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Red Tails

6/10
War . History . Adventure . Action . Drama
 

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II.

 
Actors: Cuba Gooding Jr. , David Oyelowo , Bryan Cranston , Nate Parker , Michael B. Jordan , Matthew Leitch , Lee Tergesen , Robert Kazinsky , Andre Royo , Terrence Howard , Daniela Ruah
Directors: Anthony Hemingway
Country: USA
Release: 2012-01-20
More Info:
  • Steve Persall

    Thankfully, much of Red Tails is spent in the skies, where fighter planes swoop and zoom in thrilling dogfights with incendiary direct hits. Executive producer George Lucas apparently gave Hemingway the keys to his CGI kingdom, creating marvelously designed in-flight action and a sappy, snappy salute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Kevin C. Johnson

    Overreaching fits of melodrama, occasionally stilted dialogue, and performances by Gooding Jr. and Howard that are mostly a series of serious faces can't keep the shiny Red Tails from taking flight.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    A well-acted, well-directed (by TV veteran Anthony Hemingway) popcorn movie with great aerial battles and solid dramatic scenes that hold your attention for two good hours.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Randy Cordova

    Perhaps the movie's most surprising feat? Somehow, the darned thing mostly works, probably because its heart is in the right place.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Kudos to the makers Red Tails for paying homage to a remarkable group of men and their genuinely heroic deeds, and a hat-tip as well for the idea that the best way to tell the story was the old-fashioned way. But would that the film's old-school aura felt knowingly retro rather than dutifully rote.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    As long as it stays in the air, Red Tails is a compelling sky-war pageant of a movie. On the ground, it's a far shakier experience: dutiful and prosaic, with thinly scripted episodes that don't add up to a satisfying story.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Sadly, the result is a disappointment. Sure, the aerial battles are technically adept and occasionally exhilarating, but it's almost painful to sit through some of the "drama" that occurs on the ground.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    David Oyelowo stands out as the daredevil Joe "Lightning" Little, the unit's best flier. With his bravery and bravado, he's the film's most complex character.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    There isn't a real, flesh-and-blood figure in the bunch. Everything about Red Tails - the breaking down of racial barriers, the military achievements, the courage and sacrifice - is diminished in the process.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Red Tails is entertaining. Audiences are likely to enjoy it. The scenes of aerial combat are skillfully done and exciting.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

    Such a story is made to be colored in jumbo crayon, and at first you might long for a more nuanced approach, but this film was produced in the 1940's serial style that's made Lucas Films enormous.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    In the end Red Tails is mostly about the coolness of flying. Its heart is in the clouds, instead of with the men at the controls.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    When a great movie subject results in a middling movie, the loss is double.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    You leave Red Tails thinking of what might have been instead of what is – a missed opportunity.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Red Tails is both a stirring and simplistic tribute to the men that not only shattered the U.S. Army Air Corps' racial barrier but also saved the lives of many a white, B-17 crew member, all while downing countless numbers of Hitler's formidable, jet-propelled Luftwaffe.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jesse Cataldo

    Where Spielberg has made WWII a venue for his sanctimonious side, a platform to convince viewers that war is indeed hell, Lucas is still in a state of pre-adolescent fascination with the conflict.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    The movie is so desperate to be palatable, to appeal to everybody that it doesn't taste like anything.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Every character here is so squeaky-clean, and the prejudice as depicted is so toothless and easily overcome, that the film feels like a gingerly fantasy version of what, in real life, was an exceptional example of resilient trail-blazing.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Red Tails squanders a great subject, reducing the real-life struggles and fierce heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen to rickety cliche.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    The aerial sequences look an awful lot like X-wing-versus-TIE-fighter battles and the effects have the same not-quite-solid feel of the Star Wars prequels. When the heroes crash, they go up in blazes of digital glory that seem just as artificial as the plotting that brought them to their fates.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    For all the occasional grace of its high-flying derring-do, Red Tails barely feels like a movie. It's an uncertain hodgepodge of impulses and desires that never coheres enough to even crash and burn.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    To say that this live-action comic book lives up to Mr. Lucas's description is not a wholehearted endorsement. Are teenage boys as naïve today as they were 60 or more years ago? And much of the dialogue is groaningly clunky. But so it was back then.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    One could argue that the target audience - black teenagers, Mr. Lucas has said - might be most receptive to a film that conveys history through contemporary entertainment. But this isn't contemporary entertainment, it's antiquated kitsch reprocessed by the producer's nostalgia for the movies of his boyhood. The story has been stripped of historical context - don't black teenagers and everyone else deserve hard facts? - and internal logic.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    Alas, it was George Lucas who became captivated by the Tuskegee Airmen and has, after many years as devoted producer, managed to turn their story into a feature film that falls much closer to the goofy "Hogan's Heroes" in the spectrum of World War II-focused productions than "Saving Private Ryan."

    Time Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    Apart from the occasional thrill provided by CG-enhanced aerial dogfights, this stuffy history lesson about the groundbreaking African-American fighter pilot division never quite takes off, weighed down by wooden characters and leaden screenwriting.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    George Lucas produced this candy-coated, fictionalized drama, and while its cast is first-rate and its flying sequences sharp, the movie is as glazed and wide-eyed as a 70-year-old comic book.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Ben Sachs

    George Lucas served as executive producer for this effects-heavy action film about the Tuskegee Airmen, and it feels as synthetic and dull as "The Phantom Menace."

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    So narratively old-fashioned it creaks.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • James Adams

    Virtue aside, however, Red Tails is a lousy film. Not wincingly bad, mind you, just mediocre.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mark Jenkins

    The war-movie cliches are as abundant as the antiaircraft fire, and the dialogue as wooden as a balsa glider. The leading characters are issued one personality trait apiece, and some don't even get that. Cuba Gooding Jr., for example, plays Maj. Emanuelle Stance as a man who smokes a pipe.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Forrest Wickman

    Remember that scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when a swastika-stamped Nazi crate explodes for no good reason (beyond the fact that the Ark hates Nazis)? Red Tails is like that, only less awesome, and considerably longer.

    Slate Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    What's missing is any hint of realism. There's no grit to it anywhere.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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  • 2. Opening Titles Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 3. End Credits America the Beautiful Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
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  • 32. Luntz Berlin Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 33. End Credits / America the Beautiful Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 35. Lightning's Gone Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 36. Deacon's Crash Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 37. Mission Orders / Stance Berlin Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online
  • 38. Junior Medical / Luntz Screening Performer: Terence Blanchard, Fabian Alamazan & Kendrick Scott Stream Music Online