Film: Monster's Ball

Monster's Ball is a 2001 dramatic film starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger.

The movie chronicles a Southern correctional officer who, after the suicide of his son, strikes up an unexpected romance with a woman after the death of her husband (a death row inmate) and son.


This film provides examples of:

  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: This is not only a source of conflict, but the main one at that. A white death row guard begins a relationship with a black woman after he walked her husband to the electric chair, which he keeps hidden from her. She finds out the truth by the end, but it's left open if they'll remain together.
  • Coitus Ensues: The infamous sex scene. Not only does it add nothing to the story, but many viewers could have happily lived their lives without ever seeing Billy-Bob Thornton's pasty, bony ass.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sonny fatally shoots himself through the heart after a confrontation with his father Hank.
  • Professional Sex Ed: This seems to be why Hank takes his adult son with him to visit a prostitute.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Variation: Hank and his son Sonny are officers who work on Death Row and the story opens as the latter is about to participate in his first "last walk" of a condemned man. (The title refers to the party that used to be thrown the night before an execution.) However, Sonny loses his nerve and vomits during the walk. Hank is humiliated and furious and confronts him the next morning; the fight ends with Sonny committing suicide. The remainder of the film has Hank struggling with this loss (and notably, his own father chalks Sonny's fate up to weakness).
  • Sex for Solace: Leticia has sex with Hank after the deaths of her husband and son.