Punk's Not Dead

2007

Punk's Not Dead

Critics Consensus

Susan Dynner's Punk's Not Dead is a thrilling and ambitious overview of the history and resilience of punk music, featuring interviews with an array of the genre's outspoken godfathers.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 975

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Movie Info

As the original DIY spirit of punk becomes increasingly watered down through commercialization and corporate influence, longtime photographer and Brick co-producer Susan Dynner explores the music's origins as a social movement uniting disenfranchised outsiders before tracing its breakthrough into the mainstream during the 1990s. In the 1980s, punk rock was strictly an underground movement, and for every Ramones, Clash, and Sex Pistols making a mark on the mainstream there were ten UK Subs and Subhumans delivering some of the most ferocious, outrageous music ever conceived. In the 1990s, the music that once shocked the masses gradually became commercialized through the likes of Green Day, Rancid, and Nirvana. By the time such bands as Good Charlotte and Sum 41 hit the scene in the first years of the 21st century, the vitality and urgency that once defined punk rock had largely been lost in radio friendly riffs and lyrics that were more concerned with typical teenage issues than the current state of politics and globalization. So what exactly happened to the non-conformist spirit of punk? In this documentary, Dynner speaks with such outspoken punk godfathers as Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Jello Biafra, and others to find that, despite outward appearances, the rebellious spirit that originally defined this challenging genre of music is still very much alive.

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Critic Reviews for Punk's Not Dead

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2)

  • Even the title sounds like a hardheaded comeback to a proclamation nobody made.

    October 19, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • Susan Dynner's documentary about the past 30 years of punk music doesn't exactly break any new ground. But it does offer an entertaining overview that is leavened with humorous philosophical digressions.

    August 10, 2007
  • Poor punk. Such a bundle of complexes, most of them encapsulated in the needlessly defensive title of Susan Dynner's documentary Punk's Not Dead.

    July 27, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie covers a lot of time and territory, and some of its questions are great ones. (The biggest, for true punks: Is getting a big record deal a sign of ultimate success, or final defeat?)

    July 27, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • About as in-your-face and raggedy as its subject, Dynner's film is really less of a history than a psychological profile, rooting around for the meat of what makes punk so resilient, cross-generational and communal.

    July 26, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Play this movie loud. Really loud.

    July 26, 2007 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic

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