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Monster's Ball

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Released 2002

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8.3
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Movie Summary

Director:
Marc Forster
Released:
2002
Rating:
R

Monster's Ball is a 2001 drama about an unlikely romance that blossoms between two complete opposites in Louisiana. The film follows the two intertwining stories of Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thorton) and Leticia (Halle Berry). Hank is a white racist who is a corrections officer at a local state prison. His son, Sonny (Heath Ledger), works along side him in the same prison. They both have to assist in an execution, Sonny can't stand the site of the process. After it is over, Hank beats his son in shame. Not too long after Sonny kills himself with his father's gun. Feeling responsible for his son's death, Hank quits his job at the jail and opens up a gas station. Leticia has recently lost her husband and is now a lone black woman trying to support herself and her son Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun). A string of bad luck leads to her son being hit and killed by a passing automobile late one rainy night. Hank happens to be driving by and stops to help her. Through both of their suffering over their lost sons, they find comfort in one another's suffering. The film won numerous awards and Halle Berry would win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The raw intimacy of some of the scenes -- whether they take place at a diner, in the death house or in the bedroom -- is breathtaking.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Hank is but the latest of Thornton's strikingly taciturn characters in a whole string of movies, but for Berry, Leticia represents a big-screen breakthrough.

  • 80

    Variety Robert Koehler

    Burning with a quiet intensity, Monster's Ball is bolstered by a poetic, intelligent sensibility not seen in an American film since Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line."

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Drama

Themes

Love & Romance, Social Issues, Independent