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


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American History X Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop 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 Source: L.A. Weekly

October 7, 2002
Rob Gonsalves

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

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 1/5

July 23, 2007
Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

This dark drama is not for kids.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 2/5

December 14, 2010
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The ending is a misfire.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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A confused, randomly compelling family melodrama.

| Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2000
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews

Among the biggest deficiencies in the story is the lack of proper motivation for Derek's beliefs and actions.

Full Review Source: Internet Reviews | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Andrew Collins
Empire Magazine

The film's most incongruous and embarrassing scene is a black-on-white basketball game: shot like a Nike ad, it trivialises the subject.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine

January 1, 2000
Ross Anthony
Hollywood Report Card

if you've forgotten how to stay calm while somebody probes you with a pointed object such as racism -- stay home or make sure you watch this film to the end.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Gary Dauphin
Village Voice
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Having reduced racism to a kind of adolescent coping mechanism, X takes a mildly curious path to its foregone conclusion, writer-director Tony Kaye putting his leads through the somehow comforting 'hood-film paces.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 1, 2000
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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The tone is so muddled that there's a whiff of exploitation to this movie that's unsettling at best.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Paul Tatara
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When Hollywood attacks a volatile issue, it inevitably spoon-feeds you the main components of the issue several times over.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

January 1, 2000
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
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This journey to unpleasantville is too often manipulative and strains to maintain tension.

January 1, 2000
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Though well-intentioned, turns out to be a simplistic and unconvincing look at a serious problem.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 14, 2001
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix

Clumsy and exploitative.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix

March 24, 2002
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show

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 Source: 2UE That Movie Show | Original Score: 4.5/5

May 16, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The film is always interesting and sometimes compelling, and it contains more actual provocative thought than any American film on race since Do the Right Thing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

American History X may be flawed, but it's not easily forgotten.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
James Rocchi

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 5/5

November 7, 2002
Kevin Lally
Film Journal International

Wields undeniable power despite its shaky dramatic contrivances.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

January 1, 2000
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons

Full Review Source: Dark Horizons | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 30, 2006
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000
Ray Pride
January 1, 2000
Matt Prigge
January 1, 2000

Irish Times

January 1, 2000
Page 1 of 5
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