Featuring the most successful heavy metal band of all time, METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER offers a revealing and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the legendary band as they confront personal demons and their relations... more »hips with each other while recording their Grammy-winning album, St. Anger.« less
In this absorbing (and occasionally unintentionally funny, in an eye rolling sort of way) documentary, the members of Metallica deal with the defection of long time bassist Jason Newsted, vocalist James Hetfield's trip to rehab, and trying to repair their inter-personal relationships with the help of a therapist/"performance coach" and searching for a new bass player -- all while struggling to create a new album. This movie won't make you forgive them for the godawful "St. Anger" disc, but at least you'll understand why it turned out to be such a mess.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 1/19/2012...
Pretensious Beyond Belief
Before watching this film you need to ask yourself why should anyone care at all about the problems of a self centered group of ego maniacs? This film is a boring waste of time. Who really cares that the band members all have problems when their own actions seem to be the real eason why. I saw this film when it first came out and felt cheated. It's pretensious bs. Unless u r a fan of the group stay away.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tyler Tanner | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went with four people to see this film. Two (myself included) were Metallica fans and the other two were not. The film opens like some sort of MTV expo piece with James Hetfield riding in his tricked out vintage roadster and Lars Ulrich laying on his couch with his Basquiat hanging on the wall. Not even five minutes go by and it shows the group, minus recently departed Jason Newsted, in therapy discussing their concern that they have about embarking on recording their first album in five years. Little did they know that it would take two years to make. What you get is a riveting, profound and at often times very funny documentary.What I really applaud the band for is this: They bought the rights to the documentary so that they could have a say in the final cut. Instead of glossing over scenes that aired the dirty laundry of the band, which is what you would think they would do in a case like this, they let it all out.
And not in a counter-culture, rebellious, grandstanding kind of way either. It's sincere and thats what makes the film work. James Hetfields door slamming, Lars' watery-eyed confrontations and Kirk unable to make declarative sentences does not put them in the best light, but it makes them real.
They confront their demons head-on with therapist Phil Towle and producer Bob Rock tow. Die hard fans might roll their eyes and laugh at prospect of the band in need of a shrink. Trust me, stick with it and don't let it scare you away from the theatre. Most of the time it is hilarious and at the bands expense. Lars Ulrichs father is a scream and when one of the toughest metal bands try to communicate with one another in their new found "therapy lingo" it comes across as comical and awkward as you might think. And yes, they talk about Cliff's death and the Napster ordeal as well. They also visit Jason Newsted and (bonus for fans) Dave Mustaine. My friend and I could pick out the Metallica fans from the documentary fans in the theatre when Dave popped up. This movie is not solely for fans should not be missed no matter what your preference in music or your opinion of the band. Non-fans, as my other friends will attest, will enjoy this as well.
This year there has been great year for documentaries and this is one that should not be overlooked in the mix."
Lars a classic Sociopath
Mark Zander | Chicago, IL. email@example.com | 01/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What this documentary revealed to me is that Lars Ulrich the band's drummer is a classic sociopath. Lars runs the show and you'd best not cross him. He has no empathy for James Hetfield's struggle with alcoholism and treatment. When Hetfield comes back with limited availability, he discovers that Lars has been working on things behind his back. Uncomfortable, he expresses to Lars that he would like them to review the tracks together. Very understandable. However, not for Lars. Lars proceeds to give Hetfield a speech accusing him of being selfish and controlling. Isn't that the Pot calling the Kettle black!
After 20 years together, doing everything there is to do, making millions upon millions, Lars just can't profit off the other members enough. And when they say or do something that is against his plan, Lars convinces them they are the problem.
So in another disgusting scene we get to watch Lars selling his paintings for millions. Not to mention trying to throw young fans in jail and fineing them for downloading his songs (a la Napster). It's clear that this man is a sociopath, exploiting all around him, in his quest for world domination.
Please also let me give insight into the REAL reason he kicked out Dave Mustane early in the band's career. After understanding Lars character and watching the scenes between him and Dave Mustane, it is clear he didn't kick him out of the band because of Dave's drinking problem. He kicked him out because Mustane posed a threat to Lar's control and power.
Lars M.O. thrives on exploiting, manipulating, and confusing other people. It is easy for him to do it to Hetfield, their producer, and Kirk Hammett, as is evidenced in the film. He can't do that with Mustane. While watching the exchange between Lars and Mustane, I noticed several things. One Mustane is very bright, stands up to Lars, and is clearly not confused or afraid of him. He quickly understands Lars game and calls him on it. He doesn't get intimidated and presents as a real leader. The only thing I was wishing he would have said to Lars is "Lars tell me the REAL reason you kicked me out".
In Lars mind 20 odd years ago, he must have posed a serious theat to his power within the band. His pathology dicates that he must control everyone in the band so he can exploit them to get them to do his bidding. He couldn't do that with Mustane. AND Mustane is a leader with a lot of Charisma. So what he does is make a big deal of Mustane's drinking problem and use it as an argument to get rid of him. The other members being not so bright are easily persuaded. And there he goes. Notice how Mustane kept telling Lars that he never "warned" him. Yes that's because Lars had to get rid of you quickly. It wasn't about having the most talented and charismatic members, it was about keeping the members that he could control and getting rid of the ones he couldn't.
I can't wait for the next Metallica film. I hear the title is going to be. Lars Ulrich as RICHARD III...."
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the first ten minutes I felt pretty much like turning it off, which, is pretty much how I've felt about Metallica for more than a few years. Something compelled me to stay with it and 15 minutes into it I was riveted by watching the inner machinations of a shattered phoenix trying to pull itself out of not ashes, but muck and mire.
Enter Shrinkman (sorry boys) in the form of a psychiatrist named Phil who starts opening doors the boys seem intent on keeping shut . . . indeed, James slams a few shut. Like voyeurs we're invited to watch egos dashed, pretension shattered, raw nerves at the fraying point and more than a little whining, self-pitying and prima donna posturing as the Metalliboyz grow older and are forced to cope with an ever changing music industry as well as life itself.
One of the most moving moments is a confrontation/reconciliation with Dave Mustaine. A misty eyed Mustaine lays out plain and simple the pain he endured in the years since he (literally) got thrown out of the band. Watching an uncomfortable Lars try to come to terms and his full comprehension and realization of that decision - for good or ill - is stuff that cannot be scripted, cannot be acted it is life.
To their credit they come out alive, stronger, wiser and full of hope, acceptance and promise. What this remarkable documentary captures is akin to watching the dead come back to life. This is raw, inspiring, powerful stuff, and in its own way, something of a miracle. "
Good Film, but........
S. Sokolinsky | Baltimore, MD | 02/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After watching a movie you really start to hate Lars. This movie is all about him. He shares his spotlight in the movie with James Hetfield, but overshadows James all the time.
If you'll be watching this movie, pay close attention to Kirk. He looks like he doesn't have any say in the band at all. But it looks like it doesn't really bother Kirk a whole lot. He just wants to play music, make money and enjoy himself. Now I really understand why Jason Newsted left Metallica. The movie does have some good parts in it with Jason, but they all get overshadowed again by Lars.
You can tell that Lars always acts in front of camera. The rest of the guys do a good job of being natural on camera. Lars is doing a performance of a lifetime. You can really tell that he has a Napoleon Complex. Being short, that man is so insecure with himself that he constantly has to prove something to somebody and that leads to being not natural on camera. (By the way, I am not pounding Lars because of Napster. I totally support Metallica's actions against Napster)
James Hetfield on the other hand is shown as a very composed guy. It's definitely a new side of James that viewers learn from the film. I got nothing but positive vibe from James throughout the entire film.
But anyway, watch the movie. You'll enjoy it. I really don't understand why this documentary was chosen as a Sundance Selection. Being a huge fan of Metallica, I didn't find this film to be extremely good. It has its great and funny moments, but overall I give it 3 STARS. I liked "Metallica: Year and a Half Part I & II" a lot more. "
Interesting for fan and non-fan alike
M. Gregory | Boston, MA | 11/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very good documentary that will appeal to anyone with a keen interest in the inner workings of a rock band. Equal parts redemption story and kitchen-sink drama, "Metallica - Some Kind of Monster" is an honest but self-indulgent look into the private world of multi-millionaire rockers who, at the end of the day, simply cannot communicate their love and respect for each other, and the band they have made so famous.
Band leader James Hetfield, fresh out of rehab, constantly locks horns with "I-just-wanna-play-rock-n-roll" drummer Lars Ulrich, and spends most of his time fretting over his self-imposed 4-hour per day work schedule, and whether he even wants to be in the band anymore. Ulrich meanwhile fakes interest in Hetfield's mental recovery, the farcical "lyrics-by-committee" approach to the new record, and seems happiest when his multi-million dollar collection of modern art goes under the hammer for record prices. Guitarist Kirk Hammett equivocates on most of the key decisions and discussions, but comes off as a straightforward guy just wanting the best for his band and his buddies. All of which, much to Metallica's credit, is captured mercilessly by the camera crew. This includes the most bizarre aspect of the film, in which an ever present middle-aged Dr. Eugene Landy-type, hired by the band for $40k per month to help guide and mediate their feelings towards one another, presides over most of the discussion, and hilariously tries to ingratiate himself into the band in a creative capacity. He is clearly a chancer, despised by Ulrich in particular, and living on borrowed time. The scene, in which even Hetfield himself has had enough of this pseudo-guru, and tries to fire him, is perhaps the most uncomfortable in the whole film.
Coming off best are producer Bob Rock - clearly the voice of reason, and clearly the only person respected by all the band - who gently draws out of Metallica the record they want to make, and new bass player, Robert Trujillo, whose audition sparks the first genuine musical camaraderie in the whole documentary. His arrival seems the perfect denouement to the film as Hetfield and Ulrich's two-decade friendship is refreshed, and they begin to see new potential and meaning to playing in their band. Recommended.