Red Dawn (1984) - Action, Drama

Hohum Score



It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

IMDB: 6.4
Director: John Milius
Stars: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell
Length: 114 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 64 out of 399 found boring (16.04%)

One-line Reviews (224)

First of all; this movie is a bore.

This is a highly entertaining film.

" It wasn't until the Soviet regime fell through in the early 1990's did we look back at this film as nothing more than a nationalist, pro-America propaganda with goofy characters, a silly story, and unrealistic action.

Apart from numerous technical flaws (the horrible acting, a boring story without any dramatic peaks or even good action sequences) the morals of "Red Dawn" are so screwed up that half a century later we can only look back and shake our heads in wonder.

Exciting cold war era film .

So watch this movie for what it is, a fun action movie with one of the most intense opening scenes ever.

I'm writing this review shortly after writing my review of the 2012 remake of Red Dawn and all I see myself doing from this moment on is reiterating the same complaints I had after seeing the facile, bland remake, meaning that film failed at its first immediate goal, which is to improve on the original.

Anyone who has seen Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph Des Willens" (Triumph of the Will), the documentary about the Nuremburg Rallies, understands that even the vilest propaganda can attain the status of great art.

The acting is good, even if the writing seems a little contrived at times.

How about shut up and watch an entertaining movie for once.

The movie is much too long and gets incredibly boring after a while.

There is no real plot.

If you some some red meat propaganda, then you can sure find it here.

No real plot just a lot of battle scenes that make no sense and defy logic...

Red Dawn is still an entertaining 'what if?

Instead spend 2 hours doing somthing worthwhile like watching paint dry because i promise you it will be more interesting.

But it's also a predictable Eighties action movie, and a rather dumb one to boot.

Heck, even the Soviet Propaganda in the town during it's occupation is very believable.

The left jump all over this film because they say it is propaganda for the NRA or because it is not based in fact.

Other than that, it was a complete waste of my time.

Undoubtedly The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen.

Although there are moments in which the writers of the movie seem to express vaguely humanistic thoughts - such as when one American character wonders who will ever be able to distinguish winners and losers in this (Cold) war, when the American heroes turn against each other at one point and aren't so sure what makes them different to their enemy anymore, or when a "bad" Colonel shows a human side (in a horribly contrived scene where he writes a letter to his lover back home) -, "Red Dawn" sells killing and martyrdom as something cool without ever depicting the horrors of war properly.

Overall, I find the film to be very entertaining and pretty well executed.

A movie worth watching .

Great action propaganda movie .

This is a very good film - well worth watching.

But instead, this ridiculous plot is thrown in and drawn out.

All in all, the movie is entertaining, patriotic, and as realistic as Hollywood can get about any subject.

It's unintentionally funny rather than thrilling.

I would also have liked to have seen the communist countries starving and being shown as propaganda to our side and psych-war on the communist to get them to stop fighting and go home.

A similar reaction had taken place, only much more intense with a TV movie titled Amerika (which suffered from a lack of serious editing).

The Action sequences themselves are quite entertaining and well set, especially concerning that these kids have no prior experience in warfare.

Of course, in reality, only ultra-right wing crazies could believe a premise like this - like Oliver North - and a film like this, at the time it came out, could be branded propaganda for neo-fascist Olive North style policies.

Propaganda movie to help Ameican rearmament from the eighties.

Even though the whole "small group of kids vs the world" is an over done concept, the movie is riveting in its own way.

The scenes are slow, tedious and downright boring after the umpteenth scenario.

--GG: The film was an entertaining, nostalgic and highly commercial action movie from a time past.

It is well done and very entertaining, definitely recommended.

entertaining..time after time.

I thought it was an interesting idea, the action was good, there are some fun characters, and it can be intense in places.

Well made war film though a little too much propaganda .

It is enjoyable as the story of resistance fighters taking on, and defeating superior forces.

It's because the premise touches people in that way that makes it a compelling enough entertainment.

Screen Junkies's "honest trailer" for James Cameron's CGI-saturated propaganda crap-fest Avatar neatly and effectively summarizes that flick's message as "military=bad, trees=good.

In long shots, nothing happens; you just see landscapes or people standing around.

Taken with that perspective, it is a bery entertaining and exciting movie.

The action scenes are all pretty great, but unfortunately more of the focus is on the characters, which, in this case, is insanely boring.

) too long, making it even more boring than it already is.

Simpleminded but still entertaining .

Even though the overall concept of the story is a little far fetched it still makes for entertaining viewing.

but this film is deadly serious and dull.

The story is quite gripping, and the characters are fairly well written and performed by an excellent young cast (among them Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, and C.

The final fifteen minutes or so, when members of rebellious "Wolverines" begin to be overwhelmed by enemy forces were especially compelling.

"The most clever critics realize that thematically Red Dawn is a success, so they go after the acting -- after all, that's where half of Milius' conservative propaganda is coming from.

I caught myself rooting for the reds halfway through the movie, just before I fell asleep.

A great action film but more like propaganda than entertainment .

Red Dawn is worth watching in my view.

The film was an entertaining, nostalgic and highly commercial action movie from a time past.....

Being centred around teens and thus aimed at teens I imagined it would pull its punches and present a Disneyised version of war, complete with empty sentimentality and idealised versions of honour, chivalry and the like.

At its best, "Red Dawn" is vivid, disconcerting, and rousing, perfectly punctuated by Basil Poledouris' soaring score.

Even so, the focus on the realism of Red Dawn's background story is an attempt to get away from the really other stunning aspects of the film.

Propaganda .

Still, this film is compelling, almost addictive.

Propaganda .

It's hard to describe the movie, you'll have to see it for yourself, but then if you do watch it, it will have been a waste of time...

A classic tale of '80s youth empowerment set to a backdrop of jingoistic coldwar propaganda.

It has adrenaline and as a viewer, you're interested to see Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C.

But in fact, it was boring.

I really enjoyed it...

Very exciting and patriotic.

This movie has plenty of great action scenes and ones with intense drama.

Enjoyed it the first time and still enjoy it.

However, much like ones inability to pass up greasy cheeseburger or a sugary bear claw, it's an enjoyable experience.

The actors are compelling and it gives me a gung ho America feeling even though most of my life has been beyond the Cold War (it ended around 1985 really).

And yet, it is thrilling to see the patriotic US kids take on the enemy.

In that regard, it was highly successful and entertaining.

The very first scene of Russian soldiers landing outside a high school put me on the edge of my seat.

Schindler's List shows that Hollywood can make an incredible film, a film so compelling you can't take your eyes off of it, about something so horrible you can hardly bear to think about it.

I guess I couldn't believe it till I noticed that Milius was also behind worse movies than "Red Dawn", laughable, pathetic attempts at propaganda I'd seen late at night on some cable network.

I can imagine some moonshiners running into trouble with the Gestapo over the smuggling of contraband (including the human sort) out of the occupied Atlantic region, refusing to pay "occupation taxes", and keeping their children from attending nazi propaganda mills formerly known as public schools.

Red Yawn .


The cast is outstanding, the writing is clear and believable (the film is essentially an abbreviated re-telling of what happened in Russia during the German invasion), the theme strong and compelling.

Enjoyable indeed .

Such banality!

Arguing over Red Dawn regarding anything other than entertainment value is pointless and stupid.

Apart from this tragedy, the movie was okay, and had an entertaining plot.

Did somebody really need a propaganda flick like this to feel good about themselves again?

Corny but entertaining .

Soviet-American friendship cafeteria, well organized propaganda........

Overall, however, Red Dawn was a thoroughly enjoyable two-hours of my time.

However, for a person like me, this is an enjoyable bit of patriotism.

But even though it comes across quite real, some moments powerfully strong in parts, it came disjointed in bits, too where the suspense got lost.

After a while, the story gets pretty contrived, muddled and very unconvincing.

An entertaining action movie.

well shaped propaganda piece .

Just because it's propaganda, doesn't mean it's bad .

Much like "True Blood: Rambo" and "Rambo III", "Red Dawn" is propaganda of the most idiotic kind and leaves one looking with much skepticism to the soon to be released remake of "Red Dawn", where invading Chinese replace the Soviet army.

The person wrote a 3 page essay about how this film is 'dirty American propaganda' during a Cold War frenzy....

One day, in the town of Calumet, Colorado, high school students are setting through a boring history lecture when a group of Russian and Cuban paratroopers show up in the back of the school, firing machine guns into the classroom and RPGs at school buses!

I could live with this if the film was enjoyable in a really basic way, like many idiotic Cannon films are, for example ...

One scene straight out of a World War II propaganda scene occurs when one of our dying heroines booby-traps her body to kill a Russian soldier.

Quite entertaining.

Though I'm not American myself, I am used to the propaganda and flag-waving idiocy in the American media, having reviewed such horrible titles as "The Patriot".

John Milius directed this rousing speculative film accounting what might happen if foreign forces(led by the Soviets and Cubans) suddenly invaded the U.

Thomas Howell, the unpredictable Charlie Sheen, and the rough and tumble Powers Boothe as the Wolverines' main asset.

Of its time, but still entertaining.

All in all, RED DAWN is a 'big' '80s film but in the end I found it a little bland for my tastes.

Produced around the same time as 'Testament', 'The Day After' and 'Threads'-movies that were the left's ('Threads' was British)spineless attempts to warn the great unwashed that Reagan was a war-mongering madman and we, the artsy-fartsy set are going to do something about it-so, we'll make a movie and teach that awful Reagan not to inconvenience us by trying to win the cold war.

How obvious that this is a Cold War propaganda movie.

The idea of a Soviet Union lead coalition invading America was unrealistic even at the time but it nevertheless leads to a very fascinating premise for a film.

It explores war's effects on human relationships and loss of innocence in people who are contrived to remind you of someone you know.

Red Dawn is a huge piece of anti-Commie propaganda made out of cheddar.

Entertaining product of the time .

Any emotional scene appeared very contrived and forced.

And the lack of one-dimensional propaganda.

What started out as one-sided conservative propaganda turned into a unique war movie that is beautifully shot and masterfully plays on your emotions.

Besides the propaganda and an unbelievably ridiculous story (Soviets traveling undetected all the way into Colorado???

Laughably written and directed uber-machist cold war propaganda with extremely bad action scenes.

The concept could have been interesting, but it all gets lost in horrendous dialog, and dull action.

A bunch of high school students are bored out of their minds learning about historical battles, when suddenly paratroopers land on their football field and commence a takeover of their town.

They're emotionally tested in what is an inspiring coming of age through harrowing extremities and heroic exploits.

It is, as they said in "Cannes Man," so bad that even people viewing it on an airline flight wanted to leave.

Red Dawn is I found to be a fun and intense war movie as well as a good what if story As far as this movie goes I enjoyed it.

Upon my 1st viewing of Red Dawn, years ago, it was very gripping/interesting.

One of the most intriguing characters is a Cuban colonel (Ron "Superfly" O'Neal) who has his doubts about the whole conflict, and who yearns to be back home with his beloved.

But to make this movie out as propaganda is ridiculous!

The use of technology, the combination of "french underground" like existence and 20th century situations is fascinating to watch unfold.

Some adrenaline-filled action sequences are actually quite watchable.

I remember in 1985 gripping the arms of my theater seat during the opening invasion scenes with Soviet Paratroopers falling from the sky onto a small Colorado town.

Overall worth the watch.

A solid right-wing action propaganda flick .

People ill informed enough to compare the Wolverines to Viet Cong or Ansar al Islam in Iraq probably failed to notice that the Wolverines had lived under a free democratic government before being taken over by communists whose disregard for human life has become little more than a cliché in the minds of many.

In any case, overlooking the nit picking of a history nut will ensure that you get to see a very exciting and well written and acted movie.

) I have read many reviews for this movie that choose to focus on the "message" of the film as it relates to politics (the director making the movie as a right-wing propaganda).

Before the level of enjoyable violence .

Oh, and please don't waste your time on the remake.

Director / co-writer John Milius conventionally focused styling is packed with tactically precise action and lean dramatics favouring pulpy propaganda.

Red Dawn is wicked fun, the characters are well developed, and the sub-plots of survival in both are actually somewhat fascinating.

If you can get over that, it's highly suspenseful,entertaining.

But it hung together, and we all enjoyed it.

Over all I like the movie, a throughly enjoyable testosterone filled film that does make you proud to be American and realise the freedom is something that can never to taken away from unless your willing to give it up.

The opening scene, and a few exciting scenes are the only bright spots in the mess.

A tedious 'last-stand' scene is stretched out by dull photography focussing on a bunch of Bell choppers poorly dressed up as Soviet gunships.

Some of the scenes with the mountains such as Hermit's Peak in the background are very breathtaking.

it was just boring and bad and stupid...

Much of what happens with teenagers engaging in guerrilla warfare is a reality (especially in 3rd world countries).

However, it was exciting at that, so I gave it an 8.

Great movie and certainly worth watching at least once.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen .

Now, things are different and the picture is not more than an actionmovie, way too long to hold the tension over the whole distance...

but it's still an entertaining bit of macho fantasy.

To say this is an exaggerated right wing propaganda would be too easy.

The handsom 80s young couple Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey did redeem themselves 3 years later from this disaster of a propaganda movie by acting in the thoroughly harmless and enjoyable 80s flick Dirty Dancing.

Good propaganda action flick .

But that is a fundamental intent of all Right-wing propaganda: to scare people into killing others without giving them time to wonder why.

Pointing out that the Soviets were not led by nice people isn't right-wing dogma, it's just a fact, plain and simple, and too many critics use that flawed argument to write off this intriguing and disturbing portrait of the guerilla psychology and mindset.

The film opens with no build-up or character development, and we are just thrust head-first into Red Dawn's utterly banal, ridiculous plot in which high-schoolers are left to take on the Russian military, without seemingly any help from the Air Force, National Guard or police (and where did they get so learned in the art of kicking Russian ass, anyway?

The action is exciting.

But this movie stimulates such a thought, and gives rise to a fantastic and entertaining span of 100 minutes.

and nearly all of academia get to have their propaganda flicks, why shouldn't we patriotic right-wing gun-owning taxpayers get to have ours?

Overall, it is enjoyable as a stand alone action movie.

Once you consider the actors in this film, the enjoyable military fantasy story that it is, and THEN take in to count that you get to see Patrick Swayze unintentionally blow a huge ball of snot out of his nose and this movie is big magic I guarantee you.

It's stupid and yet very enjoyable.

And, as propaganda movies go, it's quite a bad one.

Fascinating relic from the 80s .

Since we live in a completely different world 20 years after its release, the film makes for intriguing comparisons now that we're engaged in "The Global War On Terrorism.

This is down right one of the worst movies i have ever seen.

Is the propaganda a little heavy-handed?

As improbable as the premise sounds, Milius and co-scenarist Kevin Reynolds of "Robin Hood" fame turn it into a propaganda-style shoot'em up.

The crude propaganda pumped at their hapless parent Internees, who show such pathetic courage as they warble a quavering "America" before the firing squad cuts them down, may seem "over the top" to a Westerner.

But watching it now, I found it to be largely unbelievable, kinda slow, but with an entertaining campiness about it.

How on earth do these kids, with little training, are able to destroy soldiers that have years of intense training and combat.

There are overlong, boring conversations fit only to be fast-forwarded past.

The rarest of Hollywood film types: visionary propaganda .

Though this movie appears to be a pro-American propaganda piece playing on a prevalent fear in the 80's, it is actually an emotional drama that shows a young group of people as they cope with trauma and struggle to survive in a hellish landscape.

Red Dawn is an incredibly entertaining and timeless snapshot of America in the early 1980's - and what might have been.

Without a doubt, Nazism was a force to be despised and resisted, yet "Triumph" remains a fascinating, even great film.

Is this movie propaganda?

"The most serious problem with the American Right and its paranoid propaganda is that it doesn't offer any of its followers anything worth dying for, any value worth preserving across generations.

And yes, it is propaganda.

that is a tad trite, seeing that they are our staunchest ally.

Repetitive scenes of our unknown cast of Brat-Packers wandering around the Rockies blasting everything with a red star.

I feel it was/is very entertaining.

Actually, now that I mention the "anti-soviet/communist propaganda" angle that a few folks here seem to subscribe to, let me note that Communist regimes tend to be the authors of their own worst propaganda through their very actions.

As propaganda artists go John Milius is up there with Eisenstein and Riefenstahl.

The peak of 80's propaganda...

On one hand, the actual movie is entertaining, features solid acting from the young cast, and has one of the best introductions to a movie.

The invading Soviets enjoy nothing more than wholesale destruction, not to mention killing and/or raping just about every American they can find, while the stoic young resistance fighters variously avenge their parents or 'become men' in a yawn inspiring fashion.

This movie in general is worth watching.

The movie is set away from the main battle lines and the young students are engaging in guerilla warfare.

That said, I rather thought the film was a decent-enough action film that had some good moments but was rather predictable and overly violent.

Why is that all made-up or Propaganda?

I found it unbelievable that communists would waste their time on a small town, without obviously going for the military installations.

Ridiculous right-wing paranoia makes for entertaining cinema in retrospect, making this a time capsule of the last serious years of The Cold War when America was starting to cathartically pump out action movies in which the anthropomorphized ideal of the stars and stripes decimates the Soviet army.

Taken together the movie is not great, but very memorable and worth watching.

If you want an un-self consciously corny and downright hilarious example of pro capitalist, pro US propaganda, it doesn't come any better than Red Dawn.

One of the teen's fathers joins the Russian side, the son too, giving up his group, when things get more intense.

The film gave hope, showing that if the Soviets attacked, the Yanks could still win (why they needed morale-boosting propaganda in the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse anyway, I haven't a clue).

Politics aside, this is a good enjoyable story of partisans in the war that never was.

It just isn't that deep, it's an enjoyable movies and that's it (Red Dawn not the Will Smith movie).

Entertaining WW3 drama.

This movie mirrors the deep anti-communist, pro-American feeling with which so many of us grew up in the early '80's, and as a manifestation of this cultural trend, it is quite fascinating to watch again and reflect upon.

Prepare for a mashup of a high school teen drama an action packed war film and some cheesy fun.

Entertaining WW3 drama .

Not propaganda, as some contend -- just a legit anti-communist opinion made entertaining.

Both films offer few thrills, but Bradley's was the more pointless of the two, having been released in the wake of "Tomorrow, When the War Began", another "Red Dawn" remake which likewise demonized Asians and portrayed them as invading menaces.

Most people, in neither camp, enjoyed it for what it was.

It's fascinating that the northeast of the United States didn't get invaded and that was the Free Zone.

The result was me sitting there in front of my TV bored out of my mind.

This film has so much right-wing propaganda that I felt I was watching the Republican Convention.

The premise the United States being invaded by conventional war in the 20th or 21st Century is fascinating.


This film was probably the most exciting action film I've ever seen with plenty of gunbattles, explosions, and guerilla-like ambushes of Soviet soldiers by high-school kids hiding out in the mountains.

pure propaganda .

Anyone calling this propaganda for Reagan and the NRA has to lighten up.

I have a feeling that the Chuck Norris B-movie INVASION USA is a lot more entertaining than this flick.

)It goes from russians/Cubans landing in a desertic small town, attacking the highschool and shooting everyone in sight (negating both 40 years of technical progress with radar/air support AND rules of War) to a group of teenagers taking out soldiers (but we all know how a trained football player is sooo much better with a riffle than a Commie with an automatic AK-47) and the most stupid propaganda (eg.

and on a base level I just plain enjoyed it.

But "Red Dawn" is well worth watching for one reason.

A lull in the fighting resulted with both sides trying to buy time to regroup.

Like annoying blatant right wing propaganda movies like these.

However, their propaganda is extremely well done and entertaining, focusing on very interesting characters.

However this movie was not planned to win Oscars, but present a rousing cold war film showing that no matter who you are, you can still help your country from evil Russian stereotypes.