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.
Any idiot can make us wince at the ugliness of beatings and shootings.
| Original Score: 1/5
This dark drama is not for kids.
| Original Score: 2/5
The ending is a misfire.
| Original Score: 2/4
A confused, randomly compelling family melodrama.
| Original Score: 3/5
Among the biggest deficiencies in the story is the lack of proper motivation for Derek's beliefs and actions.
The film's most incongruous and embarrassing scene is a black-on-white basketball game: shot like a Nike ad, it trivialises the subject.
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.
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.
The tone is so muddled that there's a whiff of exploitation to this movie that's unsettling at best.
When Hollywood attacks a volatile issue, it inevitably spoon-feeds you the main components of the issue several times over.
This journey to unpleasantville is too often manipulative and strains to maintain tension.
Though well-intentioned, turns out to be a simplistic and unconvincing look at a serious problem.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Clumsy and exploitative.
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.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
American History X may be flawed, but it's not easily forgotten.
| Original Score: 5/5
Wields undeniable power despite its shaky dramatic contrivances.
| Original Score: 3.5/4