Lions Gate Films | Release Date: December 26, 2001
4.2
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 113 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
44
Mixed:
15
Negative:
54
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
10
EricS.Aug 9, 2002
"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 "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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DennisM.Jul 9, 2002
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 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? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MichaelF.Jan 16, 2002
Simply amazing from beginning to end. One of the years 5 best.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
Carol-AnnC.Feb 23, 2002
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!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MikeM.Aug 20, 2004
Excellent! edge of your seat film. It will engross you totally!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RobertH.Feb 23, 2002
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AmyC.Oct 7, 2002
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnE.Mar 18, 2002
Great movie. Fantastic acting, redemptive power of love, Hally Berry...what more could you want?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
[Anonymous]Apr 27, 2002
A good film with good performances, but it winning best actress is a joke. Sissy Spacek was infinitely better.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SaraSep 16, 2003
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. 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnM.Feb 28, 2002
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, 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- Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
H.S.Nov 30, 2003
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BlakeJ.Mar 21, 2007
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KeithG.Mar 1, 2004
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
PatC.Mar 11, 2004
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
MarcK.Mar 22, 2002
Incredibly over-rated. Not at all believable. Halle Berry's great to look at. Other than that, that's about it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
SpangleJan 10, 2017
Monster's Ball is just an average film with excellent performances. While the acting can cover up many of its blemishes, the film crumbles into nothing but a safe Hollywood romance between two very different people who decide to solve racismMonster's Ball is just an average film with excellent performances. While the acting can cover up many of its blemishes, the film crumbles into nothing but a safe Hollywood romance between two very different people who decide to solve racism together. The first half of the film, however, is exceptional. Telling the story of a death row inmate who has seemingly been rehabilitated, but still must die, the first half is incredibly tragic. The second half is just a corrections officer stealing the dead guy's girl without ever telling her. A thoroughly Southern film, Monster's Ball is the both the best of times and the worst times with the final product being almost as tragic as the first half.

Pairing together corrections officer Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) with Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry), Monster's Ball is largely a story about prejudice. Hank is mostly prejudiced himself, but nothing like his father Buck (Peter Boyle). His son, Sonny (Heath Ledger), is more open and is perceived as being soft by his father and grandfather. All corrections officers (though Buck is retired), Hank and Sonny must preside over the electrocution of Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs). A docile and rehabilitated man, this portion is tragic as we see him display his artistic talents and say goodbye to his wife and son. In many ways, director Marc Forster channels The Green Mile, which had come out two years prior. Also a parable about race, Forster merely discards the magical negro angle and the innocent messenger of God portion. Instead, he opts for a realistic and gritty portrayal of electrocution without any of the Hollywoodized elements. For this, Monster's Ball is terrifically rewarding in the first half. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs shocked me in this film with a terrifically reserved and emotional performance. Trying to put on a tough face while coping with the incredible turmoil of knowing you are set to die, his performance as Lawrence steals the film. It is a shame he has not really been given more chances to act in better films, because he truly nails this role.

This first half also begins to introduce us to Leticia and her relationship with her son. Obese for his age, Leticia is meticulous in trying to get him to lose weight, but he cannot help himself from eating. Obviously torn apart by the death of Lawrence, Berry does a tremendous job in the first half and when with her son. Down on her luck with a busted car and nearing eviction from her home, Berry plays a woman without much. She gets less when even more tragic occurrences arise, but throughout Berry is terrific. Emotionally raw, yet distant, she turns in a truly somber performance that earned her an Oscar and rightfully so. However, unfortunately for Berry, the film gets worse when she is on screen more as it means it is time for the bad romance between her and Hank. Beginning to have sex with her when she is emotionally distraught to concealing that he was a corrections officer when Lawrence died, this relationship is always doomed. Of course, the film ends with her knowing and him never mentioning a thing. For many, this may be realistic and authentic with how their relationship is more important than one element, but this one element is pretty big. It is not like Hank could have stopped the execution, but is it not common courtesy to let somebody know you saw their husband die before you begin sleeping with them? Seems like the right thing to do, but Forster's romance is so half-baked and emotionally exploitative, this is hardly the only issue with the second half. Even worse, the second half is incredibly dull. After an intense and emotional first half, the second half resorts to a long and drawn out sex scene that adds nothing to the film and Hank jumping the gun repeatedly in a relationship that is doomed to fail (declaring she is his girlfriend, kicking his racist dad out of the house, and naming his gas station after her). This romance is supposed to be subtle and authentic, but just feels like watching paint dry.

A mixed bag, the first half of Monster's Ball is excellent. If only that could have been the whole film though, as the second half moves at a snail's pace and sort of just dies at the end. Though the acting is excellent - particularly by Halle Berry, Sean Combs, and the always magnificent Peter Boyle - the film's second half just feels too convenient and without any sort of emotional pay-off. It just lingers and drags until Forster feels the film is long enough to mercifully end it all.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
KrissTolliday14Oct 7, 2016
Bleak and depressing which doesn't make for an overly enjoyable film. The performances are touted as the standout of the piece and it's hard to not say that if it wasn't for them this film wouldn't be worth watching at all. The casting teamBleak and depressing which doesn't make for an overly enjoyable film. The performances are touted as the standout of the piece and it's hard to not say that if it wasn't for them this film wouldn't be worth watching at all. The casting team really take the credit for any high scores the film receives. The performances are top notch individually however the chemistry between the leads is lacking. Their is little to believe in that these two would become a couple . Contrivance also plays a large part to how they meet. Whether this is to do with the writing or direction it is hard to say but although Thornton's performance is excellent (he is fast becoming one of my favourite chameleons), his character border on the line of stubborn hard nut to naive and feeble. This is obviously supposed to be the transformation but it feel unheralded. The inciting incident that instigates this journey is rushed, unmotivated and confusing which leaves a sour taste right from the off. The problems far outweigh anything else. Not enough Ledger, far too slow in places, too morbid, lack of explanation or pay-offs and a resolution that resolves little. Perhaps it is too close to how people live in that some people's lives are just tragic but as a piece of entertainment to watch on a Friday night it is the opposite of what you want to see. Few scenes strike a cord but not as highly as the performances warrant. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
BroyaxJan 26, 2017
D'abord Billy Bob, excellent acteur, du charisme et une "gueule", voilà un gars doué pour incarner des personnages complexes, tiraillés par leurs contradictions intérieures et leurs démons. C'est le cas ici même s'il ne fait que suivre unD'abord Billy Bob, excellent acteur, du charisme et une "gueule", voilà un gars doué pour incarner des personnages complexes, tiraillés par leurs contradictions intérieures et leurs démons. C'est le cas ici même s'il ne fait que suivre un scénario bien propre sur lui, moralisateur et bon enfant mais il le fait bien, c'est son personnage. Donc le message est passé, le racisme c'est mal et tant pis pour le réalisme (vivre ensemble, tout ça).

Ensuite, Halle Berry la bien foutue, oscarisée... oscarisée ? on se demande bien pourquoi ? allons, il faut raison garder, cesser de mater ses nichons et tout le reste, puis, à tête reposée, constater qu'elle ne sait pas jouer : un joli cul c'est très bien mais ça ne fait pas une actrice pour autant. Comparons-la à Sharon Stone dans Baisic instinct euh Basic instinct et force est de constater (encore) que Sharon sait jouer, elle.

Voilà, ça c'est fait. En ce qui concerne le film, habilement réalisé par ailleurs (belle musique soit dit en passant), le déferlement d'évènements dramatiques dont il abuse est invraisemblable même si, nous le savons, Victor Hugo a écrit Les misérables. Mais soit, on en rigole presque au troisième degré et le film reste regardable malgré Halle.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
4
RobertaJun 17, 2002
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!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
RichardJul 15, 2002
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
XivixZ.Jun 30, 2002
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
AlexK.Mar 4, 2002
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
RodrigoR.Aug 7, 2004
The only thing that might have made this film worth the time waste was Halley Berry's acting... and it's just not enough.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
BurcO.Jun 24, 2002
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?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
JohnC.Jul 22, 2002
Polemic. "That boy he just love all those red gumballs." What writing!!! This is Hollywood at its very worst. Self-aggrandizing and emotionally false.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
DannyG.Sep 15, 2002
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
RyanK.Jun 1, 2005
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
PompèE.Jun 28, 2005
This film was terrible. I was embarrassed, actually. How did Berry win the Oscar? She deserved the Razzie! Bad film. And barely any sex!
0 of 0 users found this helpful