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Monster's Ball (2001)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  1 March 2002 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 65,939 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 513 user | 158 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Monster's Ball (2001)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 19 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
Anthony Bean ...
Dappa Smith
...
Georgia Ann Paynes
John McConnell ...
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:

£486,017 (UK) (7 June 2002)

Gross:

£2,267,433 (UK) (19 July 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Angela Bassett purportedly turned down the role of Leticia, stating "I wasn't going to be a prostitute on film..." However, Lions Gate Production President Michael Paseornek and the film's producer Lee Daniels rebut Bassett stating that she was never even offered the role, and was already committed to another film. See more »

Goofs

When Hank approaches Leticia's truck in the driveway, he puts a plastic gasoline can down next to the driveway. After she backs out, the can is gone although Hank has not picked it up. See more »

Quotes

Buck Grotowski: Damn porch monkeys! Your mother, she hated them niggers too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Vampire Diaries: Monster's Ball (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Broken Up and Blue
(1998)
Performed by Red Meat
Written by Jill Olson
Published by Olson Girl Publishing (ASCAP)
Administered by Bug Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Ranchero Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Southern Gothic - dark and disturbing
13 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Monster's Ball is a compelling film of family conflict, rage and redemption. Halle Berry throws herself into this role like a prizefighter who leaves it all in the ring, and wins by unanimous decision. Billy Bob Thornton gives an electrifying performance as a man grappling with his demons and wanting his better self to emerge victorious.

This movie is a study in ambiguity. The characters are complex with human imperfection, no one (with the exception of Hank's father, played by Peter Boyle) emerging as completely likable or entirely bad. Hank's son played by Heath Ledger fulfills the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and it's never clear that anyone truly gets whats coming to them.

I'm not sure one should read too much into this movie as a study of attitudes towards race in today's America, but as a portrayal of human frailty and the continuing quest for hope and optimism, Monster's Ball is a can't-miss film experience.


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