Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
2004
This documentary captures rock icons Metallica while they record their 2003 album, "St. Anger," amid a sea of personal and professional turmoil. In addition to James Hetfield's rehab, the film also follows the replacement of bassist Jason Newsted.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

I've read highly complimentary reviews of this documentary from non-fans of all sorts, who insist that knowledge of Metallica is unnecessary to appreciate the sight of these inimitable rock icons allowing viewers into their therapy sessions and other humiliating moments in their by-now depressing lives. That's a plenty accurate conclusion, and I reluctantly recommend this doc to other non-fans on the strength of that information.

But speaking as a fan, as someone who watched every doc the band has made and worn out every CD of theirs he owns and screamed his lungs out at their concerts, I was frequently bored by this documentary because it doesn't dig deeper into these men, nor does it rock to fill in the gaps. If you thought Dave Mustaine's misty-eyed admission that he still wishes he was in the band was the high point of the film, watch Megadeth's episode of Behind The Music; it's far more penetrating and emotionally raw than this lifeless lump of footage, with a subject being far more critical about themselves. If you enjoyed the moments when Metallica clicked and each song finally came together and the music sounded great, rent their A Year and a Half in the Life of doc about the making of their 1991 album; it shows these rock icons at the peak of their creative focus and talent, successfully portraying them as flawed human beings who also happen to be hard-rock masters, while being funny and touching and lively and totally engaging, everything this flat bore is not. I liked the album "St. Anger," but it's a shapeless mess and an underachievement, two things I could also say about its making-of documentary. Perhaps on its own this doc is interesting, but after so many better movies about the band, its a minor film.

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