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Is Monster on Netflix based on a true story?

The film tells of a talented African American teen who is forced to fight for justice after wrongly being charged with murder.

Published: Wednesday, 5th May 2021 at 6:05 pm

One of the latest films to drop on Netflix is Monster, which originally debuted at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2018. It tells the story of a talented African American teen's fight for justice, after he is implicated in a robbery-turned murder.


The movie boasts an all-star cast, including Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jennifer Hudson and Jeffrey Wright, and deals with some very relevant real-life issues, including racism in the American criminal justice system.

Given the apparent parallels with some real-life cases, some fans will no doubt be wondering if the film is based on a true story – read on for everything you need to know.

Is Monster based on a true story?

No. Despite exploring some very relevant themes, the film is not based on one specific case or true story.

Instead, it draws its inspiration from a novel of the same name by Walter Dean Myers, which was the inaugural winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature in 1999.

This is not the first time the novel has been adapted for a new medium – back in 2015 the book was republished as a graphic novel by Guy Sims with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile.


The book, and the film, introduce us to Steve Harmon, a fictional 17-year-old film student in Harlem whose world changes when he is wrongly charged with murder.

The powerful story follows Steve's journey as he fights for his innocence within a criminal justice system that has already judged him, purely based on the colour of his skin.


Monster is available on Netflix from Friday 7th May 2021. Looking for something else to watch tonight? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.


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