63% The Maze Runner Sep 19
65% A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
43% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
93% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

11% No Good Deed $24.3M
70% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
35% The November Man $2.8M
35% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

70% The Equalizer Sep 26
71% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
84% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

New Episodes Tonight

91% Doctor Who: Season 8
—— Hell on Wheels: Season 4
40% Intruders: Season 1
90% Outlander: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

82% Girl Meets World: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
53% Z Nation: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

87% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
90% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Gods and Monsters (1998)



Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 2

Gods and Monsters is a spellbinding, confusing piece of semi-fiction, featuring fine performances; McKellen leads the way, but Redgrave and Fraser don't lag far behind.


Average Rating: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

Gods and Monsters is a spellbinding, confusing piece of semi-fiction, featuring fine performances; McKellen leads the way, but Redgrave and Fraser don't lag far behind.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 12,581

My Rating

Movie Info

Hollywood history comes to life in this tale of the last days of Frankenstein director James Whale, played by Sir Ian McKellen. Long forgotten by the studios, Whale has retired to pursue painting and a life of leisure. Gods and Monsters explores his final fascination with a handsome gardener, Clayton Boone.



Christopher Bram, Bill Condon

Jun 8, 1999

Lions Gate Films

Watch It Now



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (2) | DVD (20)

It may not be history, but what a glorious imagining it is.

October 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Catches a life and its relation to art. One imagines that James Whale would not have turned over in his grave in horror.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The film clearly belongs to McKellen, whose presence is what makes the film as affecting at it is.

November 16, 2009 Full Review Source:

A parable worthy of Mary Shelley herself.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source:

Condon's indie is narrwoly focused in depicting James Whale's personal and professional frustrations as an old man, but Ian McKellen, who must have felt strong affinity with the openly gay director, gives an astonishingly sophisticated performance.

March 6, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

travels far beyond the usual chronological re-telling of highlights

June 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Ian McKellen shines in this well-acted drama about a mysterious Hollywood celebrity.

March 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

I can't remember the last time I was so emotionally pounded by a film...Ian McKellan is a god.

December 30, 2001 Full Review

A smart picture, if not a brilliant one.

October 22, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

McKellen's performance borders on brilliance.

May 18, 2001 Full Review Source:

Whale, always the aesthete and snob, comments to an interviewer that the other Frankenstein films were done by hacks.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A movie of infinite patience

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

...a filmic epiphany.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

a truly good film with a great cast

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A richly textured movie that speculates about the last days of an iconic filmmaker while exploring the sometimes divine, sometimes monstrous landscape of obsession and desire.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

McKellan somehow coaxes a real performance from Brendan Fraser.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

a deceptively simple story with a multiplicity of subtle insights

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

For all of the interesting possibilities inherent in Condon's source material, the single most important thing one learns about James Whale, according to the film, was that he was a dirty old man.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A heartfelt and intelligent motion picture.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

A daring experiment in cinematic biography denigrates into a mess of dream sequences and mini-flashbacks that left me more confused about the subject than before I arrived.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for Gods and Monsters

I think there is an interesting film in here, but it is severely hampered by a poor script and a dreadful performance by Brandon Fraser. I know what you are thinking. How could the "Monkeybone" veteran give a less than stellar performance? Well I don't know how, but he does.
While I understand that in many ways Fraser's character is supposed to mirror the Frankenstein monster, donning a flattop and not pausing much for thought, Fraser gives off the impression that he is too dim to actually even pull off acting dim. In fact, he acts a lot like I'm sure most of America believes he does when the cameras aren't rolling. I actually gave in to mild bursts of laughter just watching him "act".
While I would have liked to see the story of James Whales, I was too busy trying to make sense of how Fraser got this role.
March 7, 2012
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

First of all, to the reviewer who said you felt molested watching this movie. You're homophoic and should see someone about that.
I thought it was really great. A nice telling of a Hollywood legend (not unlike Hollywoodland - but better!) I love Sir Ian McKellen and was doubtful on Fraser, but he really held his own. He wasn't fantastic, but he wasn't Keanu Reeves.
I also really liked the subtle, sparse and dry humor interjected every little while. Something I wasn't quite expecting but it was nice. Most of it done by Ms. Redgrave. Overall a nice movie, not spectacular but definitely worth watching!
December 28, 2010
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

A very touching and sometimes ammusing look at the life of film Director James Whale.

It is also a very telling look at the sad results of Hollywood's version of "Don't Ask Don't Tell", which (for the most part) is still in effect today.
Ian McKellen is brilliant in the role of Mr. Whale as is Lynn Redgrave as his faithfull (no pun intended) housekeeper. Brendan Fraser does very well, but comes across as a bit out of his league having to share the screen with those two.
December 3, 2010
Robert C

Super Reviewer

A trio of excellent performances adorn "Gods and Monsters", Bill Condon's film about the elderly James Whale, one-time Hollywood director. Reclusive, waspish and cantankerous, Whale is looked after by his maid Hanna, a deeply religious lady who despairs of his gay sexuality but dotes on him nevertheless. Into the mix comes a slightly dim-witted young gardener Clayton Boone who catches Whale's eye and agrees to sit for the old director while he sketches him. Boone, initially unaware of Whale's gayness and then repelled by it, eventually comes to respect and love the old man. They are like two lost souls, polar opposites who nevertheless connect and come to depend on each other, much in the manner of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster in the movie that made Whale's name.

Ian McKellen must have been the only choice to portray Whale, and he clearly relishes the opportunity. A biting wit masks his inner despair as he looks back on a life of childhood deprivation (much of it emotional), wartime loss, and fleeting happiness found in the gay subculture of Tinseltown. The accumulation of these experiences seems etched on McKellen's face so that there is not one moment when he is not inhabiting the role. Lynn Redgrave is simply wonderful in support as Hanna; her scenes with McKellen have a real fizz and convey a true sense of fondness between the two characters. Brendan Fraser, meanwhile, is very good as Boone. It may seem that playing nice but dim would come easily to Fraser, but there's a little more to him than that and he adeptly renders the subtle awakening in self-understanding triggered by Boone's contact with Whale.

A character-driven chamber piece, "Gods and Monsters" feels more like theatre than cinema, despite its Hollywood theme. Great acting alone can't quite carry it, however, and after a sparklingly witty opening the pacing drags somewhat. On a conveniently dark and stormy night, the film descends into melodrama for its final act. A pity, because there's so much to admire here. Just as in his recent film "Kinsey", Condon shows himself to be a highly literate and sensitive film-maker, and a great director of actors. He's certainly not afraid to tackle subject matter that may not sit too comfortably in the multiplexes of middle-America. Unlike Dr. Frankenstein, however, I'm not sure he's yet managed to animate one of his creations with the sort of kinetic charge that truly brings a movie to life.
November 15, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. James Whale: Making movies is the most wonderful thing in the world.
    – Submitted by Ker Malkin G (5 months ago)
    1. Michael Boone: A man has to make up his life on his own.
    2. James Whale: A philosopher.
    3. Michael Boone: Thoreau... with a lawnmower.
    – Submitted by Keith D (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Gods and Monsters on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Maze Runner is Better than Average

Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg

What are his Five Favorite Films?

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

Talk Like a Pirate Day
Talk Like a Pirate Day

Memorable pirates picture gallery

Foreign Titles

  • Dioses y monstruos (ES)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile