Style Wars - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Style Wars Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 15, 2010
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.
January 15, 2010
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.
½ January 15, 2010
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.
½ March 26, 2007
i was born in the late 70's, gained my acute senses - both common and uncommon - in the 80's. this documentary is as real as it gets in part of the hip-hop subculture.
March 15, 2007
Cave painters and dope writers unite under the four elements. see the crusade of straightlaced, whitewashed citizenry in their sick machinations co-opt and oppress youth culture.
March 5, 2007
in my opinion one of the best documentrys ever makes you want to live in the 80's if you like doing grafiti
½ February 13, 2014
As far as the graffiti and hip hop culture is concerned, Style Wars is the beginning to anyone's education. One of the defining moments in both cultures, Style Wars represents the birth of a culture which is still growing to this day. A must see classic if you love street art, graffiti or hip hop.
August 10, 2013
Excelente documentário sobre a golden age do graffiti em Nova Iorque e o seu lugar na cultura hip-hop demonstra também que uma arte tão efervescente só dispõe de um determinado tempo para ser autenticamente underground. Apesar de claramente deslumbrada pelo graffiti, a perspectiva dos autores Henry Chalfont e Tony Silver é suficientemente neutra para dar tempo de antena aos principais opositores da arte de rua e alguns desses testemunhos chegam a ser bastante engraçados (e sarcásticos). Além dos guardiões dos bons costumes, há ainda outro vilão bastante improvável (chamado Cap) para descobrir no "Style Wars".
January 31, 2013
A remarkable view on one of the many subcultures that arose around the 1970/80's.
½ November 5, 2012
Wonderful doc about a fleeting, beautiful period in NYC history. I'd like to say I think if these guys were coming up now, the city would be more embracing and understanding of the validity of the art, but honestly I doubt it.
June 30, 2012
I thought that this documentary provided a unique in depth look into the beginning of the hip-hop culture in and around the 1980's. Explaining the beginnings of three key elements in hip-hop culture, Break dancing, rapping, and graffiti; it allows the viewer to see why and how the graffiti artists, rappers, and dancers, do these things the way they do and why. It analyzes and looks into the hip-hop culture explaining that these three aspects, are the spoken word, physical expression, and artistic expression of hip-hop. However I believe that in this day and age, if it was to really try to explain hip-hop it has become outdated. It's really great for an introduction and perspective on why Hip-Hop started and happened in the time period it did. However it doesn't really touch on rap that much as that really took off in the early 90's and at this point has evolved into a much different genre then it was shown as in the video. So in terms of relevance now, when talking about rap it doesn't really cut it. In terms of relevance in accordance with break dancing its similar to rap but a little more relevant because breakdancing was more popular around then. I think relevancy in accordance with graffiti is pretty good still, because graffiti has died down in our lifetime and isn't the cool new fab it was back then. It also looks at graffiti a little more in depth than the other aspects of hip-hop and fully explores many sides of the cultural struggle that it went through; from the police side, to the taggers, and then to the graffiti bombers. All in all it is pretty well done and offers a unique perspective on hip-hop in the 1980's.
February 20, 2010
This documentary shows the true life of a graffiti writer in NY at the time. From the love of their pieces to the beef with Cap, it's a true human story of the people. Both sides (for and against) of graffiti was shown in the film. You find out what the city does to get rid of the artwork, but you also find out the hard work and cunning that goes into applying the art. A lovely inside look at kids bombing the system.
February 18, 2006
This documentary inspired me so much, I became a vandal. It's a beautiful thing, people, it's a beautiful thing.
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