• R, 1 hr. 58 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Tony Kaye
  • In Theaters:    Oct 30, 1998 Wide
  • On DVD:    Apr 6, 1999
  • New Line Cinema

American History X Reviews

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Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
May 16, 2012

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 | Original Score: 4.5/5
David Edelstein
Top Critic
August 19, 2011

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

August 19, 2011

A well-made, well-acted and often violent film that offers a compelling portrait of redemption and the destructive nature of racism.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media
December 14, 2010

This dark drama is not for kids.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
May 25, 2009

If didactic and overwrought at times, it's also powerful and persuasive. [Blu-ray]

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
April 16, 2009

...a violent film on a weighty topic...frank and honest, its characters, actions, and ideas compelling the viewer to look further and become involved.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Rob Gonsalves
July 23, 2007

Any idiot can make us wince at the ugliness of beatings and shootings.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
June 24, 2006

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

Emanuel Levy
February 26, 2006

Well-intentioned and well-acted but unconvicning, this saga provides an instructive example to the simplistic approach taken by movies when tackling the social problem of racism.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
April 9, 2005

American History X is flawed, yes, but is a worthwhile film that covers territories not dealt with in recent years.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
August 29, 2004

Pesado e incômodo, discute o racismo com inteligência e conta com uma interpretação absolutamente impecável de Edward Norton.

| Original Score: 5/5
Ron Wells
Film Threat
December 8, 2002

Derrick's journey to hell and the one back are portrayed organically and gradually.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nate Yapp
November 16, 2002

If the message of the film gets a bit didatic, or the storyline balance is a little off ... it hardly matters in the end. American History X is unrelenting.

Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002

It is Edward Norton's riveting performance as a smart kid seduced by horrible ideas that makes the story real.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
October 7, 2002

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.

Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
September 10, 2002

The film stars the electrifying Edward Norton in his best performance to date.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
April 12, 2002

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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
March 24, 2002

Clumsy and exploitative.

Andrew O'Hehir
Sight and Sound
March 3, 2002

A work of impressive scale and craft and not a movie that's easy to dismiss in the end.

Louis B. Hobson
Jam! Movies
January 15, 2002

The film works because Norton's performance is so rivetting and uncompromising.

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