7.1/10
75,449
525 user 153 critic

Monster's Ball (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 March 2002 (USA)
After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director:

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Popularity
1,828 ( 499)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Taylor Simpson ...
Lucille
Gabrielle Witcher ...
Betty
...
Amber Rules ...
Vera
...
Charles Cowan Jr. ...
Willie Cooper
Taylor LaGrange ...
Darryl Cooper
...
Ryrus Cooper (as Mos Def)
Anthony Bean ...
Dappa Smith
...
Georgia Ann Paynes
...
...
Phil Huggins
...
Tommy Roulaine
...
Booter
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Storyline

Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pasado nos condena  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$174,109, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,252,964, 2 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2009 interview with Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels, he revealed that Wes Bentley did not actually turn down the role of Sonny Grotowski, as was reported at the time. What actually happened was that Bentley committed to the role but then pulled out at the very last minute, and Lionsgate gave them only 48 hours to find a replacement (who turned out to be Heath Ledger). In 2010, Bentley admitted that his erratic, unpredictable, and unreliable behavior throughout much of the 2000s had been caused by a longstanding addiction to heroin. See more »

Goofs

When Hank goes to clean up the backseat of his car, two of the cameramen's reflections are visible in the back window of his Ford Crown Victoria. See more »

Quotes

Hank Grotowski: [to Sonny about Lawrence Musgrove] You fucked him up! You fucked up that man's last walk!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Sam, Austin, Gabrielle. Scott Lambert is thanked twice. See more »

Connections

Featured in I Am Heath Ledger (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden
(1968)
Performed by Lynn Anderson
Written by Joe South
Published by Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Far More Than Just That Sex Scene
27 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

This movie was not a big favorite with audiences and I figured I would be among the majority on this one......but I wasn't - I like this film. In fact, I liked it even better on the second viewing.

I found it to be one of those rare movies that deals with racism that doesn't come on too heavy-handed with all the political correctness nonsense. It handled the problem intelligently, I thought.

The cinematographer, Robert Schaefer, did a terrific job with this, too, and that is another reason I have come to really enjoy this film. The visuals - and the audio - are outstanding.

None of the characters are particularly likable but I thought Billy Bob Thornton's "Hank Grotowski" was so interesting a character that I concentrated more on that than whether I liked him or not. However, I wound up liking him, anyway, and boy, did his character change in this film. There is a steamy sex scene in here with Billy Bob and Halle Barry that was quite the talk when the film was released. I didn't think it was all that it was made out to be. I've seen steamier moments such as Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger going at it in the non-rated version of "The Getaway."

Overall, this a rough film in spots but I think it is a solid, underrated drama that offers far more than the "celebrated" sex scene. This is a well-made movie.


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