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Monster (2003)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  30 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 98,895 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 527 user | 182 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene / Stuttering "John"
Evan / Undercover "John"
Will / Daddy "John"
Horton / Last "John"
Stephan Jones ...
Kaitlin Riley ...
Cree Ivey ...


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


Based on a true story See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

30 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monster: Asesina en serie  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


£2,435,557 (UK) (11 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When they are sitting at the bus station, Aileen reaches into her jacket to give Selby some money. Selby's hand is on Aileen's knee. In the next shot, Aileen's legs have moved. See more »


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


Referenced in The Oscars (2013) See more »


Don't Stop Believin'
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 but incredibly depressing
14 February 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a true story this movie is about Ailen Wuornos, a prostitute, who killed quite a few men who she "serviced". She was convicted in 1990 and executed in 2002.

She's played by Charlize Theron who's just incredible. It starts off just before she began murdering men and has met Selby (Christina Ricci), an adorable lesbian who loves her. It basically chronicles their relationship and what led Wuornos to kill these men. Also she reaccounts her childhood and how she became a prostitute. It's more than a little depressing--it's a tragic story of a beaten woman who saw murder as the only way out. Only three murders are shown and that's more than enough. The violence is not glorified--it's bloody and sick and one is the most harrowing thing I've seen in years. What's so fascinating (and scary) about this film is that I actually began to sympathize with Wuornos! While I could never condone her actions you can see clearly what led her to it. This is a rare film--it makes a serial killer look sympathetic.

Theron is a wonder in this--she became Wuornos (who was very unattractive). She gained weight, shaved off her eyebrows, colored her hair, used contacts and dentures to change her appearance completely. Never once did I think I was seeing Theron acting--she BECAME Wuornos. A great performance--she'll easily get the Oscar for this one. Ricci is also good here. She's been ignored in the press but she nicely underplays the role of Selby and is a perfect contrast to Theron's acting. Also nice to see Bruce Dern in a small role.

Music is used very effectively here. They play songs of the time it took place (1980s) so you know when this is happening and also nicely complements the actions on screen (especially with Journey's "Don't Stop Believing").

A very good movie but a very depressing one. Proceed at your own risk.

184 of 210 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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