Red Dawn Movie Review

Red Dawn

In our time, no foreign army has ever occupied American soil... Until now.
Red Dawn Picture
Jennifer Grey shows that she can cut the action with the guys anytime...


Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell

Early Appearances

See Charlie Sheen before they were famous!

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Red Dawn has the dubious honor of being the first film to earn a PG-13 rating.

More Trivia from Red Dawn


Red dawn is probably the kind of 80's movie that you will either love or hate.

Very much a product of it's (paranoid?) time, it's fierce patrotism and NRA style propoganda is mixed with a kind of teenage Rambo dream where kids empower themselves to save their country.

In the scenario that was panned by critics and liberal politicians alike, Russian-backed forces invade the US destroying and pillaging everything in their wake. The movie follows a gang of high school kids led by Patrick Swayze who manage to be a huge thorn in the side of the invaders.

If you are the kind of viewer who looks for credibility, political correctness and believability in your movies, then you are likely to be largely offended by this movie.

This is unashamedly a shlock 'Goonie-Rambo' guns 'n' glory outing that takes great glee in unleashing the kind of mayhem that real life teenagers would dream of in such a situation. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, the National Coalition on Television Violence called Red Dawn "The most violent film on record". Nearly 2 decades later, this would seem laughable upon viewing the actual movie, especially in light of the films that have followed since. What is important here is that Red Dawn is the kind of movie that stirrs up feelings.

--And it also does have many hidden surprises. Firstly, there is the characterisation. This movie tries (and largely succeeds) in bringing some unusual depth to the characters of the good guys AND the invaders. Secondly there's the dark humor --subtle but very effective.

The movie is actually virtually devoid of the gore and personal violence that was to follow in countless films (It's arguably similar to a PG version of the TV series the A-Team) --but yet through the use of strong narrative and implied violence, coupled with a portrayal of a violation of American soil and way of life, it managed to stir up emotions in an almost unprecedented way.

Being that John Milius publicly stated that this was his intention, as something similar "Was happening in Afganistan every day" then he would have appeared to have succeeded. Does this mean that it's a 'good' film? Why not try it out and see for yourself what all the fuss was about!

Red Dawn was co-penned and also directed by John Milius, an old film school buddie of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, who also wrote the seminal Vietnam drama 'Apocalypse Now'.

Author: NickUpdate This Review


As a wise movie sage once wrote about this movie --and this applies to many others too -- "If you check your brain at the door you will enjoy this film."

The score assumes that you are able to do this...

Strong action and lots of schlock "Goonie Rambo" fun...
Too gung-ho. Likely to offend those who take their movies very seriously.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: John Milius
Writer: John Milius, Kevin Reynolds
Producers: Barry Beckerman, Buzz Feitshans
Locations Manager: Michael Jarvis, Ray Moggio

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Release Date: 10 Aug 1984
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: MGM / UA
Production: United Artists, Valkyrie Films
Genre: Action / Adventure

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The Movie Trailer
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1984 MGM / UA
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