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Parents' Guide to


By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bleak Irish period drama has bloody violence, death.

Movie NR 2021 90 minutes
Monster movie poster

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A slight story kept afloat by its performances, this Irish drama does its best to summon the power of the elements to show us how cruel both nature and people can be. Monster (originally titled Arracht) touches upon a bleak period in Irish history. The film starts with the British implementing a sharp increase to the land rates, leading to harsh times for Donall O Healai's Coleman, an even-handed but strong-willed fisherman. Complicating matters is the ensuing potato famine and Dara Devaney's short-tempered Patsy, whose refusal to be humiliated by colonial forces creates more tension.

After an eventful setup the movie settles into a more subdued mood, with Coleman's isolation limiting the story. His eventual double-act with the tempestuous young Kitty (Saise Ni Chuinn) also feels familiar, causing the plot to lag while we wait for the inevitable to catch up with Coleman, his family, and friends. Despite its pacing and plotting dragging at times, Monster does a good job of capturing both the expanse and the smallness of its characters' world. It might lack the dramatic punch of Hunger, which captures another fraught period in Irish history, but writer-director Tom Sullivan excels at treating his audience and his characters with respect.

Movie Details

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