A Monster Calls

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
A Monster Calls Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Heartrending adaptation explores the enormity of grief.

PG-13 2016 108 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 26 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for .

Community Reviews

age 15+

Excellent, but be careful with very sensitive/vulnerable viewers!

I am an artist. I loved the animation. I am a writer. The story-telling was unique and riveting. I am a mom. This was gut-wrenching. I am also a grandma. I am concerned for the vulnerable. I have always been extremely super-sensitive. This movie shook me to the core. I was a kid from a dysfunctional and abusive home. This movie absolutely RIPPED ME APART! Many parts of this movie can be triggers: nightmares, bullying, invalidation from adults, terrible loneliness, fear, having to "suck it up", inner rage with no place to put it, great loss, seeing the world as unknowable, BEING YELLED AT, feeling like everything is your fault, and having to deal with death. The stories the Tree Monster tells are hard enough for ADULTS to grapple with - let alone CHILDREN: People are both good and bad, but you don't know which. (Or, as the Monster says, "Humans are complicated beasts.") Situations are neither black nor white, but you don't know which. The world is a place in which you never REALLY know what's going on.... So, SUCK IT UP, KID!! DEAL WITH IT!! People MIGHT be nice to you. But then they DIE!!!! Or, people might NOT be nice to you. But it DOESN'T MATTER!! YOU don't matter! You might even be INVISIBLE! The whole world might even be a STORY! Who knows for sure??? You can't depend on anybody. Nobody is knowable. Not even YOURSELF! THE END! Can most people can handle that? I don't know. I'm not most people. I couldn't. Both I and another close to me had the same reaction after watching: we both sat in shell-shocked silence for the longest. I thought of Nihilism, frankly. The world-view is headed that way these days. PLEASE NOTE: extremely sensitive people may not be able to handle 'A Monster Calls' easily. Sensitive children, people who have been abused or neglected, or those who have some mental challenges to deal with should probably NOT watch this movie. It's raw. It's in-your-face. Then it ENDS. It was beautifully done. For what it was. Excellent movie, but VERY RAW and VERY POWERFUL. Please consider caution before viewing it, or before allowing young or vulnerable people to view it.
1 person found this helpful.
age 2+

Teaches about important messages

Amazing and interesting the only downside is people having sex an killing each other after totally fine for brave 2 year olds

This title has:

Great messages

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Holding hands
    See all
  • Young girl playing
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a book
    Book Characters
    See all
  • Cartoon photo of a keep out sign
    Middle School
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a ghost and vampire
    Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate