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Monster (Special Edition)
Special Edition
Actors: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 49min

Charlize Theron (The Italian Job Trapped) explodes in a magnetic Oscar®-winning (Best Actress 2003) performance as convicted killer Aileen Wuornos.Severely abused and unloved Aileen immersed herself in the dangerous world ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/25/2005
Original Release Date: 01/30/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/30/2004
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

DIANE M. (bookaholic) from PARADISE, PA
Reviewed on 11/30/2009...
Charlize Theron gives a fascinating and top notch performance in this drama as a true life rough and brutal serial killer. It certainly proves she has serious talent as an accomplished actress. Yes, some of the scenes are disturbing and violent but this is a movie not to be missed. Excellent!
S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 10/31/2008...
Well, if you're into Charlize Theron movies... brace yourself. This isn't Charlize at her prettiest. But, by golly, it sure is Charlize at her glorious best, when it comes to acting. She did not get all those awards and nominations (mostly awards)for this movie for nothing.

The normally gorgeous and sweet Charlize has transformed herself for this movie into a hard-drinking, chain smoking, street-wise, cynical, butch prostitute who gives the word 'dysfunctional' a whole new meaning. She pretty much literally "becomes" Aileen Wuornos. I have seen Aileen Wuornos interviewed and believe me, they could be twins. She even has her speech pattern down pat. And, I read somewhere that she plucked her eyebrows out (completely!) just to enhance the facial resemblance to Wuornos.

This is not a 'fun' movie to watch, but if you appreciate gazing at true talent and gutsiness, this should definitely be at the top of your list! It is beautifully done!!!

Note: If they are out of this version, or you don't want to spend 2 credits on the Special Edition, you can also order the plain Widescreen version here (just copy and paste the link):

Movie Reviews

plu_female | Malaysia | 04/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Extraordinary Acting And An Unusual Point Of View
Jana L. Perskie | New York, NY USA | 07/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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. At first the two are so thrilled that they like each other - that they are not alone anymore. Their desperate, mutual quest for affection culminates in this doomed relationship. To me the relationship is more about loneliness and emotional dependency than physical attraction. The honeymoon is short-lived, however. Selby had never been on her own before and for some reason, doesn't think to get a job. She expects Aileen to provide for them. She manipulates Aileen into continuing to work as a prostitute, even though she is aware of at least one murder. Jenkins suggests that as long as the money keeps coming in she will ask no questions. Wuornos tries to get work and go straight but has no job skills or experience. She winds up going back on the road as a prostitute again, and then, after a violent episode with a john, her rage takes over and the murders begin.Charlize Theron does give an extraordinarily powerful performance as the serial killer. It is amazing how she was able to literally transform herself into a woman who looks exactly like the actual Aileen Wuornos, mannerisms and all. This transformation is not just make-up. She speaks like Wuornos, walks like her, with a masculine swagger, captures her intensity, and her eyes often hold a glint of madness.The film is shot in a gritty style on the highway, streets, bars and motel rooms. The ambiance is pure sleaze, reflecting the true crime drama. Overall, the story is fascinating, as is the point of view. And, as I have said, the performances are simply excellent. Highly recommended!
Charlize Theron's performance will blow your socks off
Schtinky | California | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Monster is based on the true story of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a common prostitute that left a string of dead Johns in her wake. Aileen (Lee) is on the verge of taking her own life when she meets up with Selby, a lesbian who is looking for companionship. Selby gets Lee to talk, and they agree to meet again the next night. Lee needs money, so she takes to the streets to make some cash.

Her last John brutally beats and rapes her, and in an act of (what seemed to be) self-defense, Lee shoots him to save her own life. Selby and Lee hit it off and decide to set up house together, each having their own ideal of what 'a real life' should entail. While Lee believes that giving up hooking and finding a real job is the key to her new life, Selby is too dependent to go out and get herself a job, therefore remaining reliant on Lee's income as a prostitute. Life does not stay peachy for the new lovers, and after many heart-breaking rejections from the job market, Lee returns to hooking in order to feed her and Selby.

Whether Lee had simply had enough of prostitution, or whether the last brutal John soured her, or simply the idea that she had gotten away with it once, Lee adds a new twist to her hooking schema; murder.

Monster is not a fast paced story of the police investigation hurdling towards finding a killer, but the horrifically commonplace lives of two women who want more out of life but can't seem to find their way out of the trenches. It didn't strike me as 'what would you do for love' type of story either, simply a deviant's twisted mentality of right and wrong. It is a story of the human inside the animal, even a human as alien as Lee was, and the presentation those animals will make to remain human as long as they can.

Get ready to see the performance of a lifetime from previously uncelebrated actress Charlize Theron. She *should* have won the award for her amazing performance in Monster, never again will you see her as a 'blah' or 'so-so' actress. She immersed herself so deeply into the role that she became almost unrecognizable as the Charlize you have seen before. The talk, the walk, the mannerisms, are all portrayed with a natural flow, you simply will not believe how good she is in this movie.

Special mentions go out to Christina Ricci (Selby) and Bruce Dern (Thomas) for their stellar performances also. Director Patty Jenkins receives a tip from my hat also, for finding the human inside Aileen Wuornos and bringing it to the screen. In the featurette, Patty mentions that Lee's behavior wasn't about strength or weakness, but about damage, and she managed to highlight this in the film.

I'm not usually a big fan of Special Features, but you absolutely MUST watch the featurette, where it shows the work behind the scenes and how they transformed Charlize Theron into Aileen Wuornos. It's not just seeing the make up applied, but watching her mannerisms change as she imbeds herself into the role.

Monster is a superb movie, an emotional killer, which will leave you full of both pity and rage at what becomes of those who society turns their polite cheek away from. I highly recommend Monster as a 'buy' rather than 'rent' DVD. Enjoy!