A Monster Calls Rotten Tomatoes


A Monster Calls is a 2016 British-American fantasy drama film directed by J. A. Bayona based on the creepy novel penned by Patrick Ness. The film has been a success as it went on to collect various awards at prestigious award ceremonies and to be applauded by movie critics. It was hugely loved by the audience for its strong emotional elements and thought-provoking visuals. But A Monster Calls did not get the same love from the reviewing organizations.


A Monster Calls got mixed reviews from reviewing organizations, with its critics praising its visuals, emotional power, themes, and performances, while criticizing the film’s execution, dialogue, pacing, and focus, as Rotten Tomatoes for example has excessively critiqued the movie, assigning it a Rotten score of 64% on its Tomatometer as well as a Critics’ Score of 57%.

However, Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes for the movie was positive as the movie fans saw something extraordinary in the movie, according to which, A Monster Calls was given a score of 85%. The consistent gap between the reviews of critics and audience regarding ‘A Monster Calls’ was obvious and it is interesting to note how critics and fans differ so much in their points of view.

Experts’ Perspectives

Experts explain the gap between the two scores by stating that it could be because of the heavy themes which the film deals with. There could be different interpretations of the same scenes and the same story. Critics’ point of view could favour the aspect of technicalities and solely on overall execution while the audience’s perspective might be more accepting towards how a story could be.

Moreover, the movie ‘A Monster Calls’ could, in a way, transport the audience to their childhood memories when something traumatic or emotional happened. It could be more to the audience because it evokes an emotional connection. To some extent, critics could miss out on this connection because of their technical interpretation.


The movie ‘A Monster Calls’ did justice with the book penned by Patrick Ness. It captures the heavy emotions and gets to the viewer’s heart. Each character is written so well by the director and leads into a story of resilience and hope. The visuals are mesmerizing and always support the story. Moreover, the idea of a monster healing Conor is beautifully captured which resonates in the audience.

It is understandable why the movie could be misplaced by critics, as, the technical aspect sometimes tends to override the story itself. Talking about A Monster Calls, the movie was more than just technicalities. It was about inspiring the audience with a story of resilience and conveying a message that hardships should not be faced alone. The movie was more than what gets noticed by critics and that’s the reason many of them did not take into account what the movie was about in actual.

Harper’s Bazaar’s Interview with Director

The director J.A. Bayona gave an in-depth overview of his feelings regarding the critical reception of his cult classic movie A Monster Calls in an interview he had with Harper’s Bazaar. He stated that he thought it was special and he was surprised by the critical reception it got. He assumed his fans would like it more and noted how many critics were surprised by the movie’s box-office success.

He also found it interesting how the box-office gave higher ratings than the critics did. J.A thinks this was because of the emotional aspect of the movie and how much it resonates with the audience. He also said that he believed that it was because of his movie that many felt emotional, he knew that there was something about his movie that touched people and that is what made him proud of the movie.

Real Life Connections of Audience

The fact that ‘A Monster Calls’ resonated with the viewers on a personal, emotional level helps to explain the large disparity between critics’ and audience’s scores. It had a powerful emotional element, it provided an outlet for people who were dealing with similar experiences as Conor in the movie and people could relate to or be moved by it. As a result, many avid movie fans have included A Monster Calls on their must-watch list.

The movie did not merely rely on its plot and production. It was more about the emotions it left in its wake. That’s why critics could not rate it as highly as the audience did, as they were focused on the technicalities of the film which sometimes clouded their judgment.

Individual Reviews of Viewers

Individual’s reviews of A Monster Calls show that the movie strikes an emotional chord with its viewers, while many described it as a ‘good movie’, other viewers mentioned its ability to convey the importance of having support when someone is going through a difficult situation. One of the reviewers also wrote: “This is a seriously powerful movie and I don’t think I could even begin to describe how it makes me feel.”

The emotional aspect of the movie also shines through. The movie provides a platform for expression and exploration of emotions through the story of a boy trying to make sense of a traumatic situation. The movie served as an introduction to some universal lessons of not running away from difficult situations and confronting them head-on.

Marketing and Distribution

The movie was marketed through traditional and digital marketing campaigns. It was promoted on social media and through other approaches. Word of mouth was critical for the movie’s success, as people started talking about it and sharing their reviews extensively. It was also distributed in festivals that focused on stories about children with emotional struggles.

Moreover, A Monster Calls was produced through a collaboration between a British and Spanish production house to bring a unique and powerful story to life and share it with the audience worldwide. This helped in getting the movie prevalent in major international festivals, which in turn helped to increase the movie’s recognition and viewers.


Despite its success with the audience, A Monster Calls has been received with criticisms from some quarters due to its heavy themes and controversial subject. It has been criticized for being too dark, sensationalizing the content, and promoting the idea of ‘otherness’. Some have even argued that its deeper themes and messages are overshadowed by its sensationalized visuals and plot points.

However, the movie also has its share of defenders. Its fans and supporters have been quick to note that the movie is not merely a fantastical tale, but an emotionally powerful story of young Conor dealing with his difficult life circumstances. The movie’s defenders stated that its visuals and themes illustrated the complexities of reality better than other movies could do.

Comparison To Other Films Of Same Genre

Comparing A Monster Calls to other movies of the same genre, it easily stands out due to its powerful visuals and the story it tells. The movie has won several awards for its powerful visuals and story-telling. Many would agree that it is one of the best of its genre in recent times. While there are still movies that follow the same formula, the emotional journey that the viewers of A Monster Calls embark on is truly unique.

Also, while compared to other movies of the same genre, the movie displays a stronger loyalty towards its source material when it comes to the character’s story. This is one of the reasons why fans of the novel were so satisfied with the movie adaptation.

Financial Performance

The movie was released worldwide, performing well at the box-office. After its release, A Monster Calls was declared a box-office hit, making around $50 million out of its estimated production budget of $43 million.

The movie also had an impressive showing in the Chinese box-office, where it earned a total of $7.6 million. The success of the movie can also be attributed to some of its marketing strategies, which included an extensive social media presence and word of mouth that spread from international festivals.

Superfans Community

A Monster Calls is held in high regard by

Derrick McCabe

Derrick P. McCabe is a passionate food writer from the Midwest. He specializes in writing about the nutritional benefits of vegetables and how to incorporate them into everyday cooking. He has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Bon Appetit.He is passionate about helping people make healthy and delicious meals with vegetables.

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