What to know
Charlize Theron gives a searing, deglamorized performance as real life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, an intense, disquieting portrait of a profoundly damaged soul. Read critic reviews
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Horton, Last "John"
Gene, Stuttering "John"
Eva , Undercover "John"
Director of Photography
Critic Reviews for Monster
Audience Reviews for Monster
Aug 10, 2017One of the hardest things to do is made a typically unsympathetic character sympathetic. Monster deals with a famous serial killer from the early 1990's who believed she was killing for good reasons. Finding a way to write a direct such a character so that the audience doesn't automatically despise your lead is a difficult thing to do. Patty Jenkins and Charlize Theron found a way to do just that with Aileen Wuornos. The story deals with Aileen, who has had a rough life to say the least. She's been a prostitute since an early teen, physically abused by her family, and has been homeless for years ever since being kicked out of her home. Just by hearing that, there's at least some sense of pity I feel for her. This all leads to her meeting Selby Wall (based on Tyria Moore). The film portrays both of them at a rough patch in their life, which makes it all the more timely that they meet each other. After a relatively sweet romance for the first 40 minutes of the film, Aileen begins her crime spree. We may never know exactly how it all went down, but if she originally killed first victim because he was raping her and likely going to murder her, then I can feel a lot of sympathy towards her. As I said, Jenkins makes a choice to present Aileen as a victim herself, but that changes about halfway through. But I really appreciate the balance Jenkins gives to the crimes. They aren't faceless crimes without purpose, she's doing them for love and because her life is close to worthless without the money she's getting. By no means does that dismiss her from having any guilt, as no one should be murdered, but you can begin to understand her mindset just a little bit. It doesn't hurt that you have a great actress like Charlize Theron to build your film around, as she earned an Oscar for her turn as Aileen. It was well deserved I may add. Overall, Monster is a fascinating movie to get inside of a murderous psychopath, but it's more the moments of humanity in Aileen that stand out the most. 7.4/10Thomas D Super Reviewer
Feb 16, 2016Patty Jenkins does a bang up job writing and directing this thumbnail bio based on the eye popping true story about a hooker turned serial killer. Charlize Theron really gets into the skin of a soul abused for years and violently desperate for any kind of real affection, and Christina Ricci so inhabits the role as the vessel of that affection that I began to hate the truth depicted in their relationship. Overall a visceral film experience, not for the faint of heart.Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
Dec 31, 2013It seems that at certain points in an attractive actress' career, that she has to don the makeup to look hideous in order to prove that she can act. It is unfortunate but true. Charlize passes the test by not only looking the part but becoming the true monster that Aileen Wuornos is.John B Super Reviewer
Aug 15, 2013This 2003 crime drama about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men was probably over the top for me. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and her fictionalized lover, Selby Wall (based on Wuornos' real-life companion Tyria Moore), was played by Christina Ricci. I admire the writer and director Patty Jenkins for the work done, but I am not in a group of great fans of this movie. I liked it, but really wasn't feeling as a part of the events - for me was always something out there to watch and review. I am aware that Theron received overwhelming critical acclaim and won seventeen awards for her portrayal, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress. Theron's performance garnered Monster's only Academy Award nomination. And that summarize it because this was only the fifth time in the history of the Academy Awards in which a film's lead actress was its sole nomination and won. She wore this film on her shoulders, and from time to time I was expecting a stumble. The story of Aileen Wuornos, a female prostitute, meeting Selby Wall in a gay bar seemed forced and lacking fine storytelling skills. It was a mix of a romance, love story, crime drama - but the mix at the end left strong aftertaste, not always pleasant. A sad life of a sad individual who needed love and got nothing but hurt. It is a film to watch, definitely, and the reason is the Charlize Theorn's stunning performance, based on complete physical and psychological transformation, but as a dramatic feature - don't expect too much. Cinematography was just average, it lacks an interesting perspective and characters are not there as a important part of the story, mainly as "props". Of course, this is just my opinion.Panta O Super Reviewer
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