Classic Review – Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Title – Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Director – Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky (Brother’s Keeper)

Cast – James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo

Plot – An intimate documentary following legendary band Metallica through their recording process for their new album whilst they receive the help of a psychotherapist in the tumultuous period during the early 2000’s where the band was imploding from within. 

“Searchin’ for doughnuts, I’m searchin’ for doughnuts”

Review by Eddie on 11/03/2022

Undoubtedly one of the most well known and influential bands of all time, heavy metal rockers Metallica have conquered stadiums around the world and changed the musical landscape in more ways than one but one of their most memorable achievements comes in the form of their raw, intimate and insightful documentary project Some Kind of Monster, a fascinating feature length project that acts as a must watch for fans and for anyone seeking a first hand look at what creating music on such a scale looks like. 

Filmed over multiple years by directing duo Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, Monster takes place in the early 2000’s when Metallica were at a series of crossroads following the departure of bassist Jason Newstead, infighting in the band, lead singer James Hetfield’s problem with addiction and many questioning (including internally) if the band should still even exist, with the crew enlisting the help of a psychotherapist to help them work through their problems as they tried to create the album that would become know as St. Anger. 

There is not an ounce of sugarcoating going on in Berlinger and Sinofsky’s documentary, this is as warts and all as you could get as the band confronts internal and external demons that weigh heavily on them individually and as a collective and while the music of the band features heavily throughout, this is documentary that first and foremost shines a light on the bands members Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Bob Rock as they find themselves in a collection of tricky situations while trying to keep their creative juices going to create the music they know they can produce. 

It was an incredible opportunity for Berlinger and Sinofsky to go behind closed doors when examining one of the biggest name brands in the world and strip back everything we think we know about a band that is used to playing in front of millions of people a year and each band member here comes off as a relatable and vulnerable human being trying to overcome past traumas in their lives and working life, while trying to build bridges in their current circumstances to navigate a path forward, a path that isn’t always clear as a documentarians walk alongside them. 

Filled with emotional ups and downs, moments of gripping tension and mundane daily activities and overcoming’s, Monster is a unique beast and one of the most essential musical documentaries ever filmed, regardless of whether your a die-hard head banger or an outsider to the genre. 

Final Say – 

Stripping everything back, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster is a raw and confronting look at the life of Metallica and the music creation process in general. 

4 radio ads out of 5 

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