Movie Spotlight | Spotlight | Indy Week
Pin It

Movie Spotlight 

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Keith Richards has complained that if he and Mick Jagger were black bluesmen in Chicago, no one would give them grief about continuing to perform at their age. Indeed, rock and roll, like Romantic poetry, is a young man's game: Old rockers usually invite contempt, such as Kurt Cobain's prophetic sneer, "Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend."

But at least rockers like Cobain, Townshend, Jagger and Richards are taken seriously by the gatekeepers of respectable popular culture. The members of Metallica--the biggest-selling metal band of all time--have to confront a bigger problem as they age: How can a never-fashionable aesthetic built on expressing the rage of outcast adolescents ever grow up?

In Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger's Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, we see the band's members, particularly singer/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, struggling with the onset of middle-age. The excesses of their youth--which fueled their music and earned them the sobriquet "Alcoholica"--are now laying waste to their lives in the form of substance abuse problems, marital strife and intra-band rivalries.

Initially, the filmmakers were on hand to shoot a fairly straightforward DVD documentary of the band's recording of their 2003 album St. Anger. But when Hetfield abruptly entered rehab, Sinofsky and Berlinger found themselves making a very different and much more exciting film. In Hetfield's absence, Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett entered group therapy, which they allowed the filmmakers to record.

After Metallica: Some Kind of Monster screened at Full Frame in April, audience members were treated to a dressing-down by Berlinger, who snapped at us, "There was too much laughing," and bristled at the inevitable Spinal Tap comparisons.

It's too bad he felt that way, because in truth, the sight of aging metalheads fumbling through the language of psychotherapy can be as funny as it sounds, but it's also as moving as Berlinger hopes it is. When we see the film's brief clips of their reckless, thrilling and out-of-control 1980s heyday, we can see where they've been and marvel at their courage in learning to embrace middle age.

Showing at the Colony Theatre in Raleigh and Durham's Carolina Theatre.

  • Metallica: Some Kind of Monster


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Spotlight

  • Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    A hero we could believe in
    • Oct 3, 2008
  • Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Pollack's death Monday, May 26, at age 73 represents the passing of a true film raconteur and accomplished director.
    • May 27, 2008
  • <i>Om Shanti Om</i>

    Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om delivers the glitter and glamour, the comedy and thrills, religion and the supernatural, mother love, high fashion and eye-popping  production numbers in proper masala fashion.
    • Nov 14, 2007
  • More »

Twitter Activity


I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation