Edward Norton was nominated for a 1998 Best Actor Oscar for his role as Derek Vinyard, a thoughtful kid turned neo-Nazi after his father is slain. Edward Furlong plays his younger brother, Danny, determined to follow in his brother's footsteps. The easy routes the film seems prepared to take never materialize. It continually makes Derek's transformation both in and out of his racist beliefs believable and persuasive. Stacy Keach is given the head vampire role of the local skinhead chapter, Cameron, and he's the closest this film comes to an overt overstatement. Norton, however, is fantastic, embodying a person who roller-coasters through hatred like he can't wait to ride again. His diatribes are not unlike what can be heard on any given conservative radio station on any given day, but he doesn't spew them as cant or screed. Only when his violent emotions take charge, negating any sense or stand, is the underlying fallacy and nature of his beliefs made plain. This film was undermined by the film's own director, Tony Kaye, who made such a braying ass of himself and his work that it distorted the public's view of what is an interesting social and psychological lesson in the war between ideas and ideologues, reason and racism. --Keith Simanton
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