User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 94
  2. Negative: 22 out of 94
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  1. May 12, 2012
    6
    "Red Tails" (2012) is a film (fictional, but based on real events) directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley, based on a book by John B.Holway, which tells the story of a team of African- American pilots, in the Tuskegee training program at a time when racial segregation was diffuse and explicit in society and in the army.

    The movie presents production of George Lucas film
    "Red Tails" (2012) is a film (fictional, but based on real events) directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley, based on a book by John B.Holway, which tells the story of a team of African- American pilots, in the Tuskegee training program at a time when racial segregation was diffuse and explicit in society and in the army.

    The movie presents production of George Lucas film with excellent fight scenes and aircraft recreations, one of the best films in this aspect of computer graphics recreating battles of World War II, despite having literally a more "clean" and idealized scenarios than in reality.

    The land filming are also very well produced and well cared for, until the rebuilding of items used at the time and the scenario itself, but again too clean ans sterile to be real.

    The retraction of everything in the film, is reminiscent of a romance book with bright colors and spreading posters that refer to the fictitious character of the story without forgetting the important events they represent, and in many parts recalls Star Wars in some scenes (perhaps by association). However suffers from the excessive romanticizing of the environment of World War II, for example in the Italian city where the team has its basis, nor does it seem that they are in plain Second World War, in a country newly taken by the allies.

    My other criticism comes from the viewpoint of someone who likes aviation, especially the period of World War II:

    The recreation of the battle scenes are perfect graphically, with minute details on the planes, but is erroneous in part by using unrealistic characterization of the fighting, the ease with which German pilots were destroying bombers (it was not so easy to fly among the fire defense ), and in the fighting scenes, where many German pilots have almost no skills, especially against pilots recently started in the fighting.

    Another thing is about the explosiveness of various vehicles such as ambulances, which in reality were destroyed and not exploded in tremendous fireballs.

    The characters have reasonable performances, and different for the various main characters, who make up the cast, each with a distinct personality of each other, but suffers from overuse of clichés for both the allied Afro-American characters, as for the Germans (we have the classic German pilot scars on the face and evil nature).

    This among many other things that do not match, such as flight and strategies including the use of some aircraft in inaccurate roles and fictitious defense strategies, which do not correspond with reality. The research on the appearance of the aircraft was very good, but on the conditions of their use was not. Some combat scenes though graphically very good, just like the characters, are characterized and more like a video-game / light romance than a movie about war, which in other respects make the general overview of the film as a matinée of the 50- 60's, highly romanced and unreal.

    The unfolding of the story the film tells how this group, that was segregated even from the white pilots, won an opportunity to show their value equality among whites in battle theaters in Italy and Germany (at the end of the film). Among the main story we have small portions of drama and romance by distinguished members of the squad.

    The highlight of the film, is to show the history, which must be unknown to many people of the general public. Another film that must be watched on the subject is HBO's "The Tuskegee Airmen" (1995), which is a little more realistic.

    In the end, this movie turns out to be a choice for an uncompromising movie for fans of aviations scenes in general, or who wanted to know some more about this historic event, excelling in the subject of the aerial scenes, but sinning by the characterization of characters and excessive romantic dramatization.
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  2. Mar 13, 2012
    5
    This film was ok, but if were to recommed a film about the Tuskegee Airman, i'd deffinatly reffer people to the video store for a copy of the last one that was made. The story isn't as good and i can't really say that improved CG made the flight sequences any more exciting. Worth a watch, but i'd wait for Netflix for this one if i could do it again.
  3. Jun 21, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When I saw the trailer for this movie, it looked like it could of been a very good WWII movie. The film follows a group of African American Fighter pilots who struggle to get the appreciation that they deserve. The story starts with the pilots attacking only certain targets such as trains and trucks while the White Americans attacked all kinds of enemy targets. However by the end of the film, they are helping the Americans bomb Germany and attack the German Fighter Pilots.

    Positives
    The film tells the story that many people may have not heard about
    The dog fights look good
    Negatives
    The acting is not too good in parts
    Due to the choice in actors, many people may give it a skip because there are not any big name actors
    Graphics are also poor in parts

    The Rating
    I would have to give Red Tails a 5 out of 10
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  4. Sep 12, 2012
    4
    After having consecutively viewed two early 2012 wide release war films, this and 'Act of Valor', I can say that 'Red Tails' is the better, but by no standard a worthy movie of it's subject material. It contains a lot of unauthentic dialogue between the Tuskegee airmen (which is really the most crucial and most difficult aspect of a war film to capture) and effects that would be consideredAfter having consecutively viewed two early 2012 wide release war films, this and 'Act of Valor', I can say that 'Red Tails' is the better, but by no standard a worthy movie of it's subject material. It contains a lot of unauthentic dialogue between the Tuskegee airmen (which is really the most crucial and most difficult aspect of a war film to capture) and effects that would be considered the greatest effects of all time in a PC flier game, but are sadly just mediocre by today's standards for film visual effects. Throughout I remained unengaged emotionally and couldn't care less about the plights of these men, who I'm sure in real life had more struggles than those portrayed here. The movie is also a lot longer than could keep my attention and my mind began to drift to other things, missing occasional plot elements here and there, but I knew that the film would become redundant and I certainly could come back in with full understanding having missed nothing. I'm sure that the Tuskegee airmen are a subject not just worthy of a movie, but a great one at that, but 'Red Tails' isn't it. Expand
  5. Jan 20, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I had been wanting to watch this movie since I first saw the trailer. Now that I have seen it, it pains me that I have to give it such a low score. It had so much potential and is based on the kind of people I admire. I'm a pilot myself, and an aviation buff, and while I don't normally go out to watch just any movie, anything that captures the exciting moments and challenges of flight, especially the roar of a Packard version of a Merlin strapped to a P-51, is enough to give me pause. Movies like these are a rarity these days so I had high hopes, but in a lot of ways, this movie simply crashed and burned. (Note: Spoilers ahead)

    The problem with this movie is that it lacked depth and realism. I feel that it never quite adequately depicted the struggles and challenges faced by the Tuskegee airmen and never really offered any antagonizing moments through the duration of the film. You see some racial discrimination in this movie, but it is displayed in such a blunt manner that you begin to really question it's meaning. It can go a something like this: White B-17 pilot spots a black pilot flying a P-51. "Hey everybody, doesn't look like we're getting much help here," says the white pilot (though quite frankly, I think most bomber crews would be grateful for any escort, no matter their color). That's literally as much as you'll expect in this movie. It's nothing like Men of Honor, where one actually has to struggle through bigotry--in this movie, it just happens, and how our heroic black men pull out of this is by simply being bad ass.

    I can give the movie a bit of praise for it's CGI action scenes, for they do look neat, but they seemed tacked on. They do a great job in depicting the Tuskegee airmen like aces, and I believe, historically, they were in fact a forced to be reckoned with. They also depict the Luftwaffe pilots as arrogant bastards and lack any kind of aerial competence. Just watching the pretty dogfights were a bit painful, not because they lacked artistic elegance, but because the whole movie was pretty one-sided. The Tuskegee airmen lost about 3 P-51s (I was counting), while they destroyed about half the German Luftwaffe including jets, a battleship, and a train. Oh my! You also see tacked on romances, which I feel is unnecessary for a film like this and seems to do more harm than good. I won't go into the details, but it seems as forced as rest of the movie and takes up valuable film. Romances can be interesting in some movies, provided there is more narrative. Unfortunately, this is not the case in this movie. The characterization was a little weak as well. The depictions of the Tuskegee airmen were interesting, and each character had a unique personality. Unfortunately, it goes a little too far and depicted the boys each with discreet problems. You have a womanizing macho pilot, a self-pitying squadron leader, a young lad who can never stand with the rest, and a few others that are just contrasted a bit too loudly. The Caucasian characters in the movie are even worst, with dry lines that seem to focus way too much on antagonizing the black race. There is also a pretty Italian woman that was tacked on to part of the story. Unfortunately, she lacked narrative, backstory, and only had a few lines to say, which rendered her role insignificant.

    I greatly admire the Tuskegee airmen and what they did back in the war, but quite frankly, I think this movie didn't do them great justice. Realism was stretched beyond belief here, and I think in a movie like this, you need a little bit of realism to portray the drama. Seeing a German ME 262 Jet going head on with a P-51, both exchanging gunfire until the bitter end is probably enough to make anyone who knows anything about aviation, especially pilots, cringe. That, and shooting down half the German Luftwaffe makes me feel that whoever wrote this movie simply didn't do enough homework.

    I really wanted to like this movie. It had so much potential. The cast seemed appropriate. It was the execution that seemed disappointing. I this this movie might appeal to some people, but for anyone wanting a film that is a little more serious, they might be in for some disappointment...
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  6. Jan 22, 2012
    4
    I went an watched Red tails yesterday and...well I must say that I was a bit disappointed with the overall flow of the movie. I really wish that they would have just kept the main focus on two characters...I really felt no connection with anybody specific because the story lines were bouncing all of the map the entire film. No real outstanding performance from Cuba or Terrance. TheI went an watched Red tails yesterday and...well I must say that I was a bit disappointed with the overall flow of the movie. I really wish that they would have just kept the main focus on two characters...I really felt no connection with anybody specific because the story lines were bouncing all of the map the entire film. No real outstanding performance from Cuba or Terrance. The Tuskegee airmen were an amazing group of men that didn't get the recognition that they so deserved but I feel Mr. Lucas fell short on this one. Great dog fight scenes but aside from that I would wait for it to come out on DVD, don't rush out to see. Collapse
  7. Jan 20, 2012
    6
    Too much CG in a film that didn't need to have that much. Relied too much on the computer for simple long shots of an air base. Great story and it should be told. Thought the actors did a good job.
  8. Mar 26, 2012
    5
    I remember when I watch the poster of Red Tails, I think: "other boring movie about the war, or all this things?". After when I watch that George Lucas do the movie I think: "I wanna watch the movie", but after when I watch the movie I say: The movie is simple. Red Tails is a regular movie, the cast is okay, but I think some in the level of Star Wars, but no, in moments the movie is reallyI remember when I watch the poster of Red Tails, I think: "other boring movie about the war, or all this things?". After when I watch that George Lucas do the movie I think: "I wanna watch the movie", but after when I watch the movie I say: The movie is simple. Red Tails is a regular movie, the cast is okay, but I think some in the level of Star Wars, but no, in moments the movie is really boring, but in other moments is brilliant. I think that red tails is a DVD movie, but no a cinema movie. Expand
  9. Jan 23, 2012
    4
    This movie was terrible. The story could have and should have been much more in depth. I liked the idea that G. Lucas wanted to produce an all black cast, but this simply wasn't worth paying $19 for two tickets.
  10. Jan 30, 2012
    5
    "Red Tails" seemed to be trying to emulate those great old war films of the 1940s, but it lacked the corny charm and sometimes riveting drama of those movies. "Red Tails" was at it's best when the theater was filled with the roar of those P51s screaming across the movie screen. Other than that, it wasn't impossible to get through, but very close to a yawner.
  11. Jan 21, 2012
    5
    It was an ok movie, im just glad i saw it for free, because there is no way i woulda paid to see this. The story felt slightly rushed. Tristan Wild wasn't needed in this film and is probably the worst actor in the film. Some of the acting was good, and some of it was bad. I just feel like they coulda did more with the story, but this film was DECENT at best.
  12. May 27, 2012
    6
    Action was good but the story line was mediocre! If it were not for all the great flying scenes the movie would not be very good at all. If that organization was as loose as they portray it would have been a wonder if they would have succeeded at all.
  13. Jun 11, 2012
    6
    Besides the fact that it's about black pilots in WW2 this film is rather the same as most other fighter pilot movies. The (mostly CGI) dogfights are nicely done but the film drags on a bit too long and unfolds in an unsurpising and rather straightforward way. It didn't make too much money so I guess nobody was really waiting for this story to be brought to the screen (except maybe for Mr.Besides the fact that it's about black pilots in WW2 this film is rather the same as most other fighter pilot movies. The (mostly CGI) dogfights are nicely done but the film drags on a bit too long and unfolds in an unsurpising and rather straightforward way. It didn't make too much money so I guess nobody was really waiting for this story to be brought to the screen (except maybe for Mr. Lucas who has been working to get it to the screen since 1988). George will apparently also bless us with a sequel and a prequel direct by Spike Lee and Lee Daniels. Expand
  14. Jul 30, 2013
    4
    There are aspects of Red Tails that are thoroughly enjoyable, but the poor plot line and inseparable character traits ultimately led to its demise. In short, there are to many story lines to be properly understood. Had it focused on the love story/relationship between the two main men it could have worked. Had it focused purely on the historical elements it could have worked.There are aspects of Red Tails that are thoroughly enjoyable, but the poor plot line and inseparable character traits ultimately led to its demise. In short, there are to many story lines to be properly understood. Had it focused on the love story/relationship between the two main men it could have worked. Had it focused purely on the historical elements it could have worked. Unfortunately, it tries to tackle all three and the result is a confusing, forced, unsatisfactory ending. There is so little exposition that all the characters seem to be carbon copies of one another. They are all pilots, yes, but what makes them unique? The special effects, like many movies from LucasFilms, are almost to extreme to be believed, but the sound and lighting were dead on. Red Tails is worth a watch if you enjoy war flicks, but if you aren't interested don't go out of your way to see this film. Expand
  15. Dec 1, 2013
    4
    It was a long and boring movie that had no signs of encouragement all throughout the entire film. I honestly wonder what the director was thinking. Or perhaps, he wasn't.
  16. Mar 28, 2015
    5
    "Red Tails" is a movie of all flash and little substance. The story is honestly another run of the mill blacks overcoming adversity type story. Which is fine, but it usually works better in sports movies(dunno why but it does). Honestly, it could worked great here and probably been very inspirational. However, the filmmakers decided to concentrate more on the visual effects of the"Red Tails" is a movie of all flash and little substance. The story is honestly another run of the mill blacks overcoming adversity type story. Which is fine, but it usually works better in sports movies(dunno why but it does). Honestly, it could worked great here and probably been very inspirational. However, the filmmakers decided to concentrate more on the visual effects of the dogfights as opposed to the execution of the story surrounding the action. Expand
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 32
  2. Negative: 4 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 27, 2012
    50
    You leave Red Tails thinking of what might have been instead of what is – a missed opportunity.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jan 25, 2012
    50
    Red Tails is both a stirring and simplistic tribute to the men that not only shattered the U.S. Army Air Corps' racial barrier but also saved the lives of many a white, B-17 crew member, all while downing countless numbers of Hitler's formidable, jet-propelled Luftwaffe.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 20, 2012
    75
    Thankfully, much of Red Tails is spent in the skies, where fighter planes swoop and zoom in thrilling dogfights with incendiary direct hits. Executive producer George Lucas apparently gave Hemingway the keys to his CGI kingdom, creating marvelously designed in-flight action and a sappy, snappy salute to the Tuskegee Airmen.