7.1/10
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518 user 153 critic

Monster's Ball (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 March 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer

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After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director:

Marc Forster
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Popularity
2,034 ( 274)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Hank Grotowski
Taylor Simpson Taylor Simpson ... Lucille
Gabrielle Witcher Gabrielle Witcher ... Betty
Heath Ledger ... Sonny Grotowski
Amber Rules Amber Rules ... Vera
Peter Boyle ... Buck Grotowski
Charles Cowan Jr. Charles Cowan Jr. ... Willie Cooper
Taylor LaGrange Taylor LaGrange ... Darryl Cooper
Yasiin Bey ... Ryrus Cooper (as Mos Def)
Anthony Bean Anthony Bean ... Dappa Smith
Francine Segal ... Georgia Ann Paynes
John McConnell ... Harvey Shoonmaker
Marcus Lyle Brown ... Phil Huggins
Milo Addica ... Tommy Roulaine
Leah Loftin Leah Loftin ... Booter
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Storyline

Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pasado nos condena See more »

Filming Locations:

Laplace, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$174,109, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,252,964, 2 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vanessa Williams was offered the role of Leticia, but turned it down because of the full frontal nudity. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 30 mins) When Leticia is working in the diner she puts the glass top back on the cake stand twice. See more »

Quotes

Hank Grotowski: What's that? Some kinda... some kinda annual... school annual or something?"
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to Sam, Austin, Gabrielle. Scott Lambert is thanked twice. See more »

Alternate Versions

The video was eventually released uncut in the USA in 2003 with the love scene intact, it is under the label "Signature Series". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.61 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Man
(2001)
Performed by The Jayhawks
Written by The Jayhawks
Published by Abstinthe Music/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Co.
Courtesy of American Recordings
Produced by Asche & Spencer (as Asche and Spencer)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Acting Fills Out Taut Small Town Story
20 December 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Monster's Ball" is the fourth of the 2001 movies for grown-ups about adults dealing with death. Here the main characters find redemption through personal relationships and provide hope.

While some in the audience complained it was too slow, the original script by Milo Addica and Will Rokos feels like an expansion of a short story, as the outlines of the plot are fairly simple and not all the back story is explained, and riddled with coincidences barely made feasible by taking place in a small town.

Director Marc Forster finds a way to visually communicate the difference between sex and intimacy.

But the actors fill the spaces of inarticulate characters with complex performances, not just award-winning Halle Berry (a long way from "X Men"). Billy Bob Thornton starts out slightly less laconic than in "The Man Who Wasn't There" but very gradually finds the ability and a reason to smile.

Less attention has been paid to the excellence in smaller roles by Heath Ledger (yes hunky Heath) and Peter Boyle.

Country music is used in the background only when the radio is on; it's a nice local station they got there that plays Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

(originally written 2/17/2002)


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