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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Monster's Ball (2001)



Reviews and Comments

Monster's Ball is a character drama that sidesteps mechanical plot devices at every turn. Its characters are more intelligent than most movies figure people are. It doesn't harness its characters into a plot that denies them the freedom to think and feel on their own. The acting is terrific, and in fact Halle Berry earned a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

There is, however, a problem that hurt the film for me. There is a sexual scene in the second half that threw me out of the world of these characters. It starts as a critical character moment, then quickly devolves into exploitation disguised as art. The change in tone is abrupt and out of place from the rest of the film; it's jarring enough that I found it difficult to be drawn back in afterward.