American Hardcore 2006

American Hardcore

Critics Consensus

American Hardcore is an informative and highly entertaining look at the heyday of punk in the early 1980s.

72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 61

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,888

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Movie Info

Filmmaker Paul Rachman recalls the 1980s American punk-rock movement. The retrospective features interviews and performance footage with such bands as Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Jerry's Kids, Gang Green, Poison Idea, Flipper and SS Decontrol.

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Critic Reviews for American Hardcore

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (17)

  • ... an enjoyable if incomplete nostalgia trip.

    December 7, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • American Hardcore, Paul Rachman's impressively thorough documentary, tells of the second-generation punk rockers who learned from the Sex Pistols and Ramones and then did their DIY thing.

    November 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • American Hardcore gets what most music lovers could not at the time: Sometimes, that noise in your head and that anger in your heart just has to get out, and there's always a guitar around somewhere.

    November 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • Instead of an insightful look at disaffected youths finding an outlet for angry energy in rock rages, American Hardcore is a slanted history lesson coming solely from its subjects.

    November 3, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • What's irritating about the movie is how much time it spends on empty nostalgia -- shouldn't real punks scorn reminiscing? -- and how little time it spends truly exploring the roots of America's punk prime in the early 1980s.

    November 3, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Leaves little doubt that this truly was one of the wildest eras in rock.

    October 30, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for American Hardcore

  • Mar 09, 2009
    This was good in that it was bolstered by testimonials from the hardcore scene's biggest names, generally, but its scope was simply too broad. There is a lot of new information served up in a short period of time, for the uninitiated, and without the proper context and analysis a lot of it is rendered ineffectual. It provides a distillation of the movement that one could approximate without the two-hour investment and only sweetens the pot by throwing in a few band names and old clips. The most interesting part might be just seeing these punk rockers all middle-aged, sitting in front of children's jungle gyms.
    Nate H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2007
    How can a documentary about the rise of the fiercely energetic, riotously entertaining and badass hardcore offshoot of punk be so boring? The film is grossly unfocused, travels all over the place and never seems to find the right chord. Interviews with some of hardcore punk's most influential artists (including the inimitable Henry Rollins) have no logical thread, they are simply wrapped around some often great concert footage. The all-over-the-place schizofrenic nature of the film is not even an attempt to imitate what the hardcore punk movement consisted of because it absolutely lacks the manic, heedless energy that fueled it. A great disappointment. Worth seeing (for punk fans) for the concert sequences, Henry Rollins and not much else.
    Eduardo C Super Reviewer

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