American History X (1998)

Crime, Drama
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
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A compelling and provocative story led by an excellent performance by Edward Norton.
  • New Line Cinema Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 12 Feb 1999 Released:
  • 06 Apr 1999 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

This was probably the best movie I've ever seen10/10

I honestly don't think I have ever seen a better movie than American History X in my entire life! I may only be 14, but I have seen a lot of movies. I am an avid fan of them, and this one just takes the cake. Edward Norton is just unbelievable. He is the most talented actor I've ever laid eyes on. His performance in the movie is phenomenal. He delves so deep into his character that he can convince the whole audience easily of his neo-nazi role. The look on his face as he walks back from killing one man in the first seen is purely horrifying. The entire move was dramatic, intriguing, and powerful. It really is moving and emotional as well as scary. It is so true to life, and provides the viewer with such insight into the life and events that create a monster such as Derek Vinyard. It answers many questions I have long awaited an answer to such as what could possibly make someone act as Derek did in this movie, yet left open-ended many others that people such as myself may have. Almost every single scene in the movie was extremely captivating. I can't even go on to say more about the acting, other than if Edward Norton does not win best actor this year, I will go absolutely nuts. It's bad enough he lost it to Cuba Gooding Jr. when he was in Primal Fear, which was yet another incredible performance by him. Edward Furlong, the little kid from T2 is astounding as the confused brother of Derek. I was stunned walking out of the theater after seeing American History X, and I don't think I will ever have the benefit of seeing another movie as good as this one as long as I live. I recommend anyone with a good tolerance for violent and graphic depictions go see this movie. I am bewildered as to why director Tony Kaye would ever want out of this success. If I were to rate this movie, as I often do for others in reviewing them for school, I would give it an A+ with all of my heart.
One of the most powerful movies I have ever seen.10/10
I was expecting a kind of a moralistic movie with an overly present, almost preaching like message. The movie however turned out to be extremely powerful mainly due to the professionalism it was made with.

The movie its story is told 'beautifuly' in black & white and color. The quite original directing from Tony Kaye gives the movie a nice visual style and certain atmosphere. The story itself isn't that complicated or extremely original on its own and perhaps at most points even predictable but the way the story is told is phenomenal. This is not a movie with an happy ending or a movie that provides a solution to the racial discrimination problems. It shows what is NOT the solution to the problems and that everything that is occurring is like a vicious circle. The movie does not give a hopeful message but instead shows the dangers and pain you're causing to yourself and your close environment when you're thinking as a white supremacist.

As an anti Neo-Nazi movie this movie works really powerful. I think that its a really good and important thing that this movie is often shown in classrooms.

Edward Norton is truly fantastic in his role. He is very well believable as a Neo-Nazi as well as the reformed person he later turns into in the movie. It's almost like he's playing 2 different characters and he does that so extremely well. Also really good was Edward Furlong who we all long had not seen in a big production. Furlong and Norton are both acting well together in their scene's are highly believable as two brothers.

Also surprising good was the musical score by Anne Dudley who had already won an Oscar for "The Full Monty", the year before.

This was a movie that surprisingly impressed me. As a movie its extremely powerful and important.

10/10

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A masterpiece! Truly one of the best film I have ever seen10/10
I have been wanting to see this movie for a long time, since my English teacher mentioned it in our class in grade ten. Gosh I wished I wouldn't have waited all this time to finally watch it, although maybe it's a good thing cause I would have probably been a little bit more traumatized at 14... This movie is exceptional!!! Makes u think, makes you frustrated, makes you wanna scream and even makes you cry! Edward Norton is just phenomenal playing the role of a freak skin head and even more so playing this skin head who finally realizes how stupid he was and tries to protect his younger brother. Edward Furlong also does an amazing job!!! This film is moving in so many ways...I can't even describe how real and heartfelt it felt. I definitely think Edward Norton should have won the Oscar for his performance, cause he was absolutely terrific! I can't get why they didn't gave it to him... This movie will surely stay on my mind for a while now... just thinking that some place in the world things like that still happen...it crushes my heart. This is a wonderful movie that every single person should see at least once in his life... Watch American History X, it totally worth it!
An amazing film5/10

A good friend of mine suggested this film, and I really didnt know what to expect going in, but after this film was over, I sat in stunned silence. I knew that racism was horrible, but I found through this film that it does not come without a terrible price..the loss of love, friends, family...and the realization that everything that you believed to be true isnt always the way things are. Edward Norton's performance takes the viewer through this journey, and its not a pretty one. He goes from an bright young man, to a vengeful bigot, to a remorseful excon with a brothers life in jeopardy, and you feel as though you are looking in on someones life in the course of 2 hrs. All of the acting in this film is first rate, and the ending wasnt quite as predictable as others might have you believe...it is quite shocking, as is much of the film. It causes quite a debate on the way people view others whos skin color is not the same. As Dr. King said, judge me not on the color of my skin, but on the content of my character. I live with racism, because I am a black man living in America...it exists, but if we educate ourselves like the main character in AHX, it wont stay around for much longer. Hopefully it wont be too late, as it was for him. Peace and Love, JB33 Rating 5 stars
Edward Norton delivers a staggering performance as an extremely intelligent white supremacist who realizes the wrongness of his views and must then try to prevent his younger brother form going down the same10/10

American History X is one of the most powerful movies released in years. Not since Schindler's List has the subject of racism been so potently presented. The use of black and white cinematography to portray painful flashbacks is amazing, and the settings, while not necessarily pretty, fit the story flawlessly.

Derek Vineyard's (Edward Norton) transition from a white supremacy leader's protege to a gang leader himself to a changed man is shown mainly through a series of flashbacks to the time before he was sent to prison. The character development and story are amazingly well done, and this is largely a factor of the high quality of the acting. Edward Norton especially, but also Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, and all of the rest of the cast down to Avery Brooks as Bob Sweeney, the African American high school teacher who comes up with the term American History X, and Stacy Keach as the wonderfully hateable Cameron Alexander. Keach, by the way, would have been the perfect choice to play Francis Dolarhyde in Manhunter, the film the precedes The Silence of the Lambs, but oh well.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that American History X is one of the best films in years, it is horribly underrated. Much like Norton's last film, Primal Fear, which was also a great movie, this movie did not get nearly the recognition that it deserves.