Red Army


Red Army (2015)


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


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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 (97) | Top Critics (29)

Fascinating, funny, heroic, moving and may even make hockey fans out of nonbelievers.

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

On the surface it's the story of one particular hockey player, but it reflects so much more.

Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

It's a story of global consequences and historic proportions, and of astounding athleticism and synchronicity - and filmmaker Polsky ices it.

Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Wittily edited and beautifully scored, "Red Army" is not just a terrific film but an important one - even if you don't give two hoots about ice hockey.

Feb 26, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | 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


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.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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