American History X

Movie review by Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
American History X Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

This dark drama is not for kids.

R 1998 118 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 25 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
age 15+


This is a really good movie for late teens to watch. It makes them deeply consider the impacts of racism, race, and the long term damage. It hurts to watch. It's uncomfortable, and that discomfort is needed.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 24, 1998
  • On DVD or streaming: January 1, 2003
  • Cast: Beverly D'Angelo, Edward Furlong, Edward Norton
  • Director: Tony Kaye
  • Studio: New Line
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 118 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: graphic violence, racism, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual situations, mature themes
  • Last updated: May 6, 2022

Our Editors Recommend

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    age 17+
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    Powerful look at racism, but too intense for kids.

    age 16+
  • A Clockwork Orange Poster Image

    A Clockwork Orange

    A violent meditation on violence; graphic and disturbing.

    age 17+

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