American History X

Edward Norton turns in a blistering performance as a right-wing extremist thug who reforms and changes his views after three years in jail

Edward Norton turns in a blistering performance as a right-wing extremist thug who reforms and changes his views after three years in jail.

A compelling but flawed drama, this is at its most convincing in the way in which it presents Norton’s past as a man with a closed mind who is completely consumed by hatred and prejudice.

His performance is so powerful that it just about rips the story off its hinges.

However, the movie is so keen on his rehabilitation and transformation into a good guy (director Tony Kaye disowned the finished film) who tries to stop his hero-worshipping younger brother Edward Furlong from making the same mistakes that it loses much of its momentum.

Still, it’s strong stuff, stylishly served.

Beverly D’Angelo, Avery Brooks, Stacy Keach and Elliott Gould are also part of the angry world.

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