Monster

( 10 )

Overview

Model-turned-actress Charlize Theron leaves her glamorous image behind for this gritty drama, in which she plays a disturbed prostitute who becomes a serial killer. Aileen Wuornos Theron was a woman who survived a brutal and abusive childhood in Michigan to become a thick-skinned but emotionally damaged adult. Homeless most of her life, Wuornos subsisted by working as a street prostitute; later, when she was in Florida, down to her last five dollars and pondering suicide, she stopped into a bar for a beer. There,...
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Overview

Model-turned-actress Charlize Theron leaves her glamorous image behind for this gritty drama, in which she plays a disturbed prostitute who becomes a serial killer. Aileen Wuornos Theron was a woman who survived a brutal and abusive childhood in Michigan to become a thick-skinned but emotionally damaged adult. Homeless most of her life, Wuornos subsisted by working as a street prostitute; later, when she was in Florida, down to her last five dollars and pondering suicide, she stopped into a bar for a beer. There, Aileen met Selby Wall Christina Ricci, a woman in her early twenties who had been sent to live with relatives after her Christian parents became aware of her lesbian lifestyle. Selby is immediately attracted to Aileen, and while Aileen tells Selby she's never been in a lesbian relationship, she soon finds herself equally infatuated with her. Selby runs away from her family and moves into a cheap hotel with Aileen, who initially pays the bills by hooking. However, as their money runs low and Aileen finds herself unable to land a regular job, tensions mount between the two. One night, after a john attacks her, Aileen pulls a gun and kills the man. Although her first murder can be categorized as self-defense, Aileen's loathing for the men who pay her for sex becomes so extreme that she begins killing her customers regardless of their behavior. Meanwhile, Selby slowly becomes aware of the full extent of her lover's instability and the bloody consequences of her actions. Monster was inspired by the true story of Aileen Wuornos, whose life and death was chronicled in two documentaries by filmmaker Nick Broomfield, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, and Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer.
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Special Features

Theatrical Trailer; International Trailer; Making Of Featurette; DTS Film Making Demo Featurette; Interview with Patty Jenkins & Composer BT
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of 2003’s most remarkable movies, Monster is distinguished by Charlize Theron’s Oscar-winning performance. The glamorous Theron underwent an astounding metamorphosis to play Aileen Wuornos, the infamous Florida prostitute executed for the murders of seven men. She gained weight, made her hair stringy, took the cap off a chipped tooth, and added freckles to her face. More than the physical transformation, though, Theron dipped deep into her own psyche to come up with a characterization that made Wuornos -- by most accounts a pretty despicable human being -- not only understandable but sympathetic. The film revolves around Wuornos’s relationship with Selby Wall played superbly by Christina Ricci, whom she meets one day in a seedy bar. The couple set up house, and Wuornos, forced by lack of money to keep working as a prostitute, releases her pent-up rage by robbing and killing her johns. It may be difficult to imagine such unsavory material making a fine movie, but first-time director Patty Jenkins pulled it off. She doesn’t rely on flashy camera moves or narrative trickery; in fact, much of Monster is shot in a straightforward, unobtrusive style that suggests the work of a documentary filmmaker. Clearly, the thrust of her creative input was shaping the performances of Theron and Ricci, and the outstanding results suggest that Jenkins could be a filmmaker of rare talent. Some viewers might find the subject matter off-putting, and indeed, Monster is pretty tough going at times. But it’s also incredibly compelling, and well worth seeing if only for Theron’s appropriately praised star turn.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Perhaps Charlize Theron's awe-inspiring performance will be the thing that people remember most about Monster, but the film as a whole marks a surprisingly scrupulous and thought-provoking treatment of sensational subject matter from writer/director Patty Jenkins, making her feature debut. The film is good enough to be more than just a companion piece to filmmaker Nick Broomfield's outstanding documentaries on serial killer Aileen Wuornos, but a viewing of those documentaries validates both Jenkins' vision and Theron's amazingly accurate portrayal of the woman. Theron perfectly captures the way, for example, the sides of Wuornos' mouth turn downward in repose. Theron's turn is not a mere imitation, but captures the tormented spirit of the woman. The crux of the film is the unexpected romantic relationship that forms between Wuornos and Selby. Selby, a fictional stand-in for Wuornos' real-life paramour, Tyria Moore, is well played by (Christina Ricci). Monster has been unfairly criticized for romanticizing Wuornos' depravity, but the film simply shows us that these brutal actions were undertaken by a real live woman, driven to desperation by a lifetime of abuse and newfound financial pressures. The film portrays her actions in a way that makes them comprehensible, but not defensible. Ironically, Aileen's first opportunity to be loved is what effectively pushes her over the edge, until she gradually slips away into madness. As with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the underlying issue is class. The truth of precisely what Wuornos did and why may never be known, but Monster is an accomplished, absorbing, and assiduously moral film that feels like truth.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/2009
  • UPC: 687797202369
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Millennium
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 33,980

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlize Theron Aileen Wuornos
Christina Ricci Selby Wall
Bruce Dern Thomas
Scott Wilson Horton Rohrbach
Pruitt Taylor Vince Gene
Lee Tergesen Vincent Corey
Annie Corley Donna Tentler
Bubba Baker Cubby
Marc Macaulay Will Grueser
Catherine Mangan Justy
Brett Rice Charles
Robb Chamberlain
Marco St. John Evan
Technical Credits
Patty Jenkins Director, Screenwriter
Steven Bernstein Cinematographer
BT Score Composer
Ferne Cassel Casting
David Allen Cluck Asst. Director
Arthur Coburn Editor
Mark Damon Producer
Peter Devlin Sound/Sound Designer
Andreas Grosch Executive Producer
Stewart Hall Executive Producer
Jane Kurson Editor
Donald Kushner Producer
Sammy Lee Executive Producer
Edward Mcavoy Production Designer
Shawn R. McFall Set Decoration/Design
Rhona Meyers Costumes/Costume Designer
Brent Morris Co-producer
Howard Paar Musical Direction/Supervision
Clark Peterson Producer
Orvis Rigsby Art Director
Meagan Riley-Grant Executive Producer
Andreas Schmid Executive Producer
Charlize Theron Producer
Brad Wyman Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    NOTHING BUT THE BEST

    Charlize Theron's portrayal of Aileen Wuornos is absolutely OUTSTANDING!!! She really dug deep into her heart and gave it all she had. I love this movie so much. I bought the regular and Special Edition, with deleted scenes that just make you feel- what have done with your life, this woman at least had a dream, a small one, but nonetheless a dream.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Favorite Movie

    This is by far the best movie I have ever seen. As a very critical viewer such as myself, I definately give this movie 5 stars. Charlize Theron's dedication to the film is absolutely amazing. For someone to have gained 30 pounds, shave their eyebrows, and fry their hair, it would've been an insult for her to have not gotten a Golden Globe. GREAT gift idea. You go, Patty Jenkins.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    OUTSTANDING FILM

    It has been a long time since I have seen such an outstanding performance by an actress in a film. Charlize Theron does a magnificent job in her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos. She deserves every bit of praise she's received for this role. It is an intriguing story...in spite of the outcome. A very well done film. Very well done !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Super great movie !!!

    One of the best movies I have seen ! Charlize truly is the star of Africa ! She makes us all proudly South African ! The movie is scary but the actors are excellent !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ACTING AT IT'S BEST, A MUST SEE MOVIE

    Grabs you from the start and only gets better. I can't say enough about Charlize Theron. She is absolutely amazing in this chilling role and Christina Ricca has a great supporting role. A must see movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Must see!!

    This is one of the best movies I seen all year, it just feels so real, I couldn't not take my eyes of it!!

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    Posted February 24, 2011

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    Posted May 7, 2010

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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    Posted December 2, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews