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RED Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Stop! Or Helen Mirren Will Shoot. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Satisfactory senior spy games. 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The uneven humor, half-baked plot and generic action scenes keep RED from being much fun.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Unfortunately, while RED's stars may have gotten better with age, its many clichés have not.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The best part of Red is the spectacle of terrific actors being terrific in novel ways.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    It's a lot of fun and, because of the high quality of the cast, there's no need to feel guilty about praising such an inherently silly motion picture.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Even the more cartoonish performances, like John Malkovich's acid-damaged paranoiac, fit the movie's vision of the vanished, wild-and-woolly heyday of spycraft.

    Read Full Review

  • See all RED reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Well-cast action comedy is entertaining -- but very violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this graphic novel-based action comedy is rated PG-13, its violence -- which is comparable to movies like Casino Royale and The Bourne Identity (also PG-13s) definitely approaches R-rated levels of intensity. The action sequences may be accompanied by plenty of laughs, but the body count is high and the weapons military-grade. On the plus side, there's no overt sexuality, and the language is standard issue for the rating ("s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," etc.). Teens will also take away the positive message that senior citizens can still "kick butt"; it's good for kids to realize that the elderly aren't all meek and frail -- most of them had long (and in this case exciting) careers before they retired.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Does the humor that accompanies it affect its impact? How does it compare to the violence in other action movies you've seen?
  • What are the movie's messages about romance, adventure, and loneliness? What do you think of the way that Frank and Sarah's relationship starts?
  • What major differences are there between Red and other action movies? Is it just the age of the cast?
  • How do the "retirees" defy stereotypes in this movie? Does it make you rethink how you treat senior citizens?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie's message -- that senior citizens are still vibrant and useful -- is a worthwhile take-away in our youth-obsessed culture. Although there are some obvious conspiracy-theory messages about defense contractor firms and the government, overall the story is about retirees you wouldn't want to mess with. On the downside, the way that Frank and Sarah's relationship starts (with him drugging and abducting her -- with the goal being to rescue her) is pretty iffy.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Sarah trusts Frank enough to help him uncover the truth. Frank embarks on a fact-finding mission to clear his name and save himself and his friends from being murdered; another character selflessly agrees to sacrifice himself to ensure that the mission can go forward. Marvin overcomes his fears to join the RED team. 

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Lots of violence and a high body count. Once the protagonist is first ambushed, barely a scene passes in which people aren't trying to kill or not be killed. People are shot to death, blown up (quite vividly), stabbed, hanged, and burned. Severed fingers are shown, and a couple of scenes include bloodied characters (especially when shot) and heavily bruised ones. Weapons include everything from everyday office supplies to rocket-propelled guns, and you'd probably need a military background to identify everything in between.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Hand-holding, a couple of passionate kisses and embraces, and one early scene in which a female character undresses down to her slip. One character stares at a woman's bottom. Two characters' romantic relationship begins when one ties the other up and drugs her as part of a rescue.

  • language false3

    Language: Words like "s--t," "bitch," and "a--hole" are used infrequently; one "f--k." Also "hell," "damn," "ass," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Mostly cars like Volvo and and the Chevy Tahoe, as well as an older Chevrolet sedan.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult characters drink socially and do shots of vodka in a couple of scenes. There's also a reference to the many years that Marvin was given LSD as part of a military experiment. One character drugs another as part of an abduction/rescue -- the drugged character makes a reference to feeling "high" when she wakes up.