Release Date: October 30, 1998
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 526 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
489
Mixed:
23
Negative:
14
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9
LeonidasPeplisDec 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 andIf 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. Expand
5 of 5 users found this helpful50
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9
JoseRochaPTOct 3, 2011
I was introduced to this film in a philosophy class. Undoubtedly one of the best films I've seen in moral issues. I recommend this movie to anyone who has not already seen, in fact, I recommend this movie to human and personal instruction.I was introduced to this film in a philosophy class. Undoubtedly one of the best films I've seen in moral issues. I recommend this movie to anyone who has not already seen, in fact, I recommend this movie to human and personal instruction. The film is already being shown in schools, which I think is a fantastic instructional level, but even an adult who still have not seen it have something to learn. In my class there were some tough guys, and even after seeing the film they reflected on the evil they had done until that day. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
Schmit93Jan 11, 2011
I've lost track of how many times I've seen this, but it still makes me tear up in the end, Norton really proves himself to be a powerhouse actor, his passion and raw emotion could scare anyone. One of better movies of 98
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
AndrouMay 1, 2014
Great movie that brings a lot of reflection over racism and prejudice. Give it a shot, it's totally worth it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I can't see how it got a overall score under 8.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
SpangleMay 28, 2014
Now this is a great film. Yes, it is dark, violent, and quite disturbing at times, but it is also powerful, moving, and important. Edward Norton is absolutely phenomenal. He takes this deeply troubled character who comes to realize what isNow this is a great film. Yes, it is dark, violent, and quite disturbing at times, but it is also powerful, moving, and important. Edward Norton is absolutely phenomenal. He takes this deeply troubled character who comes to realize what is truly going on his life and he knocks it out of the park. He was terrific and put the film on his shoulders and absolutely killed it. The director, Tony Kaye, while he wishes to distance himself from the final product, he did a great job as well. There was some beautiful imagery here and while it may not be the version he intended as the final cut, his vision absolutely is here and the messages it provokes is still powerful. Really, after watching this film, I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. The entire film is so moving and affecting that it really leaves you in a trance once it ends and the credits start rolling. On top of that, there are many powerful scenes, but none as powerful as the final one. It really leaves you on the brink of tears as you try to deal with what you just watched.

A truly mesmerizing character study with a heart and soul, American History X should absolutely be considered a "must watch" for all.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
axelkochAug 27, 2012
Very rough and intense but fantastically acted and written! Music is also awesome and so is the whole movie. Absolutely great with a tragical story but so is life. A masterpiece!
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
WymasterAug 16, 2013
One of the greatest movies of all time. This film is able to look true, real-life evil in the face and humanize it. There are people that actually live their lives like the neo-nazis in this film, and American History X absolutely does notOne of the greatest movies of all time. This film is able to look true, real-life evil in the face and humanize it. There are people that actually live their lives like the neo-nazis in this film, and American History X absolutely does not sugarcoat it. It shows the true colors of some of those people in our world, yet it doesn't bash them. It shows their intentions, shows us why they do what they do, and while we don't agree at all with it, we understand. Edward Norton gives the performance of a lifetime in what is a film that everyone should watch before they die. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
FordFanatic19Jan 25, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love this movie. This has to be one of the best films created to date. Edward Norton does an excellent job playing his role as a white supremacist, when placed in prison, learns how all races truly are. It is an eye opening film, that keeps the watcher entertained the whole way through. I enjoyed how it transitioned from color to black and white, to show the difference between past and present. Highly recommended film for anyone. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
Viper8787May 24, 2014
A fantastic movie. This movie is tough to get through in the sense that there were many brutal violent or rape scenes that were really disturbing, but they were really well shot. The acting by Norton was phenomenal and the best performance ofA fantastic movie. This movie is tough to get through in the sense that there were many brutal violent or rape scenes that were really disturbing, but they were really well shot. The acting by Norton was phenomenal and the best performance of his career. I didn't think I was going to like this movie as much as I did but it was great. I love the style of the movie on how it was shot with some scenes being black and white and the rest in colour a great job. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
CunningLinguistOct 31, 2010
A shocking portrayal of the effects of hate and racism, this film is an absolute must-see. Not only is it a monolith of its genre, the message it conveys should be heard by all. Edward Norton never ceases to amaze when it come to sheer talent.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
asylumspadezNov 26, 2011
Its an amazing film. Solid acting by the cast and Edward Norton is amazing in it. The only downside of the film is that its rather graphic and can be off putting a bit.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
jc15Oct 3, 2011
62??? really???? This is one of the greatest movies ever made. Edward Norton hit a home run on this film, his acting was amazing. The story was great also. I am still trying to figure out who the heck these 'experts' are.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
ScarTissue1990Apr 7, 2013
One of the greatest films I've ever seen. Edward Norton is such a fantastic actor and Edward Furlong is such a underrated actor. It's a definite must watch.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
bpmike83Jul 19, 2016
11 critics are too soft to give this a good score. This movie is amazing. It's as real as it gets with racial tension. Those of us (the majority) with brains in this country know their head from their ass and right from wrong. Can't stand11 critics are too soft to give this a good score. This movie is amazing. It's as real as it gets with racial tension. Those of us (the majority) with brains in this country know their head from their ass and right from wrong. Can't stand people who use movies, music or games for violence. Anyone with half a brain cell knows right from wrong. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
REDWOUJan 31, 2015
One of the greatest movies I have seen in a while. Edward Norton played his controversial role so well he could have been arrested for being so racist. The actor who played his brother (John Connor in Terminator 2) was very good as well. TheOne of the greatest movies I have seen in a while. Edward Norton played his controversial role so well he could have been arrested for being so racist. The actor who played his brother (John Connor in Terminator 2) was very good as well. The plot was great -- well everything about it was fantastic really. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
domnels234Mar 16, 2016
Truly great movie, really does depict racial tensions in america to this day (despite being made in 90s)
Great acting,setting is great and it is also a really entertaining movie. One of the best
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
sockemeyeNov 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.
9 of 11 users found this helpful92
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10
Falcon9gxgcApr 24, 2011
One of the most powerful films anyone should and must watch. Edward Norton excels all boundaries of acting In American History X. For a moment it just feels too real and you forget he's acting. He lands a remarkable, touching, and trueOne of the most powerful films anyone should and must watch. Edward Norton excels all boundaries of acting In American History X. For a moment it just feels too real and you forget he's acting. He lands a remarkable, touching, and true character, struggling to fight for the errors committed in the past. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
cameronmorewoodNov 8, 2012
Breathtaking.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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3
J-ShapAug 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), andWhat 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). Expand
4 of 14 users found this helpful410
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4
JamesMDec 20, 2005
A mess of a film that attempts some kind of message but fails dismally. Just like "The Green Mile" and "Once Were Warriors" before it, the film tries so hard to get a reaction from the audience that it ends up feeling forced and exhausting.
2 of 7 users found this helpful
7
MustisTheCatAug 22, 2011
A good movie that had been better if not the forced, yet sometimes confusing message. Maybe if I watched it back in 1998 , I would appreciate it more, but its position in any kind of film rankings is misleading. The only thing I couldn`tA good movie that had been better if not the forced, yet sometimes confusing message. Maybe if I watched it back in 1998 , I would appreciate it more, but its position in any kind of film rankings is misleading. The only thing I couldn`t forget was Edward Norton`s exceptional performance, and not only because others played roughly average roles. The story tries hard to establish the characters and the origin of racism but succeeds only in part. The viewer doesn`t get a full explanation, only bits of information that want him to think clearly : this is good, this is bad. We see a bunch of people changing their ways but we do not get the reasoning behind it. The main conclusion is not very clear and doesn`t find a strong material to it in the movie. The result is : you get the message this movie wants you to get, but mostly because it is literally given to you at the very end of it. You do not really understand why this particular message, because the story suggests something different. An excellent idea executed poorly with a bit of a genius play. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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8
drlowdonApr 22, 2014
White supremacist Derek Vinyard lands himself in prison having savagely murdered a black gang member caught trying to steal his truck. Whilst in prison he has time to reflect on his beliefs and realises that he must change his ways. Upon hisWhite supremacist Derek Vinyard lands himself in prison having savagely murdered a black gang member caught trying to steal his truck. Whilst in prison he has time to reflect on his beliefs and realises that he must change his ways. Upon his release however he finds that his younger brother, Danny, is following a similar path and vows to stop him.

As an audience it can often be difficult to understand why a person may hold racist viewers. Unlike the majority of movies dealing with race however American History X paints a picture of why its characters feel and act the way they do giving it far more relevance to real life as well as making for a far more interesting movie.

Fantastic performances from the cast, particularly Edward Norton in arguably his finest ever performance, also help to maintain the authentic feel of the movie. By the time it reaches its finale it is easy to have become invested in the characters in what is an engrossing look at racial tension within Los Angeles.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
LetMeInPleaseJan 8, 2016
I don't like this concept of skins being negative all the way without even a tiny bit of humanity. It's cheap, cartoonish and overall an indication that film is poorly directed. This theme is too complex and needs a subtle approach. NeedlessI don't like this concept of skins being negative all the way without even a tiny bit of humanity. It's cheap, cartoonish and overall an indication that film is poorly directed. This theme is too complex and needs a subtle approach. Needless to say, depicted events are utterly non-believable. Expand
0 of 5 users found this helpful05
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9
matta.Oct 20, 2005
Movie was great but the tragec ending took away alittle.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ScottMOct 12, 2006
Single greatest movie of all time, in my eyes.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
MattC.May 6, 2007
The basketball scene was horrible. Were we expected to stand up and cheer "Go white racists, go!"? I think this movie really failed to address what lies beneath these subgroups. Not every one of those hundreds of kids had a The basketball scene was horrible. Were we expected to stand up and cheer "Go white racists, go!"? I think this movie really failed to address what lies beneath these subgroups. Not every one of those hundreds of kids had a fireman-dad-get-shot-by-crackguy story - how did they get caught up in this B.S.? The movie doesn't say. There are a lot of strong performances but a lot of stuff that just doesn't add up. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DavidB.Oct 14, 2008
Some of the best acting I have ever seen.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KattyG.May 9, 2008
The most powerful movie I have ever seen. Its truly is a wonderful film. And the outstanding acting by Edward Norton! Loved it!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MelissaT.Oct 3, 2005
This movie pisses you off, makes you cry, and think about "What you have done to make your life better."
0 of 0 users found this helpful