Monster’s Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster, produced by Lee Daniels and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos, who also appear in the film. It stars Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, and Peter Boyle, with Sean Combs, Mos Def, and Coronji Calhoun in supporting roles. Thornton portrays a corrections officer who begins a relationship with a woman (Berry), unaware that she is the widow of a man (Combs) he executed. Principal photography began in May 2001 in New Orleans, Louisiana and lasted for five weeks. Monster’s Ball premiered at AFI Fest on December 26, 2001 and was theatrically released in the United States on February 8, 2002 by Lionsgate Films. The film received positive reviews, with critical acclaim directed at Berry and Thornton’s performances and Addica and Rokos’ screenplay.
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