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American History X

American History X

1998
Drama, Crime
1h 59m
A groundbreaking controversial drama about the tragic consequences of racism in a family. (New Line Cinema)
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American History X

1998
Drama, Crime
1h 59m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 69.67% from 17685 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(17687)
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Rated 24 May 2008
63
34th
Tries to convince the viewer that racism is bad, yet it can barely even do that: If someone viewing this movie is racist, they will simply see everything from the view of Norton's character's friends, and will see Norton's character as a pussy. The ending doesn't help, as all the racist viewer will get from that ending is justification for their racism. Norton's acting is great, but the rest of the movie does a poor job of doing what it set out to achieve.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
16
0th
Way too heavy-handed and preachy, with all the subtlety of a jack-hammer. The film recognizes that racism is a complex problem, and yet seems to suggest ridiculously simple answers. Characters reconstruct their ideologies at the drop of a hat, and that happens no less than five times in the film. And the ending is cruel and pointless. The heart is in the right place, but the method leaves much to be desired.
Rated 19 Mar 2017
80
88th
My only complaint is the bizarre decision to film so much of this in black and whi...oh. Just got it. Nice
Rated 11 May 2008
56
25th
It seems uncertain of where it wants to go and how to get there. Racism appears and disappears at essentially the drop of a hat and its message is greatly weakened as a result.
Rated 14 Aug 2008
95
96th
This movie would risk being a liberal anti-racism infomercial if it weren't for the phenomenal performance from Edward Norton. I'll admit, I was in high school when I first saw this and it had an immediate impression. A number of scenes, the ending especially, shocked me. Some of the characters may seem like over-the-top stereotypes, but these people really do exist. Ultimately, it's an intense and often violent film that puts all the drama up front, but the cast plays off the intensity so well.
Rated 22 Dec 2008
50
22nd
A failure of a film that ends up being an argument for that which it sets out to condemn (at least in the minds of those who are not already in agreement with it). Saved from a worse score by decent performances.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
3
32nd
Right up there with Crash as one of the subtlest, most intelligent examinations of race relations in America.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
0
0th
american history x is right at home alongside your collection of pantera albums and the dead end job you work to support your knocked up dumpster girlfriend. but it's so deep!!!!!!!!!!!! because that guy from fight club got raped!!!!!!!! and stuff
Rated 05 Dec 2009
60
40th
I really wanted to love this film. It was well-intentioned and the acting was good and it was quite bold in dealing with such a sensitive topic. But I actually think it is slightly overrated. It was unconvincing in parts and some plot points, particularly those involving the prison scenes, were underdeveloped. Nevertheless, it is a good enough film. Just not good enough to actually drive home the powerful message it was supposed to impart.
Rated 28 Jun 2015
9
92nd
Whether it's in his slow-motion close-ups, long-winded rants, or intense emotional breakdowns, Norton is a definite standout here. Derek's development is compelling-made more so by the film's excellent use of greyscale and a non-linear story dynamic-and while his brother's transformation is more sudden and unbelievable, he remains interesting as well. Spellbinding lengthy scenes unflinchingly deal with ugly and tragic racism through this fascinating family framework in this engrossing film.
Rated 16 Dec 2006
50
15th
There was a time when I thought American History X was a truthful, realistic portrayal of racism, but now I see that it isn't quite honest. The character arcs of Norton and Furlong's characters just don't seem right. Deep-rooted racism doesn't work this way. I don't think the film is a complete failure, but neither do I think that it accomplishes what it wants to accomplish.
Rated 20 Jul 2007
65
44th
Ed Norton is the only good part of this movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
8
93rd
When I saw it when I was a kid, it seemed like one of the most monumental things ever, and was one of the first dramatic, hard-to-watch, "important" movies I ever liked. I can see today that it's extremely sledgehammer, but it's still damn good and Ed Norton gives one of the late 90s' strongest, most committed performances. For maximum emotional impact, it's probably best for kids in the 13-16 range. Also, curb stomp!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
2
21st
A "message film" unsure of its own message, not because it tries too little but too much. It's not so much intelligent or poignant as it is bloated.
Rated 03 Mar 2008
100
99th
Critical, sensible, human. Edward North is great, giving life to a fanatic Neo-Nazi.
Rated 19 May 2008
89
96th
I hate to love a movie with ideals that are this wrong, but it is an amazing piece of cinema. This proves that Edward Norton and Edward Furlong have got what it takes to stand out in Hollywood. Not sure I've got much good to say about the ending though, it diverges from the entire learning a lesson moral of the story.
Rated 28 Jun 2008
100
99th
Great movie Ed Norton was awesome great lesson in how people can change with just meeting one person that you had once had hatred for.
Rated 29 Apr 2009
1
10th
Average at best. Profound character changes come about every ten minutes or so, and are not very believable. Don't quite understand what this movie is trying to achieve either, which, given it's preachy nature, makes it even more of a failure.
Rated 06 Sep 2010
60
34th
Furlong's voice is a hate crime.
Rated 05 Jun 2011
71
33rd
The moral starts out as "Racism is bad" and finishes on "Don't let your guard down." Bravo film, bravo.
Rated 15 Apr 2014
80
78th
A stronger narrative than message, if only because the flaws in Derek's neo-Nazi worldview are so apparent to those who already know how wrong they are, and not substantially refuted in the film for those who don't. Still, a moving study of a boy whose dedication to family and his father leads him down a dark path and the consequences it has on his life and family as time goes on. The ending felt just a bit on the nose, and the Big Personal Growth spurred by a magic negro was a little too pat.
Rated 12 Dec 2006
100
99th
CURBSTOMP!!!
Rated 14 Jan 2007
92
97th
A really interesting look into the minds and motivations of Neo nazis. Norton delivers a powerful performance and really carries the film.
Rated 23 Feb 2007
2
15th
Average-ish, but not particularly poignant or revealing. It's too black-and-white (haha). Mostly I thought Norton's character's change was way too quick and unconvincing.
Rated 25 Feb 2007
95
92nd
incredibly awesome, thoughtful movie. started admiring edward norton after this movie!
Rated 26 Feb 2007
78
81st
Incredible performance by Norton that treads over a lot of iffy moral ground. There will be parts in the movie where you'll think of him as a good guy, and then remember what he's done and be ashamed for not hating him more. Definitely the feel bad movie of the year (but still a great movie). I understand the criticisms about it being too preachy and morally overdone, but I guess it just didn't bother me too much in this case.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
99
99th
One of the greatest most thought provoking movies of our time, its unbelievable no studio picked it up due to its themes. If they could see past the surface to what it was trying to say they would have never made the mistake they did. Truly one of the greatest films ever made.
Rated 20 Mar 2007
90
93rd
I give the film such a high-rating because Edward Norton's performance deserves to go down in history as one of the most gripping of all time. Even if his supporting cast fails to measure up, he holds this movie and our attention throughout this mesmerizing two hours. This man deserved to win the Oscar, but sadly lost.
Rated 04 May 2007
37
34th
After seeing Lake of Fire, a movie that approached a controversial subject with subtlety and compassion and evenhandedness, I wish the version of this film Tony Kaye intended to release was available. For now, it's just one of those if-onlys.
Rated 15 Jun 2007
92
98th
Awesome film that really does make you think about whether some one can really change and how your up bringing can jade your view of life and society. Powerful performance for Norton who manages to produce a character you hate but also care about.
Rated 12 Jul 2007
50
48th
This film's intentions are noble---and there's some good acting---but there's a reason that this movie seems to resonate so powerfully with YOUNG people. Young people who probably haven't seen that many movies.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
74
29th
Good, if somewhat conventional race drama. Norton is good.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
29th
Norton is great. Good idea, but I didn't really take anything from it. Seemed like an after school special with more violence.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
84th
A great look into America, it helps people see the inner stereotypes they may have
Rated 14 Aug 2007
40
27th
Not particularly intelligent.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
89th
A powerful and disturbing drama about that centers around the effect of racism.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
91st
Watch this instead of crash.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
85th
American History X is a very intense and graphic film about racism. Borrowing themes from A Clockwork Orange, this film is strong and deep with many incredible acting performances. Really good!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
91
98th
A movie that I feel isn't overrated in the least. An interesting look inside racism and the effects that it has on a family/community. Couple that with an ending that took me completely off-guard, and you have one powerful film. If people took more time to look at the moral of the story rather than some of the more graphic parts, they'd be a lot better off.
Rated 27 May 2008
95
99th
This was the movie that showed me the excellence of Edward Norton as an actor.
Rated 13 Jun 2008
91
98th
Great
Rated 20 Jan 2009
95
97th
Edward Norton is quite possibly the best actor of his era. He proves that once again in this very, verrry good movie. Very few movies and acting performances make you think about the morals in the movie as much as this one. There are really too many good things to say about this movie. A movie that matters and is oddly enough also kind of "cool" to watch because of all the toughness in it. "Life is too short to hate" but it's also too short to not have seen this movie. So watch it... now!
Rated 23 Jan 2009
50
10th
Despite Norton's acting, it's an overly dramatic film that tries too hard to prove a point, pretty much imploding itself. Not even Norton could save the ending.
Rated 25 Jan 2009
90
98th
Great acting by Edward Norton. Will never forget the sidewalk scene.
Rated 28 Mar 2009
80
83rd
The photography and acting of this film are far above what one typically sees in a movie and the political philosophizing helps it exist as more than just a story. The sheer intensity of this film make it a much more interesting look at racial issues than the likes of "Crash."
Rated 02 Jul 2009
2
10th
Well gee whiz Mr. Kaye I had no idea it was so simple. If only more racists were disillusioned by being victims of horrible and brutal violence, maybe then the cycle will be broken. One day...
Rated 27 Jul 2009
100
96th
This is one of those movies that can change your point of view. It is very powerful and honest, with Edward Norton who is absolutely great in this master piece!
Rated 31 Jul 2009
80
84th
"American History X" is a manipulative movie that on occasions handles its subject matter with all the delicacy of smack to the face. That said don't think I do not rate it highly. Occasionally a heavy hand is what is required during film making and if anything its helps this movie gets its message across, if a bit crudely. Also there is no doubt the performances on show are brilliant. This films intentions are noble and righteous, and I can forgive it its ham-handedness because of that.
Rated 30 Aug 2009
90
94th
Curb stomp!
Rated 03 Sep 2009
74
91st
The movie is good, but Ed Norton's performance is one of the best I have seen by any actor.
Rated 29 Dec 2009
100
96th
Absolutely one of the craziest movies ever made. It is an eye opener.
Rated 30 Dec 2009
91
64th
for azul :))
Rated 23 May 2010
94
97th
This movie is awesome. The main actors are great, but is is in supporting cast the movie really shines. Stacy Keach and the always lovable Beverly D'Angelo are performing beyond the call of duty and Ethan Suplee steals almost every scene he is in. A must see.
Rated 01 Oct 2010
65
42nd
Although laden with stereotypes and clichés, "American History X" does pack up some powerful moments that hit you sporadically and are mostly due to Tony Kayne's stylish direction and Norton's typically startling performance. McKenna's script is well-intentioned, but also sentimental and manipulative. The film just thinks it's better than it actually is (half of it is actually filmed in black and white just to show how sophisticated it is) dealing with a sensitive subject in a simplistic way.
Rated 17 Jan 2011
93
95th
Great movie, great message.
Rated 17 Feb 2011
90
91st
There are moments You will not forget.
Rated 02 Jul 2011
72
76th
Very difficult to watch at the beginning, but it certainly catches your attention. Some truly great performances, some not so great. The idea is handled fairly well, just rather clumsy. I would love to see how this movie would be handled and actually received if it was released this year, rather than some years back.
Rated 03 Aug 2011
85
85th
Edward Norton rips through this movie like that curb through that poor man's jaw.
Rated 22 Oct 2011
98
99th
My favorite movie!
Rated 07 Dec 2011
85
90th
[Rewatch] A hauntingly powerful film that will stay with you long after you've watched it. A performance so believable by Ed Norton and such a great physical transformation that he truly forced the way through on White Supremacy creating a very controversial film. A story of misdirected hate and anger. One of the best prison films made, with some harsh truths of prison politics, a good role for Edward Furlong too.
Rated 10 Mar 2012
91
97th
It's the story of change and rehabilitation. Edward Norton gives his best performance of his career as an ex- neo nazi. This movie is heartbreaking, but also sends a message.
Rated 29 May 2012
85
88th
Wow!!! an unforgettable movie, Edward Norton is absolutely incredible in this movie.
Rated 05 Jun 2012
97
98th
Edward Norton is superb in this intense, powerful and brave masterpiece.
Rated 01 Jul 2012
90
98th
A powerful story well told with a tragic ending.
Rated 08 Jul 2012
92
95th
American History X is confrontational and disturbing, but in a way that ticks all the right boxes while being complemented by fantastic performances from Norton and Furlong.
Rated 22 Jul 2012
84
94th
A strong movie with a strong message. The scene on the sidewalk, without actually showing anything, is one of the most gruesome ever.
Rated 26 Jul 2012
100
99th
This in my opinion is what great films are made of. To everyone who does not know Tony Kaye, you should seriously check out the films by this great director. One of the most under appreciated directors of our times. The film is great in every way. The script, camera and portrayal does not leave much room for negative criticism.
Rated 05 Aug 2012
95
98th
American History X will leave you thinking far after it cuts to black. A moving film complimented by a brilliant performance by Ed Norton, the viewer can't help but feel saddened, and most importantly angry by the truths that the film reveals about society. The changes between present color scenes and poignant black and white sequences accent the film in a nearly flawless manner. A film that definitely requires multiple viewings to get the most out of it.
Rated 15 Sep 2012
90
76th
It teaches well how irrational is the animal which kills its own nature. Good movie.
Rated 24 Oct 2012
90
90th
This film is flawless in every way, from the cinematography to the acting, though the themes emphasised in the film truly make is stand out amongst all others. Few films can evoke emotion in a way this does, in a way that sends chills down your spine and leaves you a changed person by the end.
Rated 25 Oct 2012
84
92nd
* Casting, Acting : 9 * Script : 9 * Directing, Aura : 8 * Ease of Viewing : 7 * Naked Eye : 9
Rated 11 Jan 2013
10
1st
"Oh look I'm a racist...Oh no I'm being raped...Oh look, I'm now not a racist". There. Film summarised for you. One of the most blockheaded, overwrought, hamfisted, moronic, simplistic, tedious and uncompassionate films I have ever seen.
Rated 09 Apr 2013
75
71st
Realistic, raw and emotional. This is simply an excellent movie, and a must-see for everyone who is human.
Rated 20 Dec 2013
82
59th
A compelling and provocative story led by an excellent performance by Edward Norton.
Rated 20 Jan 2014
100
42nd
my all-time favorite movie . A MASTERPIECE .
Rated 31 Jan 2014
85
69th
Great movie that explores race hatred in America. Edward puts in an excellent perfomance and we believe in his character and it's doesn't seem like it was forced onto us.
Rated 03 Apr 2014
68
43rd
I live in Georgia. I know racism is bad. I really don't need Ethan Suplee tossing a black jellybean out of a dish of white ones to prove that to me.
Rated 19 May 2014
95
97th
It really isn't about the opinions and views of the characters in the film, but more about their growth. It is a frustratingly tragic story that is impressive not only in narrative but in development of the two main characters.
Rated 19 Jul 2014
9
91st
American History X is one of the most shocking, brutal, disturbing and evil spirited films I've ever seen. Edward Norton carries the film effortlessly and gives a stellar and career best performance. There's no doubting how manipulative and pretentious this film can be. At times even the racist propaganda feels persuasively aimed at the audience. But to its credit that's what makes this film so compelling. You cannot believe such evil, destructive & irrational people like this actually exist.
Rated 12 Oct 2014
95
86th
Absolutely sensational performance by Edward Norton, portraying a transformation from neo-nazi to second coming. Stacy Keach and Avery Brooks shine in pivotal roles, but Norton's is the performance of a lifetime.
Rated 18 Oct 2014
95
94th
GREEEAT movie. Very nice dialogs, good acting, the cast is really talented, and the messages are really inspiring!!
Rated 12 Nov 2014
68
41st
It's well made, finely acted and has the best of intentions but sadly the story gets way too contrived and loses its sense for authenticity pretty early on. In the end it feels too much like a fairy tale and the morals of the story are forced down our throats pretty awkwardly. Still a solid Hollywood movie that I would recommend. I know it's not a fair comparison but "This is England" does a similar concept with much more impact and authenticity.
Rated 21 Apr 2015
88
55th
This movie basically shows how amazing Norton's brilliance can grow. A strong and violent character's transformation throughout the movie.
Rated 26 Nov 2015
93
97th
qwershady e selam olsun nazizim akar...
Rated 10 Mar 2018
75
73rd
Good photography, average editing. Interesting topic but lack of systemic thinking. Only white characters are given the opportunity to not be stereotypical and show some depth and nuance, which is sort of bad for a movie about racism. I would have been very curious to see the director's cut...
Rated 22 Sep 2019
70
54th
Without Edward Norton's emotive performance and my personal bias, Derek's transformation into colour would be insubstantial, because the majority of the film is given instead to his transformation into a Nazi (certainly nothing solid is given to his brother's character, despite him being presented as a protagonist). Undeniably affecting, with many excellent frames, but in the end the lack of balance and substance proves too significant for it to really have a lasting impact.
Rated 02 Oct 2020
80
26th
???? ?? ???? ? ???? ? ???? . ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ????
Rated 24 May 2022
65
62nd
American History X is a weird film in that it obviously preaches an anti-hate message but presents every character in a way that you wouldn't get choked up had they been wiped out by Covid (or each other). Nearing 25 years, neo-Nazis are still use the same talking points; presented as a mix of unaddressed socio-economic concerns, moronic hypocrisy & unbridled hate. Norton leads the film but a choral opening on a B&W shoreline & an ending marked by swelling strings makes it all feel a bit cheesy.
Rated 30 Nov 2006
78
49th
Didn't like it as much as other people did. Still a great drama with breathtaking performances.
Rated 05 Dec 2006
51
43rd
Tricky neo-Nazi drama is shot with verve and panache, but the messages remain muddled as scenes begin to erupt into sensationalistic bloodbaths. Film lacks a clear point of view, and also the conviction to turn any surprising narrative corners.
Rated 11 Dec 2006
90
87th
amazing film
Rated 25 Dec 2006
90
84th
Great movie. Edward Norton as a skinhead is REALLY hot for some reason.
Rated 30 Dec 2006
80
89th
The most disturbing part of the movie is the idea that white supremicists could ever reform.
Rated 06 Jan 2007
70
66th
A decent film, in spite of Ed Norton simply playing a neo-nazi caricature of himself.
Rated 13 Jan 2007
99
84th
this movie tells how violence and family can intermix and that is not a good thing. Edward norton is great and has a flawless performance for the ages, the voilence is part of how grusome his life was and how and why he wanted to change it
Rated 28 Jan 2007
3
28th
Anomaly1's review nailed it.
Rated 20 Feb 2007
90
95th
Ed Norton's career best performance as a violent skinhead just out of jail trying to prevent his brother from making the same mistakes he did. Brutal and engaging stuff.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
65
73rd
Norton's a class act.
Rated 09 Mar 2007
65
26th
Ridiculous
Rated 20 Mar 2007
69
39th
American History X has one of the most excellent performances in the last decade from Edward Norton, but the rest of the movie is severely flawed and lacks the emotional drive it tries to shove down your throat. I don't really understand how this movie is often referred to as being brilliant and whatnot because to me it comes off as pretentious and very preachy, to the point of being ridiculous.

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