Liam Neeson has played everything from a Jedi Master to a Batman villain to a man with a very particular set of skills. But one of his more underrated and underseen roles is where he played a humanoid yew tree known as the Monster, which just goes to show Neeson can play just about anything. The film is called A Monster Calls, and you can stream it now on Netflix.
Liam Neeson’s dark fantasy A Monster Calls is streaming on Netflix.
Liam Neeson’s A Monster Calls is a dark fantasy story about a young boy whose mother is dying from cancer. The boy is visited by a giant yew tree known as the Monster, who will tell him three stories in exchange for the boy telling him a story of his own.
J.A. Bayona directed the film from a screenplay from Patrick Ness, which Ness adapted from his 2011 novel of the same name. Along with Neeson’s Monster, the film stars Lewis MacDougall as the boy Conor, Sigourney Weaver as his grandmother, Felicity Jones as his mother, Toby Kebbell as his father, and Geraldine Chaplin as the head teacher at his school.
Liam Neeson was not on set for most of the filming process for A Monster Calls, as he completed his voice acting and performance capture prior to the live-action filming. Interestingly, Tom Holland ended up getting a credit on the film because he stood in for the Monster on set for a week while Neeson was absent.
While the visual effects of the film were impressive, and the performances were top-notch to match the caliber of the cast, the film just never got that much attention.
Liam Neeson’s A Monster Calls wasn’t necessarily a box office bust, but it didn’t make many waves in the US and Canada, with a box office haul of only $3.7 million. The international box office haul helped to make up for the poor domestic performance, drawing in $43.5 million elsewhere for a global total of $47.2 million against the $43 million production budget.
It ended up finishing 13th at the box office during its opening weekend and had one of the biggest third-week drops in box office history when it made just over $19,000 against the previous week’s haul of $537,262.
Still, the film got really good reviews from the people who did see it, with particular praise being given to the lead performances from Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, and Lewis MacDougall. If you like your coming-of-age tales with a dark fantasy twist, then A Monster Calls may be the film for you this weekend. Just be prepared for a lot of heartbreak mixed with your coming-of-age fantasy tropes.
Liam Neeson’s TV Work
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new film from Liam Neeson, so A Monster Calls might be the perfect film to check out if you’ve missed it. Instead of films, Liam Neeson mostly stuck to TV show appearances in the last couple of years. He reprised his Star Wars role as Qui-Gon Jinn in both the animated Tales of the Jedi and the live-action Obi-Wan Kenobi series in 2022, a role that fans have been waiting for him to return to.
But perhaps Liam Neeson’s best TV appearance in 2022 was in Donald Glover’s FX series Atlanta where he played himself to poke fun at his 2019 racism controversy. The unexpected surprise cameo was very Atlanta and was the last place people expected Neeson to pop up next. Neeson hasn’t appeared in anything this year yet, but that should be changing soon.
Liam Neeson has three films that have 2023 release dates listed, though only one of them has a firm release date. Now is a good time to check out A Monster Calls on Netflix because his upcoming film Retribution won’t be coming out until August. The film follows Neeson as a bank executive who learns his car is rigged to explode if he doesn’t follow a series of orders.
Retribution is due to come out on August 23 and is directed by Nimrod Antal with a screenplay by Alberto Marini and Christopher Salmanpour. Along with Liam Neeson, the film stars Jack Champion, Matthew Modine, Embeth Davidtz, Arian Moayed, Noma Dumezweni, Emily Kusche, Daniel Grave, and Lilly Aspell. Check that film out in August, and check out A Monster Calls today on Netflix.