This one's a Must-See!

Danny looking for a fight.

American History X is one of those movies that critics around the world constantly praise, and if you know anything about movies, it’s not hard to see why!

In school while we – my classmates and I – were watching this movie during a week dedicated entirely to racism and the like, I found myself – after having watched an hour or so of this film – sighing, nodding and thinking: “Brilliant, just brilliant!”

Some of American History X is in black-and-white and the rest is in color. The black-and-white portions of the movie are flashbacks that tell the story of Derek Vinyard, a white supremacist portrayed beautifully by the great Edward Norton, and how his life went to pieces after the death of his father, who inspired him to become the violent, rascist neo-Nazi he is.

The color-parts of the film are set in the “present” and focus heavily on Derek’s younger brother Danny (Edward Furlong), who looks up to his now imprisoned brother and thus also is a neo-Nazi, much to the annoyance of the local school’s principal, Dr. Sweeney (Avery Brooks), who promises that he will teach Danny some American History… X. Meanwhile, Derek is released from prison, although he is now a whole new man, shocked to find that his little brother has become just like the old him.

Derek getting arrested.

What an absolutely amazing film! What an impact it leaves! No matter what your opinion on the film might be, the impact it leaves on you is undeniable. Some have not seen this, but should, though they should be warned about certain violent scenes, particularly the famous curb-stomp sequence.

Those who choose to skip it, though, are missing something outstanding; a fantastic motion picture with perfect performances (Edward Norton never stops amazing me with his tremendous talent!!), great music that puts you in the right mood for the film, extremely beautiful cinematography and very smart writing – speaking of which, I simply must mention one especially clever scene in which a black inmate (Guy Torry), who befriends Derek in prison, explains to Derek how he ended up in jail.

Without giving too much away about the aforementioned scene, I’ll just say that the black man doesn’t explain to us that the policeman lied about his crime in order to give him six years in prison; instead, the audience is assumed smart enough to understand this themselves, and I simply love it when filmmakers work like that! It is simply terrific!

Watching this film in school was my first time to doing so, and I fell totally in love with it, instantly (Love at first sight, anyone?); so gripping, so well-made, so well-acted, so well-directed, so amazing! One of the best I’ve seen in my life.

5/5 whatever.