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Monster's Ball (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 March 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director:

Marc Forster
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Popularity
2,543 ( 656)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Hank Grotowski
Taylor Simpson Taylor Simpson ... Lucille
Gabrielle Witcher Gabrielle Witcher ... Betty
Heath Ledger ... Sonny Grotowski
Amber Rules Amber Rules ... Vera
Peter Boyle ... Buck Grotowski
Charles Cowan Jr. ... Willie Cooper
Taylor LaGrange Taylor LaGrange ... Darryl Cooper
Yasiin Bey ... Ryrus Cooper (as Mos Def)
Anthony Bean Anthony Bean ... Dappa Smith
Francine Segal ... Georgia Ann Paynes
John McConnell ... Harvey Shoonmaker
Marcus Lyle Brown ... Phil Huggins
Milo Addica ... Tommy Roulaine
Leah Loftin ... Booter
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Storyline

Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pasado nos condena See more »

Filming Locations:

Laplace, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,552, 30 December 2001

Gross USA:

$31,273,922

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,011,434
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Halle Berry became the first (and as of 2019 the only) woman of color to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 24 mins) While the movie is supposedly set in the early '90s, a late '90s / early '00s Cadillac Escalade can be seen passing through the foreground as Leticia enters the pawn shop. See more »

Quotes

Sonny Grotowski: You hate me. You hate me, don't you? Answer me! You hate me don't you!
Hank Grotowski: Yes, I hate you. Always have.
Sonny Grotowski: Well I've always loved you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Sam, Austin, Gabrielle. Scott Lambert is thanked twice. See more »

Alternate Versions

The initial cut of the picture included more explicit footage during the sex scene between Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton, which was trimmed down after the MPAA threatened to give the film a NC-17 rating. The uncut version premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on February 8, 2001. The R-rated US theatrical release is the cut version; the version released theatrically in Canada and most other countries is the uncut version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Spike's Guys Choice (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

License to Kill
(1983)
(as "Licensed to Kill")
Performed by Bob Dylan
Written by Bob Dylan
Published by Special Rider Music (SESAC)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Summed Up By Berry's Acceptance Speech
19 September 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

It's a well known fact that MONSTER'S BALL won Halle Berry an Oscar for best actress and led to one of the most bizarre sites in the history of the ceremony where Berry shrieked , wept and gnashed her teeth in an uncontrollable manner . She probably wasn't overcome with emotion - She was impersonating the average person's reaction to seeing this film !

Depressing doesn't even begin to sum up this movie . It starts with the domestic life of three generations of prison officers the Grotowski family , two of which give racist redneck scumbags a bad name . A black prisoner is about to be executed and the middle and younger Grotowski ( Hank and Sonny respectively ) are looking after him and these scenes are amongst the most feel good moments of the story ! Words fail to describe what a bleak depressing movie this is . It's about redemption and finding love in the worst of circumstances but it's never entirely convincing . The fate of Sonny Grotowski didn't ring true and in the case of Berry's character just how unlucky can someone be in such a short period of time ?

I will congratulate the performances of the cast in this very well acted movie . Billy Bob Thornton is probably best remembered as " one of the men who married Angelina Jolie " but is also one of America's underappricated actors ( His screen writing abilities are also overlooked ) who manages to rise above the sometimes inconsistent material while Halle Berry what can I say ? Apart from that she really did deserve the Oscar . Well regarded character actor and acting guru Peter Boyle might be disappointing as Hank's reactionary father but since his character spends most of his time sitting in a chair slowly dying from respiratory failure he's not given much to do

But it should be pointed out once again that this is a very sad and melancholy film that won't have anyone dancing in the aisles I did appreciate the good performances but I doubt I'll be watching it again in a hurry


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