12 Must-Watch Movies Similar to American History X

American History X: Prepare yourself for a captivating journey through crime and drama as we present 12 must-watch movies that will leave you spellbound, just like this iconic American masterpiece. Get ready to explore a world of redemption, violence, and transformation as we delve into the lives of unforgettable characters and the consequences of their choices. Let these films take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, all while challenging your perspective on society and the power of change.

1) Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn is reminiscent of American History X in its exploration of complex themes and its portrayal of a troubled protagonist. Both movies delve into the dark underbelly of society, showcasing the consequences of hatred, racism, and violence. While American History X focuses on the journey of a former neo-Nazi seeking redemption, Motherless Brooklyn follows a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome as he tries to solve the murder of his mentor. Both films captivate the audience with their intense performances, particularly Edward Norton who delivers exceptional acting in both movies. The visual and audial elements in Motherless Brooklyn pay homage to the classic Noir style, creating a gloomy and atmospheric setting that adds depth to the story. Although the plot of Motherless Brooklyn may not be groundbreaking, it remains engaging and thought-provoking, offering a passionate and humorous exploration of Tourette's syndrome.

Release date: December, 2019
IMDB Rating: 6.8

2) Romper Stomper

Romper Stomper. In this thrilling crime drama, a group of skinheads led by Hando (Russell Crowe) and Davey (Daniel Pollock) find their neighborhood changing, and they become alarmed. Similarly to American History X, Romper Stomper explores the dark world of neo-Nazis and the violence they inflict. However, while American History X focuses on the transformation of its main character, Romper Stomper dives straight into the action, delivering a raw and intense portrayal of the skinhead subculture. Russell Crowe delivers a star-making performance with his captivating on-screen charisma, and Jacqueline McKenzie adds to the film's allure with her damaged beauty. Despite the occasional sloppiness in Geoffrey Wright's direction, the edginess and violence of the story make Romper Stomper a compelling watch.

Release date: November, 1992
IMDB Rating: 6.8

3) The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects is reminiscent of American History X in its gripping storytelling and complex characters. Both films delve into the depths of crime and the consequences of one's actions. While American History X explores the themes of racism and hatred, The Usual Suspects keeps the audience on the edge of their seats with its surprise ending and unreliable narrator. Both movies feature stellar performances, with Edward Norton delivering a powerful portrayal in American History X and Kevin Spacey shining in The Usual Suspects. If you enjoyed American History X, you'll find The Usual Suspects equally captivating and thrilling.

Release date: May, 1996
IMDB Rating: 8.5
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4) Nattbuss 807

Nattbuss 807: A young racist man has been stabbed and inspector Falk gets the dirty job of solving the murder. While "Nattbuss 807" may lack the critical acclaim and powerful performances of "American History X," it still manages to captivate with its own unique charm. The film's low-budget aesthetic and amateurish acting may initially turn some viewers away, but it's precisely these qualities that give "Nattbuss 807" its quirky appeal. The gritty and unpolished nature of the film adds to its B-movie allure, creating an experience that is both unintentionally hilarious and strangely captivating. Although lacking in technical finesse, the film's humor and campiness make it a memorable watch. So, if you're in the mood for a crime drama that doesn't take itself too seriously, "Nattbuss 807" might just be the perfect choice for you.

Release date: February, 1997
IMDB Rating: 4.8

5) Adam's Apples

Adam's Apples is reminiscent of American History X in its exploration of extremism and redemption. While American History X delves into the dark world of neo-Nazis and racism, Adam's Apples takes a comedic approach to tackle similar themes. Both movies feature characters who are deeply immersed in their beliefs, whether it be neo-Nazism or blind devotion to religion. However, while American History X focuses on the consequences of hatred and violence, Adam's Apples examines the clash between a neo-Nazi and a devoted minister within the setting of a church. The Danish humor in Adam's Apples adds a unique flavor to the film, making it a refreshing and thought-provoking watch. So, if you enjoyed the introspective journey of American History X, you should definitely give Adam's Apples a try and witness how it cleverly intertwines religion, mental behavior, and the eternal battle between good and evil.

Release date: May, 2006
IMDB Rating: 7.7

6) Léon: The Professional

Léon: The Professional is reminiscent of American History X, but with a unique twist. Both movies explore the dark side of society and the consequences of violence. In American History X, we witness the transformation of a neo-Nazi named Derek, brilliantly portrayed by Edward Norton. We see his journey from hatred to remorse, and the impact it has on his brother Danny. Similarly, in Léon: The Professional, we follow the story of Léon, a professional assassin played by Jean Reno, who forms an unlikely bond with 12-year-old Mathilda after her family is murdered. What makes Léon stand out is the unconventional relationship between the two characters. Mathilda, portrayed by a young Natalie Portman in a remarkable performance, becomes Léon's protégée and learns the assassin's trade. The film beautifully portrays their connection and the healing power of companionship.

Release date: May, 1995
IMDB Rating: 8.5
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7) Mayor of Kingstown

Mayor of Kingstown is reminiscent of American History X in the sense that both explore themes of racism, prison, and the consequences of one's choices. While American History X delves into the personal transformation of a neo-Nazi, Mayor of Kingstown takes a broader perspective, focusing on the McLusky family as power brokers in a town where incarceration is the main industry. Both stories shed light on the dark underbelly of society and the impact it has on individuals and communities. However, Mayor of Kingstown offers a unique twist by incorporating elements of corruption and inequality into the mix. With a stellar cast and promising plot, Mayor of Kingstown is a series that is definitely worth watching for fans of American History X.

Release date: November, 2021
IMDB Rating: 8.2

8) Se7en

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. Dark and depressing but just fascinating. Director David Fincher shots the entire film in dim light and shoves the victims mutilated bodies in our face. The grimness of the tone wears you down but that's appropriate considering the subject matter. No humor either. It all leads to a truly harrowing ending. Freeman and Pitt work very well together and both give excellent performances. I even thought Paltrow (who I hate) was good! Kevin Spacey is very good too in a small role. If you have trouble with blood, gore and disturbing subject matter stay far away from this movie. But if you can handle that, watch this one. It's depressing and unpleasant but riveting.

Release date: February, 1996
IMDB Rating: 8.6
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9) Animal Factory

Animal Factory is reminiscent of American History X in its portrayal of life in prison and the mentorship between two characters. While American History X focuses on the transformation of a neo-Nazi, Animal Factory tells the story of a young man who goes to prison and forms a bond with an older convict who becomes his mentor. Both films explore the harsh realities of life behind bars and the struggle for survival. However, Animal Factory takes a more realistic approach, delving into the complexities of prison life without shying away from the brutalities of rape and gangs. The script of Animal Factory, although engaging, has its flaws, particularly in explaining the motivations of the mentor character. Despite this, the film boasts an excellent cast, with Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong delivering compelling performances. Steve Buscemi's direction brings a refreshing honesty to the film, avoiding excessive stylization and focusing on the rawness of the prison environment.

Release date: June, 2016
IMDB Rating: 6.6

10) Brotherhood

Brotherhood reminds me of American History X in terms of its exploration of crime and drama genres. Both movies delve into the dark underbelly of society, showcasing the consequences of dangerous choices. While American History X focuses on the themes of neo-Nazism, prison, and racism, Brotherhood takes a different approach by exploring family relationships, prison life, and bank robbery. Although the subject matter may differ, both movies captivate audiences with their intense storylines and compelling performances. American History X, with its thought-provoking narrative and Edward Norton's powerful portrayal, leaves viewers in stunned silence. On the other hand, Brotherhood impresses with its realistic feel and standout acting. If you enjoyed American History X, you should definitely watch Brotherhood for its gripping storyline and remarkable performances.

Release date: February, 2002
IMDB Rating: 8.1

11) Prison Break

Prison Break. This thrilling series will remind you of American History X, but with a twist. While American History X explores the consequences of hatred and racism, Prison Break takes you on a heart-pounding journey of brotherly love and sacrifice. In both stories, the main characters are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their beloved brothers, even if it means going against the law. American History X delves into the dark depths of neo-Nazi culture, while Prison Break immerses you in the world of prisons and conspiracies. Both narratives are filled with intense moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat. However, Prison Break adds an extra layer of mystery and suspense, as the protagonist ingeniously designs an escape plan from the very prison he helped construct. So, if you're craving more adrenaline-pumping action with a touch of brotherly love, Prison Break is the perfect choice to satiate your appetite.

Release date: January, 2007
IMDB Rating: 8.3

12) Chaindance

Chaindance is reminiscent of American History X in its exploration of the prison system and the transformative power of personal relationships. While American History X delves into the themes of neo-Nazism, racism, and brotherhood, Chaindance explores the relationship between inmate J.T. Blake and Johnny Reynolds, who has cerebral palsy. Both movies challenge our perceptions and prejudices, forcing us to confront our own biases. However, where American History X focuses on the consequences of hatred and the potential for redemption, Chaindance takes a different approach by exploring the dynamics of power within the prison system. The movie delves into the complexities of loyalty, trust, and survival. Despite their differences, both films captivate the audience with their thought-provoking narratives and exceptional performances. If you enjoyed American History X, Chaindance offers a unique perspective on life behind bars and the unlikely friendships that can emerge in the most unexpected places.

Release date: April, 1992
IMDB Rating: 6.1

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