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By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Powerful, painful for mature audiences only.

Movie R 2003 110 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+


This movie is the epitome of excellence lead by 2 fantastic actresses it deals with a real life struggle of a woman that was hounded/ ignored and failed by society and the justice system. The movie is gripping from start to finish and ends in the most dramatic and moving way. I completely recommend this to non-faint hearted people. I would NOT recommend this for anyone under the age of 18 purely due to the nature of the film, the messages and the common theme which not for children to consume. This is truly a fantastic movie.
age 18+

Depressing yet Incredible performances!

Jaw dropping performance by Charlize Theron who won an Oscar for this terrific film! Barely recognized her in this and I think she's one of the most beautiful women! After someone recommending this film to me & viewing the trailer, it seemed too interesting to pass up. It also stars another favorite, Christina Ricci! I loved the story, pace and emotional aspect of the film. It was heartfelt, moving, gripping & depressing all in one. I also found Theron's character's personality witty and honest (before she went nuts) which made it all the better to watch. In this true story we meet Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute, who had a horrible childhood. Her life was messy until she met the adorable Selby, a lesbian who befriends Aileen one day in a bar. However, Aileen is not gay. Later, she realizes she loves Selby, which ultimately leads to a romantic relationship between the two. Aileen becomes the "guy" and wants to protect and provide for Selby. However, after getting raped and beaten by one of her "clients", Aileen makes her first killing by shooting him dead, out of defense. Completely freaked out, she quickly realizes that her "job" will no longer work and she must try to clean up and find a regular job, but it's not as easy as she thinks. Hungry and without a dime to spare for the two, Aileen goes back into prostituting but doesn't actually perform the acts, instead, she kills them and takes their money. This prolongs until it gets way out of hand, Aileen becomes a serial killer who was convicted in 1990 and executed in 2002. The language is very strong and contains tons of f-words, b*tch, @ss, d@mn, sh*t, n*gger and some sexually related words. Violence is very strong and contains a very intense torture/rape scene where Aileen is hit over the head and tied up in car and he shoves something up her butt (can't see what - not graphically shown), then he pours something over her (methyl alcohol?) she appears bloody and she struggles until she escapes, she shoots him continuously and then beats him vigorously with the gun. Several other gunshot scenes, car stealing, pushing and shoving, some loud yelling, arguments and outbursts. Sexual content contains passionate kissing between gay lovers, one sex scene between Aileen & Selby (not graphic) but you see one of their breasts briefly, a tender kiss between women on a skating floor until they move outside and kiss passionately and wildly for about one minute. Aileen's breasts are seen for 2 seconds in a mirror. A scene where a law officer takes Aileen to a garage and demands sexual favors, he pulls down his pants but then the scene cuts to something else. Aileen talks dirty to one of her clients before she finds out it's his "first time", she gives him a hand job. There is heavy drinking at a bar, women often get intoxicated. Smoking throughout. Kids/Teens will not understand nor appreciate this film, it's definitely not appropriate for that age range!!! 18++ only.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Glamour girl Charlize Theron's breathtaking, heartbreaking transformation into the completely opposite image of Wuornos makes this film an astonishing achievement. The movie wisely does not pretend to explain what was going on in the mind and soul of a woman who was mentally ill. Unlike the similar Boys Don't Cry however, it is unable to elevate the facts into a larger story about identity and intimacy.

What makes the movie worthwhile is Theron's performance, open, vulnerable, tragic, moving, and most of all, honest. Aileen's behavior is contradictory, volatile, and disturbed. She loses control and lashes out irrationally. There are moments when I was not sure whether Theron was acting or just trying to keep her dental appliance from slipping, and no one could make some of those voiceover speeches work, but with the ferocity of her grip on the character she never lets us lose sight of Aileen's humanity. Theron's portrait of Aileen is sympathetic without pretending that she is more of a victim than the men she killed.

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