Kill Your Idols


Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
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  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Taking its title from a key track by the NYC noise band Sonic Youth, S.A. Crary's documentary about No Wave music and its paradoxical influence is both a history of music that sought to defy history and a sharp look at the crisis of innovation in an age of commodified nostalgia.
  2. 67
    One of the film's oddest aspects is the way the 2002 footage appears more dated than the scenes from 1978.
  3. Most interesting are the founding mothers and fathers of this movement, who first appear amusingly nostalgic and eventually grow exceptionally bitter as they complain about the packaged and ambitious nature of artists today.
  4. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Doesn't have the crossover appeal of recent music-themed docus like "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," but could find worshippers as a micro-niche release.
  5. 58
    As it stands, this is little more than a sketchy portrait of two fascinating cultural moments with only geography and 70-ish minutes of celluloid connecting them.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Margasak
    Crary struggles to explain the eruption and influence of the extreme rock underground that began with the late-70s "no wave" scene and eventually generated acts like Swans and Sonic Youth.
  7. 50
    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.
  8. 50
    As Lydia Lunch of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks puts it, "They seem so desperate to be liked, desperate to have their music used in the next car commercial."
  9. 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.
  10. Despite his access to both No Wave luminaries and atmospherically battered footage of various bands wreaking havoc at various venues, Mr. Crary never figures out what story he wants to tell.

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