is you find these types of stories intriguing. A solid seven in the drama/fantasy genre, just keep some tissues close by!..

SCORE:                      7/10

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