American Heart Reviews
In 1993 it was impossible to view this as I see it now: Jeff Bridges was practicing for his role in Crazy Heart. Everything that is good about Bridges's Oscar-winning performance is in American Heart, the music, the quiet desperation, the emotional depths to which he sinks, and of course, the hair. Edward Furlong, whose voice seems untutored but natural, matches Bridges in intensity.
However, I thought that the story was predictable and the plot contrived. You know the ending as soon as you meet Rainey, and the film doesn't tell us anything new about troubled youth.
Overall, the highlights are the stars, who give emotional and committed performances.