User Score
4.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 90
  2. Negative: 45 out of 90
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. EricS.
    Aug 9, 2002
    10
    "Monster's Ball" is as close to a perfect movie as I've seen in a long time. As for the 1990 Georgia that everybody calls fake, I say, this is fiction. This didn't really happen and the screenwriters created a world where the only villain is hate and the only beauty is love. The creation of this world is not meant to create an "emotionally false" atmosphere, but to make the "Monster's Ball" is as close to a perfect movie as I've seen in a long time. As for the 1990 Georgia that everybody calls fake, I say, this is fiction. This didn't really happen and the screenwriters created a world where the only villain is hate and the only beauty is love. The creation of this world is not meant to create an "emotionally false" atmosphere, but to make the Thornton/Berry romance seem like the most important thing in the world in the eyes of the viewer. And it worked for me. "Monster's Ball" was the Best Picture of 2001-2002. Collapse
  2. DennisM.
    Jul 9, 2002
    10
    This is one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen. One mark of a good movie is that I can't get it out of my head for several days. I find thid movie stunning. I have to ask if the critics that hated this fil, were they watching the same movie? David Edelstein, what are you thinking about?
  3. MichaelF.
    Jan 16, 2002
    10
    Simply amazing from beginning to end. One of the years 5 best.
  4. Carol-AnnC.
    Feb 23, 2002
    10
    Absolutely sensational film that explores the issues about real life people and the mistakes that we all make. The scenes between Haley and Billy Bob explode on the screen. I actually heard old ladies gasping in the theater. Go see this film!
  5. MikeM.
    Aug 20, 2004
    10
    Excellent! edge of your seat film. It will engross you totally!
  6. RobertH.
    Feb 23, 2002
    10
    Absolutely riveting performances by an ensemble cast that keeps the audience on the edge of its' seat. Clearly heads and tails above the usual trash that Hollywood routinely regurgitates. The viewer can actually feel and connect with the characters. It is a must see movie.
  7. AmyC.
    Oct 7, 2002
    9
    Great movie with a truly original, anti-Hollywood ending. This movie certainly won't please the "Forrest Gump" crowd, who like their movies uplifting, predictable, and pretty, but this searing little picture deserves all the praise it has received. Billy Bob Thornton is remarkable. Thank God movies like this are made.
  8. JohnE.
    Mar 18, 2002
    9
    Great movie. Fantastic acting, redemptive power of love, Hally Berry...what more could you want?
  9. [Anonymous]
    Apr 27, 2002
    9
    A good film with good performances, but it winning best actress is a joke. Sissy Spacek was infinitely better.
  10. Sara
    Sep 16, 2003
    9
    Monster's Ball is very good throughout, but it all comes together remarkably in the end, a peaceful, sad, wholly unpredictable conclusion that leave you soaring out of the theater, though the rest of the film is not exactly uplifting. Yeah - - - and the guy who liked A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator... I'm just going to assume that was a joke... Admitting you like movies like that Monster's Ball is very good throughout, but it all comes together remarkably in the end, a peaceful, sad, wholly unpredictable conclusion that leave you soaring out of the theater, though the rest of the film is not exactly uplifting. Yeah - - - and the guy who liked A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator... I'm just going to assume that was a joke... Admitting you like movies like that is like admitting that you're a pedophile. Expand
  11. JohnM.
    Feb 28, 2002
    9
    The acting in "Monster's Ball" isn't really acting. It transcends that definition. The characters seem real, and their situations see real. As for the infamous, gratuitous sex scene - yes, it was a little unnecessary. But overall, this film is remarkable in terms of how the actors convey such a strong sense of hope for one another. One of the year's best. Grade: A-
  12. H.S.
    Nov 30, 2003
    9
    I was once briefly engaged to a female prison guard with a preschooler who occasionally had contact with death row inmates. She was overweight. I loved the silence and actions speaking loudly in the movie. I saw it get the awards and had no idea how important it would be to me. It's not about a movie to me but rather a glimpse of reality in all it's horror. i hope that it's I was once briefly engaged to a female prison guard with a preschooler who occasionally had contact with death row inmates. She was overweight. I loved the silence and actions speaking loudly in the movie. I saw it get the awards and had no idea how important it would be to me. It's not about a movie to me but rather a glimpse of reality in all it's horror. i hope that it's audience is yet to be found, that it helps a lot in a way that it hasn't yet. Expand
  13. BlakeJ.
    Mar 21, 2007
    9
    The most depressing movie I have ever seen, by far. Halle Berry's performance is mesmerizing. The scene in the hospital brings tears to my eyes, every time I watch it. For some reason, although it brings me down when I watch it, I watch it several times a year.
  14. KeithG.
    Mar 1, 2004
    7
    This movie takes development to its extreme and does so well. Billy Bob Thornton's character turns from a redneck, scaring his son's black friends off his property with a gun, to a man who kicks his father out to have a woman (Berry) move in.
  15. PatC.
    Mar 11, 2004
    6
    Engaging premise. Trails off somewhat to vaguely state whatever it was it was trying to say, something about moving on as either a insightful decision or an inevitable process. Either way, what the characters move on to seems to promise more vicious turns of fate in the future. Salvaged by dramatic performances - Berry is quite good. Admittedly a show which can be timely and beneficial Engaging premise. Trails off somewhat to vaguely state whatever it was it was trying to say, something about moving on as either a insightful decision or an inevitable process. Either way, what the characters move on to seems to promise more vicious turns of fate in the future. Salvaged by dramatic performances - Berry is quite good. Admittedly a show which can be timely and beneficial for people in certain circumstances. Expand
  16. MarcK.
    Mar 22, 2002
    5
    Incredibly over-rated. Not at all believable. Halle Berry's great to look at. Other than that, that's about it.
  17. Roberta
    Jun 17, 2002
    4
    It was just okay. Halle B's accent switched a few times which bugged me. Best Actress? NO. That award should have gone to Dame Judy for Iris. Brilliant! THAT'S acting!!
  18. Richard
    Jul 15, 2002
    4
    Contrived malarkey through and through, with only Billy Bob navigating his way through the morass with any grace. The ending is interesting and well-played, but it's not worth the anvils getting dropped on your head for the previous 90 minutes.
  19. XivixZ.
    Jun 30, 2002
    3
    What the heck is up with Hollywood thinking that crappy endings are good? This movie is pretty good, it has a built up and cry effect like "The Green Mile" but its just humorous seeing P. Diddy fry. This is a cool movie because it gets up close and personal to racism and gives it a swift kick in the butt. But when the credits roll and you turn off the T.V. you realized this movie was just What the heck is up with Hollywood thinking that crappy endings are good? This movie is pretty good, it has a built up and cry effect like "The Green Mile" but its just humorous seeing P. Diddy fry. This is a cool movie because it gets up close and personal to racism and gives it a swift kick in the butt. But when the credits roll and you turn off the T.V. you realized this movie was just a 2 hour waste of your life. Don't watch it. Expand
  20. AlexK.
    Mar 4, 2002
    2
    Pretentious Southern melodrama in the guise of a "meaningful" independent film. Billy Bob pulls the same performance as in "The Man Who Wasn't There," except this time it DOESN'T work, and as for Halle Berry's 10-minute porn scene for "art's sake"... well, enough said. This movie disappointed me terribly--it is manipulative, inconsistent trash. If you want to see a Pretentious Southern melodrama in the guise of a "meaningful" independent film. Billy Bob pulls the same performance as in "The Man Who Wasn't There," except this time it DOESN'T work, and as for Halle Berry's 10-minute porn scene for "art's sake"... well, enough said. This movie disappointed me terribly--it is manipulative, inconsistent trash. If you want to see a real independent gem, I recommend "Lantana," or, if you still haven't seen it, "In the Bedroom." Expand
  21. RodrigoR.
    Aug 7, 2004
    2
    The only thing that might have made this film worth the time waste was Halley Berry's acting... and it's just not enough.
  22. BurcO.
    Jun 24, 2002
    2
    The acting is sublime, but the suicidal thoughts you get at the end prove more potent than the great acting. How depressing can you get?
  23. JohnC.
    Jul 22, 2002
    1
    Polemic. "That boy he just love all those red gumballs." What writing!!! This is Hollywood at its very worst. Self-aggrandizing and emotionally false.
  24. DannyG.
    Sep 15, 2002
    1
    I know deep deep but very deep down this is a good movie, i just couldn't see that in the two and a half horrific hours i was in the theather. I like dramas as much as the next guy, but this one is so depressing and boring i just wanted to shoot myself, i was looking for a gun the entire movie to get me out of my misery, you want a good drama you can enjoy and survive?, stick to I know deep deep but very deep down this is a good movie, i just couldn't see that in the two and a half horrific hours i was in the theather. I like dramas as much as the next guy, but this one is so depressing and boring i just wanted to shoot myself, i was looking for a gun the entire movie to get me out of my misery, you want a good drama you can enjoy and survive?, stick to beautiful mind and gladiator. This one is a little more dramatic than we bargained for. Expand
  25. RyanK.
    Jun 1, 2005
    0
    Nothing but cheap, depressing & degrading movie. Doesn't do anything for black women nor black people in General. The only excuse for this movie is so Hollywood could see her screwing the O' Massa butt naked & that's a dirty cheap excuse to win an Oscar. Monsterball is nothing to be proud of. GET REAL!!!! Oh, & I get sick of people making excuses saying Hallie's Nothing but cheap, depressing & degrading movie. Doesn't do anything for black women nor black people in General. The only excuse for this movie is so Hollywood could see her screwing the O' Massa butt naked & that's a dirty cheap excuse to win an Oscar. Monsterball is nothing to be proud of. GET REAL!!!! Oh, & I get sick of people making excuses saying Hallie's character was raped when she was willing to perform like a weak needy hoe. Expand
  26. PompèE.
    Jun 28, 2005
    0
    This film was terrible. I was embarrassed, actually. How did Berry win the Oscar? She deserved the Razzie! Bad film. And barely any sex!
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    80
    Burning with a quiet intensity, Monster's Ball is bolstered by a poetic, intelligent sensibility not seen in an American film since Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line."
  2. 90
    The actors make it unique and unforgettable.
  3. Halle Berry is something else as Leticia Musgrove, the widow of an inmate who's just been executed by Hank and his crew, and that something else is commandingly passionate.