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Red (2008)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 8

This vengeance film leans heavily on attack-and-avenge scenarios but performances by Brian Cox's and Tom Sizemore's take the stink out of any weaker scripting.

73

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

This vengeance film leans heavily on attack-and-avenge scenarios but performances by Brian Cox's and Tom Sizemore's take the stink out of any weaker scripting.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,497

My Rating

Movie Info

After his 14-year-old dog, Red, is senselessly murdered by three thrill-seeking teenagers, an aging recluse sets out seeking justice for his four-legged companion and finds himself gradually pushed to take extreme measures. Brian Cox and Tom Sizemore star in this adaptation of the Jack Ketchum novel scripted by Stephen Susco, and co-directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Lucky McKee. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Oct 28, 2008

Magnolia Pictures

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (8) | DVD (5)

An elegant and deceptively straightforward dramatic thriller.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's escalating series of tit-for-tat revenge ploys becomes a bit tedious even at 95 minutes, but Cox and a rich (if not always well-served) supporting cast that includes Tom Sizemore, Amanda Plummer, and Robert Englund keep it more than watchable.

August 28, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Begins promisingly and then swerves into absurdity.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes this movie worth seeing is the acting, which is superb throughout.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Along with Shotgun Stories, Felon, and a few other recent 'indie pulps,' Red is part of a wave of low-budget genre films that turn injustice into an abstract force ripping decent folk apart.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once Avery's mission assumes a Freudian dimension, the allegory loses its moral force and changes from a meditation on justice, power and inequality into a gory melodrama.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A vicious and brutal parable on human cruelty in the Jack Ketchum tradition...

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The hero in Red doesn't want revenge. He wants an apology. This isn't your ordinary vigilante film.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: What Would Toto Watch?
What Would Toto Watch?

...a deliberately paced and downright thoughtful piece of work.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A movie that's completely out of its tree.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

A low-key but compelling thriller that refuses to follow the traditional vengeance movie template.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

A final quarter sentimental streak clashes with the masochistic pleasure of watching middle America close ranks against a victim who can't even bark in his own defense.

August 16, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

As Diesen fades out with a pat, artificially full-circle ending, we still appreciate how Red danced on the edge of the Movie-of-the-Week abyss and, thanks to Cox and the careful tending of Jack Ketchumâ(TM)s original novel, never fell in.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Somewhere along the line someone should have taken a long, hard look at the excesses of the ending and changed course.

August 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The film's climax ultimately seems less an example of its protagonist's irrational fury than of cockeyed storytelling.

August 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

This movie has a humungous amount of problems, but I think that its absolute worst sin is that it'll make you think that the Jack Ketchum novel is some sort of Oprah's book of the month reject.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Animal lovers may or may not like the way that the principal character gets revenge on a young man who killed his dog.

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

Audience Reviews for Red

Directed by Tryvge Allister Diesen, Billy Goat Pictures, 2008. Starring Brian Cox, Tom Sizemore, Kyle Ganner and Amanda Plummer.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Question: Are you woken up by your four legged friend? Their face is right in your face sniffing, licking and begging you to get up. No matter how much of a morning person you are not, it gives you the biggest smile every time, right? That is exactly the opening scene in the movie Red (not to be confused with Red starring Bruce Willis). I was grinning from ear to ear because I have two dogs that wake me up that way. And let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person but smile every time this happens - even it is 6:00am.

So you are an animal lover. I got that. Now what would you do if someone killed your beloved animal right in front of you? I can tell you exactly what I would do but the police might come and put me in jail just for thinking it (What? I've seen Minority Report). Anyway, that was the impetus for what happens over the next 90 minutes or so in Red.

Now if you have followed my reviews for a while now, you know I have favorite actors that I hunt down and find what they are in. About six months ago I discovered Brian Cox in two independent movies (The Good Heart and The Escapist) and really enjoyed his performances in them. Last night when I went on Netflix the site suggested a movie with Tom Sizemore since I had just watched one of his a few nights ago (The Last Lullaby). It was Red and I noticed it starred Brian Cox. I hit play immediately! I started smiling at the sight of the dog and his owner, however, within a few minutes I was bawling like a baby.

I really try to not spoil any story for you on any film, but this story is about what one man does when teenagers shoot and kill his dog for no reason. This all happens within the first few minutes of the story, hence why I was crying. With that said, I am not going to tell you any more details about the story. The rest of Red chronicles the path of the man and what he simply wants from the teenage boys. Unfortunately, it spirals completely out of control.

I will admit this was not my favorite movie of Mr. Cox although he was fantastic in it. Plus, there was one scene, a monologue he gives, where you witness brilliance. It was obvious to me that he was a classically trained theatre actor but then again I studied theatre in college. However, in this particular scene you will be in awe. I was. See this movie for that performance alone.

As for the rest of the film it was a bit slow but it kept my interest. Everyone else performed admirably, although I had a feeling Mr. Sizemore wasn't at his best, health-wise, while making this film. You will recognize a lot of the actors in this movie but Brian Cox is the one to watch.

My favorite part: Well, that should be obvious.

My least favorite: That should be obvious, as well.

Rating: R
Length: 93 minutes

Rating: 5 out of 10
May 30, 2012
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

This movie is about an old man who goes fishing with his 14 year old best friend, Red (who is a dog). While they are fishing, three teenage boys attempt to rob him and end up killing his dog when they see he has no money on him. When the old man tries to seek justice for the murder of his beloved pet, he is told nothing can be done due to lack of evidence. The rest of the movie is about how the old man tries to get justice for his dog.

I thought the acting in this movie was really good, but I didn't like the movie at all. The pacing of the movie was painfully slow, and there was a lot of dialogue. In one scene, the old man goes on a long tangent about his dark family history. He tells a really long story, and it is really REALLY boring. I mean what he says is interesting I guess, but I would've rather seen a flashback. It's a movie not a book. I expect movies to show me things, not just tell me.
The movie starts off pretty good, but then it just spirals into an unrealistic shoot out. The old man's goal is simple. He wants the kids, who shot his dog then joked about it, in jail. He just wants them to learn their lesson. This becomes very hard when the kids' parents are stubborn and borderline psychopaths. When the parents *SPOILERS* turned crazy and tried to kill the old man for being persistent about seeking justice for his dog, the movie totally lost me. It was so strange and bizarre. All the parents needed to do was punish their son, but they did not. The old man was kind of creepy though. I mean he showed up at the people's houses and interrogated them. It was weird. The boy that killed his dog was a sociopath, and everyone knew that- it wasn't a secret. If the old man wanted to take the kid to court, he probably could have. I mean we see in the movie multiple occasions where the kid proves he's a total dick. The old man could've just gotten some witnesses to testify. The old man even had the shell of the bullet that came from the kid's gun (the same gun that killed the dog). No one else at the woods they were in saw the 3 boys there and could testify? ALSO, *SPOILER* when the kid was about to attack the old man with a baseball bat, a police officer was watching the ENTIRE thing! Why didn't the police officer intervene and arrest the kid? What kind of town is this where sociopaths run rampantly through the streets and crazy old men stalk young boys?

Okay...I digressed...a lot....

The main thing I hated about this movie was the overall dullness and anticlimactic events. It builds little to no suspense throughout the entire movie. Then at the very end everyone goes apeshit on each other's asses. It came out of nowhere and there was no motivation behind their actions. The movie acted like it wanted to be realistic, then it goes and does something like that. Totally unbelievable and really dumb. The acting was really convincing though for most of the characters. I just wish their was less dialogue. It was just SO incredibly boring. Hardly anything happened until the very last 20-30 minutes. It just seemed like the movie was finding any reason to avoid justice for the dog, you know? Just when they seem close, something happens that hinders their efforts. It seemed stupid because something could've been done, but the movie ignored that and made things overly complicated.
March 7, 2012
Japes
Japes .

Super Reviewer

This is Brian Cox's other Red. Stumbled across this and I thought wow, this is the best acting Cox has ever done. For every act of cruelty against every animal ever, this is for the justice that needs to be done. Sometimes there is justice. The only real problem for me here was that I wondered how much back-story is too much. Would this movie have worked without all the time spent fleshing out the story of Cox's wife and children? I think so. And it would have made for a much tighter story. Still, I really think this is Cox at his best. I wonder what his next Red movie will be? : )
June 16, 2011
binky013

Super Reviewer

"I learned one thing during the war: that you fight with whatever you've got, whatever you can lay your hands on... and you never stop. The minute you do, that's the minute the world rolls right over you."

'Red' is a small budget indie film. When I hear these words, I instantly come to think of something tragic or otherwise something less funny. I was right.

Brian Cox plays Avery Ludlow, a 60+ year old, ex-military guy who has lost his entire family in a very tragic way. All he has left is his beloved dog named Red, a present from his late wife when he turned 50. He spends his days fishing on a lake. One day, a bunch of teenagers come to him acting all... teenaged. You know what I mean. Cocky and all. Danny is the worst of the group and ends up shooting old Red in front of Avery. All this because he hadn't got more than 20 bucks in his wallet and probably because he just wanted to. Avery finds out who the kids are and goes to the McCormack's residence. There, Mr. McCormack believes his son more than Avery. But he is not a guy who can just leave a thing like this behind. He seeks to get some justice and is ready to go as far as possible to have it.

First of all, Brian Cox gives a good performance as Avery Ludlow. The acting isn't the problem here, the rest of the main cast, especially the young actors Noel Fisher, Kyle Gallner and Shiloh Fernandez make themselves known. Tom Sizemore is a shadow of his glory days ('Saving Private Ryan') but what I've wanted to see more of was Robert Englund. He plays the part of the father to one of the boys. His role is very minimal but I enjoyed to see him act. He is more that Freddy Krueger in my opinion.

Avery is a sympathetic character. A war veteran, a widower. But he just doesn't get it. There is a time when to stop, but I guess he had nothing to lose. The key ending scene tells it all. Earlier on, when Gallner's character, the one kid who wanted to beg for forgiveness, says something like: "You just don't get it.", Avery should've realized that the kids didn't have it easy in their lives either. Mr. McCormack is one hell of a bastard and Avery should've realized that problems with the kids parenting and at home have made them what they are. Dysfunctional. Kids make mistakes but still nothing justifies the thing they did.

The climax of 'Red' was clear to me from the moment when Avery confronted the kids at their house. After this, when it's time for some remorse or self-reproach, there isn't any. The problem with 'Red' is that it just leaves you cold. A tragic thing happens, followed by other tragic events. And then it's over but it seems as if no one learned anything about it all. But Avery is the good guy and the audience is on his side, right?

I read that 'Red' had some major difficulties in early development. The original director was fired and replaced. I don't know what effects this had on the film but it's never a good sign. But in overall, 'Red' is worth a look, but I really can't recommend this to just any movie buff. You really have to have heart for indie movies. If you do, you may find 'Red' as a keeper.
October 23, 2010
TheMachinist

Super Reviewer

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  • Red (2008) (UK)
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