Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. 75
    The film is punctuated by violence, a great deal of violence, although most of it is exaggerated comic-book style instead of being truly gruesome. Walking that fine line is a speciality of Hill, who once simulated the sound of a fist on a chin by making tape recordings of Ping-Pong paddles slapping leather sofas.
  2. The world of his films may be violent, but Hill's vision is a delicate, subtle one-of individuals packing away the tiny bit of meaning and emotion life has granted them, and fighting to protect it at all costs. It's not a sentiment that can survive in cartoons; that it emerges at all in Red Heat is a tribute to Hill's still great talent. [17 Jun 1988, p.A]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Hill has gotten Schwarzenegger to give one of the best performances of his career, and Belushi too is thoroughly convincing as an action hero. RED HEAT is a welcome break from the shallow shoot-'em-ups that became the standard in the 1980s.
  4. Red Heat, a terrifically funny and always frantic flick that hides a fascinating subtext beneath its commercial veneer. Very commercial - this should be a boffo hit; and very fascinating - the premise that props up the hit speaks volumes about America in the twilight of Reagan. [17 Jun 1988, p.C1]
  5. Red Heat is directed in a fiery, muscular, pop-graphic style. And it has a James Horner score that puckishly mixes Prokofiev and rhythm and blues. But it's also a movie with a cramped interior. The action scenes seem to be squeezing out everything else, pressing the characters against the wall. [17 Jun 1988, p.1]
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Belushi mines quick charm out of his surly role. And Arnold, starched tongue in cheek, is a doll: G.I. Joe in Soviet mufti. He could beat the stuffing out of a toy Rambo. [20 June 1988, p.88]
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Schwarzenegger, who when he dons a green suit is dubbed 'Gumby' by Belushi, is right on target with his characterization of the iron-willed soldier, and Belushi proves a quicksilver foil.
  8. Thanks to a fairly good script, this thriller about a Soviet cop sent to Chicago to apprehend a Soviet drug dealer is a respectable enough star vehicle.
  9. Red Heat, the new Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, avoids most of the usual action-movie gimmicks and is better for it. It co-stars Jim Belushi and opens around town today. [17 Jun 1988, p.E1]
  10. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    There's always something touching about the diligence with which Schwarzenegger soldiers through his assignments. There's a play of intelligence and decency in his eyes that exists quite independently of his bashing. Of the Hollywood tribe of virile fists, he's the one who seems most sensitive. [17 Jun 1988, p.31]
  11. Red Heat is a topically entertaining variation on the sort of action-adventure nonsense that plays best on television. Mr. Hill's touch is heavy when he takes himself seriously. However, he has a real gift for instantly disposable fantasy.
  12. Reviewed by: Donna Britt
    Maybe it's too much to ask that rationality and surprise accompany Heat's blood, bullets and busted-up cars. Red Heat is just lukewarm. [17 Jun 1988, p.1D]
  13. 10
    Red Heat is poorly, or even indifferently, made. It's a joyless exercise, and too much angry resignation seeps in for it to be very funny or very entertaining.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. JayH.
    Jul 5, 2009
    Uneasy blend of comedy and action, but it does entertain. Arnold Schwarzenegger is fair, James Belushi is much better and well cast. Some Uneasy blend of comedy and action, but it does entertain. Arnold Schwarzenegger is fair, James Belushi is much better and well cast. Some nice location scenery in Moscow and Chicago. The plot is a little far fetched, but then again, that's fairly routine for Schwarzenegger. Full Review »