American History X (1998)

Rothe Blog Movies American History XFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Elliott Gould, Beverly D’Angelo

What was good

The whole movie is a powerful look into how a simple event and a couple of slanted view points can create hate against a race. A simple example of the power of words, the strength of a leader, and a group of confused young men can create such chaos and fear within one community.

What sucked

Nothing. Norton is supreme in this movie, believable in every ounce, he is this character. The movie does have one particularly violent act that will stick in your mind, and many other bloody encounters, but I don’t think it detracts from the story, whether it is necessary or not. A look into how white supremacists view themselves and those around them, quiet brooding at times, always a feeling of superiority, and calculated madness to dehumanize others who live in the same fear but haven’t had a sequence of events push them over.

Who should go see this

Everyone. When Norton stomps a robber’s life out on the curb corner, that is hard for me to watch. But I would own this movie, and if it wasn’t as violent I would show it to a group of students where applicable. This isn’t a removed story about people brought up in hate, but yet a normal white kid and how the death of his father fuels a nation of skinheads looking for answers, and how to make their lives better. Such a powerful racial message, you have to watch this.

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