American History X (1998)



Critic Consensus: A compelling and provocative story led by an excellent performance by Edward Norton.

Movie Info

Tony Kaye made his feature directorial debut with this dramatic exploration into the roots of race hatred in America. In a shocking opening scene, teen Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) races to tell his older brother, neo-Nazi Derek (Edward Norton), about the young blacks breaking into his car in front of the house, whereupon Derek gets his gun and with no forethought shoots the youths in their tracks. Tried and convicted, Derek is sent away for three years in prison, where he acquires a different … More

Rating: R (for graphic brutal violence including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David McKenna
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 6, 1999
New Line Cinema - Official Site


as Derek Vinyard

as Sweeney

as Danny Vinyard

as Stacey

as Cameron

as Doris Vinyard

as Davina

as Rasmussen

as Dennis

as Lamont

as Little Henry

as Mitch McCormick

as McMahon

as Dr. Aguilar

as Cassandra

as Reporter

as Desk Sergeant

as Buddy No. 1

as Young Ally

as Lawrence's Partner

as Student

as Random Skinhead

as Stocky Buddy

as Basketball Player
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for American History X

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (24)

Norton is an amazing actor, a hot-dog whose delight in transformation is infectious.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Top Critic

Two things hold the interest: Norton's astounding performance, and a feeling for the male reality of reactionary working class environments.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The problem is that Kaye, who's used to selling cars on TV, shoots Derek the Hater as lovingly as he would a new Volkswagen.

Full Review… | October 7, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

What partly redeems American History X from its most preachy excesses -- and makes it worth seeing -- is a brilliant, career-high performance by actor Edward Norton.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Though well-intentioned, turns out to be a simplistic and unconvincing look at a serious problem.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

American History X advocates that "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it"? It's a powerful social document and should be part of your film watching curriculum.

Full Review… | May 16, 2012
2UE That Movie Show

Audience Reviews for American History X

One of the most powerful films I've ever seen, with an incredible lead performance from Edward Norton. The overall message of the movie is extremely important - that even the most heinous and hateful of people can change, as seen by the slow-burn approach of Norton's friendship with a black man in prison. The ending always gets me, it's a heart-wrenching finale that is hard to watch but extremely appropriate. This is a film everyone should see.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


Powerful and gripping from beginning to end. American History X provides a great performance from Edward Norton and a graphic tale involving the influences of society in the household and relationships. Very explicit, destructive and compelling, the film makes a strong mark that's as challenging as its direction. 4.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

American History X Quotes

– Submitted by Ker Malkin G (13 months ago)
– Submitted by Jesse C (19 months ago)
– Submitted by Samira O (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Samira O (2 years ago)

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