User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
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  1. BlancoA.
    Sep 30, 2006
    9
    A movie like this restores your faith that good music exists somewhere, at some point in time. This film brought me back to 1984, driving into downtown LA for private school in the backseat of a car driven by a couple of sophomore punks who blared Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, and Minor Threat. I was scared sh.t.ess that Sam Picture and Matt Artukavich were gonna crash the A movie like this restores your faith that good music exists somewhere, at some point in time. This film brought me back to 1984, driving into downtown LA for private school in the backseat of a car driven by a couple of sophomore punks who blared Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, and Minor Threat. I was scared sh.t.ess that Sam Picture and Matt Artukavich were gonna crash the car they were going so ballistic in the front seat of that crappy little Honda Civic. I had no idea what it was all about as a freaked out freshman, but the stuff grew on me and it was the antidote to the early-80s, Reagan, preppy, button-down cluture. I have a new respect for the influence of Bad Brains after seeing this film. It was great seeing Greg Ginn & Ian McKaye explaining how the nerve centers of the movements in the South Bay and D.C. spawned pockets throughout the country. I always thought that the hardcore movement was pretty abbreviated, and this film really drives it home. By 1985, the thing just STOPPED. Whenever I get too depressed by the state of music today, I pull out the old reliable Black Flag album to make things right. Hopefully one day, a similar visceral movement will resurface, but as they say in the movie, it'll never be Hardcore. I loved the film. The footage is incredible. I just went online and bought the first Bad Brains album to replace my old warped, riddled-with-sand cassette. "X" "X" Straight edge....M.T. Expand
  2. caporegime
    Jun 10, 2009
    10
    Perfectly explained and documented.
  3. JesseO.
    Nov 26, 2007
    9
    One of the best films of the 80's true punk evolution really liked the interviews of some of those most resposible for it all.
  4. GeorgeW.
    Mar 18, 2007
    9
    Though it dragged in spots, this was a helluva documentary for my wife and myself as we lived the SF hardcore scene in the early eighties. I kept expecting to see myself or her thrashing about or hanging in the audience. If there had been more from SF, this may have happened. I could forgive the lack of SF coverage as the main protaginists, the DKs are now at each other's throats. Though it dragged in spots, this was a helluva documentary for my wife and myself as we lived the SF hardcore scene in the early eighties. I kept expecting to see myself or her thrashing about or hanging in the audience. If there had been more from SF, this may have happened. I could forgive the lack of SF coverage as the main protaginists, the DKs are now at each other's throats. All in all an important work that I always wondered if anyone would make. Expand
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Sally Foster
    70
    Not only documents a fascinating part of American history, but also leaves us wondering how (and if) this era's youth will manage to find a voice of their own.
  2. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    90
    Excellent documentary American Hardcore chronicles the short-lived but influential musical moment when a defiantly anti-commercial underground put a distinctive U.S. stamp on the hitherto Brit-driven punk movement.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    80
    The story of American punk rock (1980–1986) isn't a lot easier to summarize than that of any other major war, but it's quite a bit funnier, as this belated documentary overview--based on Steven Blush's like-titled tome--proves in each of its 90 exuberantly irritable minutes.