American History X

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3 1/2

AMERICAN HISTORY X is a story about extreme racism and the underlying hatred which drives it. Teenager Danny Vineyard (Edward Furlong) is given an assignment by his principal to write a paper about his brother, Derek (Edward Norton). Derek is part of a radical neo-nazi group that recruits the young and teaches them that all of the problems in America are the fault of minority and "non-American" races. When three black men attempt to steal his car, Derek kills two of them and is sent to federal prison. There he meets a young black man who, despite Dereks cold reception, does not give up on him and ends up becoming his friend. Derek finds out his new friend has vouched for him with other black inmates, protecting him from inevitable prison violence and even death. This forces him to question the hatred and bigotry he has known all of his life. He sets out to change his ways and to prevent his younger brother, Danny, from following the same road of hate. Edward Norton's realistic portrayal of a radical racist will give AMERICAN HISTORY X a fighting chance at the box office.

AMERICAN HISTORY X is a shocking and deeply insightful film that introduces the viewer to images and realities of racism. This powerful story and message is one that America today needs to hear, but the harshness of the material is painfully overwhelming. Viewers are assaulted by graphic violence, homosexual rape, sexual intercourse, full frontal and rear male nudity, female breast nudity, 190 obscenities, 11 regular profanities, and offensive racial epithets. Despite its relevant message for young people about overcoming hate with the power of relationship and mutual understanding, AMERICAN HISTORY X cannot be recommended because of its excessively graphic and offensive material.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY, 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times - Mild, 5, Moderate, 9

Obscene Language: Almost Constant (190) times (f-word 129, s-word 40, Other 21)

Profanity: Several (12) times - Regular 11 (G 1, GD 7, JC 3), Exclamatory 1 (Oh G)

Violence: Many times - Graphic and Disturbing (gunshots/murder, man's head stomped on and crushed on street curb, aggravated robbery, beating head with stick, beating and hazing of teenagers, woman terrorized while store vandalized, domestic abuse, bloody point blank shooting of teenager)

Sex: Once, premarital (under covers)

Nudity: Twice (woman's breast, full frontal and rear male nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Explicit description of intercourse

Drugs: Alcohol and drugs in club scenes

Other: Mosh pit (violent dancing), racial epithets, nazi symbols and paraphernalia

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and young adults

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