Critic Reviews



Based on 21 critic reviews provided by
The triumph of American Hardcore is that it convinces general audiences that there were vast underground reservoirs of angst and anguish to be tapped.
Messed up as it is, you can't tear your eyes away from this explosion of brutal sounds and images.
New York Post
A first-rate documentary on this subgenre of punk rock, which flourished roughly between 1982 and 1986 as an anarchistic response to Ronald Reagan and the disco era.
Entertainment Weekly
Illuminating nostalgia, stuffed with all the right tattooed talking heads (like Black Flag's Henry Rollins), plus grim-looking concert footage of wailing skinny guys.
Not only documents a fascinating part of American history, but also leaves us wondering how (and if) this era's youth will manage to find a voice of their own.
American Hardcore encapsulates a largely forgotten (by the mainstream, that is) moment in maximum rock & roll history.
A sloppy mosh note to the genre, with its own excesses and oversights. It's like a flier for a band you've never heard of: torn, soaked with beer, itchy with aggression.
Chicago Tribune
Exhaustive and at turns exhausting.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
In a better work, the filmmaker would talk to hardcore punks about their parents, affairs, regrets, dreams and day jobs in an effort to explore the fledgling movement. Here, however, we get little more than a marathon MTV rap session, as Rachman drives about North America, yakking with aging punk heroes about the good ol' bad ol' days.
There's a lot of interesting material here, but Rachman doesn't offer any real analysis of his own, and the film suffers from a lack of narrative focus.
Twenty-five years on, hardcore continues to be the soundtrack of choice for extreme, white-supremacist groups hoping to tap into teenage rage. With no one on hand to counter the argument, this may go down as hardcore's lasting legacy.

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