The Warriors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Warriors Reviews

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November 12, 2016
The Warriors (1979) C-93m. ?? D: Walter Hill. Michael Beck, Dorsey Wright, James Remar, Brian Taylor. Uneasy but neatly stylized adaptation of Sol Yurick's violent novel details group of kids pursued by other street criminals after falsely accused of murder. Strong design is basis for unconvincing story, despite good performances, intelligent production design. Understandably this film became a cult success . . . and inspired some truly awful imitators.
October 31, 2016
A fun set piece of NYC at night in the late 70's and a good show of how stupidly men behave when in gangs (specifically in a sausage party like this one, with its permanent whiff of rape...), making cops seem like the good guys. Yet its rather addictive. Artful choreography of violence, a true ballet of it, even if its very artificial. The cartoon styling is interesting for the time period, and different tonalities are respected for different gangs, which gives this paper thin story a bit more texture. You get swallowed in the highly stylised visuals, then somebody open his mouth and you are left facepalming, or commits an action, any action, and its systematically cringe inducing. In the hilariousness department, lets admit the costumes helps a lot.. That and the fact aboslutely no one but the warriors can hit or shoot, and baseball bats are surprisingly harmless. But its a good reminder that dogs rule the night and visually it never lets go of that.
½ October 21, 2016
Perhaps I saw it way too late, but I wasn't impressed, even though I love "survive the night" type of stories.
½ October 9, 2016
A walk around town with some of the coolest hooligans, and some of the best fictional gangs presented on celluloid. It's 30 some years old, but it's lively and trashy.
October 7, 2016
10 out of 10:

An action filled adventure movie that I can dig.
October 6, 2016
Classic film with an original plot that has yet to be topped, has great pacing and characters.
½ October 4, 2016
I have seen this film a couple of times now, through a span of a six years, and with each still viewings it still holds up. I was attached to the The Warriors at first, not through the film, but rather the video game that spawned off it a couple of years ago. When I first watched this, it was really fun and exciting to see all of the gang members come up on screen, even if they were only there for about 10 seconds. The film does have it's shortcomings and with each viewing, it varies how much the film's issues bother me. I may not be the biggest fan of this film, but I definitely am a fan.

The film was written by David Shaber and Walter Hill, and it was based on the novel written by Sol Yurick. Both Hill and Shaber have written a wonderful story of a long night with a group of men just trying to get back home. The film explores the gangs of New York City and their current status and power within the city, and it's comprehensively covered within the first 10-15 minutes of the film, through a couple of dialogue between gang members and a speech from Cyrus. Cyrus' speech proposes this idea that friction between gang members is stupid as they only fight for a piece of land that carries no significant weight and it has caused so much bloodshed. Instead Cyrus, proposes the idea of a union and peace between each gang for a much larger prize, the entire city itself, and fight the real enemies, the police. This idea seems very similar to the common stories of rebels who fight for a revolution. If the film explored this rebellious idea then I wouldn't really have minded as I found it to be really interesting. But after the complication establishes itself, the film starts to become something else, a rough journey of trying to get back home. Along the way, they stumble upon different gangs, and each one is as deadly as the last. I really had fun with the film's story, giving us something different and exciting with every pit stop. It doesn't lose it's focus by having pointless sequences, although The Lizzies sequence was a bit unrewarding for my tastes. The film also was able to give characters a sense of character development but it's mostly found in it's main protagonist, Swan. The supporting characters in The Warriors were a delight to watch as they had their own distinct personalities. I particularly loved seeing characters like Ajax and Snow act tough and deliver memorable lines. The film's antagonist is primarily one man from a particular gang, which I don't wanna spoil, but as they reach a certain section of this lonely town they face a different antagonist, whether they may be the Turnbull ACs or The Baseball Furies. The film's dialogue was average at first, as it felt a bit cheesy and characters seems to come off as over the top, but after repeated viewings I started to enjoy it more and more with me repeating most of the film's lines with my sister as it comes on screen.

The Warriors was directed by Walter Hill, who has also directed films including The Driver, 48 Hrs., and Hard Times. I haven't seen the other films he has directed so I can't do any comparisons. I thought Hill did a great job with The Warriors. At first, I used to think of this film as just shallow fun but my recent viewing gained me a sense of insight to the ideas and metaphors that Hill was trying to create with this film. I have seen both the original cut of the film and his new director's cut. The film I watched recently was the director's cut as the current home video release of the film only has it in that edition. This cut was similar to the original cut but the director added comic book effects during it's transitions and a Greek mythology introduction that draws connection with the film's plot. I found this to be quite annoying, as it tries to hard in giving the film a sense of weight. And also, I cannot really appreciate too much the references and connection with Greek mythology with this film, as these references are too subtle and I do not know well enough about Greek history in order to understand it. Though I did see the similarities the first few minutes the film had with the conditions of war during the times of Greece, Hill was trying to connect with. As I have said before, Hill was able to give this film some sort of depth through it's symbolism. I thought it was really interesting on the way he depicted the streets of New York, as anywhere we go it seems to create this sense of filth and like as if these environments were due to the effects of the war between the gang members of New York City; gangs have been fighting with each other for so long that they have caused the city to disintegrate. Hill creates this idea of the train as this thing that would lead them to the road of peace, or the object that would save them from the awful streets of New York City. It's not guns or weapons that really saves them, instead it's getting these trains with the doors closed is what keeps them from being wasted from vicious gangsters. Each time the train was placed at a halt, it seems to bring trouble for the gang. The gang just simply just wanted to get home. Hill was able to keep us engaged all the way through, with interesting characters keeping us entertained and fight scenes that were not shockingly violent but definitely brutal; just the bathroom fight alone, is enough to give this film a watch. The director keeps it's audience feeling tense and frightened for each character until they reach their goal. Hill did a wonderful job pacing this film, with only one scene really bringing this film down and that was the scene with The Lizzies. That scene just took too long, and really develop any of the characters. It just lets them be aware of something we already knew right from the start and it loses a lot of the steam that was built up from the scenes that preceded it. The ending of that scene was pretty exciting, but it wasn't great enough for us to have to sit through it for 6 minutes.

The film's director of photography was Andrew Laszlo, though I think he did a great job with this film but he doesn't seem to be involved in any other film that I have yet seen as noteworthy. Laszlo and Hill did a wonderful job in creating the film's imagery. They both have created this idea of New York City being a disgusting place filled with crime and filth wherever you look. They have also managed to create this sense of claustrophobia, with the possibility of antagonists in ever corner waiting to just jump on The Warriors. Laszlo was able to give us some great close ups of members within the gang, allowing their distinctive features to be imprinted in our minds. There were also portions where he subtly draws us in the drama through slow zooms into actor's faces or have the camera be close and focused on it's principal actors. He also succeeded in creating that sense of comradery between the gang, like as if they were tied by blood. The colors in the film was more prominent than I expected with each gang's "colors" really making a presence. Laszlo and Hill doesn't break any new ground with the film's photography but they did a great job in having the audience be sucked in and give the film's setting a personality of it's own.

The film's score was handled by Barry De Vorzon, who has also worked on films including Rolling Thunder and The Ninth Configuration. His score for The Warriors was very electronic but it brings in elements of punk and industrial, to suit the film's tone and setting. I really enjoyed his work on this film, and with each time I see this film, the more memorable the film's score becomes. Along with the film's score comes an excellent soundtrack with great hits like "Nowhere To Run" and "In The City". Songs like these give the film more shades and layers, rather than just completely rely on the edgy score by Vorzon.

The film's acting was not spectacular by any means but it was decent for what it was. The ones that stood out were Michael Beck, James Remar, Brian Tyler, Roger Hill, and Deborah Van Valkenburgh. They were really fun to watch and they seem to take their roles more seriously than others. The rest of the cast were fitting for the role due more for their appearance but they still brought some decent acting to the table. There were a couple of moment during my first few viewings, where I felt the actors were incredibly campy and cringe-worthy but that feeling seems to die down with each viewing.

The Warriors is an example of a cult film that delivers more than just what is shown on the surface. If one puts any effort in trying to dissect the film and see the beauty it has to offer underneath, then this film can be very rewarding. I understand the gripes that some people have with this film, and I don't expect repeated viewings would change their opinion of that. But I strongly recommend for the people who haven't seen this film to at least give it the effort it deserves.
September 26, 2016
Being labeled as a "cult classic" helped with setting the right expectations. And as such, this movie didn't disappoint.
September 21, 2016
Gang warfare in the boroughs of NYC, seen at their absolute grimiest. This is a film that's admirable for its inner fire, and its determination, if not for its execution or storytelling. In a sense, it almost works as a sheer abstract; lingering shots of graffiti-laden subway cars and dark, wet city streets abound, lending it value as something of a time capsule in the modern light. The plot is adorably simple, though, and overacted at every turn. It's no surprise to see this as the first or second film on nearly every actor's resume, although I'm not sure a more accomplished thespian could do more with the script, which left me laughing from its sheer absurdity more than once. It's more of a visual film anyway, reliant upon the cityscapes and quaintly-themed gang ensembles to do most of the heavy lifting. That's a wise decision, as it's generally entertaining to look at, though the aforementioned gangs vary from laughable (an entire syndicate of mimes) to, actually, pretty cool (lots of stylish fedoras in this flick). Unfortunately, there's a serious lack of violence for this kind of picture (flight seems to be the word of the day) and the second act drags on for so long, there's barely any time for adequate resolution at the end. A valiant effort, not to mention an influential one, but not a particularly good film of its own right.
½ September 20, 2016
One of the best Grindhouse movies of the 1970's
½ September 11, 2016
exellent all-around.....love this movie
½ September 10, 2016
Bizarre. Imaginative. What ever you want to call it, it gets the job done. The acting isn't going to blow you a way, nor is the directing or filmography. But the creativeness of the gangs is worth enough to make you watch it.
½ September 9, 2016
"WARRIORS, COME OUT TO PLAY!" This is a classic for me. I loved this movie. It's one of the few, where I don't feel guilty about rooting for the bad guys. And make no mistake, these were BAD GUYS. Hello, they threatened to "run a train" on a girl. And then there's Jax, who only wanted to do is fight, accost women, and he kept calling people "faggot". Aaahhh. The retarded 80's. My one complaint: Why was the girl there? Her faux tough talk, pushing people buttons, and acting all slutty irritated me. I would have rather there'd just been a female "warrior" in the gang itself. Overall, great action. Actual suspense. A fun movie. "RIFFs!!!! YEAH, RIGHT!!!!!"
September 8, 2016
Oddly satisfying. So...so much featherly hair
August 15, 2016
This movie shouldn't work - the acting is terrible, the action is silly, and the dialogue reads like it was written in HS Freshman English. And yet, it has the perfect level of campiness to be fun without being stupid. At a taut 90 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome.
½ August 4, 2016
A summit of various inner city street gangs is stopped cold by the assassination of its keynote speaker. The Warriors are framed for the slaying and they're forced to make their way home through hostile territory as every gang banger in the city is after their heads. Loosely based on Xenophon's epic Anabasis, The Warriors is an enduring cult film due to its frank depictions of sex, violence, gang life, and the cheap thrills that fiction writers divine out of such factors. While the movie does have some stilted dialogue and some amateurish acting in spots, I can readily see the pulpy appeal that has turned The Warriors into a surprise hit with lasting pop cultural relevance. It also doesn't hurt that its climax is preceded by one of the most quotable lines that an actor has ever ad libbed.
August 4, 2016
best gang movie ever! from start to finish it gets more ridiculus with the outfits and script. its hard to beleive they were gonna do a re-make... fuck that shit.. how can you improve on this? oh and David Patrick Kelly is a blinding gang leader!

p.s i watched the directors cut which differed from the original with some cool comic book transitions.
½ July 10, 2016
This cult classic isn't all that special, but it has its moments.
July 10, 2016
I can't believe I saw this 30 years after it was made! Classic 80's! This movie is as sampled as Blade Runner!

The blueprint for movies like Sin City!
June 25, 2016
It's rare to find films that hold up from the 70's that don't have some star-power behind them- but this is one of those.
Tight, visual, and epic storytelling. Watch the original if you can - the new release has some corny presentation style scene transitions.
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