Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2004)



Critic Consensus: This chilling, unsettling documentary provides an eye-opening look at both Wuornos and the American justice system.

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer Photos

Movie Info

Nick Broomfield's documentary looks at Aileen's violent, tortured childhood in Troy, Michigan and her subsequent years on the road as a hitch-hiking prostitute which culminated in the murders. In her last interview, conducted by Broomfield at Aileen's request, she said she believed her mind was being controlled by radio waves. On October 9th 2002 she was executed in Florida.

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Critic Reviews for Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23)

A deeply fascinating follow-up because of how much of Wuornos' story is changed from one film to the next, as well as for its moving consideration of the complex and often unbalanced relationship between documentarian and subject.

November 28, 2018 | Full Review…

The film stands quite chillingly as a final statement from a woman trying to fight her own commodification.

May 21, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A haunting exploration of a ruined and wasted life.

April 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

[T]his movie literally gave me the chills.

February 13, 2004 | Full Review…

Engrossing, educational, amusing and disturbing.

February 13, 2004

Provides an opportunity to study one of history's supposed anomalies: a female serial killer.

February 13, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer


Broomfield's second film about Aileen sheds more light on her life and her mind after a decade on death row but also feels like an appendix of his first film, a bit redundant for anyone who has seen that one and not much more than an excuse for closure after her execution.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Nick Bloomfield's follow up to Selling of a Serial Killer is a much more rounded out film than the previous film. In the first film, Aileen Wuornos told her jury that she committed the murders in self defense. In this film, she admits that she did it not out of self defense, but in order to rob them. I felt that Bloomfield put a lot more effort into this film and it has new interviews with Wuornos and how she is prepared to face her execution. The film is quite interesting and using footage from the first film, while adding new interviews, it tells a more in depth story into her life. Bloomfield interviews the people who knew her, and chronicles her life in a way that is quite engaging for the viewer. The detail in this documentary is well thought out. This film shows everything right up to her execution. Aileen Wuornos was interviewed many times here and her final interview before her execution is here. In terms of documentaries, this is a well rounded out documentary that recounts a very interesting subject. Wournos was very delusional, and during her last interview she just loses it. Overall Nick Bloomfield has made a great film, but is not a film for everyone. She clearly was unfit for execution and she was fairly insane. Even with her being cleared by psychologists, by what you see here, you really see that this is a woman that is clearly not sane, and should have been given life imprisonment instead. This film might make you ask questions about how executions should be carried out and that people with mental illness should be locked up instead. A fine documentary, and a must see for those interested in the subject.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Once again, Broomfield makes a successful case from Aileen for Aileen. The film is much ado about nothing, but you can't lose the opportunity to cash the case.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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