Based on the acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness, this darkly alluring film from director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) tells the story of a young boy doubly assailed by frightening dreams and fraught reallife circumstances. Life has dealt Conor O’Malley some devastating blows; his mother (Felicity Jones) has terminal cancer, his father (Toby Kebbell) is not part of his life, his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) offers no consolation, and he is bullied at school. Conor has nowhere to turn, until he receives a nighttime visit from an enormous, tree-shaped monster.
A luscious, painterly fantasy ★★★★
A subtle and very cleverly crafted film which has a searing emotional impact precisely because it isn’t scared to let the monster out. ★★★★
A determinedly weird and macabre exploration of mortality. ★★★★