Monster

 
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Customer Reviews:

  • Abuse of the vulnerable
    This movie shows the vulnerability of humanity at it's best. It is based on a true story of a psychopathic mass murderer. It is also a story about one woman taking advantage of another at thier weakest moment when she was down. This is not a pleasant story nor is it a happy one. It is an important story because it is a true story that could have happened to anyone at thier weakest moment. ...more info
  • Paused in 3 Areas
    When I received this DVD it was damaged in three different areas. I phoned Amazon and received the UP MOST service and was credited back the full amount of the movie. I continue to shop Amazon with full confidence....more info
  • let them cast the first stone
    "Monster" delves into the mind of the first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron.) But it does not condone what she did or take sides. Instead, the film describes her life over the nine months after she found love with Selby (Christina Ricci); from 1989 to 1990. I really liked the narration/voiceover that Charlize did (as Aileen.) It lent a little credence to the movie and some humanity to Aileen, as well.

    Charlize Theron very rightfully won the Academy Award for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos. Charlize completely metamorphosed her entire look which was so eerie and uncanny because it was impossible to tell that she was acting in a movie. She also changed the sound of her voice, sounding exactly like the women she played. Charlize is a true actress and very deserving of the Best Actress nod from the Academy. Christina Ricci was also excellent playing the shy and introverted Selby, and has proven herself to be a very accomplished cinema actress.

    The movie follows the tale of harried and hopeless Aileen Wuornos as she tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered and tattered life. When Aileen meets Selby it was almost love at first sight. Selby practically saved her life and for that Aileen was forever in her debt. I think my favorite scene was when they were together in the bed (that first night they met) and Selby asks Aileen if she could touch her face. Aileen seemed so sensitive and gentle.

    Besides that horrible rape scene and other depictions of degradation (I really hated that scene with that scumbag cop that picked her up after her job interview), I also found the scenes when Aileen tried to look for work very bitter. No one would give her a chance or listen to her. She had no money, no education, no family; absolutely nothing. All the doors were loudly slammed in her face. Society gladly threw Aileen Wuornos away. She was just another hooker, why did it matter that she wanted to clean up her act? Charlize was especially perfect during these parts. Her look of rage, and total desperation was purely obvious.

    Another aspect of this story that I found terribly sad was when Selby turned her back on Aileen. Aileen loved her more than her own life and she finally thought that she had a chance of happiness. Maybe Aileen also thought that she finally found a person that she could honestly trust. Maybe if Aileen never met Selby she would still be alive today?

    I really liked the way the movie ended. It wasn't too deep or sad, instead I found it very surreal because it wasn't too weighty. The movie ended the way it started, with Aileen narrating to the viewers in her own sarcastic and comical way.

    "Monster" did make me feel sorry for Aileen because she was obviously an incredibly broken person that was never given a fighting chance. Someone please tell me why is Aileen vilified while these horrible men that raped her and sexually abused her aren't? Whoever said it's a man's world sure wasn't kidding.

    ...more info
  • Who's To Blame?
    This movie is disturbing...incredibly disturbing...It is the story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos...but you knew that already. Aileen is used and abused all of her life and then she snaps and she starts her killing spree. Being a Spiritual Practitioner I encourage every one to take 100% complete and total responsibility for their lives and yet even though I encourage this, I know that some things are not so black and white. The sad fact is, that people do use us, they do abuse us, they do confuse us and sometimes we are walking a very thin line between sanity and insanity.

    Sometimes, it's a wonder how most of us have made it this far without snapping.

    I had a situation where I was involved with an abusive person. This person made me feel small, inadequate, and totally worthless. I was relatively young when a lot of this happened, but I can clearly remember going to bed one night swearing to myself that if this person didn't knock it off, one day they were going to be sorry.

    Fortunately, that person died before the rage within me completely boiled over. And yet even though this person had died, there was still this anger, this bitterness, this hardness that was growing over me that could have infected my entire world but instead of taking it out on others, I took it out on myself in various forms and dresses and it was only until I got a small glimpse that maybe I was worthy...maybe I was deserving...maybe I was good enough to have love and respect and appreciation for myself, that all of this hate, all of this bitterness, all of this rage dissolved from a true and honest willingness to forgive this person that had violated my psyche and not let them abuse me any more.

    I don't approve of what Aileen Wuornos did, but I also don't judge her. This truth is, that she was all too human and yes, her acts may have been considered "monstrous" and horrible, but were the acts that were done on her any less horrible? This movie will make you question your life right down to the marrow of your bones. I know that after watching this, I had several fitful nights of sleep, I was very troubled, and very upset. Who knows how my life would've been if somehow the power of Grace hadn't stepped in?

    We are all capable of being monsters, but the Truth is, the real Truth is, that we are much more capable of being angels. Aileen Wuornos is now an angel. She didn't go to hell. She was in hell while she was here and because God is a God of Love, God's Love redeemed her and gave her yet another opportunity to begin.

    This is what Grace is all about.

    Peace & Blessings...more info
  • Great movie but wrong name of the movie
    This movie is very good but the movie called "Monster" dont fit for this movie. It should be something better than "Monster" tho! The reason I put 5 stars is because this movie is very good but it has nothing to do about the name of the movie tho. This movie should be go for Selby And Lee or something else but Monster?? Come on!!...more info
  • A Wasted Life
    At the Last Resort Bar & Grill, they have a sign: Home of Cold Beer and Killer Women. Such gross exploitation of the terrible deeds of Aileen Wuornos makes one queasy in the stomach. Arrested in 1991 and executed in 2002, Aileen Wuornos was not the first female serial killer in the world, or the first woman executed for murder in the U.S., but she was the U.S.'s first female serial killer. A highway prostitute who killed only men, she was a scary looking woman whose simmering rage was visible in photos of her staring dark brown eyes.

    Monster was written and directed by Patty Jenkins, who says in the DVD featurette that she was just "showing what she sees," and would let people make up their own minds. But unlike an objective journalist armed only with the facts, Jenkins writes a fictionalized script with made-up characters and events. Although Aileen killed around seven men, we see only four killings in the film. In the film, people treat her with horrible cruelty, for example a job counselor who says she can only get factory work, but there is none, and a lawyer at a firm where Aileen goes seeking work as a secretary. It seems unrealistic that everyone would have been so vicious to a woman seeking a job. That said, Monster is still worth a viewing or two.

    Charlize Theron worked hard to play the killer Wuornos. Her performance is like watching the real thing. Every muscle in her face, every minute expression, conveys more than words ever could (which is good, considering the weakness of the script). In the film, the Monster has a lot of humanity. It has just gone unrecognized, which is incredibly tragic and moving. Christina Ricci plays her girlfriend, Selby. Bruce Dern plays a Vietnam vet who is Aileen's only friend. He gives a great performance. I love me some Bruce Dern!

    The score by BT is perfect- but never played! Most of the movie plays with no music! And when there is music, it is barely audible over the speaking. Memorable shots and lines I can count on one hand. The most striking photography shows Wuornos resting under an overpass, as cars pass by. I would have used these shots a lot more. Monster is really more like a made for TV/Lifetime movie than a large film production.

    Monster ends strongly. The last phone call between Wuornos and her girlfriend was very well done and had the most emotional impact of any scene in the film. At the end of the movie, I cried despite saying I would never cry for this murderer. But I cried for this wasted life, this abandoned soul, and for other abandoned souls out there, looking for survival and for love. ...more info
  • Wow (very minor implied spoiler)
    As with many people, my main draw to this film was the acclaim for Charlize Theron's performance. Well, that and the physical transformation. Unlike some, at least, though, that transformation didn't distract me from her performance because both are just so superbly well done. Charlize the model is so completely removed in sight and psyche that I ceased to think about it. I simply watched an amazing and, yes, Oscar-worthy performance. This is a tremendous acting achievement from someone who heretofore had precious little to indicate this level of potential. As I say, wow.

    I can understand where some might find Theron's performance a little over the top, but personally I didn't think so. Knowing nothing of the real Aileen Wuornos, it struck me as merely the grandiosity of someone whose self has become so stretched beyond the bounds of normal behavior. I also understand but disagree with the opinion of some that the movie dismisses Wuornos' crimes behind so much PC victimology. The unfortunate truth is that whereas many killers are in fact born with an evil bone (and I'll brook no arguments that they aren't), some are indeed bred to it by circumstance. This doesn't excuse their behavior, it merely explains its source, which is what I believe Monster does very well. I think in the scenes where she does feel pity and shows mercy, the movie illustrates that Aileen does indeed know right from wrong, so that later, when she doesn't show that mercy, it's clear she's consciously chosen the wrong, and for the wrong reasons. I just didn't get from the movie the message that she didn't deserve her punishment.

    The only minor negative I found in the movie was Christina Ricci's performance. That's not to say it wasn't good, but it struck me as merely that. In retrospect I think she could have occupied the role better. Though in all fairness to her, it may be only that Charlize is so good, Christina by comparison comes off as merely effective.

    This is a difficult movie to watch, no doubt about it. It's one of those I'd usually choose to watch on video at home, due to the almost voyeuristic nature of watching something so intensely personal. But I didn't want to wait to check out Charlize's performance. I'd suggest others do the same. The movie is excellent--literally, directorially, musically--but Charlize Theron is outstanding. Go check her out. If you can find her. ...more info
  • Heartbreaking good
    Better than I expected. Charlize really put in her best performance. Monster makes you feel sorry yet angry with the characters; above all, it makes you question yourself - have I ever judged people too hurriedly without giving them a chance? If circumstances were different, would the killer have turned out differently? A depressing, great, thought-provoking film. ...more info
  • Disturbing, but superb acting
    Charlize Theron really gets inside the mind and physical personna of the serial killer here. The makeup job is phenomenal, and she gained 30 pounds for the role. Christina Ricci, too, is fantastic as the dim-witted girlfriend. This movie perfectly captures the sleazy Florida underside where Aileen Wuornos operated. That doesn't make this movie easy to watch. It's not. It's a deeply disturbing film that is more art than entertainment....more info
  • MONSTER
    man oh man! during the whole movie i never seen charlize theron. just "MONSTER" every part of the movie has some gross part, whether it be the way she combs her hair and anticipates going on the date with her new crush...or the way she's jealous when her girlfriend is on the carnival ride with her friends...everytime i hear that journey song i think of them at the skating place and seeing her butt in those jeans...those MOM jeans!!!too bad it was a true story. ...more info
  • Intense and Powerful
    The film Monster depicts a story of a real life street prostitute and serial killer Aileen Wuornos. In her childhood, Aileen suffered from detrimental child abuse by close family members. Her childhood made an effect into her adult life where the only mean for Aileen to support herself is through prostitution. At the near point of breakdown, Aileen met with Selby, a na?ve lesbian teenager at a local gay bar where they engaged into an odd relationship. From that day on, Aileen tried to pick up with her life by finding a real job to support the relationship, but with her lack of job experience and education she was turned down by all interviewers. The failure to finding a decent job winds Aileen back to working in the streets in order to uphold the relationship because of Selby self-centered and demanding personality. On one night, the story intensified as Aileen was violently raped and beaten by one of her customers. With anger and frustration, Aileen killed her rapist with a handgun in act of self-defense. This mental excruciating experience marks the pain of her life and allows Aileen to develop strong hatred and anger toward men. Nevertheless, Aileen continues to prostitute as a mean of providing financial support. The progression of the movie continues showing Aileen's rage and frustration killing nearly all of her customers. Her daunting rampage did catch up with her as she was captured and betrayed by Selby, who in the end turned Aileen to the authorities.

    Miss Theron deserves every mark of complements for her great acting role. Her language, gestures, posture, and attitudes throughout the film make the movie more interesting and intense, as is. The director deserves a great applaude as well for her adaption on Aileen's life and bringing it into the screens.

    Although this movie is intense and filled with violence, you can't miss out the great acting and storylines. ...more info
  • Great Film!
    Charlize Theron gives an amazing performance in the Patty Jenkins film Monster. Charlize plays convicted killer Aileen Wuornos. What I liked about this film was that the director Patty Jenkins made this film as factual as possible in my opinion. Patty actually went to Aileen's hometown to talk with the people who loved Aileen. Patty looked at lots of photos of Aileen and when you watch this movie the resemblance between the real Aileen Wuornos and Charlize Theron is amazing!! The make-up was done so well on everyone. Another reason why I love this film is because Charlize just kind of disappeared into the roll of Aileen Wuornos she played Aileen Wuornos very well! Christina Ricci played Selby Aileen's lover (Aileen's former girlfriend' real name was not used in the film for reasons unknown by me.) Christina also gave an amazing performance in this film I mean the actresses and actors really knew how to draw you in! Selby was the one who got Aileen to confess to the murders in a series of taped phone calls. This is also how it happened to the actual people that were involved. I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves true stories! Monster is worth every dollar!...more info
  • Excellent Movie
    This is an execellent movie. It is very close to the details of the crimes Aileen Wournos committed. The acting was fantastic. Charleze Theron did a tremendous acting job as Aileen.
    This is a movie worth watching!...more info
  • Anti-Feminist Movie
    Monster is a remarkable movie and not just for the obvious artistic reasons. For one thing, it shows just how degrading lesbianism is. More importantly, it goes against the feminist position that women should only be portrayed as being victims, not criminals in their own right. In feminist movies, there are no such things as femme fatales. All women are depicted as being helpless victims at the hands of evil males.

    Monster reminds us that there are evil women, such as Aileen Wuornos, who are capable of the most fiendish things, including violence against men. For this reason alone, Monster is a most remarkable movie that completely goes against the feminist grain.

    ...more info
  • Theron and Ricci Dominate Harsh, Unyielding Film
    Charlize Theron burst on the movie scene in the usual "starlet" fashion, sexing up the big screen in such movies as "Two Days in the Valley" and "The Devil's Advocate." Her sex appeal was undeniable, and for those who had the patience to look closer at those lightweight films, her acting was generally good.

    What a difference a role can make!!!! Theron virtually disappears into her role as Aileen Wuorno, "America's First Female Serial Killer," in Patty Jenkins' "Monster." While much has been made of the superficial aspects of the role (such as Theron's much-publicized weight gain and harsh, gritty make-up), Theron mastered the more difficult job of embodying the mannerisms and expressions of a woman who never really had a shot at life. A grim demeanor that occasionally melts into pure happiness, self-conscious arm gestures and hair adjustments that occasionally morph into unconscious pleasure, and a stance that goes from awkward confusion to empowered confidence -- Theron has all these down cold, so much so that you're not even aware of an actress being on screen -- you're watching Aileen Wuorno.

    Aileen Wuorno, according to the film, was a cipher, a nobody condemned to a life of prostitution by circumstance and indifference. A lesser movie would have found excuses for her nefarious deeds, and while "Monster" shows that there may have been some rationale behind Aileen's killings, there is no justification.

    Aileen is down to her last $5 and is making her peace with God when she runs into Selby (Christina Ricci, in a wonderful performance), a naive young gal exiled to relatives in Daytona Beach by her Iowa family so she can be "cured" over her lesbianism. These two desperate souls soon develop a tight bond, and we get the sense that the romantic "couples-skate" at the roller rink is the first moment of pure peace and joy these two have experienced in quite some time. Watch Theron's furious, hostile face melt as she sees something in Sel's eyes that she never expected -- acceptance.

    With no skills but with a reproductive system, Aileen has turned to life as a highway prostitute. Her first murder is pure self-defense, but as we watch her pump extra bullets into the dead body of her attacker, we see the vast reserve of rage that has been built up inside this poor woman. Aileen learns that murder can be more profitable that prostitution, and she rationalizes her early killings with the idea that the men she's killing are scum of the earth . . . an idea that the movie (correctly) refuses to sustain.

    Sel doesn't challenge Aileen, and is generally content to be kept by her new friend. Watching Ms. Ricci inhabit this weak, lost character is a wonder, for after watching her in assertive, intelligent roles ("The Addams Family," "The Opposite of Sex") one could not imagine her a little cork bobbing along in someone else's wake.

    Eventually the murders catch up with the duo, and it is worth noting that Aileen's victims become less than less "deserving" of their fate (indeed, the last "john" she kills isn't a john at all, but a good samaritan at the wrong place at the wrong time). But by this time, Aileen's horrorific life has scarred her beyond redemption, and a helping hand must be chopped off before it can touch her.

    Aileen's fate is a foregone conclusion - we all know how things turn out. The power of "Monster" comes in the telling -- we may shed a tear at the end of "Monster," but it's not because we know that a good woman is going to die. It's because we have been reminded that there are people in this world whose lot in life is so pathetic that their Holy Grail is merely to live a hum-drum, normal life, and there is no chance in hell for that to ever happen.

    A solid movie from start to finish that is dominated by stellar acting (even the supporting actors are excellent), "Monster" is a must-see. Put it in the category of movies like "The Passion of the Christ," "Saving Private Ryan," "Platoon," and "The Accused" -- these aren't the kinds of movies that you're going to pop into the DVD player every Friday night. But these are movies that demand to be seen, and they deserve to be....more info
  • Riveting, sensational, and horrific
    As advertised (and Academy-awarded) this movie contains a brilliant, startling and sensational performance by Charlize Theron as the true-life prostitute/serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron is over the top yet at the same time so totally controlled that her character is beautifully--if horrifically--realized. Opening as a much-abused street hooker who is treated like trash by almost everybody, Theron morphs "Lee" into a swaggering, macho murderess in a manner sure to chill many viewers straight to the bone. Yet all the while Theron conveys the vulnerability of a tragically twisted person who was never loved, only beaten, raped and tossed aside. The sordidness of her life and the hopelessness of her future are indelibly etched upon our memory.

    Much of the credit for this once in a lifetime performance must go to director Patty Jenkins who also wrote the script, which is itself quite a sensation. Jenkins books no compromise with propriety or with the audience's sensitivities. She rubs our face in Aileen's dehumanized life as a street hooker picked up by strangers who treat her like filth and abuse her in ways that are unspeakable. Central to the irony of the film is the fact that her life is that of a likely serial killer victim herself, since women who ply their trade in such a way are most vulnerable to sadistic attacks. But "Lee," inspired by her passionate and first-in-a-lifetime love for Selby, her mousy lesbian girl friend, played with sly and sneaky sparkle by Christina Ricci, turns the tables on the sickies who pick her up and finds a measure of short-lived empowerment by blowing the johns away with a large revolver.

    Jenkins uses quick and deft strokes to establish who and what Aileen is, and just as deftly establishes Selby as the church-going wallflower at the local same-sex bar. Jenkins's technique thrusts the viewer headlong into the story as Aileen drags herself out of the rain and into the bar to meet Selby who immediately latches onto her. Quickly they become friends, and then in a compelling and entirely convincing scene, fall in love while roller skating. This is followed by a steamy alley engagement in which both "Lee" and Selby discover their wild passion for one another. Both scenes are among the best of their type that I have ever seen.

    Although Theron got the major share of the glory for the success of this movie, and Jenkins most of the credit, Ricci was not far behind. Her character too is etched in my mind. How wonderfully cast were the two, the one physical and manlike, the other weak, naive and femme. And how lifelike the chemistry and how tragic the conjoining.

    Yes, this is an American tragedy thurbo'ed up for sensation-seeking audiences, presented with relentless views of violence and sensuality, featuring humanity at its most debased. So over-the-top were some of the scenes that I found myself unaccountably laughing in surprise at the sheer hutzpa of Jenkins's savage treatment.

    Be forewarned that this movie leaves little to the imagination, and when it does, it makes sure you know exactly what depravity you are to imagine. As such I would not recommend that anyone with delicate sensibilities view it. It is a study of the character of two women who find first love and first real passion together, but it is so thoroughly laced with violence and depravity that for many that love will become nothing more than ignoble animal lust.

    See this for both Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, two of cinema's most gifted young actresses....more info
  • Theron superb in loose"Beetlejuice" remake
    Charlize Theron's got down pat the foghorn voice and the wild gesticulation - like a drunken sailor attempting to restore circulation to all four limbs at once - proving to industry nay-sayers that when it comes to filling Michael Keaton's shoes, she is the most shoe-fillingest of all actresses. She filled them, all right, and then some, taking home the gold-plated proof last March.

    In the role first incarnated by alleged kleptomaniac and drug addict Wynyna Rydyr, Christina Ricci almost "steals the show" while seemingly operating under massive doses of narcotics. The scene where she almost starts to get upset about something will haunt this viewer for some time to come. Likewise, the troll-like make-up effects created for Ricci's character are almost as stunning as the transformations wrought upon Theron, and should certainly have garnered Academy attention.

    Though most of the original "Beetlejuice" plot points have either been jettisoned or so transformed as to be unrecognizable, its "exorcising living people from houses" angle is neatly transposed to "exorcising living johns from their cars, and then stealing the cars".

    (Irony of ironies: the "Monster" of the title refers not to Aileen Wournos, but to an entirely SEPARATE fearsome, ramshackle amusement ride.)...more info
  • And the monster is who, exactly?
    The centerpiece of this film is Charlize Theron's stunning portrayal of Aileen Wuornos -- a Florida prostitute who murdered 7 murders in 1990 - thus becoming America's first female serial killer. Theron's transformation from Hollywood beauty to forty-something burned-out highway hooker occurs inside and out. While makeup can depict weather-battered skin, and a few extra pounds can take the bloom off the rose, Theron becomes alternatingly swaggering and pitiable, melting into the tottering psyche of Aileen. Her perpetually down-turned smile is both a mark of inner pride and an expression of the bravado that she needs to survive emotionally.

    As depicted in the movie, from a tender age Aileen craved for acceptance and love. The men in her life, from her abusive father to her schoolmates, only abuse her. The closest she comes to love is in letting men use her body in every degrading way imaginable. She prowls the highways, selling sexual favors for pitifully small amounts of cash. But after years of this degrading work, one trick turns violent and Aileen guns down her assailant. This seems to empower her in a way she has never experienced, and she continues to kill for money, partly to avoid hustling, partly to support her young paramour, and partly for revenge. It's not hard to see where this not-too-bright, friendless, alcoholic and unconnected person will end up.

    As seen in the DVD featurette, writer/director Patty Jenkins connects strongly with Aileen. Jenkins sees Aileen as a victim whose world has cut off every avenue of escape. Jenkins also sees in Aileen the desperate need of every human being to be loved. When Aileen meets Shelby (Christina Ricci) it seems that for the first time she has a chance to hope and dream of something better than hustling truckers and married men. Whether the film accurately portrays the true Aileen Wuornos is something I cannot answer. In fact, Jenkins's attempt to tell the "larger truth" about Aileen practically screams "agenda-driven distortion!" A larger truth than Jenkins's may be that when you make a film about people (including the men Aileen murdered) it is important to depict them fairly and accurately. Whether Jenkins did that, or just chose to take the word of a likely psychotic, drug-addicted, emotionally damaged woman is the big question. By choosing to ignore Aileen's drug problem (replacing it with excessive alcohol consumption) or her ever-shifting testimony about the murders provides an insight into Jenkins's possible agenda.

    Nevertheless, as a story of how a victimized human being whose last shred of self-respect comes exploding from the barrel of a gun, the movie is affecting and upsetting. As an unvarnished look at the humiliations and trials of the disposable people that some use for their gratification, it is troubling and moving. Viewers must ponder the question of the identity of the "monster" of the title. Is it Aileen, washed-up loser, prostitute and deranged serial killer? Or the men and communities that trampled her human dignity? And if the answer is "both," then what do we do with monsters we willingly create?...more info
  • More a lesbian flick than serial killer story.
    This film turned out to focus more on the lesbian relationship between the two female lead characters than on Aileen Wuornos' serial killing spree. The heavy focus on their sexual activity detracted from the main point of the movie.
    ...more info
  • One Real Life Monster.....
    Who would have guessed pretty woman, Charlize Theron, could have been transformed to look almost exactly like female serial killer Aileen Wuornos? Let alone give an acting performance not to be missed!!

    Great screenplay/movie on how Aileen Wuornos became the female serial killer she was and of the crimes she committed! Great acting performances by both Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci. ...more info
  • Not good
    This movie is not good. I actually had to push myself to get through the entire thing. ...more info
  • The performance of the year. 6 STARS!
    This account of one of the most unusual criminals (Aileen Wuornos) in the American justice system is absolutely brilliantly portrayed by Theron. One of the best performances I have ever seen. Chilling, desperate, woven through with a tender relationship with another woman, this tale - and the woman portrayed in the film - is devastating and compelling. The physical presence of Theron's character is brilliant; this is an artist who transcends her own physical beauty, sacrificeses it by gaining weight for the ultimate reward: perfect characterization. There is no trace of Theron left, only the high strung serial killer bent on living the life she longs for, while systematically ruining it with murder and prostitution. Ricci does a wonderful job as the unwitting "lover", and optimistically blinds herself to the dangerous aspects of Wuornos' out of control life. The random ugliness of prostitution is a stark contrast to the intimate and tender relationship between the two women; the violence bred into an abused woman is sad and terrifying to witness. The disasterous results are sobering and thought provoking. This performance by Charlize Theron demonstrates the very best of what acting is all about. Truly, one of the premiere performances of our time. 100% recommended! ...more info
  • Charlize Theron = AMAZING
    If there is no other reason you want to see this film, see it just for Charlize Theron's performance. This role couldn't have been easy to play but she was unforgettable as Aileen Wuornos. I liked her work before this movie, but now I am truly a fan....more info
  • The True Story of Aileen Wuornos
    Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci star in this graphic and true story about Aileen Wuornos, an abused prostitute who was convicted of killing at least seven men in Florida.

    Theron stars as Wuornos, while Ricci stars as Selby, a young and extremely naive girl who becomes involved, both romantically and eventually on the run with Aileen. Aileen met Selby in the midst of her spree, and after spending time with her, she begins to fall in love. Due to these feelings she's developed, she longs to have a real life and a real relationship with Selby. However, she can't stop the killing. She kills for revenge for the years of abuse she suffered, and she also kills for money for herself and Selby to survive. Most of her victims were married men. Aileen tries to get a "real" job, but no one will hire her due to her lack of skills. As her life continues to crumble, even Selby begins to question her.

    Eventually, Selby finds out what is really going on with Aileen, and she cooperates with the authorities to convict Aileen of multiple murder. After being convicted and sentenced to die, Aileen Wuornos survived for twelve years on Death Row before finally being executed in October of 2002. Aileen and Selby never spoke to each other after Aileen's trial.

    This is a very good movie. Charlize Theron's portrayal of Aileen Wuornos won her an Academy Award for best actress. Christina Ricci's performance of the confused and easily-influenced Selby was excellent as well. Be warned: the violence and language contained in this movie makes it suitable for mature audiences only. I highly recommend this film. Watch and learn about one of history's most notorious serial killers....more info
  • humanity and darkness
    Not for the weak of heart or stomach, this film is a very powerful and very disturbing biopic of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played by an unrecognizable Charlize Theron - who must have eaten about 1000 bags of Cheetos in preparation for this role. Theron plays Wuornos straight and well, she makes her accessible and understandable as a real human being, while at the same time confronting the viewer with her unbelievable darkness and inhumanity. This movie is important as a cinematic achievement - the seedy underbelly of lower class Florida is absolutely depressing as one of the important elements of this story that the director nails, as well as for its unflinching look at the utter darkness residing inside Aileen Wuornos. The director does not force the viewer to conclude whether this darkness is intrinsic to her particular personality and is in some way "loosed" by the agony of her particular story, or whether, having never been treated as a real human being, that she is just "one of us" with a different context. - blogophobe-...more info
  • Depressing
    I bought this because I had heard either it or Charlize Theron was nominated for an Oscar. I guess the acting is good, but the film was so depressing. It's a sad story, I have no idea what I was expecting... I like happy endings, there wasn't one here....more info
  • Not what I expected
    Upon renting this movie, I expected something along the lines of "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," with some psychology and some serial killin'. I was surprised to find very little actual killin' in this film, and a whole lot of psychology. This movie is a character study, not a plot-driven narrative. As such, it provides Charlize Theron with a real actor's showcase. She takes full advantage of it, turning in a fantastic performance. Christina Ricci does a fine job, too. Given that we spend most of the movie with these two, their performances are critical, and they bring it strong.

    What I didn't like about this movie was its lack of plot. It meandered around a bit much for me, and became a little tedious in points. Also, it was a little too sympathetic to Wuornos. It's clear how she got to where she was, but she is portrayed as a complete victim who at no point (well, perhaps one) has any control over her choices.

    "Monster" is at least worth a rent....more info
  • A Haunting & Powerful Movie
    I was reluctant to see this movie b/c of all the violence I knew would be shown, but I'm so glad I saw it! Charlize Theron was unbelievable and fantastic in the role of Aileen Wuernos. She was not only unrecognizable, but completely transformed in every way as this woman. Christina Ricci was good too, but not a terribly strong performance, by an actress who usually plays much stronger personality roles--usually nasty, selfish and manipulative. By the end of the movie,I really had mixed feelings about the behavior of Aileen Wuernos. When she's raped and beaten by the first "john" who she murderers, I was almost cheering for her in defending herself. Then, she takes it too far of course by murdering all the "johns" she encounters. Why not just rob them and steal their cars and then flee the state? Resorting to murder every time showed her clear insanity and being oblivious to the reality of eventually getting caught.

    I thought the scene where she does a "favor" for one of the policeman who stops when he sees her on the street and then ignores her crimes and doesn't arrest her was an important scene, showing how corrupt the police force can be, even in these types of situations.

    An excellent movie and portrayal of a disturbed woman--I couldn't help but feel sorry for her at times and it was a very thought-provoking movie of our justice system and it makes you wonder if they chose the right solution for this woman's crimes. ...more info
  • not really sorprised
    I do seriously think the movie need more action but maybe the scrip was folloew to closed. Well I liked, but could be better.
    Ruben Ruix...more info
  • A Different Kind of Love Story
    While IMHO "Monster" is an absolutely amazing film, it obviously is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. But the only reasons for criticism are writer/director Patty Jenkins' exploitation of a real-life situation and the perception that serial killer Aileen is portrayed as more of a victim that those she murdered. While there is some logic to those arguments, I think Jenkins actually showed considerable restraint. Exploitation and character identification are inevitable in this type of story. It is more a question of degree-if you compare this to 1990's tearjerker "Too Young to Die" (starring Juliette Lewis in an almost identical story), Jenkins comes off as a model of objectivity and distanced perspective.

    What is most unique and compelling about "Monster" is that it is much more a love story than a thriller or a crime drama. The two main love scenes are absolutely riveting, with intensity levels higher than you are likely to find in any other film. "Tide Is High" and "Crimson and Clover" will never sound the same.

    One thing that works unexpectedly well is the incredible contrast between the two characters. Jenkins works hard to emphasize this, with camera shots that emphasize the physical size differences coupled with dialogue and behaviors that emphasize the contrasting personalities of this odd pair. Having Scott Wilson play the last murder victim is a homage to an earlier "Mutt and Jeff" pair of murderers, as he played Robert Blake's "In Cold Blood" sidekick.

    Although most of the critical acclaim has gone to Theron for her portrayal of Aileen, I think that a lot of the credit for Theron's masterful performance should go to Ricci's subtle and nuanced portrayal of Selby. Watch Ricci's eyes in all her reaction shots, it is as close to acting for the camera perfection as you are likely to ever see.

    If you really enjoyed Theron's incredible transformation from her typical hot starlet to this gritty prostitute role, then check out Catherine Deneuve in "Repulsion" (1965) and "Belle de jour" (1967). While not as physically extreme as Theron's transformation, Deneuve's two characters are equally hard to reconcile as being played by the same actress. Yet another acting for the camera marvel, as wardrobe, makeup, and hair-styling combine with behaviors and speech to effect an amazing range between two characters played by the same actress.

    Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child....more info
  • Who wants Yesterday's Paper?
    Perhaps priviledged isn't the appropriate descriptor, but I happened this week, to experience two films that both reek of murder and whose protagonists give astonishing performances in the course of their tragic undoing. But any parallelism diverges at this point. It's not that,'Monster' deals with a white-trash loser and,'Fists In The Pocket' with middleclass dysfunction. Or that the former is from southern U.S.A and the latter from Northern Italy. And discount the forty years that seperate their appearances. And colour versus black and white. Whatever all these factors contribute to visionary status, clearly Bellocchio's,'Fists' has it and Jenkin's,'Monster' is void of it. I can only imagine that Bellochio's investment, his poetic grappling and empathy with his 'monster' is total. we feel the disturbance in every nuance of the film, its rhythms, lighting, angles, editing. You could say that the murder/directror's consciousness is spread into every cranny of its making: that form is interlocked with content. While Jenkins's 'monster', for all her gravitas, remains spectacle, endistanced, horrific, but only as affecting as a tabloid header. Theron is terrific as the whore driven to destructive distraction. But by comparison with Lou Castel's character, the work is hers alone. Criterion have done us a service in digitally restoring a high-definition copy of a neglected masterwork that, for all my devotion to 60s Italian cinema, completely passed me by....more info
  • The reviewer Charles J Rector must have seen a different movie...
    It's not just his lesbophobia that is delirious! If this movie shows anything, it is how a political and economic system creating poverty and promoting violence crushes people, especially the most vulnerable, and turns them into distrustful human beings who lose control and fight back with the only weapons they have only to tragically create even more misery around them. Theron's character is so desperate to cling on to some idea of hope she even lets herself be manipulated by a spoiled brat who uses her love to get a free ride. Especially when once considers that the main character very probably fell in love with a girl because of her suspicion of ruthless and deranged men that only seem to want to abuse her. If you wanted to make a point about feminism, you chose the wrong movie. "Monster" is one of the worst indictments of patriarchal society I have ever seen and one of the most brutal portrayals of social Darwinism you can find in cinema....more info
  • Monster
    That is amazing, This movie changed my point of view of the real world, the one we are living and we didn't like to see. Extremely disturbing movie. I stoped twice the player, one to read again the name of the actress and second to read the synopsis, this actress its amazing, I can't belive how she transformed in to the monster. This is a real life story that the next day I confirmed at google, its not a lesbian story, its not a simpaty story its real life, and people didn't like to acept it. Its a clear example how reality its more shocking than fiction. I guess that most common people didn't understand the real impact of the movie and then they try to veil it. Don't do it. But be careful....more info
  • Effective Tragedy in Desperation
    'Monster' is a marvelous movie because Charlie Theron plays her character with such thorough knowledge and conviction that we are convinced that we're watching prostitute and serial killer Aileen Wuornos like it was done the first time. Add to the fact that writer/director Patty Jenkins makes all the right moves to tell the story without softening or sermonizing, and you have yourself a movie classic. Surely, it's not easy stuff to take in, but it's so interesting, one becomes glued to the heartaching tragedy in every detail. Much like 'Dead Man Walking,' this film brims with authenticity and assembles itself with an unflinching camera and leaves the audience to judge in its aftermath.

    Having been a prostitute since age 13 and having been disowned and abused in numerous ways, Aileen can only earn a living on the way she was brought up. Having to face a particularly nasty "John" she overreacts but at least has a plausible self-defense argument to muster. Having a desperate challenge for tenderness and money, she comes upon a lesbian, Shelby (played with excellent tension by Christina Ricci) from a devout Christian household when she stumbles into a gay bar. Trying a little tenderness her occupation lacks, she enters a relationship her original proclivities forbade. Finding rare compassion her storage unit landlord, Tom (played effectively by Bruce Dern) and striking a partnership with Shelby, she, nevertheless, goes down a slippery slope; one that makes her a modern MacBeth with more fate following her than ambition.

    It can't be said enough how well-rounded and detailed Theron's performance is made. Capturing pathos and desperation, 'Monster' reveals the rationalizations and roadblocks that make this story such a masterpiece in unsettling anguish.

    ...more info
  • Wow
    The really interesting story of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Well directed story that makes you feel sorry and despise Aileen. Charlize Theron give the performance of her life. Putting on a bunch of weight, false teeth, greasy hair and no makeup, you might not even recognize her. Beside the physical portion, she really becomes Aileen. I can't say enough good things about her. If not for anything else, you must watch this film for her performance....more info
  • Unforgettable!
    Polished to perfection, Monster is a notch above the rest in production, writing, direction, acting and in every other aspect. Charlize Theron's amazing physical and character transformation creates a mesmerizing realism. The entire presentation of the Aileen Wuornos story is an eye-opener, narrarated by her character and seen through her eyes. Though the real-life woman's story changed quite often, this portrayal was neither sympathetic nor harsh, leaving judgement to the viewer. Truly an unforgettable film....more info
  • Theron's performance is unforgettable
    There is one reason to see "Monster," and it's Charlize Theron's remarkable performance as Aileen Wuornos, the highway prostitute/serial killer who in real life was executed in 2002. For this role, Theron gained 30 pounds, shaved her eyebrows, and basically transformed herself from a glamorous Hollywood starlet into an overweight, prematurely-aged white-trash hooker. But the transformation is not purely physical. Emotionally, Theron inhabits the role of Aileen so well that I could literally feel Aileen's rage, hopelessness, sadism, and craving for affection. Watch the way she smokes a cigarette. She seems to be attacking the poor little rolled-up stick. Or the way she swaggers into a room, full of angry bravado.
    Director Patty Jenkins wisely focuses on a brief period of Aileen's life. There are clues about her horrible childhood (by the age of thirteen Lee was a hooker), but the movie starts when Lee, down to her last $5, steps into a gay bar and meets a naive clingy lesbian teen named Selby (Christina Ricci). After a rough start, the two women enter a co-dependent, destructive relationship. Selby demands to be "taken care of" and when Aileen fails to find a "good" job she goes back to her old ways. One night she is brutally raped by a john, and kills him. The subsequent murders, however, seem more motivated by money, as Selby constantly demanded more money.
    It's hard to feel sympathy for either Lee or Selby -- Selby is immature, manipulative, and greedy, while Lee's victims become less and less "deserving" of their fate. But Patty Jenkins and Theron and Ricci create a world of hopelessness and despair, of chain-smoking and seedy bars and cheap motels. If anything, the movie will shock the audience out of its comfortable middle-class existence. This is how the other half lives, and it's not pretty.
    The film is not perfect -- it's somewhat low-budget, and I thought Jenkins added one 80's pop song too many in the soundtrack. But these are minor complaints. Overall, it's the tour-de-force performance by Charlize Theron that will stick in my memory....more info
  • Awesome movie. Great price.
    I was very happy with the perfect condition of the DVD. I really got an excellent price on the DVD too. Thank you very much!...more info
  • Sick Film
    This is a true story based on the serial killings of Aileen Wournos, a prostitute. I can't add to the reviews here...they've pretty much covered everything about the movie.

    THe only thing I will add is that in my estimation, this is the kind of film that gives Hollywood a bad name and promotes unhealthy morals and values. A film where every other word is the "F" word or "G...D..."....and there is explicit homosexual sex..(graphic hetero sex is bad enough)and...look, I'm gay myself, but I don't like to have it crammed down my throat.

    It is a disturbing film....NOT FOR CHILDREN>>>OR ADOLESCENTS.....the acting by Theron is good...she does scare the fire out of you with her performance but the profanity was unnecessary. I find it hard to sympathize with Christina Ricci's character...she's too whiny and childish. Please avoid this film at all costs. ...more info
  • Weak film that is carried by Theron's peformance
    The film follows the life Aileen Wuornos( Charlize Theron), a female prostitute, who in the 1980's and the 1990's, kills 7 different men over the course of months. It also shows a relationship she had at the time with a woman (Christina Ricci) and how the murders tore their relationship apart.


    Depressing. That is the first word that went into my head after I got up and left the cinema when I went to see this back in 2003. I also felt digust and had a sense of being dirty. In the car, I didn't speak about it to my companion that was feeling the same thing that I was. The film hits the mark dead on with the feelings and the emotions and the acting. When you are done with this movie, you walk out of it feeling "Why did I see that?" because it is one of the darkest stories I have ever seen told on the screen. It makes you feel bad. It just makes your skin crawl over. There is not a single bone in my body that was creeped out by what I had seen in that.


    Patty Jenkins, for a first time director, introduces nothing new to the film world. She has so-so direction that is highlighted by Theron's amazing transformation into Wuornos. The only way that a person can say they got something out of the film was to look at Theron's performance and say "that is the only good thing, her performance." The reason why the film was critically acclaimed was by her performance, and performance only. The performance was what set the film. You weren't watching the other actors take their turn. You were watching Theron in awe as she displays the sickening life of the murder that she was ask to portray. The writing itself was mediocre and was all over the place, it took Theron's character and developed her the most while leaving other characters with little or no development at all. Like I said, it was a star making vehicle for Charlize Theron like Risky Business was for Tom Cruise or The Hustler was for Paul Newman. The film focuses mostly on Theron and never lets up.

    Theron's performance was amazing, in a word. She takes the character and develops the mannerisms of the person and the personality also. She makes you hate and feel for her at the same time the development of the character shows towards the end of the film when Aileen looks back in desperation of getting a last glimpse of her lover.

    Overall, the film make me depressed, but I was in awe of Charlize's performance and was glad that she won the Oscar for it, because before this, she really hadn't impressed me with her other films as they hadn't any challenging roles that she could free herself in as a actress. Decent film, amazing performance....more info
  • Monster DVD
    Bought this for my husband. Great condition!! Quick delivery too! Thank you...more info
  • beautiful theron as beastly wuornos
    The dramatized version of the real life story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who was executed after about ten years on death row. Roger Ebert hailed Charlize Theron's performance as one of the best ever in the history of cinema....more info
  • Only good thing is the acting
    The only good thing about the film is the amazing quality of acting done by Ms. Theron. She quite deservedly won an Oscar for her role.However, the rest of the film stinks. This is a sympathetic portrait of a merciless serial killer. We are made to feel sorry for a woman who, in cold blood, murdered several men. ...more info
  • All-around brilliant
    Charlize Theron, as is widely known, is superb in this film, for which she won the Academy Award for best actress. With a little help from the artists in make-up, she transforms herself into Aileen Wuornos, Daytona Beach prostitute turned serial killer (a true story; Wuornos was executed for seven murders in 2002 after spending 12 years on FLorida's death row). Christina Ricci is also brilliant as Wuornos' naive and vulnerable lesbian lover. There is little I can add to the comments of other viewers about the amazing quality of the acting, which extends beyond the protagonists to the talented men who play Wuornos' various "johns." Special kudos go to Marc Macaulay and Scott Wilson (who plays the last "john" with breathtaking poignance).

    The DVD also includes a very enlightening featurette on the making of the film, which I highly recommend, narrated chiefly by Theron and director/writer of the film, Patty Jenkins. I learned from watching this extra feature, for example, that the movie was shot on the actual sites where the real events took place and that Theron and Jenkins met and interviewed many acquaintances of Wuornos in the process. As both Theron and Jenkins explain, they came to understand that they could only tell a part of the horrifying story of Wuornos' evolution from abused and abandoned child to killer. To that end, the script is remarkable in conveying Wuornos' story with sympathy while not attempting to glorify or excuse her slide to the dark side. The events of her early life that damaged her so extensively are narrated indirectly through dialogue and description, which I think was a good choice, because we never come to feel that any one experience explains or justifies the monster she became.

    One of the best movies I've seen. ...more info
  • Painful
    If I could only use one word to describe the feeling I had when watching 'Monster', that would be it. Painful. As I watched the account of this woman's life I was in constant agony for I felt for her and her situation, her horrific lot in life. Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron) is not the monster here. The monster is the life she led, the life forced upon her, the life that ate at her everyday. Aileen, prostitute since thirteen, never knew anything more than what she had, and as the film opens we see that she is about to take her own life because of this, that was until she meets Selby Wall (Christina Ricci). Selby (real name was Tyria Moore) is a closet lesbian who wants to come out against the will of her overbearing parents. She meets Aileen in a gay bar, a place apparently Aileen was unaware was a gay bar, but after they meet they lose something they've felt their whole life...they no longer feel lonely, alone.

    In order to keep Selby by her side Aileen turns back to prostitution but after being abused horrifically by a 'John' Aileen makes a change. That's when the murders begin, and even though some are not justified and some are heartbreaking (especially when she murders and innocent man out of pure fear and hopelessness) you never feel as though she deserves what she gets. She didn't deserve the hand she was dealt and its heart wrenching to see her have to go through everything she went through. Yes, it's true that not all women who are raped by their father figure turn out to be murderers, but I don't feel that's the reason she killed. There is so much we don't know about the woman that was Aileen Wuornos, but from Charlize's brilliant performance we gather that she was afraid, she was alone, she was confused and she was emotionally dieing if not already dead. She had been abused in everyway possible and thrown out without a chance, without a care in the world, even by the ones she loved the most (most notably Selby).

    This is a truly heartbreaking and, yes, painful film to watch but it's one that we all do well to experience to know the tragedy we ourselves are at times too guarded (and judgmental) against....more info

 

 
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