This documentary addresses the birth and evolution of hardcore punk rock from 1978 to 1986. There would be no Nirvana, Beastie Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers were it not for hardcore pioneers such as Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat.
American Hardcore gets what most music lovers could not at the time: Sometimes, that noise in your head and that anger in your heart just has to get out, and there's always a guitar around somewhere.
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
January 12, 2007
A film for the fans, especially if you were one of those sonic youths venting steam at a guerrilla show in someone's basement, a VFW hall or club that condescended to present a hardcore show. For once-upon-a-time kids now irrevocably middle-aged, the kick
For a documentary ostensibly about the history of the hardcore punk music movement that reigned in America during the '80s, director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush indefensibly omit the genre's most talented and high-profile band (The Dead Kennedys)
American Hardcore, Paul Rachman's impressively thorough documentary, tells of the second-generation punk rockers who learned from the Sex Pistols and Ramones and then did their DIY thing.
January 31, 2007
Rachman's chronicle suffers not from a shortage of authentic footage of ready-made hardcore shows, complete with (completely necessary) subtitled lyrics, or doughy, balding, talking heads still bragging about the thrown punches and peed-on chicks of yeste
What's irritating about the movie is how much time it spends on empty nostalgia -- shouldn't real punks scorn reminiscing? -- and how little time it spends truly exploring the roots of America's punk prime in the early 1980s.