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Flyboys Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… rah-rah-for-war … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Flyboys doesn't succeed as a wartime adventure story or as a period romance. Even the special effects, set in a historical context, are too ho-hum to save this over-long and tedious film.

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  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    This is a lost opportunity on an epic scale. The actors are so styled and the dogfights so drippy with CG that, as a period piece, the movie almost looks like it's set in the future.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Just about everything in the video-gamey World War I picture Flyboys rings false, although the planes certainly are terrific.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    A decidedly old-fashioned war film that reaches for epic sweep but is often bogged down in cliched drama and two-dimensional characters.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

WWI pilots make like heroes in bland adventure.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action drama is set during World War I, so the combat on the ground is awkward and somewhat brutal (though only briefly seen), while the newfangled "flying machine" combat is romanticized. Battles tend to include slow motion sequences and grand music, characters are shot in their cockpits and slump over, bleeding, and a couple of planes crash. One character is shot down by airplanes after he has crash-landed. Another suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, drinking too much and behaving erratically, worrying his fellow flyers. A central character is shot (not fatally) while escaping the Germans. A brief scene following a pilot's crash shows him in a French bordello, where the prostitutes appear in their underwear and he undresses to his own underwear in order to have his injury dressed (he's embarrassed by this). Characters drink liquor, smoke cigarettes and cigars, and use occasional mild profanity.

  • Families can talk about the history of World War I, which introduced planes as weapons and vehicles of warfare. How do the American flyers help the French cause before the United States enters the war? Why did the United States finally decide to get involved in the war? How has warfare changed since WWI? What is the movie's ultimate message about war?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Brave young men learn to work as a team (in the air and on the ground).

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Action includes a brief boxing scene, several dog-fighting scenes (shooting at and from planes, mildly bloody injuries, a couple of deaths, crashes); some tense scenes involve shooting at planes from the ground (and narrow escapes), as well as shooting in trench warfare; a main character is shot in the shoulder (minor blood visible).

  • sex false3

    Sex: When Blaine crashes, he's tended to in a brothel, where he sees women in lacy underwear; Blaine appears undressed as Lucienne dresses his leg wound; later, they kiss.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent mild language ("hell," "damn," "goddamn"); white flyers make racist remarks to the black pilot when he enters a bar.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette smoking and some drinking (at bars and in tribute to military missions).