Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Institute History


If rock movies are supposed to combine hyped-up, head-banging concert footage; crotch-grabbing, tell-all interviews; and fly-on-the-wall exposés, then this film is a daring and deviant new spin on the genre. It brilliantly documents an almost unbelievable conceit: The members of Metallica, the most successful heavy-metal band in history, submit to two years of intensive group therapy to work through conflicts in their 20-year relationship and birth a new album.

You may have to pinch yourself as these icons of macho aggression show their sensitive sides. But after the shock wears off, Lars, James, and Kirk emerge simply as admirable guys stumbling through self-discovery, whether they are tackling alcoholism, balancing family and work, managing power grabs in the studio, or writing lyrics. By no means saints, the bandmates get testy with each other and even fire their round-the-clock shrink. But their willingness to risk achingly vulnerable moments in front of the camera is not only courageous but downright visionary.

Trading fabricated hoopla and guitar pyrotechnics for intimacy and honesty, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is an epic coming-of-age journey that affirms creative process as much as product. The film proves that cool isn't only about hair-flipping and testosterone. An examined life may just be the surest path to transcendence—if not the top 10.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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