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Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

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  • Summary: Three horny high-school boys come across an online ad from an older woman looking for sex. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their erotic curiosity. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying "holy" force with a fatal agenda. (PhaseThree horny high-school boys come across an online ad from an older woman looking for sex. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their erotic curiosity. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying "holy" force with a fatal agenda. (Phase 4 Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 22, 2011
    75
    Red State is as profane and anti-establishment as any of his other films, but the stakes are infinitely higher this time: This Kevin Smith movie has an astonishing body count.
  2. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 21, 2011
    67
    Red State is gloriously unencumbered by fidelity to genre conventions, which lends it a thrilling element of unpredictability even when the action frequently grows shrill and heavy-handed.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Sep 26, 2011
    60
    This is one of those movies that's "interesting" rather than ˜"good". Smith has so much solid material to deliver that it's a shame the package is so sloppily wrapped.
  4. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    For all its boisterous profanity and splattery violence, the film is more of a weary sigh than a sputtering volley of indignation.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 20, 2011
    50
    It's a charming if conspicuously unfinished film, a half-riotous, half-idiotic send-up of the teen horror genre with a vaguely hip political twist.
  6. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 24, 2011
    40
    Smith isn't up to doing anything other than setting up caricatures and then knocking them down.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 30, 2011
    20
    Ugly characterizations and simplistic preachiness negate the terror in Red State - a film that eventually proves horrific in ways unintended by writer/director Kevin Smith.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Dec 20, 2011
    10
    Is this really a Kevin Smith film? The stylized dialogue is most certainly his but the relentless seriousness is a brand new feather in hisIs this really a Kevin Smith film? The stylized dialogue is most certainly his but the relentless seriousness is a brand new feather in his cap. A Tarantino-esque thrill ride fraught with moralistic angst in this plausible plot of the battle of good verses evil becoming evil verses good. Christian fundamentalist executioners in a range war with a "take no prisoners" government agency is the theme that is subtly underpinned by memorable characters for their very human characteristics. Raw yet believable acting abounds in this freakish "what if" storyline. Anything but fantasy it will have your nerve ends jangling at the harsh reality on offer, there are next to no excuses on offer for the in-your-face subject matter and the way it is presented.
    As hinted at, Smith has taken a massive step away from his tongue in cheek, humour driven main body of work and given us reason to believe that his talent pool is far deeper than suspected, and via Red State we get a precursor to that certain unforgettable masterpiece that will undoubtedly set him firmly on the plateau of great writer/directors.
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  2. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Absolutely loved it. Well told story, Solid acting, and it kept you interested from start to finish. I love the whole sermon the priest didAbsolutely loved it. Well told story, Solid acting, and it kept you interested from start to finish. I love the whole sermon the priest did early on the film, That's the scene that got me hooked, It was amazing. Kevin Smith did a great job with this film. Expand
  3. Dec 8, 2014
    9
    A fantastic film that comes out of nowhere. Kevin Smith is a down to earth guy, comes from nothing, and makes himself into something. SureA fantastic film that comes out of nowhere. Kevin Smith is a down to earth guy, comes from nothing, and makes himself into something. Sure he has had some completely terrible films, but this is not one of them.

    The film has doesn't have twists, but what it does have is misdirection. You never know what way the film is going to go, flipping perspectives and often at times making you change your own point of view. For instance at the start you clearly know who the bad guys are, but as the movie progresses you find yourself doubting your opinion on them. Not because they are good people but because of how things have turned out in the film.

    The best part is how it picks apart conventions and cliches you'd usually find in a horror movie or any movie for that matter. This film isn't afraid to get its hands dirty and offers originality in both its execution and its look.
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  4. Jan 10, 2012
    8
    Well, I think critics are being a little rough handed with my favorite NJ film maker. I loved this movie. Horror satire that presentsWell, I think critics are being a little rough handed with my favorite NJ film maker. I loved this movie. Horror satire that presents architypes of three pretty prominent issues can very easily get tired, for they've been presented over and over. Simply the fact that I remained connected to the screen, in awe of Michael Parks stunning and completely unnerviing performance, laughed at the traditional sharp Smith dialogue, and shook my head because even under the guise of satire, one still can't help but think that it's only maybe the slightest exaggeration in this day and age, made me come to conclude that this was a shining example of Smith's multiple talents as writer, director, filmmaker. Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    Kevin Smith's latest film does not feature Jay or Silent Bob, and it's most defiantly not what you're used to seeing from the acclaimedKevin Smith's latest film does not feature Jay or Silent Bob, and it's most defiantly not what you're used to seeing from the acclaimed director. Smith not only directed and wrote this film, but he also produced it independently, keeping it out of theaters, but how come? The answer is simple, it's Smith's unique personality and ability to show a film in a context that is as real as possible. Red State is a fictional type story that resembles and mocks the events in Waco. Three High School kids, from a small town, decide to use the internet to find a prostitute. They think they found a bargain, but when they arrived they quickly discovered that all their lives are now in danger. The woman who placed the add, belongs to a religious cult, who owns a compound, where they execute sinners. Michael Parks plays the leader of this group, Abin Copper, and in ever sense of the word he is nothing but brillient! As the pastor with two personalities, a public and private persona, Parks is able to really give us an inside look at what is really going on inside the minds of these people, it really was a great performance. The other standout from this cast is John Goodman, who plays the lead FBI agent in charge, who has to battle his conscious at the same time he's battling Cooper. Red State is a dark and extremely graphic depiction of what life is like in an ultra religious, super conservative environment. Some of the graphic speeches and violence can be hard to watch, but the acting is off the charts good, and you can't ask for a more creative or innovative writer than Kevin Smith. As usual, this film isn't for everyone, but I really loved it. Expand
  6. Oct 20, 2011
    7
    Kevin Smith has always been able to defy genres with his films but Red State may be the best at it as it works as both a horror film and aKevin Smith has always been able to defy genres with his films but Red State may be the best at it as it works as both a horror film and a satire.
    Red State tells the tale of Travis, Billy Ray and Jarod who find a woman open to a foursome online and head into the back end of nowhere to meet her. However she is a member of a Christian group hell bent on redeeming sinners. Sure its a played out idea but the way its executed is both surprising and extremely entertaining. Smith manages to make the horror original and well and truly haunting in places, with his satire being to the point but not overbearing with it being more comic than anything. The elements come together well to provide a seriously fun little film that does pose some questions while both making you laugh and scaring you in an extremely real way.
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  7. Nov 5, 2011
    0
    This film worked on zero levels. As a horror film, it was dismal. Christian fundamentalist caricatures with guns are not scary, and neitherThis film worked on zero levels. As a horror film, it was dismal. Christian fundamentalist caricatures with guns are not scary, and neither are shootouts with the ATF. As a satire, it was overblown. Subtlety is not something I necessarily expect out of Kevin Smith, but the religious, social, and political commentary here was less of a subtext and more of a bludgeon. Finally, the writing was terrible. Exposition was lazily shoved into clunky dialogue, the dubiously motivated one-dimensional characters had plenty of groan-inducing lines, and plot holes abound, including several occasions of blatant deus ex machina (which are not excused, even in a film with religious themes). This was terrible on all levels. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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