American History X

1998, Drama, 1h 58m

86 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

American History X doesn't contend with its subject matter as fully as it could, but Edward Norton's performance gives this hard-hitting drama crucial weight. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Living a life marked by violence and racism, neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) finally goes to prison after killing two black youths who tried to steal his car. Upon his release, Derek vows to change his ways; he hopes to prevent his younger brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), who idolizes Derek, from following in his footsteps. As he struggles with his own deeply ingrained prejudices and watches their mother grow sicker, Derek wonders if his family can overcome a lifetime of hate.

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Critic Reviews for American History X

Audience Reviews for American History X

  • Jun 22, 2016
    Despite the very extreme content and message, this controversial movie will leave you thinking about your own feelings and actions at the end of the film. The film depicts a former neo-nazi skinhead in southern California trying to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path he did. Edward Norton gives arguably the best performance of his career in this film. No matter how many times you see this film it seems to leave you in a state of shock and self reflection. The director filmed all flashback scenes in black & white and does an amazing job stylistically in this film. An absolute must see.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2016
    For the most part I quite enjoyed this film. But there is a genuinely contrived angle to the story and characters that just doesn't ring true. I watched it for the second time tonight, the first being at the cinema upon its initial release. And the thing that really stuck with me is what a great movie this would be for young teenagers who would most likely fall under its spell. Well intentioned and certainly not bad, but by no means a classic
    Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2016
    A true masterpiece of storytelling
    Kameron W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2014
    Powerful and gripping from beginning to end. American History X provides a great performance from Edward Norton and a graphic tale involving the influences of society in the household and relationships. Very explicit, destructive and compelling, the film makes a strong mark that's as challenging as its direction. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer

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