Director: Tony Kaye
Cast: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Fairuza Balk, Beverly D'Angelo, Stacy Keach, Jennifer Lien.
Running Time: 118 minutes.
Rated R for some extreme violence, harsh language, and sexual situations.
There are certain films that come out that raise enough commotion due to a political ("Schindler's List"), religous (can anyone say "The Passion of the Christ"?), and historical themes that are sensitive issues for many people. Many of these films reveal to be an honest portrayal of the account in which they are trying to explain. "American History X" focuses on the horrors that the root of racism can breed, spreading aimlessly throughout a small California town, and sucking in innocent young adults into a world of fascist and prejudice living.
Edward Norton gives the best performance of his young career as a skinead Neo-Nazi who returns from prison to his Venice beach home. His evolution from a young, bright jock in high school to a thug full of hatred is a rigid, cunning depiction--but the film mainly focuses on his metamorphesis into an enlightened parolee and his relationship with a young brother (played exceptionally well by Edward Furlong, star of "The Terminator 2: Judgement Day") who is following in his toxic foosteps. Director Tony Kaye's vision of how racism ravages a middle-class family is staggering until the last few moments of the motion picture, taking the audience through a whirlwind of events that will shock, disturb, and expose the true nature of hate--and also the strength and courage that it takes to break the chain.
Truly one of the most important films of the last decade, "American History X" is a bold statement that is not for all--adults and children alike; however, it sends a message and tells a story that should be embraced by all people and is articulate enough with its delivery to create a monsoon of emotion. One of the best films of the latter part of the decade.