The Warriors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Warriors Reviews

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September 16, 2017
The Warriors are a red leather vest (with no shirt) wearing 1970s street gang from Coney Island who travel to Central Park where one powerful gang leader wants to unite all the gangs of New York City. Can you dig it? The plan fails immediately when someone shoots the leader and then blames The Warriors for the assassination. Our heroes then have to fight every gang between Central Park and Coney Island in order to get home. Gangs include the bat wielding Baseball Furies, the school bus riding Turnbull AC's, the all-girl Lizzies, the overall-wearing Punks, Chinatown's Savage Huns, and many, many, more awesomely costumed and colorful gangs. This film is likely one of my desert island films, as in, if I were trapped on a deserted island and could only take ten films with me, what films would they be? For such a list, you might not jump to Ingmar Bergman or other heady fare, but might rather seek pure escapist entertainment, and that is exactly what this film excels in. "The Warriors" is a film that I have lost all objectivity on. I don't know how many times I've watched it and can probably quote almost every line. I love the film's gritty, grimy 1970s pre-Giuliani NYC feel. It's not necessarily a realistic representation of the city, as was "The French Connection," but is a comic book version that is utterly enthralling. "The Warriors" was notorious at the time of it's release for incidents of gang violence breaking out in the theaters, which were attributed to the level of violence in the film. Though the violence is comparatively tame by todays standards, it none-the-less remains wildly exciting even by modern standards. Action sequences don't get much better than James Remar taking on a face-painted Baseball Fury, or the subway bathroom fight, or the shootout at the Lizzie's hideout. Producer/writer/director Walter Hill knows his way around an action sequence better than most directors and those talents are on full display here. The film has a deceptively simple story, but Hill gives the film an epic feel that I'd argue taps into Greek mythology, much like Odysseus as he faced his series of trials on his long journey home (no, really, I think it's there). Michael Beck is terrific as the leader of The Warriors (actually the Lieutenant, who's forced to take over after their leader is killed), as is the always great James Remar in his first of several appearances in Hill films. No review would be complete without mentioning David Patric Kelly as the crazed leader of The Rogues, who clinks his glass bottles together and sings his creepy chant, "Warriors, come to plaaaayyyyyyy." Look fast for Mercedes Ruehl as a policewoman in a park scene and Debra Winger on a subway in another. Taking place entirely within one night, the film never slows, has an amazing soundtrack and an even better filmscore by Barry De Vorzon, and features gorgeously photography of a gritty yet comic book version of a crime ridden NYC. "The Warriors" is an undeniable classic that in my mind cannot be improved upon. I think I now want to buy the old PS2 video game version of the movie, that featured a good number of the original cast. If you haven't seen this film, do yourself a favor and go see it immediately!
½ September 16, 2017
After a lifetime of not watching The Warriors yet constantly being reminded of it's existence, I decided to take a ride in 2017. The chief catalyst for my viewing was being reminded that it was in fact the awesome David Patrick Kelly who played the villainous Luther in his debut film role, and screeched the iconic "Warriors... come out and playyyayyy!". So on I watched, and thoughts were formed. The Warriors is well made & entertaining- that's my report card for it. On a side note I was shocked by the raging misogyny and the oddness of the homophobia coming from dudes wearing such objectively homoerotic gear. James Remar's character sexually assaults two women and is somehow treated as one of the "good guys". Maybe the asshole of the good guys, but still shocking nonetheless. I can't believe I was alive when this came out. Not quite a year old, but alive enough to watch it for the first time 38 years later and feel some retroactive revulsion. Aside from the macho rapey shit, top marks. Hey that's the guy from "Xanadu"! I bet he hates hearing that.
September 13, 2017
The gangs, the outfits and fights. This was a good movie
August 10, 2017
I love this movie. I have loved this movie since I was younger. I think what made me first love this movie was the unqiue story. Yes, I do call it unique. For what it turned out to be from the book.....I'd say this is pretty well done. Pretty easy to follow plot and such. The atmosphere adds a nice touch throughout. I really had no problems with the acting, thought it was actually pretty good. I will make a suggestion though, avoid the directors cut. Also, I must give points to the movie since it used the area it was based on and also using locals, think that should count for something! For a "gang" it does not focus that much on violence overall.
April 24, 2017
caaaaaaaan yoooooouu diiiig iiiittt. Damn, I love this film. Simple story, Run & fight.
April 2, 2017
Cheesy but it was okay. C
March 23, 2017
Great Acting, Period
March 13, 2017
Great flick. Nothing else to say.
March 11, 2017
You Warriors are good. Real good.
March 6, 2017
As rebellious movies go it's not rapturous but saying that it throws in the odd pop art moment. A simple story but which alludes to old warrior battles from ancient times and can be just the sane as today and it's compelling enough to hold attention, the direction is great and the actors do a pretty decent job. Certainly worth watching.
February 4, 2017
Best gang film ever.
February 2, 2017
Even though there are some tedious slower moments and the constant running around can grow wearisome at times this is still a solid crime action film that has plenty of great fight scenes that are well choreographed coupled with strong stunts, the score/soundtrack is excellent, the cast are all convincing, I like the different styles of the gangs and even though the plot is relatively barebones it still gets across plenty of themes and has a great many iconic moments.
December 16, 2016
This movie is a cult classic that has no stoppage in action. The characters are the best part of the whole film, I say this because each character has their specified personality and role in the gang.
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.
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