American History X - Thomas Kuppe
I won't say that the criticisms of this movie are entirely baseless in the glamorization of the Neo-Nazi movement. I knew people who watched this movie and took just the first half to heart, seeing it as a representation of their own frustrations in being a lower class white in the modern day and that the real reasons for their problems were due entirely to minorities now having an advantage over them. This really bummed me out to think that they could be so obtuse and miss the message of the movie, but maybe it was just a teenage thing they were going through. That, and if they were true to their word when they said that it was their favorite movie, then they would no doubt watch it again, and hopefully see something they missed the first time through and think again.
The ending of the movie is never really explained well enough in my opinion. I think the message was that racial violence runs deep. When Danny is shot by the African American student the director isn't trying to say that the Nazi's in the movie were right all along but rather that its extremely difficult to eradicate racism. A better illustration of this could have been how Derek reacted after this event and after the movie ended. Did he stand by his new convictions or will he revert back to who he was? We see that Danny has turned away from racism but Dereks fate is unknown. I think this is really the problem with the movie, that Danny's murder is really the final test of Derek's abandonment of racism and we don't see the results.