7.3/10
112,064
541 user 187 critic

Monster (2003)

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

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 25 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
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Lawyer
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Charles
Kaitlin Riley ...
Cree Ivey ...
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Storyline

The true story of serial killer Aileen Wuernos who was convicted of luring men to their death and eventually executed in 2002. In 1989, she was working as a prostitute and finally makes a friend when she meets and begins a relationship with a young woman, Selby. Determined to straighten out her life, she tries to find legitimate work but with little education and limited social skills, she fails at every turn. She starts working as a hooker hitching rides along the local interstate highway and after robbing a few clients has an encounter with a vicious client whom she kills in self-defense. After that however she just takes to killing clients taking their money and car. Once arrested she claims self-defense but is eventually convicted. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first female serial killer of America See more »


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

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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:

$86,831 (USA) (26 December 2003)

Gross:

$34,468,224 (USA) (28 May 2004)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The biker bar scenes were filmed at "the Last Resort" - a bar frequented by the real life Aileen Wuornos, and the site where she was actually arrested. The bar owner (who capitalized on Wuornos' infamy by hanging a sign out in front of the bar advertising "cool beer and Killer Women") makes a cameo as the bartender who threatens to cut off Wuornos for being over her tab limit. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie Aileen sits under an overpass and in the next shot she checks her revolver, apparently still in the same location. At the end of the movie we see the same shot of Aileen under the overpass, but in the sequence just before that we saw how Aileen has dumped the revolver already. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[narrating]
Aileen: I always wanted to be in the movies.
[pause]
Aileen: When I was little I thought for sure that one day, I could be a big, big star. Or maybe just beautiful... beautiful and rich, like the women on TV. Yeah, I had a lot of dreams. And I guess you can call me a real romantic, because I truly believe that one day, they'll come true. So I dreamed about it for hours. As the years went by, I learnt to stop sharing them with people. They said I was dreaming. But back then, I believed it...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Based on a True Story: The Making of 'Monster' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake Your Groove Thing
(1978)
Written by Dino Fekaris, Freddie Perren (as Frederick J. Perren)
Performed by Peaches & Herb
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I knew Aileen.
11 November 2006 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Why would someone want to be comment number 458? Because it might mean something to somebody. This movie meant a lot to me.

I spent about four hours, sole-to-sole, in the back of a pickup truck hitch hiking with her and a friend of mine in Florida. This was before she had killed anybody, I believe.

Years later, I saw the "wanted" drawing. It sort of rang a bell, but a lot of usual suspects look like that, don't they? What are the chances? Then, they caught her and showed the first photo, then gave both the nickname (like a cousin), and the real name (like another cousin, only spelled in Irish.) At the time, she mentioned the spelling with an "A." I asked her if she was Irish and told her about my two cousins. What a small world, right? She either told me her last name and I assumed it, or told me she was Greek. The point being, the whole name aspect was the first part of a four hour life story discussion we had. And you don't forget four hours of a face like that either. The life stories matched. It was her.

The mood swings Charlize Theron portrays are perfect, as are the mannerisms, body language, clothes, teeth, complexion, hair, the body fat, manner of speaking, that strutting walk and just everything. It was absolutely uncanny. You never forget someone like that, and then when they pop up alive like that again. It was just unreal.

She was mood swinging, or perhaps "cycling," the whole time I was with her. I imagine if that was portrayed realistically, the movie would be unwatchable. I remember thinking at the time, her behavior seemed like the popular portrayal of those "possessed."

After I saw Monster more than twenty years later, I called the other guy that was with me. We have remained friends over the years. I told him "Oscar this, Oscar that," blah blah blah, just out of the shock of reliving the experience of Aileen again. The fact that she was played by the glamorous, beautiful, Charlize Theron on top of it, was beyond all comprehension. What a transformation! Of course, my beloved, goof-ball buddy was sitting beside her sleeping most of the time in the truck. His head kept on falling on her shoulder and she would push it off. It was like Three Stooges. They shared the Doritos like it was the school cafeteria or something. Can you imagine, in hindsight? Yes, it is good for a few jokes, I admit it. She hadn't killed anyone yet, so far as I can tell from reading about her and piecing the time-line back together. This was the first and only time I had been in Florida in those college-age days, so putting that together was fairly easy.

I don't know if I ever met anyone, before or since, that I have felt more sympathy for at the time. She was very talkative, about herself and the hard times she'd had. She was believable. She wasn't scamming us or anything, as I first suspected, just shooting the breeze. I wanted to cry for her. I think I even did so later, in hindsight. She was unreal. She had, what I thought, were "multiple personalities." Really just two, she would laugh one second, cry the next. She was like a big, tough hard-ass girl of eight years. She told me all about her childhood abuse, the horror of being a prostitute, and taking beatings and abuse from the men. She mentioned living in hotels. She didn't seem like too much of a drinker or a druggie. I just thought she was deeply, emotionally disturbed. In those days, we should have said "mental." My friend and I were a couple of happy middle-class college snowbird guys on Christmas break. She had about the worst kind of life of anyone I had ever met. She was only about four or five years older than us, but looked twice her age. When I thought later about the hand she was dealt, compared to mine, you better believe the religious feelings and tears well up. They still do. I can't bear to watch the movie sometimes, or at least parts of it.

Yes, what she did was wrong, if not evil. I don't think she was evil though, at all. She had the innocence lost, naive but semi-funny sweetness portrayed in the movie. I don't usually contemplate these things, its just that you could see there was a good person there, just profoundly _____ed up. For some reason, I was proud of her when she wanted the execution. She was nothing if not honest. As an outside observer, I don't know how you feel sorry for someone like that, but if you knew what happened, you just might. I have no agenda in that regard. Watch this and ask yourself if monsters are made, or are they born? This movie captures my feelings perfectly. If you have read this far, you can see the conflict. The movie reflects that so well, I can not do it justice by praising it with words.

If you were a victim of her actions, I wouldn't blame you for hating what I'm writing. If I read something like this about Charlie Manson, I'd never believe it.

I just want to thank everyone involved in telling this bizarre story.

I would advise people to see this if they want to be challenged, not just entertained. I've read some of the headlines on the index. So should you.


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