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Monster's Ball
Academy Award® Winner
An embittered prison guard in rural Georgia begins an unlikely but emotionally charged affair with the widow of a man he just executed.

Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Dante Beze...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Good ---]by  
Feb 16, 2002
I liked this movie, but disagree with the critics who say it is the best movie of the year. The acting was incredible, and Halle Berry deserves an award for this movie.
Feb 27, 2002
A powerful emotional charge drama starring Billy Bob Thronton as a racist police officer who falls for a girlfriend of a death roll inmate played by Halle Berry.

The film protrayed them as two lost people who are in search for redemption and found it in each other. Berry gave the performance of a lifetime. I've been following her career for over ten years and with that performance, she has matured as a serious actress.
Apr 4, 2002
While this film is much better than the average, run of the mill drama that Hollywood cranks out, I don't think it could be classified as 'the best film of the year.' It is excellent, though.

In all honesty, I don't understand why Halle Berry won an award for her performance in this film. Her performance was top-notch, but not exemplary. Oscar? Well, she must have received that award by the skin of her teeth. And some pretty heavy pre-Oscar lobbying....

Thornton is a masterful actor and he carries this movie, along with the man who plays his father, Peter Boyle. Sean Combs did surpisingly well, but has much to learn about acting if he should desire more than typecasting from the movie industry in the future.
Apr 19, 2004
This movie is best known for the Oscar that star Halle Berry won for her performance as a down-trodden, penniless, chain-smoking, deparate mother and widowed wife of a cop-killer. That's the primary reason why I rented it.

Berry's performance was showered with praise by critics, and rightfully so. Billy Bob Thornton does a great job of portraying the equally down-trodden personality of a prison guard whose job led to Berry's character being a widow. The music is very haunting and very appropriate, and the story is very gritty and has a very real feeling to it. Overall, I'm sure that it is a fine motion picture that does just about everything right.


It wasn't until I read quite a few reviews after seeing it that I started to appreciate the qualities that generated all that high praise. Is it because there are so many inconsequential movies out there, that my palate is so dulled that it cannot recognize and appreciate a fine film when one comes along? Perhaps.

I don't believe that I'm completely immune to appreciating good stories, but for whatever reason, Monster's Ball didn't strike me as a film that I would recommend to others. After reading the reviews by our Featured Movie Critic, Roger Ebert, and other newspaper critics, I began to reflect on the film and realized that there were many powerful scenes, strong characters, and poignant storylines (a caution, Ebert's review contains what I consider to be spoilers).

Given the difference between my personal impression of the movie and Roger Ebert's opinion, it would make for an interesting extra on the DVD to have him do a featurette on what he liked, and perhaps even a running commentary.

This is why I'm classifying Monster's Ball as a "Wait for Rental." Watch the movie, form your own opinion, and then read the reviews. Then, you'll have the opportunity to rewatch the movie or certain scenes based on the comments of others, and re-examine the movie for yourself.

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