American History X
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Tony Kaye made his feature directorial debut with this dramatic exploration into the roots of race hatred in America. In a shocking opening scene, teen Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) races to tell his older brother, neo-Nazi Derek (Edward Norton), about the young blacks breaking into his car in front of the house, whereupon Derek gets his gun and with no forethought shoots the youths in their tracks. Tried and convicted, Derek is sent away for three years in prison, where he acquires a different outlook as he contrasts white-power prisoners with black Lamont (Guy Torry), his prison laundry… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Norton is an amazing actor, a hot-dog whose delight in transformation is infectious."
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"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."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"American History X advocates that "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it"? It's a powerful social document and should be part of your film watching curriculum."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"If didactic and overwrought at times, it's also powerful and persuasive. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Well-intentioned and well-acted but unconvicning, this saga provides an instructive example to the simplistic approach taken by movies when tackling the social problem of racism."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Two things hold the interest: Norton's astounding performance, and a feeling for the male reality of reactionary working class environments."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Though well-intentioned, turns out to be a simplistic and unconvincing look at a serious problem."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A well-made, well-acted and often violent film that offers a compelling portrait of redemption and the destructive nature of racism."
‑ , Film4
"...a violent film on a weighty topic...frank and honest, its characters, actions, and ideas compelling the viewer to look further and become involved."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"American History X is flawed, yes, but is a worthwhile film that covers territories not dealt with in recent years."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"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."
‑ Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly
"The film is always interesting and sometimes compelling, and it contains more actual provocative thought than any American film on race since Do the Right Thing."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This dark drama is not for kids."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Any idiot can make us wince at the ugliness of beatings and shootings."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"Pesado e incômodo, discute o racismo com inteligência e conta com uma interpretação absolutamente impecável de Edward Norton."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
More reviews for American History X on Rotten Tomatoes

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