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Kill Your Idols (2006)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 2,320

My Rating

Movie Info

Take a trip to a musical terrain where art and punk collide as filmmaker Scott Crary presents an illuminating look at New York City's short-lived no wave scene of the late 1970s and early '80s. A scene that birthed bands more concerned with challenging listeners rather than getting them out on the dance floor, no wave was an attempt by frustrated punk rockers to eschew such traditional concepts as influence and rhythm to birth something truly transgressive and original. Though the music of such

Aug 29, 2006

Palm Pictures

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (8) | DVD (2)

Kill Your Idols then takes a misguided swerve into the current downtown New York rock scene, so that it can spend more time preaching about the anarchy of the good old days than it does revealing them.

July 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The documentary enters more dubious territory when it tries to present today's more consumer-friendly post-punkers (like the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs) as some sort of successors.

July 7, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic atonal love letter to a single corner of the culture - one built, in the words of singer Lydia Lunch, on 'beauty and truth and filth.'

July 7, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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S. A. Crary's music documentary examines New York's No Wave scene of the late 1970's an offshoot of punk, the anti-New Wave.

July 6, 2006
New York Times
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Crary takes the usual talking- heads- and- archival- footage approach, which isn't really a problem, though the film's whirlwind approach is.

July 6, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kill Your Idols pulls a few punches, tempering its respect for No Wave values like extremity and contentiousness with a more 2006 concern for not actually offending anyone in particular.

July 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is little more than a sketchy portrait of two fascinating cultural moments with only geography and 70-ish minutes of celluloid connecting them.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Discordant documentary on New York's "No Wave" art-punk music scene begins in fertile territory but squanders everything with a lengthy and ill-considered comparison to more recent bands.

July 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The film is well done, capturing a brief, unimportant moment in musical history.

July 8, 2006
Greenwich Village Gazette

Reminds you that for every Sonic Youth, there's a hundred bad New York bands that can't play their own instruments.

July 4, 2006 Full Review Source:

The film's construction isn't groundbreaking but the shrill freakshow of talking heads is revealing, conveying how revolutionary spirits can spread their own form of oppressive bile.

June 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Written, photographed, produced, edited, and directed by 26-year-old visual artist S A Crary, Kill Your Idols enjoyably documents the so-called No Wave scene.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source:

Ostensibly about the ultra-obscure New York art-punk scene of 1977-82, this cleverly edited film is really a meditation on originality and nostalgia.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Kill Your Idols

Recently I've been getting into No Wave bands like DNA, Mars, Teenage Jesus, and obviously early Sonic Youth and Swans (2 ofmy favourite bands for awhile now.) When I heard abut this documentary on the New York No Wave scene of the late 70's/ early 80's I was excited to see it. The first half is really good, but the film got derailroaded aroun the middle portion. Instead of continuing with a pretty good documentary about No Wave it jumps ahead to 2002 and begins interviewing bands of the current New York hipster sene (Yeah Yeah Yeah's. Black Dice, Gogol Bordello, Liars etc.) ll good bands for what they do, I just don't think that they had any business being in this movie. Maaaybe if they were actually talking about the subject of the film I could have gotten over it, but nstead, as hipsters usually do, they talked about themselves. When asked about No Wave, the only band most of them seemed to be aware of was Sonic Youth. Anyways then the movie cut's back to the No Wave peoples and you get their perspective on the current scene. Basically I wanted a documentary about No Wave, and this film started out as that, but in the end couldn't really decide what the topic of the film was. So it doesn't get to in depth about any of the topics it covers. That being said the movie get's a pass from me as there is some really good performance footage from the old No Wave bands, some entertaining and enlightening interviewsfrom Lydia Lunch, Thurston Moore, Michael Gira, The Singer from DNA, Martin Rev, Lee Ranaldo etc. Perhaps I am being a little harsh but in the end I felt this movie was a failed attempt at covering a scene that still deserves a more thorough examination. Ah well, worth seeing for the things it did right as mentioned above.
April 3, 2011
Ed Fucking Harris

Super Reviewer

Absolute favorite!!
March 25, 2008
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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