There are few films that have the ability to shock you and break your heart. ‘American History X’ is one of them. Directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna, this crime drama follows a former neo-nazi skinhead, who after being released from jail, attempts to prevent his younger brother from going down the same path that he did. ‘American History X’ stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong as the Vinyard brothers. The two actors capture their conflicting ideologies and their brotherhood with astonishing subtlety and deftness. Norton especially garnered immensely positive reviews for his complicated portrayal, which also won him an Academy Award nomination.
The film earned highly positive reviews, with many even calling it as one of the greatest movies of all time. Much of the narrative stems from the social commentary made by Spike Lee in his directorial debut ‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989), as noted by Roger Ebert in his review. For this article, I have taken into account films that share similar tones and narrative structures as this classic. The films on this list explore race, culture and religion through different genres. So, without further ado, here is the list of best movies similar to ‘American History X’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘American History X’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. Crash (2004)
Directed by Paul Haggis and co-written by Bobby Moresco and Haggis, ‘Crash’ is a drama that explores the interweaving conflict of race, crime, penance, redemption and loss. Upon its release, the film received positive reviews, with many praising its storytelling, performances and direction. While it got buried in controversy for winning the Academy Award for “Best Picture” over the critically adored ‘Brokeback Mountain’, many forget that it is a great piece of work, if not a masterpiece. ‘Crash’, aside from winning two Oscars, was inducted in a couple of “Best of the Year” lists.
9. Romper Stomper (1992)
An Australian drama film, ‘Romper Stomper’ chronicles the rise and downfall of a neo-Nazi group in a blue-collar suburban Melbourne. Written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, the film is violent and gory, which helps to create the tense and vigorous atmosphere within the narrative. The flick stars Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie and Tony Lee, who help Wright execute his violent story with precision and energy. ‘Romper Stomper’, though scrutinized for its violent content, received positive reviews for the screenplay, direction and performances. The elongated popularity of it also spawned a sequel television series with the same title which premiered in 2018.