Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Dec 13, 2010
    100
    An amazing achievement for a 'first-time' filmmaker, which measures up to the finest indies for performance and character-work, and the biggest blockbusters for jaw-dropping effects. And it has the year's best sex scene, too.
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 13, 2010
    89
    The film is a startlingly original and haunting take on our ageless fear of otherness.
  3. 88
    With Monsters, Edwards transcends the special-effects auteur label, creating a memorable sci-fi story in which the hero and heroine are true equals in the adventure. How's that for an alien concept?
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 13, 2010
    88
    Monsters holds our attention ever more deeply as we realize it's not a casual exploitation picture.
  5. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Dec 13, 2010
    83
    Monsters is really a road-movie romance that tracks the burgeoning relationship between two strangers as they travel through the "infected" zone.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 13, 2010
    80
    However you slice it, Monsters is a dynamite little film, loaded with atmosphere, intelligence, beauty and courage.
  7. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Dec 13, 2010
    80
    Monsters is enormously satisfying in the way it combines suspense, romance and sci-fi. It heralds a bright new talent in Edwards. If he can do all this for no money, imagine what he can do with a real budget.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 13, 2010
    75
    Monsters, like a serpent eating its own tail, comes back on itself in ways that haunt, and hurt.
  9. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Dec 13, 2010
    75
    Monsters is a tiny sci-fi thriller that makes up what it lacks in big effects with a fine photographic eye, a low-key sense of scale, and a genuine (if not always well-performed) human drama.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 13, 2010
    75
    Monsters is a sharp little low-fi monster movie operating from a tantalizing premise.
  11. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Oct 28, 2010
    75
    Edwards is a wizard with his laptop's effects program. The squiddy things he conjures up look like the real deal - thoroughly creepy and a gazillion feet tall. Too bad his screenwriting software didn't have an equivalently impressive plot-twisting algorithm to get him to the final fade.
  12. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 26, 2010
    75
    Monsters works not because of its representation of alien creatures or its somewhat derivative back story but because of the atypical manner in which it approaches the character-based narrative.
  13. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Oct 28, 2010
    70
    Monsters effortlessly compels. The ending may be pure sci-fi schmaltz, but it's schmaltz that this viewer, at least, could believe in.
  14. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Oct 27, 2010
    70
    Wait a second, is this a horror movie or an episode of The Hills?
  15. 70
    Although the tentative performances of his two human leads proves less satisfying, and the story's not-so-underlying sociological context can be hard to miss -- it takes place along the U.S.-Mexico border -- the overall picture still impresses.
  16. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Oct 28, 2010
    67
    Gareth Edwards' low-budget science-fiction film Monsters is both a testament to what the latest technologies allow filmmakers to do, and-on the downside-a testament to the enduring importance of a good script.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 13, 2010
    63
    Monsters is a genuine curio: a moody, low-budget road-movie romance that takes place against a background of alien invasion.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 26, 2010
    60
    There's so much right with Gareth Edwards's low-budget alien invasion tale that you almost want to brush aside everything that's not up to snuff.
  19. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Oct 26, 2010
    60
    Director Gareth Edwards, a CGI artist by trade, has created a dystopian landscape that's so naturalistic, it's uncanny.
  20. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Dec 13, 2010
    50
    An arty, ruminative and slow-paced film that's being marketed as a big ol' alien-invasion flick. Just don't expect an invasion flick.
  21. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Dec 13, 2010
    50
    The new creature feature Monsters is an intriguing mash-up of "District 9," "The Host" and assorted recent post-apocalypse road pictures.
  22. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Dec 13, 2010
    50
    The result is notably dim and flat on a big screen, and the giant-monster scenes, often cloaked in darkness, are few and disappointing. Edwards tries to take the high road with a politically intriguing premise (a la District 9) and a tight focus on the evolving relationship between his two traveling companions, but his shapeless script doesn't do much with either element.
  23. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 28, 2010
    40
    What brings Monsters down from its extremely low perch is a conspicuous lack of monstrosity.
  24. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Oct 28, 2010
    40
    An attempt to counter noisy, hyper effects-laden alien invasion flicks with something teasing, indie and good for you. Instead, it's like a pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Dec 13, 2010
    38
    No ordinary horror film. If it were, it might be a bit better than it is. As the movie stands, it's a less-than-compelling relationship drama, with aliens.
  26. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 13, 2010
    25
    The only thing remotely scary about Monsters is that Magnolia is releasing this boring scare-, suspense- and gore-free horror movie (which reportedly cost less than $100,000) on Halloween weekend.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 41
  2. Negative: 10 out of 41
  1. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    Great little film, but to truly understand what an astonishing achievement it was you really need to watch the 2 hr making of doc that comes on the blu-ray. A 4 man crew, no script, all shot on the fly and improvised by (real life couple) Scoot and Whitney, no other paid actors and just making use of whatever or whoever came into view, then edited down from over 100 hours of footage, with over 250 cgi shots done by 1 man using essentially shop bought software. Gareth Edwards is a man going places. If he can make a film like this with less money than Michael Bay spends on a haircut imagine what he could do with a proper budget and full freedom to create what he wants with it!! Full Review »
  2. Apr 7, 2011
    1
    Okay so I know it was low budget.... but boy, was it boring. Extremely anticlimatic... Don't know how else to describe this movie with 250 words but I certainly felt like I wasted my time watching it... Just sayin'...

    If you like predictable and uneventful story-telling, this is your movie of the year... and this is even without mentioning the CGI they should have left out.

    .. pros? Good camera work and the setting/idea of the Mexican quarantine zone is great (until you see the poorly designed monsters.)
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 2, 2011
    1
    I'm a huge fan of good sci-fi (which doesn't necessarily mean action based sci-fi); first thing needed is a good plot, period! Well, need I say more about this movie? It's like watching paint drying... One doesn't even slightly care for the characters, the sight of some mega flying octopus howling like a cow in labour pains is hilarious (Skyline was bad too, but at least the special effects were decent); waste of time and patience.. Full Review »