Red Tails 2012

Red Tails

Critics Consensus

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

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 134

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 47,449

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Movie Info

During World War II, the Civil Aeronautics Authority selects 13 black cadets to become part of an experimental program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The program aims at training "colored personnel" to become fighter pilots for the Army. However, discrimination, lack of institutional support and the racist belief that these men lacked the intelligence and aptitude for the job dog their every step. Despite this, the Tuskegee Airmen, as they become known, more than prove their worth.

Cast & Crew

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Major Emanuelle Stance
Terrence Howard
Col. A.J. Bullard
Nate Parker
Marty "Easy" Julian
David Oyelowo
Joe "Lightning" Little
Ne-Yo
Andrew "Smoky" Salem
Elijah Kelley
Samuel "Joker" George
Bryan Cranston
Maj. William Mortamus
Mack Wilds
Ray "Ray Gun" Gannon
Kevin Phillips
Leon "Neon" Edwards
Lee Tergesen
Maj. Col. Jack Tomilson
John Ridley
Screenwriter
Aaron McGruder
Screenwriter
George Lucas
Executive Producer
John B. Aronson
Cinematographer
Terence Blanchard
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Red Tails

Critic Reviews for Red Tails

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (80)

  • The true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a squadron of African-American second world war flying aces, is one of those amazing tales that you just couldn't make up.

    June 7, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Red Tails has been described as "jingoistic, corny, ber-patriotic and old-fashioned", not by some disobliging critic but by George Lucas, its executive producer.

    June 7, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Like many films honouring the memory of honourable minorities in the grim days before civil rights, this George Lucas-produced war epic is an insomnia cure.

    June 7, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Disappointment gives way to frustration at this botched opportunity to tell an important story properly.

    June 6, 2012 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • There's no sense of threat or danger: this is a film with its head stuck firmly in the clouds.

    June 6, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Sadly, Red Tails tells its inspiring story in the most old-fashioned, Saturday-afternoon-at-the-movies kind of way. The movie occasionally flies but it never soars.

    March 2, 2012 | Full Review…

    Leah Rozen

    TheWrap
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Red Tails

  • Oct 16, 2015
    Red tails packs explosive action with great character development. The film realistically tells the story of the world war 2 Tuskegee airmen. It has greatly filmed action scenes of air warfare, the likes of which I haven't seen. It depicts realistic parts of American culture such as racism. It also depicts the German fighter jets in an awesome way. As I said the character development gives a happy feel to the film and it is very comparable with the WW1 themed film, Flyboys. The performances by David Oyelowo, Nate Parker, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Terrence Howard also deserve great recognition.
    Ian I Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2014
    Talk about an out of place actor. Every time they showed Terrance Howard, I felt bad for the guy. To have to do Red Tails..... Oh yeah, the movie. Red Tails is a well produced, poorly written, directed, acted movie. The fight sequences were very good and the CG was top notch. Red Tails doesn't have any punch, and the "racist people are all bad people" scenes don't evoke any strong emotion. Not really worth typing much more. It's not a good movie.
    Jason C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2013
    Really 4.25. A great film telling one of the lesser known, but still valiant, stories of World War II. These Tuskegee airmen flew some of the highest-risk combat missions in the second World War to prove themselves. Great story, told in an exhilarating fashion, with awesome air battles.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2013
    Having been trained to fly fighter planes for the Army Air Corps, the all black 332nd Fighter Group out of Tuskegee is tragically left with little of consequence to do except to shoot down trucks and trains, which Joe 'Lightning' Little(David Oyelowo) does in style before making time with Sofia(Daniela Rush), a local woman. All of which happens under the watchful eye of his squadron commander, Marty 'Easy' Julian(Nate Parker). In fact, they are almost put out of business but Colonel Mortamus(Bryan Cranston) overplays his hand, giving an opening for Colonel Bullard(Terrence Howard) to show that the Tuskegee Airman can prove themselves in a meaningful situation. When it takes to the skies, "Red Tails" is an entertaining movie with a handful of exemplary scenes. At the same time, the movie is more often than not corny and hokey. Sadly, this is in the service of telling an important history(the movie assumes the viewer already knows who the Tuskegee Airmen were while reminding us that racism was worse in the past in its opening statement) which frankly deserved better. Now, whether that is intentionally done to mimic a 40's war movie(with 95% less stereotypes) or this is the way the filmmakers imagine people of the time actually spoke is beyond me.(Executive producer George Lucas is a nostalgist, along with an occasional monarchist, so maybe that has something to do with it.) Regardless, the movie does look great, even if it does not always pass muster on a technical level. And as somebody who grew up on "M*A*S*H," I don't see what the big deal is with Easy's drinking.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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