American: The Bill Hicks Story brings to life the amazing true story of one of modern culture’s most iconic figures. Much more than just a comedian, Bill Hicks has become an inspiration to millions around the world. As a rebellious teenager, he discovered that comedy was a way to break all the rules, but then he found it could also open people’s minds. Bill’s comedy challenged the injustices of life head on, but his uncompromising approach met with conflict in America and it was instead on the international stage where he found fame. In 1993, on the verge of wider success, Bill fell ill with terminal cancer, but his timeless material has lived on, revered by comedians and audiences alike as the man who changed comedy forever. Taking documentary to a new level, American uses interviews, archive footage including many unseen performances, and stunning animation to bring Bill’s inspiring story to life, told for the first time by those that knew him best.

Studio: BBC Warner
Year: 2011
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Run time: 102 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD
Region: 1

If you consider yourself a fan of the late Bill Hicks then this is a must see documentary. Very well put together as you get a chronological order of the events that took place on his rise to stardom. Included some early life and behind the scene details of Hicks’ trials and tribulations. I thought the beginning of the film was a little slow but things quickly picked up as Hick’s career started to bloom. Production did a good job including many of Bill’s early and late footage of his shows. Fan or not, I think no one will be disappointed watching this film. Its unfortunate that we do not have enough people like Bill Hicks to invoke thought as well as put a comical light on issues that may normally bring about negative feelings.

It is an outstanding documentary, and it deserves to win all sorts of awards. And for true fans who think they have all the CDs and videos, you’ll find enough new material to satisfy you as well. Where are you now, Bill, when we need you so much? You’re in this movie, and maybe you can still inspire people to stand up and be counted.
Movie Quality: 7/10

Special Features

  • Three hours of extended interviews
  • Clips from Bill’s audio journals
  • 30 minutes of rare clips from Bill’s stand-up shows
  • SXSW panel with Bill’s friends
  • Abbey Road Studios

Special Features: 6/10

Final Thoughts

If you consider yourself a fan of the late Bill Hicks then this is a must see documentary. Very well put together as you get a chronological order of the events that took place on his rise to stardom. Included some early life and behind the scene details of Hicks’ trials and tribulations.
Overall Rating: 6/10