Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: Generally unheralded at the time, the early 1980s hardcore punk rock scene gave birth to much of the rock music and culture that followed. Hardcore was more than music -- it was a social movement created by Reagan-era misfit kids. The participants constituted a tribe unto themselves -- some finding a voiced, others an escape in the hard-edged music. Ans while some sought a better world, others were just angry and wanted to raise hell. American Hardcore traces this lost subculture, from its early roots in 1980 to its initial flameout in 1986. (Sony Pictures Classics) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 75
    Messed up as it is, you can't tear your eyes away from this explosion of brutal sounds and images.
  4. A toned-down cinematic equivalent of the music: fast and loud, but not too loud. The movie scrambles to cover so much territory that there is room only for musical shards and slivers; few complete songs are heard, and no signature anthems stand out.
  5. 70
    Some of American Hardcore is amusing -- many of the aging punks Rachman and Blush track down have turned into highly ordinary middle-aged Americans -- and some is profoundly disturbing.
  6. 67
    Hardcore might have been confused and crude, but it was never guilty of being tepid, like this film.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    Twenty-five years on, hardcore continues to be the soundtrack of choice for extreme, white-supremacist groups hoping to tap into teenage rage. With no one on hand to counter the argument, this may go down as hardcore's lasting legacy.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10

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