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Edward Norton was nominated for a 1998 Best Actor Oscar for his role as Derek Vinyard, a thoughtful kid turned neo-Nazi after his father is slain. Edward Furlong plays his younger brother, Danny, determined to follow in his brother's footsteps. The easy routes the film seems prepared to take never materialize. It continually makes Derek's transformation both in and out of his racist beliefs believable and persuasive. Stacy Keach is given the head vampire role of the local skinhead chapter, Cameron, and he's the closest this film comes to an overt overstatement. Norton, however, is fantastic, embodying a person who roller-coasters through hatred like he can't wait to ride again. His diatribes are not unlike what can be heard on any given conservative radio station on any given day, but he doesn't spew them as cant or screed. Only when his violent emotions take charge, negating any sense or stand, is the underlying fallacy and nature of his beliefs made plain. This film was undermined by the film's own director, Tony Kaye, who made such a braying ass of himself and his work that it distorted the public's view of what is an interesting social and psychological lesson in the war between ideas and ideologues, reason and racism.--Keith Simanton
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CastBeverly D'Angelo, Edward Furlong, Avery Brooks, Jennifer Lien
DirectorTony Kaye
Screen WriterDavid McKenna
Runtime:  119 minutes
Studio:  New Line Home Video
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review by . November 21, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
On the recommendations of several friends combined with Edward Norton being in the lead role for "American History X", I settled in for what I suspected would be a disturbing if quality movie for the evening. It was -- both quality and disturbing. I have never seen Norton anything but excellent in any role, my expectations of him were high, and he fully met and surpassed those expectations. Indeed, this is one of his best, and I can understand why he was nominated for an Oscar based on his performance …
review by . May 13, 2001
I rarely buy movies. But I did buy American History X.This is the incredibly powerful story of two brothers who fall into the trap of racism and hate. It is also the story of these brothers trying to free themselves from racism and hate. After spending some time in prison for murdering two blacks who try and steal his car (a dispute starting with a basketball game), former neo-nazi Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) leaves his incarceration a changed man. To his dismay, however, he find that his younger …
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