Metallica Through the Never

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Metallica Through the Never
Metallica Through the Never film.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Nimród Antal
Produced by Charlotte Huggins
Written by
  • Dane DeHaan
  • James Hetfield
  • Lars Ulrich
  • Kirk Hammett
  • Robert Trujillo
Music by Metallica
Cinematography Gyula Pados
Edited by Joe Hutshing
Blackened Recordings
Distributed by Picturehouse
Release date(s)
  • September 9, 2013 (2013-09-09) (TIFF)
  • September 27, 2013 (2013-09-27) (United States)
Running time 94 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $21,196,967[2][3]

Metallica Through the Never is a 2013 American IMAX thriller concert film featuring the American heavy metal band Metallica. The film shares its name with the song "Through the Never" from the band's 1991 self-titled release; the feature follows young Trip's (Dane DeHaan) surreal adventure during an urgent mission he is sent out on, sewn together with concert footage from a set of concerts Metallica held in Vancouver and Edmonton, August 2012.

Through the Never was the first film to be released under New Line Cinema's revived Picturehouse marquee, which had been shuttered in 2008.


The film opens panning over the city of Vancouver and a large stadium with a radio station telling of Metallica's one-night-only concert. An old beat up car is seen driving into an empty parking lot. The driver, an overweight Metallica fan, climbs on top of the car and cheers about Metallica while a guy wearing a bandana and a hood riding a skateboard skates past him. The hooded skateboarder turns out to be "Trip," one of the roadies for Metallica. He goes into the back of the stadium, into a parking lot where the people who run backstage are getting things for the show. While Trip walks further into backstage each member of Metallica is shown, preparing for the show. Trip is told by his boss to stick around as he might be needed. As he walks out into the stadium a time lapse happens to the song "Ecstasy of Gold" with people filling up the stadium, waiting for the band to play.

Metallica starts to play songs and during Creeping Death, the unidentified band manager pulls Trip from the crowd telling him one of the tour vans is stranded without gas in the middle of the city and there is something very important inside. He hands Trip a map and a tank of gas while sending him on his way. Before hopping into his van, Trip pops a blue-and-red pill whose effects and name are unknown.

As Trip is driving in the empty city with no other cars around he starts to see flames (which are currently going on at the concert) on the monitors of every building he passes. While looking at the map he was given Trip accidentally runs a red light but not before braking so that his car is mid-way into the street. After looking down every street for a second and seeing no people or cars he notices a bloody hand print on one of the building's signs and the doll (which is hung from a tiny noose) that is hanging from his rear-view mirror's eyes move to the side he looks to his left to see a car immediately t-bone the side of his van, causing it to flip multiple times.

After getting out of the van Trip sees the person who was in the car that hit him looking down a street then start running in the opposite direction.Trip sees a horse dragging a riot police officer from the saddle, walking across the street, and he keeps walking onward. After walking the empty streets for a bit Trip walks into a street and looks to his left seeing a large group of mask/hood wearing people holding bats and other blunt objects. He then looks to his right and sees a large group of riot police which after the rioters start throwing things the police then shoot back tear gas grenades and a fight ensues. Trip gets out of the fight, standing by a door in front of one of the surrounding buildings watching as the fight goes down. Among the people fighting is a man wearing a gas mask, carrying a large hammer and a rope while riding a horse. The Rider goes around throwing ropes around people's necks then throws the other end around the top of a street light (or anything to hang someone on) and hangs people, rioters and riot police alike. When a rioter is caught by The Rider and is about to be hanged, Trip grabs a nearby brick and throws it at his head, causing his attention to turn towards Trip. He chases Trip through the riot on his horse. Trip escapes by running through the large mass of fighting, which The Rider is unable to get through.

While walking away, Trip sees multiple bodies hanging near a bridge from a noose, indicating The Rider had hanged them. Trip finds the fuel-less truck he was originally sent to find and give the tank of gas too, however the driver is unresponsive when Trip knocks on the window and simply remains with a blank look on his face. He then walks to the back of the truck and opens the latch on the door revealing nothing but a leather bag lying on the floor. He opens the bag and after seeing what is inside (which is never actually shown or revealed) he sits down in the back of the truck in disbelief and shock.

While sitting in the truck, Trip notices a person waving at him from a distance away on the opposite street. The Rider suddenly rides up behind the man followed by numerous rioters and some police all running at Trip, who grabs the bag and tank of gas, jumps out of the van and runs away from the people chasing him to escape.

After hopping a fence and running down an alley, Trip finds himself cornered with the rioters all standing a couple feet away still holding their bats and other weapons. Seeing no way out, Trip takes out a blue bandana he had on when he first arrived at the stadium and wraps it around his nose and mouth, puts the red hood under his leather jacket on his head and takes the bag around his shoulder off. He then picks up the tank of gas on the floor and pours it on himself then takes out a lighter, drops it on the ground (lighting himself on fire) and runs at the group of rioters knocking multiple of them out but eventually being overwhelmed by their weapons and presumably falls unconscious.

Trip wakes up to find himself on the rooftop of a building (while Enter Sandman starts to play) with the doll he had earlier walking to then standing by the bag he was carrying earlier. He then stands up and walks towards the bag when a noose is thrown around his neck and he gets dragged along the rooftop by The Rider who then pulls him off the ground, strangling him. After some resistance, Trip hits The Rider in the face with the hammer he carried around, causing him to drop Trip and the hammer. The Rider then goes to the opposite end of the rooftop and starts to charge at Trip who picks up the hammer and slams the ground with it, sending a shock wave across the city, shattering all the glass of the surrounding buildings, turning The Rider and his horse to dust and causing Metallica's entire stage setup to collapse.

Trip is then shown holding the doll across his shoulder and the bag under his arm while walking back into the stadium, through backstage and into the arena as the current song ends and the screen fades to white. The credits are shown while the band plays the song "Orion" to the single person in the crowd, an exhausted and bloodied Trip. The film then ends with the camera focusing on the bag Trip retrieved lying on the ground (whose contents are still not shown or revealed).



The band made a surprise appearance in Detroit at the Orion Music + More Festival under the name Dehaan, after lead actor Dane DeHaan, to promote the film by playing their debut album, Kill 'Em All, in its entirety.[4]

Through the Never made its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[5]

The film was released in IMAX theaters across the United States on September 27, 2013,[6] the 27th anniversary of former Metallica bassist Cliff Burton's death, before being rolled out to normal cinemas in 3D the week after (October 4).


Reviews of the film were positive. The film has a 78% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Imaginatively shot and edited, Metallica Through the Never is an electrifying, immersive concert film, though its fictional sequences are slightly less assured."[7]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "a full-throttle expression of rock & roll anarchy", and encouraged readers not to understand the plot, but to "live" it.[8]

Peter Rugg of The Village Voice writes that the film is "the most immersive concert film ever."[9]

Chris Tilly of IGN delivered a positive review as well, stating that it "features several truly incredible live performances that are worth the price of admission alone. Metallica fans will love the music, while everyone else can enjoy the amazing visuals in this unique concert movie."[10]


The official soundtrack for Through the Never was released on September 24, 2013 via Blackened Recordings.[11] The album has charted in several countries.


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