Red Tails (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Tails (2012)



Critic Consensus: Despite a worthy fact-based story and obvious good intentions, Red Tails suffers from one-dimensional characters, corny dialogue, and heaps of clichés.

Movie Info

1944. To help win the war, the Pentagon brass has no choice but to consider the untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are about to be shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. These intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country - and the fate of the free world. -- (C) Official Sitemore
Rating: PG-13 (for some sequences of war violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Ridley, Aaron McGruder
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2012
Box Office: $49.5M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Terrence Howard
as Colonel A.J. Bullard
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Major Emmanuel Stanc...
Bryan Cranston
as Colonel William Mort...
Nate Parker
as Marty "Easy" Julian
David Oyelowo
as Joe "Lightning" Litt...
Tristan Wilds
as Ray "Junior" Gannon
Method Man
as Sticks
Lee Tergesen
as Colonel Jack Tomlins...
as Andrew "Smokey" Sale...
Elijah Kelley
as Samuel "Joker" Georg...
Andre Royo
as Antwan "Coffee" Cole...
Kevin L. Phillips
as Leon "Neon" Edwards
Kevin Phillips
as Leon "Neon" Edwards
Leslie Odom, Jr.
as Declan "Winky" Hall
Leslie Odom Jr.
as Declan "Winky" Hall
Marcus T. Paulk
as David "Deke" Watkins
Michael B. Jordan
as Maurice Wilson
Lars Van Riesen
as Pretty Boy
Rick Otto
as Flynt
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Red Tails

Critic Reviews for Red Tails

All Critics (128) | Top Critics (32)

There's no sense of threat or danger: this is a film with its head stuck firmly in the clouds.

Full Review… | June 6, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

George Lucas's last big hurrah is a hackneyed ode to a group of heroes-the Tuskegee Airmen-who deserve better treatment than this cliché interrupted by dazzling, FX-laden dogfights, smoke-filled explosions, boring subplots, and oxygen-depleting dialogue.

Full Review… | July 11, 2015
Film Threat

One longs for more scenes between the ensemble on the ground, but the emphasis on aerial (and digital) technology leaves the characters without context.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

A patriotic but blatantly unremarkable film that could have been much much more.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

The actors' convincing portrayals and realistic bond with each other, along with the spectacular visual and sound effects created by Lucas, makes Red Tails feel genuine and powerful.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
We Got This Covered

With an inspiring source story, talented actors, and one of the most profitable production companies backing the film, it's genuinely hard to imagine where it all went wrong.

Full Review… | September 30, 2012

Audience Reviews for Red Tails

Excellent movie I can only hope it was all factual, and not points added to justifie race. Movie worth 5 stars

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

The movie has a made-for-TV feel to it and unremarkable characters. Nevertheless, it's an interesting history lesson.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


"Red Tails" is a movie of all flash and little substance. The story is honestly another run of the mill blacks overcoming adversity type story. Which is fine, but it usually works better in sports movies(dunno why but it does). Honestly, it could worked great here and probably been very inspirational. However, the filmmakers decided to concentrate more on the visual effects of the dogfights as opposed to the execution of the story surrounding the action. On that note, the dogfights are amazing, and should have been in 3D. The movie was shot with special HD type cameras(or so I've read) and it gives it a very distinctive look. The acting is sub par. Terrance Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. both do good(not great) work in their smaller roles. The remaining cast,of mostly unknowns, is just standard and probably could have been cast better. Interested in the Tuskegee Airman's story, then you should probably check out the 90's HBO movie starring Laurence Fishburne. But it you want to watch amazing dogfight action, and don't need a great story, then this is for you.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Red Tails Quotes

– Submitted by Philip S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Diego L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Melody B (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Melody B (4 years ago)

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