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Monster (2018)

The story of Steve Harmon, a 17-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder.
3.0 / 5
3.5 / 5

Incluvie Movie Reviews

Antonio Matei
July 7, 2021
3 / 5
3.5 / 5

'Monster': Young, Black, and On Trial Means Guilty in Most Cases

Kelvin Harrison Jr., with his impeccable acting is instrumental in depicting an injustice situation, where the State is trying to put behind bars the character that he plays, Steve Harmon. Premiered at Sundance in 2018, the film has finally come to light in 2021 after landing on Netflix. Despite the three years of delay, the story still makes sense today because we have not solved this kind of problem yet. Monster's plot is built around Steve Harmon's false accessory to felony murder accusation, and the anxiety and desperation experienced by him during incarceration and the corresponding trial. He is a young black man from Harlem with a promising future, he attends a prestigious art and cinematographic school in New York, he is preparing for college, and he loves to catch photographs with his camera, in search for a good film story. By doing this he meets William King (A$ap Rocky), a young and problematic boy from his neighborhood in whom he finds a source of artistical inspiration for his photos. Nonetheless, King will try to take advantage of his new acquaintance and does not hesitate to involve Steve in the Harlem’s bodega theft, which ends up with the store’s owner death. In this context, director Anthony Mandler, who is an experienced photographer and music video director, expresses himself through the main character. All the movie is full of artistic takes; he plays with formats, colors, and aesthetics in order to create the young black artist’s universe. For instance, granulation or a vintage image edition is used by Steve every time he seeks inspiration, he is constantly trying to capture day-to-day life with a different point of view. This recording style works great with the first-person narrative structure, but at the same time, this storytelling became tedious as the movie advances, with several flashbacks and flash-forwards that are not helped at all by Steve’s voice-over, since it does not offer anything different to the story apart from what we can see by ourselves. On the other hand, the racial problem is very well depicted, unfortunately young black men have to confront with police abuse, discriminatory courtrooms, and an unfair system. Black lives matter, and making justice matters too. The discrimination Steve must face is made very clear in his lawyer’s words (Jennifer Ehle):
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Movie Information

The story of Steve Harmon, a 17-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder.

Genre:Crime, Drama
Directed By:Anthony Mandler
Written By:Janece Shaffer, Colen C. Wiley, Radha Blank
In Theaters:1/22/2018
Box Office:

Runtime:98 minutes
Studio:Bron Studios, Red Crown Productions, Get Lifted Film Co., Creative Wealth Media Finance, Tonik Productions, Charlevoix Entertainment



Anthony Mandler



Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Steve Harmon


Jeffrey Wright

Mr. Harmon


Jennifer Hudson

Mrs. Harmon


Jennifer Ehle

Katherine O'Brien


Tim Blake Nelson

Leroy Sawicki


John David Washington

Richard 'Bobo' Evans


A$AP Rocky

William King


Lovie Simone

Renee Pickford



Raymond 'Sunset' Green


Jharrel Jerome

Osvaldo Cruz


Mikey Madison

Alexandra Floyd