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American History X
Short plot summary

The story is told through the eyes of Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) who idolizes his racist older brother Derek (Edward Norton). Derek is sent to jail for murdering one of a group of black guys who come to his house in the night.

(The title American History X is the name of a school report Danny is writing for an enlightened black teacher attempting to get Danny to confront his view of the world).

Please tell me the ending or whole plot if necessary

While in jail for aggravated murder, racist Derek finds friendship with a black guy with whom he works in the laundry room. It is this relationship that ultimately saves the swastika tattooed Derek .

On coming out of the prison, Derek has reformed his ways. However he finds his younger brother, Danny, and a rag bag of old friends, looking to him to confirm his old white supremacist ideals.

Derek tries to break the ties with his old life, and explain to his younger brother the error of his ways. He finally does it.

But it's too late. In pay back for past racist crimes, Danny is killed by a black guy.

What our panel of critics thought

"O-h M-y G-O-D - this is the most depressing movie I have ever seen. I hope he came to his senses by the end: I haven't a clue how it all turned out, after the first 15 minutes I went off to read the newspaper and then watched a documentary on serial killers, it was far less distressing."

"Get ready to have your depression muscles rattled."

"Is this the most depressing movie ever made?"

"None of the fun of the fair."

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review:

Oh me, oh my. On one level this is a worthwhile story to be told, but my, oh me, I have rarely felt so depressed!

Could they not have made this as a two minute public information film? Or just have Edward Norton looking straight into camera saying: "Just don't do it guys! Don't be racist. It's too much effort to be intolerant." Now, how long did it take to say that? 15 seconds max.

From the whispers I have heard, this movie had a lot of trouble in its making. It is truly depressing on so many levels. OK the ending is tragically acceptable on the karmic scale of things, but the journey is quite hard work and I doubt I would have bothered watching it all the way though had I not been reviewing it.

No laughs, no spoonful of sugar anywhere here. Just grit, a little gruel, and then a whole truck full of gruel you could never eat even if you tried for the rest of your life.

You may want to see Shrek as an antidote to this movie, or at least to help you cheer yourself up afterwards.

Other comments

One of those movies you might be tempted to see because Edward Norton is in it. A truly dark, depressing, movie with a point. The ultimate point of the movie (racism doesn't make you feel good about yourself) is a good one, but do we really have to sit through all this racism to get there?

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