A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely graphic violence, including rape, murders. Many tense and upsetting scenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Explicit sexual references and situations, including sexual assault, prostitution, gay sex.
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Extreme and constant strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink and smoke a lot, drug references.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is for viewers 17 and up only. The main character in this fact-based story is a serial killer and a prostitute. The movie has explicit sexual references and situations, including gay sex, prostitution, and rape, extremely strong language, violence (including a brutal rape and several murders), smoking and drinking. There are tense and upsetting scenes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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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Our Editors Recommend
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