7.1/10
74,141
525 user 152 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.

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2,821 ( 450)

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ON DISC
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
...
Harvey Shoonmaker
...
Phil Huggins
...
Tommy Roulaine
...
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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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$133,208 (USA) (4 January 2002)

Gross:

$31,252,964 (USA) (31 May 2002)
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Company Credits

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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

(at around 1h 3 mins) Hank mentions to Leticia that he bought Clement's on Prospect Street. In the preceding scene however, Hank is seen looking at the same gas station with the entrance door displaying "1049 East Arlene Hwy". See more »

Quotes

Hank Grotowski: What's that? Some kinda... some kinda annual... school annual or something?"
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in twenties: the series (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Man
(2001)
Performed by The Jayhawks
Written by The Jayhawks
Published by Abstinthe Music/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Co.
Courtesy of American Recordings
Produced by Asche & Spencer (as Asche and Spencer)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

White Man's Burden Redux
1 September 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What are you repulsed by? Perhaps it's having sex with women of African origin inspite of the fact that you are a White male raised in a racist culture that dehmanises them. Add to this predicament, that you are a retired, widowed prison corrections officer who's only son kills himself because he feels he's failed you because he is not racist enough. Even worse, you become enligthtened enough to realise that .. you were ALWAYS wrong.

This is a brilliant story told from the rather selfish perspective of the White male. Mark Forster has directed a tour de force so intricate and psychologically honest that the story literally TELLS itself. Indeed, I'd bet this story organically spewed from souls of screenwirters Milo Addica & Will Rokos. They won't top this fete anytime soon. Such a gateway of insight only comes around once in a lifetime.

As a huge fan of David Mamet and Sam Shepard I am biased to appreciate a well balanced story, illustrated with terse dialogue, structured acting and effective filmic devices (i.e., the use of "white" paint", "black" coffee and "chocolate" ice cream in the film).

Any film student will also appreciate the poetic use of foreshadowing and irony in this film. This truly is SOLID filmaking that takes real chances with provocative subject matter.

The acting is superb more because of the Direction. To be certain: this is a Director's Film. Every aspect of Thorton's and Berry's performances is the result of very savvy Direction and attention to dramatic detail.

Kudos to Mr. Forster. I look forward his upcoming film "Neverland" with great anticipation.




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