• R, 1 hr. 49 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Patty Jenkins
    In Theaters:
    Jan 9, 2004 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jun 1, 2004
  • Newmarket Film Group


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Monster Reviews

Derek Adams
Time Out
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June 24, 2006
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
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May 13, 2005
David Denby
New Yorker
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August 1, 2004
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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January 28, 2004
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Ms. Theron has ventured far beyond mere surface impersonation -- although that is startling enough -- to an insightful penetration of her subject's psyche.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

January 21, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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January 17, 2004
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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In the same way the beefed-up Theron fills the movie's tightly composed frames to bursting while pushing everything else to the margins, her showstopping rage blows through film like a tornado.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

January 16, 2004
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Brutal, brilliant, depressing and riveting.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

January 16, 2004
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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A small movie with a gigantic performance by Charlize Theron.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

January 16, 2004
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
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If the film is a bit too soft on its subject, it is even more taken with its leading lady. Theron overwhelms.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B-

January 16, 2004
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The hype around the film Monster is justified by the performance of Charlize Theron.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

January 16, 2004
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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First-time director Patty Jenkins takes us inside a year in Wuornos' turbulent life, building her movie around Theron's dynamite performance, raw, exposed and nerve-wracking in its immediacy.

| Original Score: B+

January 16, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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[An] intricate and tender movie.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 16, 2004
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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[Theron] captures the essence of the woman, a lifelong victim who preys on her customers with the determined sadness of someone who has finally snapped inside.

| Original Score: 4/5

January 15, 2004
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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There's Theron, like a force of nature, compelling us to go beyond TV-movie supposition and look Wuornos straight in the eye.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 15, 2004
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Theron digs so deep into her doomed character that it's impossible not to feel empathy.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

January 15, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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An okay movie made nearly great by one great thing: the bravura, mercilessly watchable performance of Charlize Theron.

January 9, 2004
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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Improbable as it sounds in such a brutal protagonist, Aileen has a three-dimensional credibility.

January 9, 2004
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Walks a very delicate line: It doesn't excuse or glamorize the actions of its main character, serial killer Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron), but it does offer an understanding of her -- or, at least, of the version of Wuornos this film presents.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 9, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Its series of weak excuses and cliched insights illuminate nothing, and the movie ends up little more than a lesbian slasher flick.

| Original Score: C-

January 9, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Theron's work here stands with that of Jennifer Connelly, Hope Davis, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett and Charlotte Rampling as one of the best female performances of 2003.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

January 9, 2004
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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There's the uncanny sensation that Theron has forgotten the camera and the script and is directly channeling her ideas about Aileen Wuornos. She has made herself the instrument of this character.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 9, 2004
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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A gruesome, helpless spiral barely saved by an actress locating humanity where few would have cared to bother.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

January 9, 2004
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Brings the horror stories of everyday life down to a recognizable level.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 8, 2004
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Monster is a brave, unsettling film, a little rough around the edges but unflinching to the end.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

January 8, 2004
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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Digging deep down, Theron and the movie give us empty lives, desperate romance and murderous rage. They bring a monster to life.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

January 8, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Isn't entirely the movie it could be but, as is, it's still compelling.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

January 8, 2004
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
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Phony choppers and a startling resemblance to Jon Voight aren't enough to transform Theron into Wuornos, and I didn't buy either the performance or the character for a second.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

January 2, 2004
Stephanie Zacharek
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Charlize Theron pours herself into the body and mind of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins' devastating directing debut.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 27, 2003
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
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Heavier, with bad teeth and blotchy skin, Theron is nearly unrecognizable in the role. She's also astonishingly good.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 26, 2003
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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What takes it to the level of important cinema ... is the central Selby-Wuornos relationship, which turns out to be symbiotic in the manner of the Smith-Hickock relationship in In Cold Blood.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 26, 2003
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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This isn't a portrait; it's a posthumous grounds for an appeal.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

December 26, 2003
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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It will be hard to lure audiences to this downer, but its acute understanding of such a monster's misery furthers our comprehension of how and why human atrocities occur.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

December 25, 2003
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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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.

| Original Score: 3/4

December 25, 2003
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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As Aileen Wuornos, the notorious Florida murderer, Charlize Theron pulls off the year's most astounding screen makeover.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

December 23, 2003
James Berardinelli
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A compelling, thought-provoking, and unsettling drama.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 23, 2003
John Anderson
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A frank, spare, but ultimately heartbreaking movie.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 23, 2003
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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[Theron] plays an unredeemable woman with uncompromising reality. That's a powerful accomplishment, even if Monster never quite figures out what to do with it.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

December 23, 2003
David Rooney
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The drama's uncompromising nature and, above all, Charlize Theron's powerful, physically astonishing performance should attract the kind of critical attention necessary to mine the specialized niche.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 23, 2003
Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
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Since Jenkins and Ricci never allow Wall to become more than a curious cipher with a Billy Idol sneer ... our outsider vantage makes for an ultimately unsatisfying voyeurism.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 23, 2003
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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Wuornos was a far more complex creature than most accounts of her will allow, and Patty Jenkins' tough and tender movie has caught the contradictions of a woman stranded between unwarranted hope and unavoidable despair.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 18, 2003
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Theron breaks through with a ferocious performance -- a real career-changer.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 16, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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... an amazing piece of work.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 8, 2003
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Yes, the story is an ugly one, but the actresses command our attention and demand we confront this unrepentant 'monster' to examine her humanity.

November 18, 2003
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