7.1/10
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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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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

(at around 30 mins) The execution of character Lawrence Musgrove was filmed using the actual retired Louisiana electric chair in the very room where it was used. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) Credits list special thanks to the non-existent Kernner fire department, while thanking the City of Kenner. See more »

Quotes

Buck Grotowski: Who are you?
Leticia Musgrove: Um...
Buck Grotowski: You just walked in my house.
Leticia Musgrove: My bad. I thought...
Buck Grotowski: Hank? You lookin' for Hank?
Leticia Musgrove: Yes. Is he here?
Buck Grotowski: Who are you?
Leticia Musgrove: My name is Leticia Musgrove... and, uh... me and Hank is, uh... friends.
Buck Grotowski: Musgrove? Please, little darlin', have you got a cigarette?
Leticia Musgrove: Yeah, but it looks to me like you really don't need to be smoking.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in A Haunted House (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Your Love Is My Rest
(1995)
Performed by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Written by John Hiatt
Published by Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc.
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Southern Gothic - dark and disturbing
13 January 2007 | by 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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