Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Review by Ross Anthony

A magnificent documentary! Metallica is (or at least has been) arguably the most popular heavy metal band in the world. This is no small statement, they are the Beatles of their genre. The perception of their genre has always been reckless rebellion. And so, when the kings of reckless rebellion sit down with a counselor/therapist to work out their touchy feely problems -- well, who in the world would not want to listen in on those sessions?

In my college days I played in a rock band, I've always said (and I think others would concur) a band is like a girlfriend. It is a serious relationship, and no doubt for Metallica (together since 1981), quite like a marriage. So it makes sense to get help when that relationship is becoming dysfunctional.

I don't think you have to like Metallica or even heavy metal (or even music) to enjoy this film. But if you do, it'll probably be all the more impressive. I'm eclectic in my musical tastes and though I'm not a Metallica head-banging fan, I have a great deal of respect for them based on the amount of my friends who love their music and because their "Unforgiven" is a gorgeous piece of music.

Admittedly, I was surprised to see how sharp, verbal, sensitive, and committed these guys can be. These talented, very interesting, fellows try their best to express their vulnerabilities without selling themselves short. This plays out with great drama, passion and feeling. Couple that with the intrinsic value of their popularity, and curiously delicious contrast with their genre and you've got first rate material for a documentary.

But let me go further and say the filmmakers deserve kudos for capturing and including so many magical, powerful moments of truth and vulnerability, then editing them tastefully and solidly.

Surprisingly, the documentary goes long, including a segment on recruiting a new bass player. This segment is a little out of place and not entirely necessary, but strong on its own anyway. Though perhaps mildly compromising the central focus, I'm glad they included it.

I talked about this piece (to whoever would listen) for seven days after I saw it.

  • Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Copyright © 2004. 140 minutes.
  • Starring Metallica.
  • Directed by Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky.
  • Produced by Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky at IFC Films/Third Eye.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:27 PDT