Hypnotic and intense, the success of “Monster’s Ball” mostly lies on the shoulders of the two leading performers – Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry.
Entertainment Weekly put it well: “They act their pants off.” It's so true – they are genuine and heartfelt as loners desperate for a connection.
Going into this film, you could almost predict the clichés piling on, scene after scene. But that’s the shocker: the clichés never happen, and the story unfolds with the intensity of desperation and the need to fill that ugly, lonely void.
It's a downbeat film that doesn’t end with sentimental redemption sequences but it does offer some rays of hope. The final shot is, refreshingly, like the sun breaking out through the clouds.