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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

30 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monster: Asesina en serie  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$86,831 (USA) (28 December 2003)

Gross:

$34,469,210 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Perry from the band Journey was the music consultant. See more »

Goofs

When Aileen Wuornos gets nabbed, the stains on her grey sweatshirt change noticeably several times. 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 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) 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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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.


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