• Release Date: Oct 30, 1998

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. 100
    A shockingly powerful screed against racism that also manages to be so well performed and directed that it is entertaining as well. [30 October 1998, Friday, p.A]
  2. 91
    Feels as true as a documentary, as painful as a blow to the heart.
  3. What makes this film so powerful is that its unanswered questions force the audience to examine hate and its consequences making American History X one lesson you can't miss.
  4. This is the sort of incendiary role a lot of actors would kill for, yet the shock of Norton's performance isn't its showboat flamboyance. It's that he makes this sadistic junior sociopath rueful and intelligent.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 308 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 95
  2. Negative: 3 out of 95
  1. Dec 3, 2012
    If I had to describe this movie with a word limit this is what I would say:"A must watch classic".Unexpected turn of events more than once & Edward Norton makes it even better as he shows his true talent from the beginning.Mixed feelings and a variety of thoughts are brought up by the performances.Definitely 9/10. Full Review »
  2. Aug 25, 2011
    What we have here is a message picture determined to undo itself, with simple ideas (see: I think racism is a tad more complicated than Norton and his black friend) needlessly histrionic dialogue (see: interactions with family), and manipulating moments of over-drama with the force of a chainsaw rising out of a volcano (see: every scene in which racial atrocities are committed, which are all in black and white, slow-motion and have a choir singing the music of hell in the foreground). Full Review »
  3. Nov 23, 2010
    One of the greatest movies I've ever seen, with an amazing, captivating performance by Edward Norton. This film sheds light on issues that many people in society are afraid to discuss or take seriously. A beautifully composed film, a must see. Full Review »