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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
Charlie Ahearn's groundbreaking film about hip-hop, graffiti, break dancing, and rap in eighties New York celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new 35-mm. print.
Mixing early-'80s nostalgia with mild social anthropology, the film successfully crystallises the optimism and vivacity of the early New York hip hop scene and suggests that film and TV portrayals of the Bronx as a savage and inhospitable hellhole were pe
Wild Style lacks a lot of the style of the people in it, but it never neutralizes their vitality.
Hip-hop rolls on tractor treads now, unafraid to colonize those who hesitate, but in 1982 it was small, self-selecting, and as specific to New York as the World Trade Center.
It's a fascinating time capsule, worth examining for anyone interested in the cultural roots of hip hop.
The pacing is slow -- inexcusable in a film about music -- except when hip-hop takes over, and Ahearn wisely gives plenty of screen time to the likes of Busy Bee, Rock Steady Crew, and Fab Five Freddy.
As a time capsule and a sociological document, it's difficult to overstate its importance, but it's also tremendous fun.
I guess it depends on what you go to the movies for, but for me Wild Style is a classic and a remarkable example of what the medium can do to an audience.
A poorly-acted shambles.
It's great to see again this bolt of ghetto joy, a kind of updated West Side Story, that shows hip-hop as a living, breathing expression of cultural resistance rather than a crunky, cheerless set of cruddy grunts and boasts from which to make money.
Nothing else comes close to capturing the atmosphere of the early days of hip-hop and spraycan art, of the burned-out and derelict Bronx.
This unpolished but authentic film, a drama with the honesty of a documentary, shows hip-hop pure and unvarnished.
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