Gods and Monsters (1998)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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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.
R (for sexual material and language)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Lions Gate Films


Ian McKellen
as James Whale
Brendan Fraser
as Clayton Boone
David Dukes
as David Lewis
Mark Kiely
as Dwight
Jack Plotnick
as Edmond Kay
Rosalind Ayres
as Elsa Lanchester
Jack Betts
as Elder Karloff
Matt McKenzie
as Colin Clive
Todd Babcock
as Leonard Barnett
Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy
as Princess Margaret
Brandon Kleyla
as Young Whale
Pamela Salem
as Sarah Whale
Michael O'Hagan
as William Whale
David Millbern
as Dr. Payne
John Gatins
as Kid Saylor
Amir Aboulela
as Young Karloff
James Lecesne
as Jack Pierce
Martin Ferrero
as George Cukor
Jesse H. Long
as Assistant Director
Owen Masterson
as Camera Assistant
Lisa Vastine
as Librarian
Kent George
as Whale at 25
David Fabrizio
as Photographer
Jesse James
as Michael Boone
Lisa Darr
as Dana Boone
Judson Mills
as Young Man
Arthur Dignam
as Ernest Thesinger
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Critic Reviews for Gods and Monsters

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (14)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

An engrossing, unusual, imaginatively executed bit of psychological gamesmanship ...

Full Review… | November 30, 2008
Top Critic

Not a complicated film, but warm and clever.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 19, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

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.

Reid Volk
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!

Jennifer D
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.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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