Review: MONOS Is Horrifying And Brutal, But Important

FIRST IMPRESSION

Beautiful yet harrowing, Monos is one of the most important films about war to come out in quite a while. Expect this to make a big splash.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Monos, co-written and directed by Alejandro Landes, is a new Colombian war film that is packed with emotion and harrowing depictions of the horrors of war. Extremely hard-to-watch, but ultimately rewarding, this movie will surely be part of the discussion for Best International Feature come awards season.

The film follows a group of child soldiers as they are tasked with protecting a hostage and a milk cow from the enemy combatants that are slowly approaching. No one likes to think about child soldiers, but it is a horrible truth that this is still very much an issue in society today, particularly in third-world countries. This movie brings attention to that issue in a way that is thoroughly captivating and almost guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on those who see it.

Landes paces his film in a way that will keep your attention for the entirety of the runtime. The beginning of the movie is very much a slow burn, but the tension ramps up as the story progresses, ending in a fiery and intense climax that will leave you shaken to your core. Thanks to the constantly mounting anxiety which this pacing causes, the film is thoroughly captivating.

The movie is definitely quite emotionally resonant because of the dark reality associated with the plot and its depiction of child soldiers. In no way is this film meant to leave the audience feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Rather, the movie is meant to make people reevaluate their preconceived notions regarding the ethics of war. Seeing war through the eyes of children, who are typically innocent and not ruthless killers allows the audience to feel the full weight of the proceedings.

monos mountains

The only real shortcoming of the film is its character development. The movie falls victim to the issue that plagues most films with more than one protagonist: an inability to build the characters individually. A few of the characters have compelling arcs, but the movie is more focused on the group dynamic of the Monos.

Additionally, the actors all do a very good job in their roles. The biggest standout is Moises Arias, who plays Bigfoot, the loose cannon of the group. His performance is very intimidating and often hard-to-watch, often a driving factor in the film. Supporting actress Julianne Nicholson also gives a memorable turn, although her role in the movie is smaller than it could have been.

Visually, the film is absolutely phenomenal. The cinematography by Jasper Wolf is certainly among the best of the year. Early in the movie, the compositions are beautiful, showcasing some of the beauty of the setting. However, as the film becomes more and more horrifying, the imagery becomes equally disturbing and horrific, yet in a well-done and impactful way.

In many ways, Monos is a horrifying and affecting movie, but a very important one at that. Though this certainly isn’t a film that will be easy to stomach for anyone, it will hopefully start a discussion about how the world should change its perception of war.

Monos hits theaters on September 13.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Batwoman | Season 1 Episode 11 | An Un-birthday Present Scene | The CW

Watch new episodes on Sunday and stream Batwoman from the beginning, free only on The CW app: https://go.cwtv.com/BATgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own…

Crisis on Infinite Earths | End Of An Era | The CW

Stream the 5-episode crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths, free only on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico.…

The Turning | Movie Review

Ashley reviews The Turning. A young woman named Kate moves into a mysterious countryside manor after taking a job as a governess. Quickly though, she discovers that the children she has to look after and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear. Directed by: Floria Sigismondi Written by:…

Star Trek: Picard | Now Streaming Promo | CBS All Access

Visit http://www.cbs.com/picard to sign up for CBS All Access. Try 1 week FREE. Stream all-new episodes of "Star Trek: Picard" on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrRttZIypNTA1Mrfwo745Sg For more content from "Star Trek: Picard", click HERE: https://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-picard/ Watch full episodes of "Star Trek: Picard"…

All American | Season 2 Episode 11 | Crossroad Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt SUBSCRIBE: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

Hunters | Super Bowl Commercial | Prime Video

» Hunters is coming to Amazon Prime Video on February 21: https://www.amazon.com/huntersonprime » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Hunters: Inspired by true events, HUNTERS follows a diverse band of Nazi Hunters in 1977 New York City who discover that hundreds of escaped Nazis are living in America. And so, they do what any bad-ass vigilante squad would…

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow | Season 5 Episode 1 | Imperial Russia Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow Wednesdays, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/genLEGyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: The Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations - unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. When Nate, the grandson of J.S.A. member Commander Steel,…

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Reviews Are In Season 10 Promo | HBO

Larry's back... and the reviews are in. Curb Your Enthusiasm is all-new Sundays at 10:30PM. #CurbYourEnthusiasm #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Curb Your Enthusiasm stars Larry David as... Larry David, living the good life out in Los Angeles and stumbling through one faux-pas after another. Curb Your Enthusiasm is available to stream now…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here