Metallica: Through the Never

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Metallica: Through the Never Movie Poster Image
Heavy-metal concert meets a thunderous horror movie.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
In the overall story arc, the main character changes from being a passive observer to helping out a stranger and then finally standing up for himself and for the greater good, though this involves a lot of violence and destruction. In Metallica's music, there are often "rise above"-type messages, mixed in with lyrics about death.
Positive Role Models & Representations
Other than the band's success and superb musicianship, there isn't much for teens to emulate here.
Violence
The surrounding story arc is filled with fighting, death, and blood, but even the pre-staged Metallica show includes some shocking, violent images. The stage becomes covered with a seeping red color that resembles blood. Above the stage are several coffins, upon which are TV screens showing images of people trapped inside, silently screaming to get out. There are also war images, with roaring planes and sounds of gunfire. Viewers also see a car crash and blood, many dead bodies, mob violence, a man set on fire, and, eventually, mass destruction of buildings through a huge explosive blow.
Sex
Language
Some language is heard right at the film's beginning, including "motherf---er" and "son of a bitch." Additional uses of "f--k," plus "ass," "damn," etc. A middle finger gesture is seen. There are some profane lyrics here and there in Metallica's songs, but the lyrics aren't easy to decipher in the live show, and only fans who already know the words will pick them up.
Consumerism

Not an issue, unless you consider that teens may want to buy/download Metallica albums after seeing the movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The kid takes some kind of blue/orange pill, which is never explained.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Metallica: Through the Never is a kind of hybrid concert movie/horror movie. The legendary heavy metal band plays several songs in front of a live audience, although several elements of the concert have been staged specifically for the cameras. Meanwhile, a roadie is sent on a mysterious errand into the city at night. Fighting, dead bodies, a car crash, blood, and a person on fire are shown, as well as additional violence and destruction. Language includes a clear use of "motherf---er" and "bitch," and Metallica's song lyrics have some language and violent images as well (though in these loud, live versions, the lyrics are frequently hard to hear clearly). The concert itself also features some disturbing images, such as video coffins with images of people struggling and screaming inside. The movie is very loud and inarguably for mature fans only, though those fans are very likely to enjoy this creative, visceral experience.

User Reviews

Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written byBarry Saunders January 5, 2014

Warning not just a concert

I put the movie on more for the concert and did not realize it was sort of a movie as well. My 10 year girl was hooked as she did not care about the music she j... Continue reading
Adult Written byDarthJeffry J. May 25, 2018

Amazing!

A bit of blood, kinda mature themes,amazing story. Couldn't have been much better.
Teen, 15 years old Written byStevie111 September 30, 2013
Kid, 11 years old May 9, 2014

An incredible and thrilling display

This is an adrenaline-fueled, violent, and exciting concert movie. I adore this film and watch it all the time. The only reason it is are is for mild violence a... Continue reading

What's the story?

As the legendary heavy metal band Metallica gears up for its latest show, roadie Trip (Dane DeHaan) reports for work. As the band starts playing and Trip enjoys the show, he's tapped to go on an important errand: He needs to bring a can of gas to a truck somewhere in the city and then retrieve "something the band needs tonight" from the back of the truck. Unfortunately, the unnamed city is unusually quiet, with ominous signs everywhere. As Trip ventures deeper into the urban labyrinth, things get spookier and increasingly deadly. Meanwhile, back at the concert, strange accidents start happening on stage. Can Trip complete his task and save the day?

Is it any good?

This movie's genuinely unsettling, and Metallica's intense, adrenaline-fueled music makes the horror sequences all the more atmospheric and supercharged. The chills still come at the expected prickly pace of a normal thriller, but the songs seems to heighten everything to a fever pitch. And when things slowly turn from realistic to dark fantasy, the music helps the transition. The concert itself is terrific, highlighting classics from the band's best albums and containing its own story arc. Fans will love it, though newbies are less likely to be engrossed.
 
The members of Metallica -- James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo -- hired director Nimrod Antal (a U.S. native of Hungarian descent), and all five worked in collaboration on the screenplay for METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER. The dark elements in Metallica's lyrics, combined with Antal's touch for tense, moody locations and predator-prey situations (Kontroll, Vacancy, Armored, and Predators) make for a surprisingly spooky concert experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dark, violent images in Metallica's lyrics. Why does the band seem so angry? What do you think they want their music to inspire?
  • What do you suppose is the thing that "the band needs tonight"? Why doesn't Metallica: Through the Never tell us what it is?
  • Who is the Trip character, exactly? Does he seem like a role model? Does he represent some kind of symbol? (Courage?) Would you want his job, working for the band?
  • Is this movie more or less interesting than a regular concert movie? Why?
  • Could the members of Metallica be considered accomplished musicians? Are they role models?

Movie details

For kids who love music

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