• Release Date:
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 409 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A groundbreaking controversial drama about the tragic consequences of racism in a family. (New Line Cinema)
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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. 80
    American History X is a crash course on how to make a message movie that resonates with crackling power.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Jolting, superbly acted film.
  4. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    70
    Norton's performance, which is every bit as varied as his Oscar-nominated work in Primal Fear, once more demonstrates that he's one of the most remarkable chameleons working in film.
  5. Excellent in flashes, unintentionally absurd and lead-footed at other moments, the movie stumbles under the weight of its own grandiose intentions.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    This material is charged enough without piling on the melodrama and the lip-smacking violence. The movie too often sacrifices reportage for razzle-dazzle.
  7. A mousy little nothing of a picture.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 107
  2. Negative: 3 out of 107
  1. Nov 23, 2010
    10
    One of the greatest movies I've ever seen, with an amazing, captivating performance by Edward Norton. This film sheds light on issues thatOne 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. Expand
  2. DavidB.
    Oct 14, 2008
    10
    Some of the best acting I have ever seen.
  3. MattS.
    Sep 17, 2005
    10
    Superb directing and acting. Tony Kaye takes us on a dramatic journey that leaves us on the edge of our seat.
  4. Apr 7, 2013
    10
    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 aOne 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. Expand
  5. BlakeJ.
    Mar 11, 2007
    9
    The most powerful movie I have ever seen. Bar none. Norton solidifies himself as a movie god.
  6. Dec 23, 2014
    9
    "American History X" is immensely relevant to modern audiences, perhaps now more than ever. A gritty and provocative drama that puts in"American History X" is immensely relevant to modern audiences, perhaps now more than ever. A gritty and provocative drama that puts in graphic terms the dangers of racism and hatred, propelled to greatness by Edward Norton's mesmerising and powerful performance and his interplay with Edward Furlong is one of the most affecting pairings in film. And the ending is shattering no matter how many times it's watched. Expand
  7. Aug 25, 2011
    3
    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 NortonWhat 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

See all 107 User Reviews

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