Style Wars (1983)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Calisthenic breakdancing and big, bold graffiti art were in top form and popularity in the U.S. in the early and mid-'80s, and this documentary extols the spirit and the talents of a variety of New York youngsters who were expert in either one or both of these challenging pastimes. Public reactions are wildly varied. On the one hand, the youth brave a police crackdown on graffiti and face barbed-wire fences and guard dogs in the railroad yards where they spray paint subway cars with oversized … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
Directed By: , ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 23, 2005


as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Style Wars

All Critics (3)

Yes, there were Style Wars back in the day. But they weren't just battling over graffiti design. The war was over which way the cultural landscape would swing.

Full Review… | August 22, 2005

...provides a glimpse into the artistic process (with its beautiful, criminal, and competitive aspects) and preserves a chunk of public art from a NYC that no longer exists.

Full Review… | January 24, 2004

August 22, 2005

Audience Reviews for Style Wars

An original, and simultaneously THE original, documentary on graffiti culture, and by extension and to a lesser degree, Hip-Hop culture in general. The 1980's of New York may be long gone, but they are captured here not with beauty or compassion, but with a detached emphasis on humanity.

Well shot, well interviewed, and to a certain extent unbiased. At times it reads like a 60-minutes special, but at its best it provides a genuine, if sometimes too restricted and short, view into a world that has since evolved into something far more pervasive and different.

Daniel Hetteix

Super Reviewer

one of my favorite documentaries. this one shows graffiti in NyC in the late 70's early 80's and how the hip-hop movement began. Brilliant and well shot.

Jesse Chelifer

The voice of Hip-Hop speaks through the element of graffiti in Style Wars, a documentary on the art as it sweeps through New York City. While Scratch and Freestyle took a definite pro-Hip-Hop stance, Style Wars offers both sides of the argument, with interviews from New York's then-Mayor Ed Koch and representatives of the Transit Authority, and lets you judge for yourself.

Bancho Libre

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