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Monster (2003)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 87,210 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 520 user | 183 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

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Title: Monster (2003)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 26 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Donna
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Gene / Stuttering "John"
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Evan / Undercover "John"
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Will / Daddy "John"
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Horton / Last "John"
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Cop
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Chuck
Stephan Jones ...
Lawyer
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Charles
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Storyline

A dark tale based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, one of America's first female serial killers. Wuornos had a difficult and cruel childhood plagued by abuse and drug use in Michigan. She became a prostitute by the age of thirteen, the same year she became pregnant. She eventually moved to Florida where she began earning a living as a highway prostitute--servicing the desires of semi-truck drivers. The tale focuses on the nine month period between 1989 and 1990, during which Wuornos had a lesbian relationship with a woman named Selby. And during that very same time, she also began murdering her clientèle in order to get money without using sex. This turned the tables on a rather common phenomenon of female highway prostitutes being the victims of serial killers--instead Wuornos, herself, carried out the deeds of a cold-blooded killer. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

killer | prostitute | highway | money | beach | See more »

Taglines:

The first female serial killer of America See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monster: Asesina en serie  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$661,783 (Italy) (30 April 2004)

Gross:

£2,435,557 (UK) (11 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patty Jenkins has said that she knew Charlize Theron was perfect for the role of Aileen Wuornos when she awoke to a scene of The Devil's Advocate (1997) on television. Jenkins at the time was writing her film Monster. She said that an actress that would allow a closeup of her nose running, as Theron did, would be open enough to pull off the challenging role of Wuornos. See more »

Goofs

After Aileen Wuornos kills the first john, she stands over his body with her underwear around her knees. The shot switches to the dead man on the ground, then back to Aileen, with her underwear and pants all the way up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aileen: I always wanted to be in the movies...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.22 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Stop Believin'
(1981)
Written by Steve Perry (as S. Perry), Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon (as Neal J. Schon)
Performed by Journey
Courtesy of Sony Music
Under License from Wixen Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gripping and Tragic
19 January 2004 | by (The Garden State) – See all my reviews

I sometimes wonder why more people can't be nice. I wonder why the sins of the father have to plague the lives of his children. Why people rape, abuse, hurt, and maim. In a perfect world everyone would be happy. In a perfect world no one would ever want. In a perfect world a women like Aileen Wurnos would not have been sentenced to die on death row, and in a real world I wouldn't have to write about a movie like MONSTER. It's a movie that drips with exceptional performances, and yet leaves your soul so cold to the core.

MONSTER is the tragic true story of a woman who longed for a friend, and nobody came to her aid. It stars Charlize Theron (The Devil's Advocate) as Aileen Wurnos, one of the first women to ever die on death row. Of course the film doesn't begin that way, when we first meet her she's sitting in the rain with a gun contemplating ending it all. You see she's has no future. She has nothing but a past that's not worth repeating, and all she has in the world is in a storage locker. What little money she has, is gained by being a prostitute. But one day in a little bar in Daytona Beach, Florida she meets and falls for a woman that finally makes her happy.

The woman is named Selby (Christina Ricci, The Opposite of Sex), and she's a young lesbian just trying to figure out the world for herself. At first this relationship puts Aileen on cloud nine. She's willing to do anything to provide for the first person that ever loved her.

But one night when Aileen kills a john who gets a little to rough, a series of events take our characters on a one way trip with destiny. Leaving the landscape of these two women's lives are forever changed. If only someone had just been nice to Aileen.

MONSTER is not a happy film. It's one of those movies that leaves you dead at the end. You lose faith in humanity; you lose faith in yourself. I like these kinds of movies, cause they convict me. Here I am a young guy who sometimes gets ticked off at a driver in front of me on the road. For one split moment I have murderous anger when that guy cuts me off. What if I was in Aileen's situation? Would I do the same thing? I would hope not, but hey you never know.

If there is one performance that will tear you up inside this year, it's Theron's. For the entire movie you can hardly believe that this is, in real life, a beautiful women. Theron throws all the glamour out the window, gaining weight and frumping herself up to the point of being ugly. This is a complete 360 and she's so engrossing. She carries the film to heights. A lesser actress might turn in a wonderful performance, but Theron was Aileen. This is some brilliant acting.

I also give Kudos to Bruce Dern . His character has the distinction of being the only person who shows any real compassion for Aileen. While a small role it sticks out because it's the only real bit of bright light in an otherwise dark and gloomy picture.

The screenplay by Patty Jenkins (Who also directed) does a great job of giving Aileen and those around her life. What Aileen did was reprehensible. What she did was evil, and she must pay for that. But it allows for sympathy. Not all evil is dark and black, and not all people who murder are 100% culpable. But yet you reap what you sow no matter what you're past.

MONSTER is a well-made, brilliantly acted film that's not for the weak of heart. It's engaging, engrossing, and realistic. I think I want to rush out and get the silliest comedy I can find right now, because I need something to offset the dark tone of this film. While it get a fine recommendation, I just hope that the next time you feel like treating someone like crap, you'll remember just how tragic the life of Aileen Wurnos turned tragic because nobody reached out.


90 of 125 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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