Red Dawn


Red Dawn

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,101
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Movie Info

Set at an indeterminate point in the future, this drama with an overt anti-communist message begins as an ostensible war movie: Russian and Cuban forces have invaded the U.S. and are viciously eliminating the inhabitants of a small town, when a group of teens escapes and plans a counterattack. Jed (Patrick Swayze), Robert (C. Thomas Howell), and six of their friends watch in amazement as soldiers parachute into their town and start shooting. The teens grab a pickup truck, stock up on supplies at the local store, and head for the hills. Meanwhile, the men in the town -- after a minimal resistance -- are rounded up and held at a drive-in theater converted into a concentration camp. The sadistic Soviet military then make them watch acclaimed Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 classic Alexander Nevsky, as their punishing rehabilitation begins. Meanwhile, after minimal resistance from the adults, a Cuban, Bella (Ron O'Neal), is put in charge and is not certain how he can really defeat the teen army. The Soviets and Cubans have so far defeated the American Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, but these teens are really something else. After a successful ambush, the teen guerrillas gear up for future forays, when they are suddenly betrayed by one of their number and by doubts about the morality of what they are doing. Red Dawn is noteworthy for being the first movie released with the PG-13 rating, created by the MPAA after public outcry over violent content in the PG-rated Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins.

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Doug Toby
as Aardvark
William Smith
as Strelnikov
Vladek Sheybal
as Bratchenko
Frank McRae
as Mr. Teasdale
Roy Jenson
as Mr. Morris
Pepe Serna
as Aardvark's Father
Lane Smith
as Mayor Bates
Judd Omen
as Nicaraguan Captain
Michael D'Agosta
as Boy in Classroom
Johelen Carleton
as Girl in Classroom
Radames Pera
as Stepan Gorsky
Christopher Janczar
as Soviet Soldier
Lois Kimbrell
as Mrs. Mason
Harley Christensen
as Man on Pole
Fred Rexer
as Tank Survivor
Michael Meisner
as Russian Tanker
Victor Meisner
as Russian Tanker
Philip L. Mead
as Mr. Barnes
Sam Dodge
as Man at Drive-in
Ben Zeller
as Man at Drive-In
Dan Sparks
as Man at Drive-in
Ben Schick
as Russian Sergeant
George Fisher
as KGB Major
Zitto Kazann
as Political Officer
Chuk Besher
as Door Gunner
Jay Dee Ruybal
as Cuban Crew Chief
Pacho Lane
as Firing Squad Officer
Julius L. Meyer
as Latin Soldier
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Critic Reviews for Red Dawn

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (13)

Audience Reviews for Red Dawn

  • Jan 13, 2014
    Critic Adam Arseneau, describes this film as a Republican wet dream, which may be the most accurate description for Red Dawn. If I was Joseph McCarthy I'd uncontrollably ejaculate once this movie began playing on the screen. But the movie was released almost 30 years after McCarthy drank his liver to death with that bitter Commie Vodka. So I really don't understand what the hype ever was, the movie was dated the minute it came out. The characters were all flat, despite having a cast with Swayze and Sheen. I could care less when one died, and by the end I wish the deaths would come quicker, so the credits would just come on. Maybe I'm just not that into guerilla warfare movies, perhaps after I drink deer blood the movie will suddenly click for me.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2014
    The idea of The Soviet Union and Cuba launching a land invasion of America probably seemed just as silly in 1984 as it does now. Even with the laughable premise the movie isn't really all that fun, in fact its kind of depressing. I don't really mind that Milius wanted to make a down and dirty honest war picture but he does it while indulging in the worst cliches most of the uber patriotic action films of the 80s are guilty of (it practically fetishsizes small towns, American history, and masculinity). Also the film briefly becomes interesting when it sort of introduces the notion of exploring the gap between legends and reality but then it fails to go anywhere.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2013
    One of my favorite movies. So over-the-top and full of 80s cliches, but this is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. There is no end to the number of times I can watch this classic.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2013
    This film kicks off with a full blown invasion and has you glued to the screen. The action is relentless and only builds a little bit of story for the audience
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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