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Year: 2004
USA: IFC Films
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, Dave Mustaine, Cliff Burton, Bob Rock, Phil Towle, Robert Trujillo, Torben Ulrich
Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Country: USA
USA & UK: 120 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 9 July 2004 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 1 October 2004


Three years in the making, this new film from acclaimed documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (the team that created BROTHER'S KEEPER and PARADISE LOST) provides a fascinating, in-depth portrait of the most successful heavy metal band of all time, as they faced monumental personal and professional challenges while recording their first studio album of original songs in five years, and in the process reveals an intimate portrait of the individuals behind a legendary band and their unique creative journey.

As filming began, Metallica unexpectedly split with their long-time bassist Jason Newsted. Relations between the longtime band-mates were at an all-time low, and since Metallica hadn't toured or released an album for several years, fans and the music press were questioning Metallica's future. Creatively and personally at odds, yet under pressure to begin recording their new album St. Anger, the band's management suggested they start group therapy as a last-ditch effort to keep the splintering group from unraveling. As therapy continued, the band confronted the notion that despite their many years together, they barely knew each other at all. For lead singer (and father of three) James Hetfield, the therapy sessions unexpectedly prompted him to enter rehab, leaving the band's future as well as the completion of the album in doubt for nearly a year.

With extraordinary, revealing intimacy, Berlinger and Sinofsky filmed this process of discovery as the band members were forced to confront their personal demons, their relationships to one other, and the ever-changing recording industry. Through the filmmakers' remarkable behind-the-scenes perspective, the viewer is privy to the band's reinvention of their creative process, as well their struggles to balance their personal lives with the demands of sustaining the multi-million dollar business they've spent twenty years building.

The film follows Metallica's musical transformation as James relinquishes sole control of the lyric-writing process and the band embarks on bold new studio experiments. We see James' struggles to push himself beyond being the front-man of rock's hardest partying band (often called "Alcoholica" by fans and the rock press). Will he be able to go back on the road clean and sober? We are with the band as the album takes shape against the backdrop of a tumultuous two years: from drummer Lars Ulrich's public crusade against Napster to a newly-sober Hetfield rediscovering his music without the crutch of his addictions; from the departure of bassist Jason Newsted to their effort to find the right replacement to make their band whole again; from a group on the verge of extinction to a thriving, heavy band with a new number one album and a sold-out world tour.

As with many great non-fiction journeys, METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER subverted the expectations of everyone involved in its creation. What began as the documenting of the making of an album became an unexpected voyage into the complexities of human relationships, and the power of the creative process to exact emotional tolls and ultimately, to heal the soul.


Screen Format Full Screen Format
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

Metallica commentary (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo)
Filmmaker commentary (Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky)
Theatrical trailer (2.28)
Concert trailer (3.11)

Special Features - Disc 2
28 Additional Scenes (77.54 total)
(5 with Commentary - 24.53 of total);
Photo shoot with Kirk (1.17)
Lars with his newborn son (1.52)
Metallica, Swizz Beatz & Ja Rule (10.00)
Lars and Kirk webchat (2.34)
Management discusses Metallica's future (4.12)
Should the filming continue? (3.34)
James talks about growing up (4.13)
Surprise gig at Kimo's (4.59)
Metallica honours Aerosmith at MTV's Icon (2.38)
Take the Metalheads bowling (0.23)
Bass lines for 'My World' (3.01)
More work on 'My World' (3.31)
Kirk's birthday (3.41)
Tough Riff (3.14)
'All Within My Hands' vocals (1.44)
Castor doesn't want headphones (0.37)
Bob is bitter (0.47)
Lars stews in his anger (0.45)
Lars and James have made progress (3.15)
Kirk goes to traffic school (3.07)
James' new artwork (0.52)
Album packaging (2.08)
Hammering it out (1.47)
Sounds good (3.46)
Rob goes snowboarding (2.54)
Kirk's father-in-law plays with Rob (1.43)
A lot of work to be done (1.38)
'Frantic' at the Fillmore (7.55)

Festivals & Premieres (46.32 total);
Sundance Q&A (10.45)
Sundance press conference (14.46)
San Francisco International Film Festival (10.45)
New York premiere (6.05)
Metallica Club screening (4.11)

This Monster Lives (13 Parts - 61.37 total)
(5 with Commentary - 28.07 total);
Predictions about the album (1.39)
Being original (2.13)
Lars and Dave Mustaine, alternate cut (5.30)
'F$%@! meeting extension (6.37)
LA Raiders tailgate show
Raiders fallout (4.39)
The new face of metal? (2.11)
Touring confusion (3.07)
Dee Dee's legacy (4.11)
Talking about bass players with Pepper (2.47)
Rob's first interview (3.27)
Lars visits his childhood home (3.37)
The Oslo interviews (11.42)
Music video (4.53)
Filmmaker Bios (menu text pages) - Joe Berlinger (3 pages) -
Bruce Sinofsky (3 pages)

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