A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes communication, empathy, perseverance, teamwork. It's clear how, in life-threatening situations, people work best with others, collaborating and creating community. No matter how traumatic the circumstances, people need one another and need to feel loved and cared for with found families.
Positive Role Models
Joel is self-deprecating but courageous, selfless, kind. He cares for and loves his colony family and Aimee, the dog Boy, and his new friends Clyde and Minnow. Almost all of the characters are helpful and generous, willing to help others survive under unthinkable circumstances.
Violence & Scariness
Post-apocalyptic scenario in which 95% of the planet's population has died. The killer, cold-blooded mutants are occasionally quite frightening (other times they're somewhat comedic looking); they strike quickly and injure or kill several characters. People use weapons to kill the mutants. One case of humans fighting one another. Many close calls involving humans and the movie's beloved dog.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Early reference to how many members of Joel's colony have coupled up. He talks about one couple being in their "honeymoon period," which is "intensely physical" (audiences hear moaning and see shadows behind a curtained-off room). Later Joel walks by a room and sees bare legs entwined on a bed, where it's implied another couple is being sexual with the door open. In a flashback, Joel and Aimee make out and are about to possibly do more when they're interrupted by a catastrophe. Also a couple of passionate kisses.
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Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "damn," "hell," "moron."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one sequence, a character's home-brew beer is discussed, and many people drink it. A kind of berry is poisonous, as is the bite of mutant leeches.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic adventure-comedy-thriller starring Dylan O'Brien. He plays Joel, the odd man out in a small underground colony that formed after asteroid pieces hit Earth seven years before, wiping out 95% of the population and turning cold-blooded creatures into monstrous, human-killing mutants. When Joel realizes that his former girlfriend is only 85 miles away, he decides to brave the surface, which is filled with countless supersized creepy crawlies capable of killing people. They're sometimes quite frightening, strking quickly and injuring or killing several characters. People use various weapons (guns, crossbows, grenades, etc.) against the monsters, and there are many close calls involving humans and the movie's beloved dog. Joel talks about the fact that most of his podmates have coupled up and are having loud, physical relationships; there are also a few kissing scenes. Language is occasionally strong ("s--t," "holy s--t," "damn," etc.), and some characters drink homemade beer. Amid the scares, the movie promotes communication, empathy, perseverance, and teamwork. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
O'Brien's earnest charisma makes this comedic post-apocalyptic adventure a surprisingly sweet and entertaining pick. Movies aren't released in a vacuum. Given the state of the world in 2020, there's a particular appeal to watching a post-apocalyptic movie, so it's a relief that this one is, despite all of the human-eating creatures, irresistibly cute and funny. Life in a bunker surrounded by a colony (or bubble) that works together under unthinkable, unprecedented, life-or-death circumstances feels especially resonant in 2020, and the underlying themes of community, love, and teamwork are important reminders of the values that are needed to overcome not just a "monsterpocalypse" but any catastrophe.
O'Brien, who first broke out in Teen Wolf and then The Maze Runner films, is quite good at portraying Joel, a self-deprecating everyguy who's known more for making his colony minestrone than for fighting the monsters aboveground. He sketches and journals and tries to keep his PTSD at bay, until one day he decides to risk everything to reach Aimee, whom his brain has turned into an idealized version of his one true love. Rooker and Greenblatt are appealing as his hardened but kind companions on the road, and a shout-out needs to be given to the canine performer who plays the expressive Boy. For an uplifting view of humanity, even at what seems like the end of the world, check out this understated adventure about a guy who survives and thrives against all odds.
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