Saturday, December 11, 2010

Movie review nº4 - American History X

I always wanted to see this movie. I did it few weeks ago, now I have the time to review it.

1998, Crime, Drama. Nominated for Oscar and another 9 nominations with 2 wins.

Starring: Edward Norton (Fight Club), Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), Ethan Suplee (My name is Earl), Stacy Keach, Beverly D'Angelo
Director: Tony Kaye (Lake of Fire)

Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing three thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did.

Screenplay, Story: 7/10 - It's solid. I woulnd't say it's the best story in the world (we've seen many redemtion stories through out the time), but it's good and well written.

Dialogues: 8/10 - Definately a strong point. I haven't spotted anything super fancy, but dialogues are like they should be. Filled with rage, hate, cursing and without any state of pathos.

Actor's play, Characters: 9,5/10 - Edward Norton as always - quintessence of actor's play. Very convincing, amazingly created character. Also I enjoyed Edward Furlong's (Danny) play very much. For a such young person, he did his job very well, without plastic pseudo acting. Actually all of the actors deserve a credit. There is no bad role.

Music: 6/10 - Sublime. Used as a background. Nothing to be remembered, but not bad, in some moments very nice. Can't add more, since I watched the movie a month ago.

Cinematography: 8/10 - Very good. I liked especially the black and white scenes (the color, not the race) like basketball. Also the last scenes are brillant in terms of pictures.

Meaning, Feel, Depth: 9/10 - At first I feared it will be a propaganda movie against nazism and racism, like Requiem for a Dream on the topic of drugs. But it wasn't. The movie presents the problem of racism and gives arguments against it. Real arguments. It does not present black people in holy light and nazis like a monsters. It just shows, that hate is not worth it. Nothing good comes from it at all. "Life's to short to be pissed of all the time".

Overall: 8,0 - almost as good as Edward Norton. 

It's a great movie, presenting a real and very clear problem. Black people hate white people. White people hate black people. Americans hate Mexicans. It's always two sided. I think it's the best movie about this problem ever. But still I have some reservations. I love a movie, when I feel this "something" inside and when watched this movie I felt it "only" few times. So what can I say - I love this movie partially ;)


  1. love this film. Easily one of my favorites of all time. I was about 13 when this came out and it totally changed the way I looked at cinema. I'd say it's one of the most beautiful movies that features, curb stomping, butt raping nazis.

  2. I think I'm in the minority here... I didn't really care for American History X.
    I'm an Ed Norton fan also... just not my kind of flick.

    I'm just making my daily rounds and thought I'd check in.
    If you've got the time, check out my blog also.

  3. This movie is a great movie. It's got a lot of heart and story to it. It's not just some dumb racist crap like most people think.