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



745 ( 104)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 26 wins & 23 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 »

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)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Lee is first shown interacting with a john, she shows him a photo of two young children claiming to be her children, and says she's trying to reach them and needed some cash for that. According to the Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992), the real Aileen Wuornos actually used this method to lure her johns into giving her money in exchange for sexual favors because her physical appearance was starting to degrade quickly on account of her wild lifestyle. She showed photos of her adoptive sister's children claiming to be her own children, which turns out to by her aunt's children (Aileen's cousins, for that matter), since Aileen was legally adopted by her own grandparents after her biological mother left her when she was still an infant. See more »


At the beginning of the film, Lee is sitting under an overpass of a major Interstate. Many of the cars passing by from when the film was made, not when it was set. 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 Dinner for Five: Episode #3.8 (2004) See more »


Shake Your Groove Thing
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

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.

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