American Hardcore

Watch American Hardcore

"The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986"
  • R
  • 2006
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.3  (3,567)
  • 69

American Hardcore is a powerful documentary that delves into the hardcore punk music scene of the 1980s. Directed by Paul Rachman, the film offers an unflinching look at the origins of this subculture, and the impact it had on American youth during a time of political upheaval and social change. The movie is based on the book "American Hardcore: A Tribal History" by Steven Blush, which chronicles the birth and growth of the hardcore punk movement. Featuring interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, and James Drescher, the film offers an intimate and personal glimpse into the lives of the people who created this unique and influential sound.

Through a combination of archival footage, live performances, and candid interviews, American Hardcore provides a comprehensive look at the history of the hardcore punk scene. The film begins by exploring the early years of the movement, when bands like Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat were just starting to gain a following.

As the years progress, the movie examines how this music became the soundtrack of a generation, giving voice to a disaffected youth that was disillusioned with the mainstream culture of the time. Through emotionally charged interviews and blistering live performances, the film captures the raw energy and intensity of the scene, and shows how it went on to influence not only music, but also fashion, politics, and art.

One of the defining characteristics of the hardcore punk scene was its DIY ethos. This was a movement that was built from the ground up, with artists and fans working together to create something that was truly their own. In the movie, we see how this spirit of independence and self-reliance shaped the way that hardcore punk bands operated, from self-produced albums to underground shows in makeshift venues.

At the same time, American Hardcore also acknowledges the darker side of the scene. The movie doesn't shy away from the violence and aggression that were sometimes present at punk shows, and it acknowledges that not everyone who was part of the hardcore subculture was a progressive or socially conscious individual. However, it also shows how the vast majority of the movement was committed to creating a positive space for themselves and their peers, and how they used music to challenge the status quo and embrace alternative ideas.

Throughout the movie, we see how the hardcore punk scene evolved and changed over time, eventually splintering into different factions and subgenres. But despite these divisions, the community spirit of the scene remained strong, and American Hardcore captures this sense of camaraderie and shared purpose with great depth and sensitivity.

Overall, American Hardcore is a powerful and thought-provoking documentary that offers a fascinating window into a vital moment in American cultural history. Whether you were there at the time, or just have a passing interest in music and subculture, this movie is well worth checking out. With its dynamic visuals, visceral music, and truly compelling interviews, it provides a rich and rewarding insight into one of the most important musical movements of the 20th century.

American Hardcore is a 2006 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 69.

American Hardcore
Where to Watch American Hardcore
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (3,567)
  • Metascore