Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Monster's Ball (2001), R
Analysis Date: April 5, 2002
CAP Score: 38
CAP Influence Density: 1.56
MONSTER'S BALL (R) -- ...and about finding peace (though guarded) and richness (though vain) in the most unethical place.
Distributed by: Lions Gate Films
Director(s): Marc Forster
Producer(s): Milo Addica, Michael Burns, Lee Daniels, Eric Kopeloff
Written by/Screenplay: Milo Addica, Will Rokos
Cinematography/Camera: Roberto Schaefer
Music: Chris Beaty, Thad Spencer, Richard Werbowenko
Film Editing: Matt Chesse
Casting: Kerry Barden
Mark Bennett, Billy Hopkins, Suzanne Smith
Production Design: Monroe Kelly
Art Direction: Leonard R. Spears
This is the Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry show. And "show" them it does. All of them. And I mean all of them. Monster's Ball does have some things to say about racism, though not good in context, and about finding peace (though guarded) and richness (though vain) in the most unethical place: in immorality not in wholesomeness. God's many admonitions against sexual immorality may be summed up as any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.
Billy Bob Thornton is Hank Grotowski, a high ranking department of corrections officer well respected by his peers. Being quite regimented and forceful in his dispelling of justice, Hank Grotowski is the epitome of not what a father should be. "Yeah. I hate you. I always did" to his adult son Sonny Grotowski (Heath Ledger), also a corrections officer who then committed suicide in front of his father and growly and likewise rigid grandfather, Buck Grotowski (Peter Boyle), a retired corrections officer.
Hank has been charged with the duties of executing cop-killer Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs). During the execution procession Sonny launches his lunch and daddy Hank beats him for messing up the procession, because Sonny is "weak." Then is when we are shown the suicidal few minutes of the very few Ledger has in the show. Enters Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry) who hated her husband, Lawrence. Also enters their incredibly overweight son, Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun) who adored his father. Leticia is not at all kind to Tyrell. She beats him for sneaking candy and other fat foods. In one case, Leticia escorts her son to somewhere without a car and Tyrell becomes a victim of hit and run. Finding the mother and son pair on the roadside, Hank comes to the rescue and transports them to the hospital. By this time, Hank had resigned as a correctional officer but aided investigations into the boy's death by his experience in law enforcement investigations.
Both Hank and Leticia are suffering tragedies in their lives and both are desperate for respite. Hank longing for escape from quilt because of his son's suicide and Leticia longing for relief from the grief of her husband's execution and her son's death. Hank tries to find relief through resigning the force and through a hooker. He also buys a little gas station. Leticia lets rage manifest in her. Coincidence such as the episode of transporting Leticia and Tyrell to the hospital forces Hank and Leticia together, eventually intimately - very intimately - as if to say sex is the inevitable goal of any such relationship. All too often it is. Just like in the movies. Maybe the movies will get it right someday and present sex as the tool of heterosexual marriage it is rather than as the reason for existence.
While there are some statements made in Monster's Ball worthy of ponder, there is much to likely offend the wholesome or Christian viewer, adolescent or adult. There is much nudity during and outside of intercourse plus other sexual vulgarities, much foul language and other matters violating Phil. 4:8 and Ps. 101:3. Many will argue that this is just entertainment: that it is just acting [Prov. 30:12]. May this service provide for these folks an understanding that though a pretense, such demonstration of sins places a stumbling block in the path of the viewer. An influence does not have to be real to influence [1Cor. 8:9]. Recall if you will two things: 1) Dartmouth University found that in their survey population only 16% of 5th to 8th graders were restricted from R-rated movies, and 2) that Jesus is very clear about His feelings about teaching and/or causing His little ones (which includes at-home teens) to sin [Luke 17:2].
I can't figure out why this movie is apparently so popular.
The listing in the Findings/Scoring section, the heart of the CAP analysis model, reveals all that was noted.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|