Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2008
A knitty-gritty documentary on the greatest heavy metal band in history. The in-depth prospective and real-life struggle of the aging forefathers of thrash is a unique vision that makes every emotion as loud and powerful as the notes and chords strummed or drumbeat. 4.5/5
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2011
Some Kind of Monster is a wonderful look into a band that is gradually falling apart. To be quite honest though, it was nowhere near as bad as I had been led to believe. Sure there are some spats between band mates, but it never got to violent excess. In fact, all it did show was their passion as each one believed in what was right for the music. At one point Lars even agrees, when discussing the naming of the album, as he didn't see Frantic as having any negative connotations. This shows a band where a member has just left and another is battling addiction. Of course there are going to be some arguments. I felt that above all this showed a band of 20 years continuing to mature. There are some very emotional moments, such as the scene with Dave Mustaine, as he talks about feeling betrayed and number 2 for all these years. The chemistry between Hetfield and Ulrich is that of a married couple prone to arguing, but you can still feel the love. As for Hammett, he is their awkward child stuck in the middle hoping it's all gonna be alright. A great film about music, business, passion, and ego.
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2011
When I was in my early teens, I was a diehard Metallica fan. In fact their 1984 album 'Ride The Lightning" is responsible for my love of Heavy Metal music. Unfortunately came many events such as the infamous Napster lawsuit and the like. For years we Metallica fans wanted a new record, and we got "St Anger" a raw, gritty stripped album of Metallica's famous sound, this film shows how that album came to be. The film takes a rather unorthodox look at how a Metal band is trying to pull through by having a group therapist session so they can discuss their issues as a band. This is a stunning portrait of one of Heavy Metal's most beloved bands as they hit rock bottom. For us, the fans, it's interesting, but it's also painful to watch. Seeing Lars Ulrich whine like a baby constantly was a joke and all. I thought the documentary was good, but it was just two guys not Seeing Eye to eye for two hours. I mean you'd never see this type of crap from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and other Metal Icons. It's sad to see one of Metal's toughest bands go into this downward spiral, but at the same it's cool. However, I would've loved to see a documentary on the band sort of like Sam Dunn's Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. Maybe one day Metallica fans will get that. Until then, we have a brutally honest documentary that has its great moments, but it's definitely not an iconic documentary.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2007
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Even though I'm a really big fan of Metallica, anyone interensted in Metal, music, documentaries, or film in general needs to see this.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2006
What probably was planned to be a documentary about the making of their new record soon turned into a close into the head and hearts of one of the greatest rock bands around. As their egos collide and they go through the hardest time of their career we really get to know the members of Metallica during their shrink and rehearsal sessions. That's certainly not spectacularly filmed but pretty interesting. especially for fans. Seeing such huge stars being regular human beings with flaws and feelings is simply pretty comforting to know. Although their road to a new harmony does not come with a recipe for all to follow it still ends pretty climatic. How they finish their record "St. Anger" and especially shoot their video at St. Quentin prison and go on stage for the first time in three years is made of goosebumps.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2008
Great documentary for a terrible album.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2006
In the unlikely event that you are ever given the choice between seeing this or going to the dentist, go to the dentist. That's how painful this oeuvre is to watch. I mean, if you need to hire a team therapist to keep your band together, that's kind of a sign you should break up, don't you think. I hate Lars Ulrich, and I have nothing but pity for Kirk Hammet, who seems like a nice guy caught in the middle of this mire of a catfight. He is genuinely talented as well. Newstead was smart to bail when he could. Ugh. This flick is a trainwreck in slowmotion. Only not fun to watch.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2006
The best documentry on a rock band i've ever seen. A gem. Great entertainment gold. Powerful, riveting, electrifying and feriousesly funny. Magnificent. Revealing. Solid intensity.
Super Reviewer
½ July 25, 2006
One of the best docos - Inside the life of Metallica is so dramatic - and the music - well - no words needed.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2012
"Don't you know that she's... she's some kind of monster!" Seriously though, getting back to the opposite side of music, in terms of manliness, let us discuss this tell-all tale of a band of brothers who nearly destroyed each other, and in the process, just killed music instead. Oh wait, that's Nirvana; Metallica wasn't really all that bad, though they had so many fall-flat songs, it's unreal. Hey at the end of the day, they remain hit-or-miss, but mostly, well, not miss, more like horrible, and by extension, about as good as heavy metal is gonna get. So yeah, in case you can't tell, I'm more of an old school rocker (Don't worry, I'm before that lame "She's Some Kind of Wonderful" song), though I know music talent when I see it, and it's been on the decline since the '80s. Still, there were still plenty of people who showed up in the '80s who were still kicking things right, and among that crowd of talent was... well, certainly not Metallica. No, they had their high points, yet on plenty of occasions that grew more and more prevalent over the years (Wow, even metal was decent at a time; that's how bad music got), their music, much like the band's relationship and this uninspired opener (Clearly not a big enough fan of Metallica to care), got pretty bumpy, and in that regard, alone, this documentary stays pretty faithful, as it too is bumpy.

The central focus of this documentary is a study on how the band's lives and work have changed over the years, and how that serves detrimental to their relationship and career, and for long periods throughout this film, that is hardly palpable. The film's focus isn't all over the place, yet it does get to be unenven, with so much time spent on pure filler at points - from the band members' personal lives to their working on music -, with little focus on the more human aspects within it, leaving a sense of intrigue to momentarily fall limp, and when conflict does fall back into play, it's often rather jarring. A big culprit behind these missteps appears to be the meditation limiting, spawned from, not necessarily hurried, but frenetic storytelling. The docuemtnary still has plenty of points of slow-down and meditation, yet even at its almost two-and-a-half hour runtime, it often dives fairly swiftly into its next point, or at least not when it's getting repetitive, with an almost inhumanly urgent tone, exacerbated by the relentlessness of the music, and something as intense as heavy metal music, at that. While the film does calm itself down here and there, much of it moves at such a constant and often repetitious tone, leaving it to lose steam and, on occasion, become disengaging. I was with the film for quite a while, but after that while, it all fell from grace and the position of upstanding, never to fully recover. However, as things stand, the film remains worth the sit, as the high points that it does hit are pretty high, thus creating a generally enjoyable documentary, and a competently-produced one, at that.

This film could be trimmed down ever so easily to maybe, say, a little over an hour-and-a-half, and it would be better for it, and I'm not just saying that because I was begging for the terrible music to just stop by the one hour mark, so that's a glaring fault in the editing. Other than that, the editing on the film is pretty clever, with smooth trimmings and transitions throughout to give the film a kind of gripping cinematic feel. This, of course, ameliorates the resonance and intrigue that Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky fail to keep consistent, yet deliver on enough for the film to engage more than it falls flat. The film's runtime is much too lengthy and its focus is much too uneven, yet completely falling out of the film is hard to do, for one the film gets a hold of you, while its grip loosens, it doesn't fully release you. As overlong as the scenes of comradery are, they are assembled and emphasized cleverly enough to where you do get a genuine sense of the band's friendship, and when things begin to unravel into tension among the bandmates, I found myself genuinely invested in these people whose craft I never even cared for. It's all so very interesting, seeing the humanity within these very brutal people, and seeing that vulnerability is quite engaging, even if it is an aspect that we've seen in many documentaries of this type. This documentary is neither terribly original nor terribly rewarding, yet is cleverly produced and directed, with a general sense of depth within these musicians, as humans, making it consistently fascinating.

Overall, this study is overlong and uneven, spending too much time focusing on other aspects outside of the central point, diluting the intrigue of conflict, something made worse by the film's unrelenting pacing and extreme repetition that leaves it to lose steam, little by little, yet never to where it fully releases you, as the film remains competently edited to where it gives the film a cinematic feel to intensify the general resonance and intrigue formed from the mostly insightful, fascinating storytelling that ultimately leave "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" to stand as a somewhat conventional, yet ultimately engaging study on the more recent struggles in the lives, careers and relationships within one of the most recognizable bands in the heavy metal industry.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2008
Being a fan of Metallica, I was expecting this documentary to be an interesting "behind-the-scenes" look at how they managed to forge ahead and record an album after the departure of their second bassist, Jason Newstead. Apparently, that consisted of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfiled bitching at each other. A lot.

It didn't feel like a documentary. It felt like bad reality T.V. Forgive me for wanting to be entertained by a documentary, but I don't consider the band that made metal genuine again going though therapy sessions entertaining. I'm grateful they were able to stay together for another decade, because they were fantastic when I saw them in Green Bay. Seeing them in the studio working through their trivial problems, however, was painful.

That's not to say that there weren't plenty of bright spots. Dave Mustane, who was kicked out of Metallica after they recorded their first album, came back to give Lars a piece of his mind. His frustration at not being a part of their success, even though he's had plenty himself fronting Megadeth, felt genuine and heartfelt compared to Lars and James's petty bickering. And once they finally hired Robert Trujilo as their third (and current) bass player, it was obvious why. Later on in the movie, Lars told him he "saved" the band, and it was pretty obvious that he was right.

I just wish we, the audience and fans, didn't have to go through a childish, ego-and-testosterone-fueled cat fight before we got there.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2006
I love watching these legendary rockers act like babies. You get to see the very human side of all the players.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
As a comedy, this rates 4.5. As a documentary, what a pathetic bunch. Proof positive that Lars Ulrich is the biggest douche in America, not that we needed extra evidence.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2010
"This is ridiculous...Uncalled for... Stupid...!!!
How can all these tough men sit around whimpering like pansies, with a therapist holding their hands?
Hahah! Metal Gods my ass"
All the above thoughts are only some of the ones any guy that likes metal music is bound to come up with while watching this documentary. Metallica fans have had it hard for a while. They had to forgive the band for cutting their hair, changing their sound, hiring a therapist.... even almost suing their fans for using ShareWare.
As the film progresses though, it becomes clear that this is not just another stupid reality show. The fact that the band have allowed its image to be deconstructed, so that it can be constructed once again should tell you all you need to know about the music business.
Luckily enough for the hardcore fans, this is not another MTV Family Ozzfest: to me it was enough to watch Hetfield parade through the first minutes of the film, looking utterly uncapable of being himself, to understand that the guy had really hit rock bottom.
Luckily enough for Hetfield, rock bottom is a bottom rockers are supposed to hit once in a while- if not ever so often in order to come out more the wiser!!!
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2009
Douchebags. Clash of the egomaniacs. Here we have the story of a bunch of spoiled rock stars who need to grow up. Kirk seems like a pretty nice guy, in fairness, but I wanted to kill Lars & James. I am not even a Metallica fan. My boyfriend suggested I watch this. He thought it was superb. I just laughed and rolled my eyes.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2008
Metallica being my favorite all time band, I got quickly wrapped up in this rockumentury if you will, that shows you its not all roses in the day of a popular rock band.
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2008
Great!! This film absolutely details the progress of the band, as well as old ties and new ventures. Great scene with Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich!! One conversation that I've been long awaiting to see for many years. Definitely worthy.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2008
If you don't hate Metallica now, you will after this doc. A bunch of very unlikable and self absorbed gents.
October 15, 2013
The album St. Anger isn't very good but it is interesting to see the band surrender to inner turmoil, personal demons, and so on and so forth. I think Jason Newsted's comments and reunion between Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich to be examples of what makes this really good.
June 20, 2012
Boring documentary. As a fan of the band I am very disappointed. It only shows them fighting all the time.
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