Top Gun (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Top Gun (1986)



Critic Consensus: Though it features some of the most memorable and electrifying aereial footage shot with an expert eye for action, Top Gun offers too little for non-adolescent viewers to chew on when its characters aren't in the air.

Movie Info

Devil-may-care navy pilot Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training. Here he vies with Tom Kasansky (Val Kilmer) for the coveted "Top Gun" award. When not so occupied, Mitchell carries on a romance with civilian consultant Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). Shaken up by the death of a friend, Mitchell loses the Top Gun honor to Kasansky. Worried that he may have lost his nerve, Mitchell is given a chance to redeem himself during a tense international crisis involving a crippled US vessel and a flock of predatory enemy planes. The story wasn't new in 1986, but Top Gun scored with audiences on the strength of its visuals, especially the vertigo-inducing aerial sequences. The film made more money than any other film in 1986 and even spawned a 1989 takeoff, Hot Shots. An Academy Award went to the Giogio Moroder-Tom Whitlock song "Take My Breath Away." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Jim Cash, Jack Epps, Jr.
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 20, 1998
Box Office: $3.0M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Tom Cruise
as Lt. Pete `Maverick' ...
Kelly McGillis
as Charlotte Blackwood
Anthony Edwards
as Lt. Nick `Goose' Bra...
Val Kilmer
as Lt. Tom `Iceman' Kaz...
Tom Skerritt
as Cdr. Mike `Viper' Me...
Michael Ironside
as Lt. Cdr. Heatherly `...
Meg Ryan
as Carole Bradshaw
Barry Tubb
as Wolfman
Whip Hubley
as Hollywood
James Tolkan
as Stinger
Randall Brady
as Lieutenant Davis
Duke Stroud
as Air Boss Johnson
Ron Clark
as Inquiry Commander
Frank Pesce
as Bartender
Pete Pettigrew
as Perry Siedenthal
Troy Hunter
as Radio Operator
Linda Rae Jurgens
as Mrs. Metcalf
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Top Gun

Critic Reviews for Top Gun

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (9)

There are elements that hold up - especially Cruise's blinding charisma. The aerial scenes are still thrilling, and perfectly suited to a giant screen. Everything else? Well, that depends on how nostalgic you're feeling.

Full Review… | February 7, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The aerial sequences in Top Gun are as thrilling -- while remaining coherent -- as any ever put on film.

Full Review… | February 6, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Whether you love Top Gun or hate it -- or hate yourself for loving it -- the fact is that when it became the top-grossing film of 1986, Hollywood in its infinite wisdom took all of the worst lessons from its success and overlooked what made it so... fun.

Full Review… | August 25, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Top Gun is about the training of the Navy's best fighter pilots and their blooding in cold war incidents, and the only thing Director Tony Scott has not brought up to date is the story.

Full Review… | March 8, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Every moment is hyped for maximum visual and visceral impact, but Scott doesn't display the slightest bit of interest (or belief) in the actual characters and situations.

Full Review… | March 8, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Set in the world of naval fighter pilots, pic has strong visuals and pretty young people in stylish clothes and a non-stop soundtrack.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Top Gun

Top Gun is a really good film, and is well worth watching. It is entertaining to watch, as something is always happening. Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a cocky pilot, who goes to Top Gun - for the best of the best. He is quite big headed, and gets the lady he likes .. eventually!!! There are some great moments in this play - funny, happy and sad. It has something for everyone - comedy, action, romance. It is really worth buying this film, as it is great to watch, however many times you have seen it. This film has stood the test of time. It came out about 20 years ago, and yet it is still enjoyed by many people. which just proves what a fantastic film it is! 4 Stars 2-1-2001 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


One can appreciate the film for being iconic, yet it is frustratingly bland and corny. Though Top Gun is full of action, nothing really happens, and the charming romance that inspires the classic hit "Take My Breath Away" becomes a vague, second-thought.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Top Gun Quotes

– Submitted by Emilie D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Nova Q (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Nova Q (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Roxane L (3 years ago)

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