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Monster's Ball

3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 5.48
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Product Details

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monster of a Performance by Berry July 17 2004
By A Customer
Halle Berry stars as Leticia Musgrove, a young African-American mother whose husband is on death row for an undisclosed crime. Her husband (Sean Combs) is executed by a white father named Hank and his son (Billy Bob Thornton and Heath Ledger, respectively). After the abusive mother's only son is killed in a freak accident, Hank (whose estranged son commits suicide) becomes entangled in Leticia's life, marked by crippling grief and great misfortune. They begin an affair, Leticia all the while not knowing that her new love was the one who killed the father of her dead son. Will she overcome this, or will she succumb to the familiar isolation she has faced nearly all of her life?
The performances are all marvelous. Thornton and Ledger maintain a quiet anger and sadness, Combs and Peter Boyle (as Hank's racist father) are both great in brief supporting roles, but nothing compares to Berry. Usually typecast as the beautiful girlfriend or token black character, she brings exquisite calibration to her work, a raw fear combined with pride and numbing insecurities. She also has some stunning hysterical moments in the film, when she realizes who Thornton's character is and when she finds out her son is dead at the hospital. The latter moment emblazons itself on your memory, as she bangs on the glass screaming with gutteral howls "My baby! Please don't take my baby!" before collapsing into a heap. Berry, despite some recent poor script and genre choices, proved herself in this film, winning a well-deserved Oscar as Best Actress in a Leading Role against such contenders as former winners Sissy Spacek and Judi Dench. Berry's performance ranks among the best in recent memory.
Excellent acting and good writing make this film easily one of the finest of the last few years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thornton, not Berry, steals the show! July 17 2004
First things first, sorry, Berry's was NOT the best performance in this film. Far from it. Thornton steals the show as the multi-faceted racist corrections officer. In fact, I was thinking as I watched the movie that I certainly hoped it wasn't this performance that earned Berry an Oscar. Then I saw on the box that is was. Mercy, what was the Academy thinking on that choice? I thought her performance was unnatural and contrived, and not aided by the fact that her stunning beauty belied her otherwise down and out status (I'm only willing to suspend disbelief to a certain point).
As for the film itself, it grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. The mood it establishes, supported by an excellent musical score, almost hypnotizes you. I was disappointed by the ending, however. It seemed abrupt and gave me a feeling of incompleteness concerning the film. The fact that there wasn't much dialogue to uncover the characters along the way only added to this feeling (I felt like I was only starting to get to know these people and then . . . the credits roll). But, again, it was the mood, not the dialogue, that makes this movie work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Movie with Heath. April 5 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good movie, I liked that Heath was in it, even for as long as he portrayed his Sonny character, good plot and acting.
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By Robert
I don't plan on trying to argue against the bad reviews on a point by point basis.
Instead, it's my opinion that the bad reviews are related to the fact that this film has no car chases, no explosions, so spurting blood, special effects, or any of the other [stuff] that makes up "popular films these days".
In my review I would say that this is a very well written movie, that is very well acted. The only characer I was uncomfortable with was Halle Berry's son, the first time I watched this film I didn't think he did a very good job. But the second time I realized just how much this kid had been through and why he had turned out as he had.
You won't like this film if you don't like intense drama's driven exclusively by character development.
Caution: this film requires thinking----they do not lay the whole story out for you!
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By Melisa
This movie is by far one of the best in the last few years. One of the best things about this is its simiplicity; the human need for intimacy and love. Its this simiplicity that resonates with so many viewers. Hank and Letitia, played by Billy Bob Thorton and Halle Berry respectively, need each other. All the other things; the fact that Hank was one of the guards involved in her husbands execution, Hanks racist upbring, etc; all those things just don't matter, not as much as thier desperate need for each other. Sure there are no roses and chocolates, but don't be fooled...its a real world romance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HALLE BERRY IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! July 12 2004
Halle berry gives an amazing performance and deserved her oscar in this drama.Forget what bad things people say about this movie because they don't know good drama's halle has proved again she is a execllent actress.Buy this I promise you that you won't be sorry you bought it go halle WOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!my favorite actress !!! read all the good reviews of this there are more good then bad trust me alot more good!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth It July 11 2004
By A Customer
There were moments where this film interested me, but otherwise I found myself wondering why Halle got an Oscar for this role, or more importantaly-- why this film was so acclaimed. After watching the credits role I decided it was because of the sex scene; "taboo" lust, if you will. The plot was weak and the ending left me hanging.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars absurdly implausible
This might have been good if they had tried to make a serious, realistic film instead of a silly fairy tale. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2008 by serious watcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Halle Berry 's ocsar winning performance PLEASE!!!!
This was a horrible movie. The plot was simplitic at best.It was going all over the place. None of it made sense. Halle Berry is a one note actress at best. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by D. Harris
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Quit Your Day Job, "Sean Combs"
This is a frustrating movie in many ways. It is indeed difficult to watch, as other reviewers have pointed out (though it is supposed to be). But it is also a missed opportunity. Read more
Published on June 28 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE stuff!
Honestly, there aren't enough to words to describe how bad Monster's Ball is, and how undeserving of an Oscar that hack Halle Berry was. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by "rattlerbrat82"
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic but well acted.
This film is dramatic, tragic, and all out depressing. But the acting is what steals the show. Halle Barry deserved the Oscar, and the film will be remembered. Not the best. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Ryne Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Halle Barry deserved the acadamy award!
WOW! Where does one begin writing about such a powerful movie?
Billy Bob Thornton plays the unfeeling, unemotional, robot of a man... Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Kim Robinson
1.0 out of 5 stars I liked this better when it was called Jason's Lyric........
How did Halle play the race card? Let's compare 2001's Monster's Ball to 1994's Jason's Lyric (unrated version). Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by SHAWN JAMES
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