‘Metallica Through the Never’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 9th, 2014 at 6:30 pm,

metallica through never review Metallica Through the Never Review

Metallica Through the Never succeeds as an enthralling and visceral concert movie viewing experience, even though it fails to use the film medium to enhance the experience.

Metallica Through the Never combines 3D footage of iconic 1980s American heavy metal band Metallica performing live in concert with a fictional storyline that revolves around a young roadie named Trip (played by Dane DeHaan). As the members of Metallica begin to (figuratively? literally?) bring the house down while playing to legions of roaring fans in a sold-out arena, Trip gets sent on a mission to find one of the band’s trucks (which has broken down) and retrieve the mysterious but precious cargo that it was carrying.

Along the way, Trip finds that the insatiable passion of Metallica’s music seems to have taken hold of the surrounding city and its citizens, resulting in chaos and madness everywhere – plunging Trip into a twisted and surreal one-night journey that he will never forget.

dane dehaan metallica through never Metallica Through the Never Review

Dane DeHaan in ‘Metallica Through the Never’

In Metallica Through the Never, director Nimród Antal and his cinematographer Gyula Pados (collaborators on Kontroll and Predators) capture the electrifying vibe and daredevil spirit of Metallica live through the use of sophisticated 3D cameras and rigs, giving rise to one of the most (if not the most) immersive concert movies ever produced. Fans of the eponymous band should enjoy the chance to have the concert viewing experience, minus the drawbacks that come when you attend a concert in person (uneven acoustics, claustrophobic atmosphere, etc.)… assuming you don’t normally enjoy those aspects of the experience, that is.

Everyone else? Metallica Through the Never isn’t all that accessible to newcomers, so it’s for the best that you familiarize yourself with the recurring artistic themes and general sound of their music before sitting down in the theater; if you already know that you are not a fan, then you shouldn’t bother seeing the movie at all (obviously). Antal’s film is a celebration of the title band’s soul, art and lineage, but not so much a fulfilling journey that takes viewers on an odyssey of discovery into the world of Metallica (and it skips on exploring how the band’s popularity has been carried over by younger generations).

metallic through never movie review Metallica Through the Never Review

Antal and the current members of Metallica (lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, lead vocalist James Hetfield, bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Lars Ulrich) received credit for writing the film, but the fictional sequences in Metallica Through the Never are flat and only really explore the artistic substance of the band’s music in a shallow and juvenile fashion; one that requires little heavy lifting from DeHaan, who would’ve been up to the challenge (see: Chronicle, The Place Beyond the Pines). Fortunately, Trip’s “story” gets a limited amount of screen time and mostly functions as connective tissue between the dynamic concert numbers (though, some moviegoers will find these scenes to be distractions and little more).

Overall, Metallica Through the Never succeeds as an enthralling and visceral concert movie viewing experience, even though it fails to use the film medium to enhance the experience of watching (and listening to) Metallica on a deeper level of artistic appreciation. Having said that: if you love the band – and cannot see them at an actual live concert (or are not a fan of the live experience) – then you should get your money’s worth if you decide to check it out in theaters (also: yes to 3D, if possible in IMAX too).

In case you’re still undecided, here is the trailer for Metallica Through the Never:

517949635 3 620 439 Metallica Through the Never Review


Metallica Through the Never is now playing in both regular and IMAX/3D theaters. It is 94 minutes long and Rated R for some violent content and language.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. Dehaan should get award consideration for The Place Beyond the Pines. Its funny he’s going to play James Dean after playing Harry Osbourne. Hopefully he doesn’t go artistic like Franco.

    • Personally I think they are both pretty cool. Looking forward to what Dehaan brings to this character.

  2. Does this movie have fade to black? If not I ain’t watching.

    • Life it seems, will fade away Drifting further every day…

  3. Look forward to seeing it in 6 months time in Aus :|

  4. i have been lucky enough to see Metallica in their original lineup w/ cliff just months before his tragic passing. They were touring the Master of Puppets album and were the opening act for Ozzy in july 86, right after i graduated HS. That was one of the best concerts i have been to, and i’ve seen my fair share. I also saw them on the Black album, and the Load tours. really sound great live. am looking forward to this, even with the silly music video stuff mixed in. it will be like the good old days of MTV when they used to show concerts on friday nights.

    • You saw Metallica open for Ozzy in ’86? Damn. I’m not sure if I want to hate you out of rabid jealousy or find a way to shake your hand.

      • That was when they were still good. I saw Ozzy in 2003 and he was beyond wasted, he couldn´t even stand without holding on to the mic stand. And in 2006, I saw Metallica and Hetfield couldn´t hit one single note. Horrible, horrible show. Fortunatly, it was a festival and I didn´t have to pay for the band that used to be Metallica alone.
        IMO this film is nothing but a cash grab. Death Magnetic didn´t sell well, so what are you gonna do when no one buys your music? Do a movie.

        • Death Magnetic debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and went multi-platinum. It might be the most financially successful heavy metal album released in the past decade.

      • Same here, saw them for the 1st time 3 weeks before Burton died, I was 15. 1st ever metal concert, Metallica on Puppets, Anthrax on ATL. £7.50 for the ticket, 1000 people, 300 standing, small venue.

        Saw them many time after, last on Load when I realised mid concert I didn’t care anymore..

        shadow now of what they were, not sure 3d and a disco floor is gonna help..

    • @ jeffro, you’re lucky. That’s like watching Michael Jordan in his prime with all those shows you went to. Unfortunately I have not been to a Metallica show, yet, so this movie excites me greatly.

  5. Okay band, but they appear to be very self-absorbed. Didn’t they also have a movie or reality show about them going through therapy or something?

    • That was Ozzy, not Metallica.

      • Ozzy had ‘The Osbournes’, a show that was more about his annoying wife and his spoiled, fat kids. In his autobiography, he wrote that he had little to do with that show. All he wanted to do, was watching History Channel and smoke pot in his room, the “bunker”. He only came out to fulfill his contract with MTV.
        Metallica on the other hand, made ‘Some Kind Of Monster’, a movie that was more career-killing than Ozzy´s TV show. It showed the band during the process of recording ‘St. Anger’, searching for a new bass player, and going through therapy.

        • I’ll never understand why Metallica didn’t burn every piece of footage of “Some Kind of Monster” ensuring that it was never seen???
          Most fans aren’t dumb. We all like to think our favorite bands are still the same guys they were at the beginning but deep down we know they’re so uber-rich and out of touch that they can’t be but why would you show that to millions of people?
          Lars complaining about nobody coming to his art show, Kirk complaining that nobody listens to him and James, oh dear James…
          I actually just felt bad for Rob. He probably couldn’t believe what he was walking into.

          • I liked SKOM.

            Remember, it was meant to be them documenting the making of a new album and then things went downhill when Newsted quit.

  6. I’d say this is pretty on the nose. The interwoven narrative is pretty this, but that’s okay. The real meat and potatoes of the film is the live concert footage – which is amazing. The band’s never sounded better. The visuals and audio mix are incredible. The song selection could be a bit better (in this fan’s opinion), and I didn’t the feel 3D added much. This article gave it a 3/5, but as a life-long, die hard fan, I’d give a 4.5/5.

    • Agreed. Saw it Wednesday. It was awesome. As a life-long fan myself, seeing my first concert in ’92 with Guns N’ Roses, I found it highly enjoyable and worth the price of admission. I concur with your 4.5/5

  7. Really excited to see this tonight, closet thing to going to a Metallica concert this year.

  8. Also thought that the director, Antel, deserves a shot at a comic book movie, it kinda had that kind of a feeling to it.

  9. Metallica was the first concert I’ve ever been to. It was 92 I think for the black album. There was no opening act it was in Fargo ND at the Bison field house before the dome was built and they played for 3 hours. It was fantastic.

    Now I look at them and think, what a bunch of sell outs.

    • My first concert was Megadeth in 1993. I remember my friends seeing the ‘Guns and Roses’ and ‘Metallica’ tour. Epic times.

  10. Even though I liked listening to Metallica, I was a massive Megadeth fan. I think this movie looks intense. I will definitely see ‘Through the Never’.

  11. I’ve seen Metallica live twice and unfortunately both times were terrible experiences.
    The 1st time was the tail end of the “And Justice For All” tour and the band was exhausted and lethargic on stage not to mention the security was a bunch of meat-heads that treated everyone in the audience like punching bags.
    The 2nd time was at a out-door venue with terrible sound and then mid show Metallica did an acoustic set. Sorry boys but I want to hear Master of Puppets as it’s meant to be heard, not acoustically.
    So even though I’m a huge fan I’ve still never really seen them live the way they should be seen and if that means if I have to see them at a theater in IMAX to get the proper experience I’ll do it, and will.

    • Yeah, they hated touring the Justice album because the songs were way too long for them to enjoy playing night after night.

      I’ve only seen them live at the Download Festival in 2012 and they were amazing. Entire Black Album played live, Hetfield was note perfect, great time.

      I don’t understand the people who call themselves fans but then say they hate the band or think they’re sell-outs. They don’t sound like real fans to me. I can proudly say I’ve been a lifelong fan and will continue to be so, liking every one of their albums, even if every one has its iffy tracks.

      Anyway, been looking forward to this all year, especially in IMAX.

      • I often get the stink eye when I say it among other fans but I even like St. Anger as an album. The only real problems I had were Kirk not doing solos and the sound of the drums but on a song per song basis I think it’s a pretty solid album.

        • Feel the same exactly. lyricly its even my favorite albums. but that drum sound !
          the solo’s i can imagine. they want to do something else for a change…

  12. Hahahaha… this ridiculous silly movie has been a major mega-flop at the box office. It barely has made $3.3 million gross and it cost metallica $18 million to make it. hahahaha… And the band was hoping that a young generation of metal fans would discover their music through the movie… they were already salivating millions of dollars more for their bank accounts… greety btards, they get what they deserve.