American History X (1998)
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Critic Reviews for American History X
Norton is an amazing actor, a hot-dog whose delight in transformation is infectious.
Two things hold the interest: Norton's astounding performance, and a feeling for the male reality of reactionary working class environments.
The problem is that Kaye, who's used to selling cars on TV, shoots Derek the Hater as lovingly as he would a new Volkswagen.
What partly redeems American History X from its most preachy excesses -- and makes it worth seeing -- is a brilliant, career-high performance by actor Edward Norton.
Though well-intentioned, turns out to be a simplistic and unconvincing look at a serious problem.
This journey to unpleasantville is too often manipulative and strains to maintain tension.
Audience Reviews for American History X
I haven't wanted to watch this as I was afraid of more Hollywood racist propaganda. Boy was I surprised when the propaganda turned out to be of the liberal variety instead. Regardless of the movie-of-the-week underpinnings, the acting is first rate, Norton and Furlong turning in superlative work.
One of the most powerful films I've ever seen, with an incredible lead performance from Edward Norton. The overall message of the movie is extremely important - that even the most heinous and hateful of people can change, as seen by the slow-burn approach of Norton's friendship with a black man in prison. The ending always gets me, it's a heart-wrenching finale that is hard to watch but extremely appropriate. This is a film everyone should see.
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
American History X Quotes
|Danny Vinyard:||Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it.|
|Davina Vinyard:||When was the last time you were actually able to see your feet?|
|Danny Vinyard:||So I guess this is where I tell you what I learned - my conclusion, right? Well, my conclusion is: Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it. Derek says it's always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can't top it, steal from them and go out strong. So I picked a guy I thought you'd like. 'We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.'|
|Danny Vinyard:||I'm sorry, Derek. I'm sorry that happened to you.|
|Derek Vinyard:||I'm not. I'm lucky. I feel lucky because it's wrong, Danny. It's wrong and it was eating me up, it was going to kill me. And I kept asking myself all the time, how did I buy into this shit? It was because I was pissed off, and nothing I ever did ever took that feeling away. I killed two guys, Danny, I killed them. And it didn't make me feel any different. It just got me more lost and I'm tired of being pissed off, Danny. I'm just tired of it.|
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