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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable but compelling
I first found out something about Aileen Wuornos when watching the documentary by Nick Broomfield. I found the documentary disturbing as, in my opinion, Aileen didn't appear to be in her right mind when she was executed and I was also disturbed by her life story. When 'Monster' came out with Charlize Theron in the lead role I was concerned that this would be yet another...
Published on 15 Nov. 2006 by C. Leenhouwers

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3.0 out of 5 stars O.K Serial Killer Movie!!
I picked this mainly on the basis that I like serial killer movies, however its not a movie which is up there with silence of the lambs which I think is the greatest Serial Killer film ever made, I know that movie is impossible to top, but It just doesn't grab you as much and want you to keep watching, I found it hard to watch to the very end mainly because of sheer...
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Joel S. Greenhalgh


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlize Theron's best performance to date in a compelling, troubling film, 13 April 2011
This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
As of April 2011, according to [...] - the great film and tv website - Charlize Theron has acted in 39 roles since her film debut in 1995. But of all the films I've seen with her as the principal actress, none of her performances compare with the depth, complexity and brilliance of the portrait she gives of this dramatic interpretation of Eileen Wuornos, American's most noted female serial killer.

Theron undoubtedly deserved the 2004 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance and I think it remains one of the most remarkable performances by an actress of any decade; she really is stunning and you can tell she spent considerable time studying and absorbing Wuornos in terms of her body language, the way she spoke, etc. - presumably via Broomfield's two documentaries, see below - to capture her conflicted, pained, angry character.

Even if you're not interested in the disturbing, traumatic and painful real life of Eileen Wuornos herself (for those who are, Nick Broomfield did two somewhat voyeuristic, troubling yet none the less fascinating documentaries, Aileen: Life and Death of A Serial Killer [DVD] [2003] and Aileen Wuornos-Selling of a Serial. [VHS]). Sadly, Christina Ricci's performance is a shallow foil, more so I think because there is little for her to get to grips with in terms of depth of character to portray, than any outright inability as an actress herself - as she plays the supporting role of Selby (based on the real life Tyria Moore, Wuornos' only - it seems - true lover/partner (and who betrayed Wuornos by eliciting a confession in order to escape a jail sentence/trial herself for accessory to murder).

Whether you watch only this personal interpretation of Wuornos directed and written by Patty Jenkins (amazingly, this is her debut as a full-length feature film writer/director - astonishing, when you consider the riches of the film), or watch one or both of Broomfield's documentaries on her, I think there will always be a part of Wuornos that remains a compelling, disquieting enigma, especially in terms of the reasons and particular circumstances involved regarding each of the men she killed. Importantly, both Monster and the documentaries will also always remain timely reminders of the opressive brutality, violence, stigma, threats and insecurities that women face as prostitutes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love thy monster, 4 Mar. 2011
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
I finally got round to watching this dramatic, intriguing and slightly fascinating film. Charlize Theron is unrecognisable, but brilliant in this powerful true story. A really good film!

Monster tells the story of how a washed up prostitute befriends a young church going lesbian girl. The hooker tries to go straight but with no avail and so becomes the 'monster' people almost label her as, all in the name of love.

The acting is weighty, even if Ricci looks like a startled owl, and the story keeps you hooked, interested and ultimately rooting for the monster.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patty Jenkins turns Aileen Wuornos into a pitiable monster, 6 July 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"Monster" could easily be overwhelmed by two external factors. The first is the true story of Aileen Carol Wuornos, who was actually named "America's first female serial killer" by the "Guinness Book of World Records." Wuornos has been the subject of two documentatries by Nick Broomfield , 1992's "Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer" and 2003's "Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer," which followed her execution in Florida in 2002, and there are countless other testaments to the crimes for which she was executed. It is hard not to walk into this movie and not know that this women is going to kill again and again.
It is equally impossible to watch this film and not know about Charlize Theron's transformation into Aileen Wuornos. The story of her weight gain and the make up job that made it difficult to remember this is a beautiful woman are now a Hollywood legend, the feminine counterpart to Robert De Niro's efforts in "Raging Bull," especially now that her performance has been eternally validated by Theron's Oscar for Best Actress. The performance is indeed superb, a case of completely inhabiting a part. What stands out is not what Theron did to her body but what she does with it: the looks and mannerisms that create this compelling character. Ultimately, the performance is so good that you forget the external reasons why "Monster" would be overwhelmed and just become immersed in the story.
What surprised me the most about writer-director Patty Jenkins's film is that it struck me as being a love story more than a horror story. That is to say, that it has the structure of one. Throughout the film we get bits and pieces of Aileen's life story, enough to know that she has been the victim of abuse and that years of being a prostitute have driven her down to the point of contemplating suicide. That is when Aileen meets Selby (Christina Ricci), a young lesbian trying to take her first steps out of the closet. Aileen has only suffered at the hands of men, so Selby's youth and innocence is very attractive. Aileen wants to stop hooking, but to get money so that she and Selby can get a hotel room and party for a week is different because she can convince herself that this time she is doing it for somebody else. But if Aileen finally has a good person in her life fate gives him another punch in the face, literally, when she goes off in the car of a john who might be the worst person she has ever met.
In the context of this film the first man that Aileen Wuornos killed deserved it. Not just in terms of what he did to her but in terms of what could have happened next. Whether this is what really happened with the first john Wuornos murdered is debatable (after the trial it turned out he had served ten years for a violent rape in another state), this becomes a pivotal event in Jenkins's film. However Aileen does not start killing more johns at that point. What she tries to do is find a "real" job. Of course, she does not have the education or the temperament to do anything other than what she has been doing. Aileen does not want to go back to hooking, but she also wants to keep Selby happy, and so she finds an alternative in killing the johns.
It is not clear if Aileen only kills Johns at this point. She does not kill all of her johns seen in the film but she clearly intended to, getting herself into the proper frame of mind by convincing herself that all of these men want to beat her and rape her like her first victim. The tragedy here is that, in the context of the film, this was a woman who wanted to make a better life, but her old life was such that in her warped mind this was the only thing that she can do. Even as she is killing men who do not deserve to be killed, there is a sense that her history and fate have conspired against her. It is too much to feel real sympathy for Aileen, but in the tradition of horror films, Jenkins has made her "Monster" a truly pitiable figure.
At the end of the film there we are provided two bits of information. In terms of the real life story of Aileen Wuornos it is the second one, telling us about her execution in 2002, that that would seem to be the more important one. But in the context of "Monster," it is the first one that tells us of what the character of Aileen would have considered the end of her life.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A CINEMATIC LOOK AT A SORDID, WASTED LIFE..., 1 July 2004
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This controversial film is worth seeing, if only for Charlize Theron's outstanding, Academy Award winning performance. Ms. Theron totally loses herself in the character of Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida and was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Aileen Wuornos was finally executed in 2002, after spending many years on death row.
The film details the hard knocks life led by Aileen Wuornos, from that of a troubled teenager looking for love in all the wrong places to that of a hard living prostitute. It also looks at the very human side of Aileen Wuornos, a woman who found love in the person of a troubled, young lesbian in her late teens (Christina Ricci), who would ultimately betray the trust that Aileen Wuornos believed lay between her and her eventual fate.
Ms. Theron's physical transformation is startling, though I found her still recognizable as Charlize Theron. It is her performance, however, rather than her physical transformation, that is more startling, as she infuses it with a high voltage intensity and swagger that bowls the viewer over. She makes the person of Aileen Wuornos come to life. She is a low rent individual, white trash to the core, prostituting herself by getting into cars in order to have sex with total strangers. So, this film is not for the fastidious, as we are looking at the seamy underbelly of the beast in this film, and it sure isn't pretty. It is also a credit to Ms. Theron's compelling performance that the viewer is able to feel pity for Aileen Wuornos, a woman who is so vile, yet, at the same time, so vulnerable and pathetic.
The direction is excellent in the film, as are all the supporting performances. Christina Ricci is very good as the weak, passive, troubled young woman with whom Aileen Wuornos enters into a lesbian love affair, a relationship which lasted years in real life rather than the short time depicted in the film. Ms. Ricci infuses the role with a certain amoral, vapid selfishness that makes the character's betrayal of Aileen Wuornos comprehensible. Bruce Dern, in the role of Thomas, Aileen Wuornos' only true friend, is a stand out, as he adds depth to an otherwise small role. It is clear that Thomas saw something in Aileen Wuornos that the rest of the world missed. It is the most decent relationship that Aileen Wuornos appears to have had.
The film itself, despite the stellar performances, is somewhat flawed, as it is unclear as to what made Aileen Wuornos tick, though it makes an attempt at deciphering her psyche. There are several theories that are exposed for the viewer to ponder: abused child, rape victim, and love sick puppet. They fall short of explaining adequately this troubled woman who would go on to achieve such notoriety. Notwithstanding this unresolved issue, the film is still a compelling one, though not one I would necessarily care to view again, as there is nothing at all uplifting about the disturbing and sordid life led by Aileen Wuornos. Consequently, I consider this film to be a one shot deal, despite the wonderful performances.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
thumbs up from me thanks again a happy shopper
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5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic film, well, 22 Oct. 2014
By 
Mr. Anthony Harvey (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
a fantastic film, well recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
Fast delivery and great product
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
enjoyed it was a present.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
Was excellent thank u x
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Monster [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
great just as expected
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Monster [2003] [DVD]
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