American Hardcore Reviews

April 26, 2009
For a documentary ostensibly about the history of the hardcore punk music movement that reigned in America during the '80s, director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush indefensibly omit the genre's most talented and high-profile band (The Dead Kennedys)
March 1, 2007
Struggles under the weight of its own ambition.
January 31, 2007
Rachman's chronicle suffers not from a shortage of authentic footage of ready-made hardcore shows, complete with (completely necessary) subtitled lyrics, or doughy, balding, talking heads still bragging about the thrown punches and peed-on chicks of yeste
December 29, 2006
While this documentary features rare performance footage of hard-core punk-rock bands Black Flag and Bad Brains, it's not exactly the best-assembled or deepest cinematic exploration of the subject.
November 29, 2006
The movie preaches to the choir, and bores everyone else.
November 7, 2006
For the record, Rachman's punk-rockology has its cracks. While he worships at the altar of Henry Rollins and Black Flag, he excludes such key West Coast bands as X and the Dead Kennedys.
November 3, 2006
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
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 2, 2006
Hardcore could have done with a little more self-criticism instead of self-congratulation, a little more outside commentary as opposed to inner-circle ramblings.
October 27, 2006
You can come away feeling bruised and half-deaf.
October 19, 2006
A better doc about punk music would contextualize the genre in the industry and interview kids who cried 'No!' when their parents told them to turn down that racket.
October 13, 2006
There's a lot of interesting material here, but Rachman doesn't offer any real analysis of his own, and the film suffers from a lack of narrative focus.
October 12, 2006
If you're going to make a movie about hardcore punk, make a movie about hardcore punk.... [This] looks more like the same old PBS documentary.
October 9, 2006
... starts promisingly but quickly settles into a repetitive pattern of talking heads repeating the same mantra, interspersed with brief clips of barely visible old film footage.
September 30, 2006
Only if you LOVE hardcore punk is the movie worth a damn
September 22, 2006
The film features virtually no commentary from anyone who wasn't part of the original scene and who might put hardcore into a larger cultural context, and ends up an intermittently interesting laundry list of same-sounding bands.
September 21, 2006
For music that is loud, fast, angry, and in-your-face, the film's low-key tone and pace is more suitable for a PBS fund-raising drive.