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Parents' Guide to

Monster's Ball

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

This brutal movie is for adults only.

Movie R 2002 101 minutes
Monster's Ball Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Monster' Ball

Monster's Ball is an adult film that deals with very serious and emotional subject matters. Sex: a very strong and long sex scene between the two main characters with lots of nudity, moaning and thrusting. Another strong scene with prostitution with nudity. Violence: a man shoots himself, quite graphic. A child is run over, sad and graphic. Execution scene which is intense and strong. Quite a lot of swearing, racist language. A woman smokes and drinks throughout.
age 17+


This is a gritty real-life movie. No good messages. There's violence, degrading racial references, an extremely vivid sex scene no one under the age of 21 should see. If you watch this with your kids, you just might be a bad parent.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The artificiality of the plot is a distraction, at times seeming like a bizarre version of the old Hollywood imperative that the romantic couple has to "meet cute." But Thornton and Berry are magnificent. Berry deservedly won an Oscar for her brave and vulnerable performance. The dignity and poignancy of both performances is deeply moving. Sean Combs is outstanding in his brief appearance as Leticia's husband, demonstrating great dignity and a range of emotion as he prepares for his execution.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 8, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: June 11, 2002
  • Cast: Billy Bob Thornton , Halle Berry , Heath Ledger
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Inclusion Information: Indigenous actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, language and violence
  • Last updated: August 5, 2023

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