(2003)

Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
ReelViews
A compelling, thought-provoking, and unsettling drama.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
Challenges audiences with an unrelieved portrait of self-destruction and horrific violence. American movies don't get much grimmer than this.
80
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Theron breaks through with a ferocious performance--a real career-changer.
75
Entertainment Weekly
In Monster Theron undergoes one of the most startling transformations in the history of movies.
75
New York Daily News
Any which way you describe this uncompromising movie, it will never sound palatable. Still, it features one of the most spectacular physical transformations by an actress hungry for a meaty role. I haven't used the term "tour de force" in all of 2003, but now it is time.
75
New York Post
Jenkins doesn't stint on the sickening reality of Wuornos' abhorrent behavior -- it's Theron's complex, deeply felt depiction of a thoroughly messed-up soul that forces us to look beyond the monstrous nature of her acts.
70
Variety
Gritty and compelling as Monster is, the script's not entirely satisfying elaboration of the central relationship and Ricci's somewhat ungiving performance limit the material to that of a superior telemovie rather than something emotionally richer, like "Boys Don't Cry."
70
This gifted actress (Charlize Theron), who hasn't always chosen her roles well, treats this as her big chance to show what she can do, and she's convincing enough that you're not constantly looking for a Hollywood star of more than average pulchritude under all the cosmetic baggage.
70
The New York Times
The movie's biggest disappointment is the vague, unfocused performance of Ms. Ricci, an actress known for taking risky, unsympathetic roles. Here she seems somewhat intimidated by her character.
60
Village Voice
Theron's empathetic victim-wrath and elemental female outrage almost trump the otherwise cartoonish gender-bending and award-grubbing po' folk put-on.

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