Monster's Ball

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

When life deals people a tough hand, theres nothing more needed than comfort and companionship from another human being. Both Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), a prison guard, and Leticia Musgrove (Halle Barry), who works in the local diner, have undergone recent losses. For Leticia, her husband Lawrence (Sean Combs) ends his eleven-year wait on death row. However, while she feels a definite sense of loss, she is also relieved that his part of her life is finished. When a stunning event forces Hank and Leticia together, they find that needed comfort and companionship with each other, in what proves to be for certain family members and people around them, a taboo, interracial relationship. The acting is first-rate with rap-recording star Combs, in his acting debut, turning in a surprisingly strong performance in his limited role as the death row inmate. MONSTERS BALL is a powerful portrayal of two people overcoming prejudice and finding a relationship in a time of need.

While racism is an issue in every part of this country, it is stereotypically associated in film, due to the historical issue of slavery, with the southern United States. Which possibly explains why this film is set in the south, to heighten the dramatic tension of Hank and Leticias relationship in a unique way that could quickly tie to the locale. Although the film always looks down upon the racist attitudes, the prejudiced characters tend to justify their behavior. And the effect of family examples is evidenced as characters struggle to overcome generational mindsets. Several racial slurs are spoken, one of which is of a sexual nature. But the film also includes some sexual encounters, all of which are graphic, and two that contain female breast and rear nudity. Foul language includes many strong obscenities and several strong profanities. Vulgar dialogue and pornographic sexual content take the air out of MONSTERS BALL.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Lions Gate Films, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 501, LA, CA 90036

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 7, moderate 3

Obscene Language: Many (24) times - F-word 9, s-word 12, other 3

Profanity: Several (7) times All Regular (GD)

Violence: Several times Mild and moderate (kid pushed/ hit by mother, man punched/ pushed around, man pushed down/ kicked, man shoots himself in chest, man electrocuted)

Sex: Few times Graphic (explicit scene with nudity, extended explicit scene with nudity, unconventional sex - womans pleasured reaction shown)

Nudity: Many times (female rear, breast, and male rear in sex scenes, female breast and rear in hotel room); Near Nudity Few times (cleavage emphasized, tight fitting clothes, short skirts, people in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (woman asks if man wants sex, comment about man not getting sex, references to sexual encounter)

Drugs: Several times (cigarette smoking)

Other: Several racial slurs, shows people need affection/ love, men deal with prejudiced family examples, suicide understood but not condoned

Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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