Red Army

Critics Consensus

Fun and fascinating, Red Army delivers absorbing documentary drama for hockey fans and sports novices alike.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 99

85%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,778

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

85%
Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

From Oscar (R) nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmakers, RED ARMY is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union. RED ARMY is an inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians. (C) Sony Classics

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Critic Reviews for Red Army

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (32)

  • By focusing less on his characters and more on a supposed dark side of Russian hockey, Polsky's film is less documentary than it is didacticism.

    Aug 1, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Who knew that a documentary on the Soviet Union's Red Army ice hockey team would be so gripping and provide a perfect microcosm of the stages of the Cold War, Perestroika and Putin's reign?

    Oct 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A fascinating and touching tale.

    Oct 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Fascinating, funny, heroic, moving and may even make hockey fans out of nonbelievers.

    Mar 19, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • It's a mark of Polsky's ambition and canniness that he braids hockey not just with geopolitics but also with personal history and human drama.

    Mar 12, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Polsky keeps things lively, both visually and with his editing. But the sometimes-lighthearted approach never undermines the serious business at hand.

    Mar 5, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Red Army

A surprisingly emotional trip through Soviet hockey history from the late 70s to the fall of the Berlin Wall with the traditionally unemotional stars of the Soviet team. Their stories are fascinating and the documentarians have a great eye and sense of topics to be raised.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

One for anyone interested in ice hockey and/or the cold war.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

½

For those interested in Soviet era hockey, this is a well deserving documentary telling the story from the perspective of the Soviet players. Although it lacks in any serious challenge or criticism, it is still quite informative and enjoyable.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Soviet Player Viacheslav Fetisov or Slava, as he is known, is front and center in this documentary. His transformation from national hero to political enemy is the dramatic arc of this tale. He's a cantankerous old man and director Gabe Polsky doesn't hide this fact. Right from the start, Slava keeps his interviewer waiting while he fiddles with his cell phone, even flipping him off (and the audience) when asked a question. It's a defiant behavior that pops up occasionally throughout their conversation. A former KGB agent trying to speak about politics is constantly interrupted by his young granddaughter playing nearby. It's these unexpected asides that make the account a bit odd at times. Mostly the parallels between sports and politics are highlighted. The rise and fall of the Red Army team with that of the Soviet Union forming the underlying background for everything that happens. Their success was proof "that the Soviet system was the best system". Fetisov's career is profiled with various ups and downs. Through it all he remains a very patriotic fellow despite remaining embittered toward his past coach. Perhaps the "bad old days" of the brutal regimen under which he trained weren't really so bad in his eyes after all. You'll understand when you see how this ends. fastfilmreviews.com

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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