Radio Flyer (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Radio Flyer (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Two brothers are the victims of their widowed mother's violent drunkard husband who spares no rod with the youngest brother. Reverting to a world of make-believe, they imagine that their Radio Flyer wagon can fly and that in it they can escape their tormenting stepfather. This film deals in an almost make-believe manner with the serious issue of child abuse. ~ Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 12, 2004
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


John Heard
as Daugherty
Ben Johnson
as Geronimo Bill
Sean Baca
as Young Fisher
Tom Hanks
as Older Mike
Robert Munic
as Older Fisher
Noah Verduzco
as Victor Hernandez
Isaac Ocampo
as Jorge Hernandez
Kaylan Romero
as Jesus Hernandez
Abraham J. Verduzco
as Carlos Hernandez
T.J. Evans
as Big Raymond
Victor DiMattia
as Little Raymond
Coleby Lombardo
as 1st Fisher Friend
Mike Simmrin
as 2nd Fisher Friend
Victor di Mattia
as Little Raymond
Lennard Camarillo
as 4th Fisher Friend
Stephen Kahan
as Coffee Shop Manager
Paul Tuerpé
as Market Cashier
Reye Reed
as Restaurant Patron
Susan Gale Linn
as Waitress at Coffee S...
Dawan Scott
as Bigfoot
James Oliver
as Gas Station Attendan...
Michael Maiello
as Gas Station Patron
Hattie Schwartzberg
as 1st Ticket Taker
Joan Hyman
as 2nd Ticket Taker
John Mazzello
as School Boy
Hannah Wood
as School Girl
Elden Ryan Ratliff
as 3rd Fisher Friend
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Radio Flyer

Critic Reviews for Radio Flyer

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

Donner and Evans can't find a way to extricate themselves from the impossible structure they have erected. They remain locked into the odd combination of the dreamy and the dreadful that is entirely of their own devising.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A very odd, expensive, ambitious failure that tries hard to achieve the Spielberg touch but succeeds only in reminding you of how few filmmakers can successfully lay claim to his territory.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Radio Flyer is a well-meaning failure, a muddled fantasy about child abuse that ponderously attempts to combine the grace of legend with the earnestness of a public-service announcement.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A movie is not a public-service announcement, and a movie that tries to squeak by on intentions doesn't generally doesn't get very far. Viewed from any normal perspective, Radio Flyer never takes off.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A queasy combination of whimsy and child abuse.

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

If nothing else, Radio Flyer is an original: The first feel-good movie about child abuse.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Radio Flyer

An interesting story, but not all that memorable.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Sweet, sappy and predictable.

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer


"Powered by imagination."

A father recounts a dark period of his childhood when he and his little brother lived in the suburbs.

Not much material nearly grounds "Radio Flyer" pretty quick, but in the end the film is somewhat enjoyable and almost becomes one of the biggest surprises of the 1990s. Tom Hanks tells his two young sons about a dark time when he (Elijah Wood in the flashbacks) and younger brother Joseph Mazzello moved to the suburbs in California with mother Lorraine Bracco. Almost immediately she meets trouble-maker Adam Baldwin (his face barely seen throughout the film) and marries him. It is crystal clear that Baldwin is a child abuser, always choosing Mazzello as his target. A plan develops very quickly by the two youngsters to turn Mazzello's new wagon into a flying machine so he can get away from Baldwin's abuse. The film has many holes in it, but it still remains interesting nonetheless. Co-directors Richard Donner and David M. Evans almost turn the movie into a whimsical fantasy and I am not sure that was a good thing. It also seems that a lot of trouble went into Wood and Mazzello's plan when it would have been so much easier to go to their mother or local police officer John Heard and explain the situation. The film-makers wanted to show the movie through a child's point-of-view ala "E.T.---The Extra-Terrestrial", but a truly gifted director like Steven Spielberg is one of the few people that could pull that off successfully. "Radio Flyer" is above average and still pretty good in spite of numerous shortcomings. Ben Johnson adds an endearing cameo and really should have had a little more airtime.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

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