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Monster (2003)

Charlize Theron , Christina Ricci , Patty Jenkins  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley
  • Directors: Patty Jenkins
  • Writers: Patty Jenkins
  • Producers: Charlize Theron, Andreas Grosch, Andreas Schmid, Brad Wyman, Brent Morris
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JMUK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,945 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Monster" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Based on a True Story: The Making of Monster" featurette
  • Film-mixing demo
  • "Monster: Evolution of the Score": interview with Patty Jenkins and BT
  • "Monster Surrounded" (soundtrack spot)

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Director Patty Jenkins is prominent in Monster's two above-average 15-minute featurettes. "Based on a True Story: The Making of Monster" combines news broadcast; interviews with Jenkins, Charlize Theron, and others; a look at Theron's makeup; and signs of Aileen Wuornos's real-life world, including her best friend and the real Last Resort bar. Jenkins and composer BT discuss the score in the other featurette, including how "the score was conceived from the ground up in 5.1" (the DVD's sound is all-enveloping) as well as the use of the hurdy-gurdy and the contribution of Journey's Steve Perry (even this featurette is in DTS). There's also a film-mixing demo, in which the viewer can add or subtract (but not change the levels of) the dialogue, sound effects, and music in a two-minute segment of the Funworld scene. Surprisingly there's no cross-promotion of the simultaneously released interview disc, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. --David Horiuchi

Product Description

Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Academy Award for her astonishing performance as Aileen Wuornos, the prostitute convicted of killing several men in Florida in 1989 and 1990. The film focuses on Wuornos' murder campaign, in which she targeted abusive johns she met on the road and at truck stops, and her relationship with Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), a lesbian with whom she became romantically involved. With Bruce Dern, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince. 109 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal! March 31, 2004
I watched Monster without any expectations, save knowing that it was a movie about two women. At the end of the screening, i was totally blown away. One, Charlize Theron gives a spectacular performance as 'serial killer' Aileen Wuornos. Her facial expressions and bodily movements strongly resemble that of the actual person (based on what i read). Secondly, the 'human' aspect of Aileen was brought out in the film, and despite her brutal killings, one can symphatise with aspects of her life which brought her to this point of no return when she started killing her johns. Thirdly, although Monster is primarily about Aileen the killer, yet the viewer is treated to a love story between Aileen and her lesbian lover. This is in many aspects, the driving force of the film and which makes the film memorable. Some prison psychologists had diagnosed Aileen as having Borderline personality disorder, which explains her behaviour of wanting to keep Selby Wall, her girlfriend (in real life, the girl's name is Tyria Moore) at all costs, despite the fact that Selby was at times a selfish, immature person who ultimately betrayed Aileen. The final scene of the 'confession' phone call (which basically nailed it for Aileen) is heartbreaking. Aileen basically took the fall for everything and absolved Selby of any blame. Even though the audience may sense a taste of Hollywood drama here, one must remember that in real life, Aileen did take the blame for everything, and even went to the extent of sending Tyria money while she was on death row. Perhaps this is a glimpse into a rare aspect of her life (which traditional documentaries on her never cover), which shows us that at the end of the day, she is a human being like the rest of us and despite her heinous crimes, she too longed to be loved and feel love. The betrayal scene will stick in my mind for a long time to come. I welcome emails on this film as i am interested to know more about the film as well as Aileen and her lover.
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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Acting And An Unusual Point Of View July 17, 2004
Charlize Theron gives a five star+ performance as the executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos, the monster in "Monster." I would have rated the movie the same, except it is just too filled with pain, desperation and hopelessness for me to rank it that high. The script is not particularly strong. We only get a glimpse into the life and mind of this woman, and we never discover what made her kill. Many abused women hate men, but they don't become serial killers. There is also a lot of repetition, as Wuornos goes through her pattern of solicitation, violence and anguish over and over again. Without Ms. Theron's magnificent acting the film would be rather mediocre.
Director Patty Jenkins begins Wuornos' story in 1989-90, just before she was caught and imprisoned. She portrays Aileen more as a victim than as a victimizer. Through an initial monologue and various dialogues the viewer learns of Aileen's very troubled childhood in Michican. Her father, a convicted child-molester, committed suicide. Aileen was raped repeatedly by a family friend, and she began prostituting herself when she was thirteen. Her only job had been as a hooker. I think Ms. Theron portrays Aileen as a woman suffering from serious mental illness. Her moods swing from suicidal depression to euphoric overconfidence. She had delusional periods where she believed that all her dreams would come true and that she was invincible. She is a tough talking lady who drinks too much and barely holds her rage beneath the surface.
It is during this period that she meets Selby (Christina Ricci is superb in this role.), a shy, naive teen, in a bar. Selby is a lesbian who wants to come out of the closet against her family's wishes. She is a misfit, without friends. So is Aileen.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for the devil July 31, 2004
Though this film is brutally honest about Aileen 'Lee' Wuornos' crimes it does provoke some sympathy for her. Yes, she does kill many people (all men) but when you consider how many men battered her and raped her all through her life, even as a child, it's no surprise she became so psychotic.

And I don't think it's exactly fair that she got the death penalty. Surely it would have been best to help a woman who lived her entire existence in the dregs of society (which is surely to blame for sending her mad) than executing her.

Focusing entirely on Lee instead of the police investigations following her (there is a TV movie from the mid-90s that does exactly this if you're more interested), we see her straggle from thinking about suicide, hooking up with lonely, naive Selby (Christina Ricci), killing in self-defense and finally killing for revenge/money.

Charlize Theron completely vanishes as she brings her take on Lee (her full name is never mentioned in the film) to the screen. She sure deserved her Academy Award and Christina Ricca (who is very cute here) is also very good. However, for a lesbian couple I just didn't see any real feeling between them. It annoyed me how fast the film moved and there are not really many quiet moments for these two characters to bond in any way. Yes, they proclaim their love for each other but I just didn't see it. There was too much shouting and screaming.

There are no surprises in the film, as we all know how it ends anyway. But some of Lee's killings are harsh, compelling and even ironic. The overall effect of the film isn't so long-lasting on me though.

It's shot and lit like a TV movie and Lee's heavy judgment at the end of the film is played down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Charlize Theron is incredible Ricci is great.
All Theron's awards and recognition for this role is well deserved. One of the more compelling performances I have ever seen. Nicole Ricci was incredible. Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Jordan E.K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very realistic and well acted
This movie takes you into the life of a very troubled woman. The acting is great and the story is compelling. It was a very touching story.
Published 3 hours ago by T. Robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Night
Great Movie and awesome transformation of an actress both in costume and on screen. Clearly deserved an Oscar! If you like movies based on true stories this is a good one.
Published 9 days ago by Athene Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is...Wow
I'm still processing this film. What a story. I couldn't help but feel compassion for Aileen Wuornos. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Pilar Arsenec
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster by name and nature.
True Story of a very mentally unwell woman. She has a girl friend and partner but plays 'the game' and kills her clients. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jordyn skye
2.0 out of 5 stars Glorification of Violence
This movie, in my opinion, is basically a movie about what happens when people who deal with a great trauma in their lives do not get help. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brynnlux
4.0 out of 5 stars A very intense, tragic movie
A true story. I understand that after Wuornos was caught and put on trial, she believed herself to be a movie star.

Very unusual for a woman to commit such violence.
Published 1 month ago by dmj64
2.0 out of 5 stars ok
not the bets movie but what she did was horrible an a good lesson for people to lean what not to do!!
Published 2 months ago by kimberly
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fact based movie!
This movie is based on the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and is a pretty good movie.Charlize Theron plays the lead character perfectly!
Published 2 months ago by Nadine P.
5.0 out of 5 stars See why Charlize Theron won an Oscar for her performance
Without question, Charlize Theron is easily one of the most beautiful women in the world. The transformation she makes to play a famous female killer who ultimately ended up in the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by WPFLreviewer
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Topic From this Discussion
Why is 'Monster" a horrible Blu-Ray Transfer?
its colors are washed out and although most bluray contain grain i have only seen one other that had this much and that was a stupid matthew mcougnhay movie called surfer dude
Sep 3, 2009 by Emma M. Mitchell |  See all 3 posts
horribile tranfer
from what i've read, 'Gladiator' does not look good in Blu-Ray. read the review!
Sep 3, 2009 by Movie Fan |  See all 2 posts
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