Red Sonja (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Sonja (1985)



Critic Consensus: Dull, poorly directed, and badly miscast, Red Sonja is an uninspired conclusion to Schwarzenegger's barbarian trilogy.

Movie Info

Brigitte Nielsen appears as warrior woman Sonja, who unites with a couple of other gladiator types (including Arnold Schwarzenegger) to overthrow the evil queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman) and avenge the deaths of Sonja's family. This story descends from the writings of Robert E. Howard (author of Conan).more
Rating: PG-13 (violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Clive Exton, George MacDonald Fraser, David H. Franzoni, Stanley Mann, Stanley Mann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 6, 2004


Sandahl Bergman
as Queen Gedren
Pat Roach
as Brytag
Donna Osterbuhr
as Kendra, the High Pr...
Lara Naszinski
as Gedren's Handmaid
Hans Meyer
as Red Sonja's Father
Francesca Romana Col...
as Red Sonja's Mother
Stefano Mioni
as Barlok, Red Sonja's...
Tad Horino
as Swordmaster
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Red Sonja

Critic Reviews for Red Sonja

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

None of this would matter if Red Sonja was the least bit exciting, or sexy, or even funny. Instead, it`s lumbering, oddly prim and laughable.

Full Review… | July 14, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The dialogue passages don't exactly play like Noel Coward, but this is a movie that succeeds rousingly well on its own humble, Saturday-night terms.

Full Review… | July 9, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Red Sonja returns to those olden days when women were women and the menfolk stood around with funny hats on until called forth to be whacked at.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Worst of all, there's a charmless brat prince for Sonja to take under her wing.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Fleischer brings absolutely no playfulness to what might, at least, have been enjoyably light. And he brings out the worst in a cast that was ill-chosen to begin with.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This is a sword-and-sorcery adventure for those who like their action fast and furious, their dialogue ropey and their acting filled with more ham than a butcher's shop.

Full Review… | July 14, 2015
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Red Sonja


The third film in the Conan trilogy...well it pretty much was wasn't it. This film is directed by Richard Fleischer who also directed 'Conan the Destroyer', the same studio, Dino De Laurentiis Company, made all three films, Sandahl Bergman was in this film and 'Conan the Barbarian' and of course Arnie starred in all three.

I mean lets be honest here, Arnie plays Lord Kalidor, the character is virtually a Conan clone, I dunno why they didn't just make him Conan and be done with it. I believe Sonja comes from the Conan universe originally (I may be wrong) so why not? I'm guessing there may have been copyright issues somewhere.

So its the same story again for this fantasy adventure, need I describe the plot? A small band of goodies up against an evil baddie leader and all her baddie warriors who are all holed up in an intimidating fortress. Arnie rides around in his rather unattractive red sparkly jumpsuit (changes to a black number out of the blue half way through) whilst Nielsen sports a long red mullet cut, but she's still cute.

This is suppose to be the weakest of the Arnie broadsword adventures but personally I don't see it. Its no worse than the other two and gives you just as much visual sorcery. In fact there's more fantasy stuff going on here than 'CtB', giant pet spiders, giant skeleton bridges, a metallic sea monster thingy and a silly 'Flash Gordon' style baddie wizard. This film boarders more on other films such as 'Krull' and a bit of 'Willow' in my opinion.

Reasonable amounts of blood and limb chopping but not overkill. Everything looks a bit tacky later on in the film but again no worse than the other two films. Unfortunately there is an annoying kid in this film, kinda like Data from 'The Goonies' or Short Round from 'Temple of Doom' (same kid actor there), tends to give the film a more slapstick approach at times, 'Conan the Barbarian' was always the most grown up of the three.

At this point I reckon Arnie was possibly getting worried he may end up typecast as a barbarian meathead in fantasy films. I can see why this was his last as all three of these films are very similar and not overly wonderful frankly. Still the musical score was always in good hands with Morricone at the helm, how did they manage that? As a kid I loved these films, nowadays the rose tinted shades can't quite save them, amusing and naff, oh and the baddie Queen is a lesbian. Oh yeah, the whole story is down to Sonja simply rejecting her advances at the start, fancy that.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Fantastic fantasy adventure movie, I loved it! Nielsen may not be the greatest actress ever on screen, but she is Sonja, she just is. All the characters around her are lovable and courageous. This movie is more than just swordplay and horses, it's got romance, comedy, and beautiful sets too. Very enjoyable film.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Terrible flick, but fun to watch and snicker at.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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