Red Dawn opens with one of the most shocking scenes ever filmed; on a peaceful morning, through the windows of a high school classroom, students see paratroopers land on the varsity football field: the invasion of the Unit... more »ed States has begun! As their town is overrun by foreign nationals, eight teenagers escape to the mountains. Taking the name of their high school football team, the Wolverines, they wage unremitting guerrilla warfare in defense of their parents, their friends and their country. Powerful, chilling and absolutely gripping, this outstanding film features some of today's most popular stars, including Patrick Swayze (Ghost), Charlie Sheen (Platoon), C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher), Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City"), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) and veteran actor Harry Dean Stanton (Alien). When it comes to thrilling entertainment, Red Dawn wins the war with a vengeance!« less
Mary M. (retiree77) from TYLER, TX Reviewed on 6/5/2021...
totally implausible premise, but enjoyable cast.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wayne F. (WWIIpfc) from COLORADO SPGS, CO Reviewed on 6/11/2015...
It could have been very realistic. However since the USA is being taken over from the inside it's interesting, but not realistic. Very enjooyable.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Keith A. (Keefer522) Reviewed on 5/24/2013...
World War III breaks out and the U.S. is invaded by Communist forces, forcing a gang of Colorado high schoolers to escape into the mountains, where they form a band of guerrilla fighters ("WOLVERIIIIIIINES!") and start killin' lotsa commies for their Mommies.
Depending on who you talk to, "Red Dawn" is one of the most bad-ass action flicks of the early 80s, or a totally absurd piece of Cold War propaganda. I'm somewhere in the middle. Sure, it's pretty ridiculous now, but at the time it was made the USSR was still the world's number one bad guy so it almost seemed plausible.
Besides, you can't help rootin' for Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen and the rest of the gang when they start givin' them dirty Reds the what-fer!!
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
John L. (layne1138) from LANCASTER, OH Reviewed on 10/23/2011...
I was a little kid when this came out, so I had never heard of this movie until a few years ago. I'd been curious about it for a while. Finally saw it on tv in the last year or so. I would have to say this is one of my new favorites. It is very absurd (Soviet and South American invasion), but somehow they make it work.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sara C. Reviewed on 12/7/2008...
The US is under attack by Russia, Cuba, and their allies. The movie starts with enemy paratroopers landing in Colorado in front of a high school and then going into a take no prisoners attack on the school and town. A group of teenagers run into the mountains to escape. The movie then progresses with this group naming themselves the Wolverines and fighting against the enemy troops. The best way I can describe the movie is "The Outsiders" go to war. It was released in 1984 during the Reagan era and plays on the anti-Soviet emotions from that time and the Cold War.
Red Dawn stars many of the stars of the time such as Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, and others. It was a star studded movie that had mixed reception at the theaters. It is definitely not a feel good movie and shows a worst case scenario of what could happen if the US came under ground troop attack. It is also incredibly far fetched. If Russia were ever going to attack the US, I seriously doubt they will be sending ground troops into a remote part of Colorado hundreds of miles into the borders and be completely unseen. But that is the miracle of movies and the fictional world they get to live in.
This is definitely a guilty pleasure for me and not a movie I feel the need to watch over and over but I do seem to watch it every few years and it does entertain me. It is a "What if?" scenario movie that does not quite fully succeed but also is not a complete failure.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
I wonder if some people even watched this movie...
usarocketman | McComb, MS, USA | 12/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There have been a lot of dumb comments in these reveiws. All the questions are answered by just paying attention to the movie!For example, NATO doesn't appear because it was dissolved. The bulk of the US military doesn't appear because the front lines are in the Dakotas, Utah, Montana, California, and the Mississippi river. We can't nuke Russia because they destroyed almost all of our nukes in their first-strike. Also, Washington DC and the other major centers of communication are destroyed in the first-strike. Finally, guerilla groups always have a large success rate when they begin. It's after the enemy figures out what's going on and how to counter it that they start getting losses.But, to the review. I find this one of the best movies ever. Not because of some political statement (ever notice that the people who pan this like equal-caliber anti-American movies?, not because of the strong American support. No, I like it because it shows what would have happened if we were in the position of Afganistan 1979-89, or in the USSR 1941-44.I am just thankful that this movie, and nothing like it, actually happened. And, just for the heck of it: WOLVERINES!"
Brutal, Realistic, Shocking, but one Hell of a way to Delive
Thor | Netherlands | 11/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was walking around at the local dvd store yesterday looking for a nice movie to watch that same evening. My eye fell on Red Dawn, and I read what the back of the dvd said. I was tempted and it sounded like an interesting film, so I bought it and watched it.
Red Dawn follows the story of 8 teenagers that manage to escape an attack on their home town when world war III breaks out. They flee into the mountains and from there they attack the enemyforces with gurellia attacks. This leads to great, but also brutal action scenes, thrilling, but also disturbing situations and highly emotional scenes that show the human soul hurt and broke down.
As soon as the credits were rolling over the screen I was quiet and just gazed at the screen, thinking about what I had seen. The message had reached me loud and clear.
The casting of this film is well done. All of the actors act realistic and their emotion feels terribly real, which definitely helps you to feel for them. The cast contains famous stars that where all not that famous while starring in this film. It contains Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, Road House, Ghost), Charlie Sheen (Platoon, Wall street), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future I, II and III) and Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing). The rest of the main cast is less famous (at least, to me), but still do one hell of a job bringing their characters to life that all feel like real personnes in stead of just a few movie characters. The only thing that should have been different about this film is that you don't really get to know the characters before the war stars. After only about four minutes the attack starts, so you don't really know what kind of main characters you are dealing with. But when they are together and thinking what there can be done, you will see who is who and what kind of characters they are.
The film has a lot of action sequences and thrilling moments that will entertain action and war fans for sure. Also Drama fans are definitely on the right place with this movie cause it really touches you. Comedy fans will have to watch someplace else, cause there are only about two little jokes in the entire film, for the rest the film is shocking, realistic, even disturbing at some points and is definitely not for the faint of heart. It really shows what happens to people during war, how their feelings change, how their entire personality changes. The message is therefor loud and clear: war is terrible, changes people terribly and gives nothing more than destruction, pain and a lot of suffering.
The film has a true eighties look and helps to give the story a kind of gritty look. It is a well shot picture and although some of the camerapositions don't capture some expressions that well, it shows you what has to be shown. The sets are mostly outdoor and there are beautiful landscapes that help bring the story to life. It does not feel like being filmed in a backyard. The music is nice but isn't that present in all the scenes which is a pitty some times.
The film is still echoing in my mind. It sure left an impression on me and the film is an emotional journey that left me actually caring for the characters. A film that I will remember for a long time to come. How will it go with you? There is only one way to find out: watch this film and the message will be presented loud and clear to you."
An American Classic: Reagan-Era Cold War Nostalgia
Ryan Setliff | VA, USA | 09/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before the words of "glasnost" and "perestroika" entered our lexicon, there was Red Dawn. Interestingly, the film was released in the year 1984, which was the title of Orwell's fictional dystopia was set and it was the same year Soviet KGB-GRU defector Anatoliyn Golitsyn, author of New Lies for Old, came out with his warning that the coming openness ("glasnost") was a sham to put the West to Sleep with pacifism and disarmament.
Set in the Cold War 1980s, the premise of this movie is simple: Europe had gone to the philo-Soviet Greens and other assorted leftists who initiate nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from NATO; Communist revolution had swept Latin America at the behest of Cuba and Nicaragua; and a famine afflicts the Soviet Union following a bad harvest. The United States stands alone. What follows this malaise is a covert invasion by the Soviet Union and their communist minions in Latin America. As it is revealed in the storyline, the war is mostly conventional because of the risk of mutually assured destruction.
Soviet paratroopers come sneaking in covertly disguised as commercial airliners while their south of the border allies invade with thousands of ersatz Che Gueveras. A ragtag band of American high school kids are swept into the turmoil and fight back as guerillas taking the name of their high school mascot-the Wolverines. The natural leaders of this cadre are All-American jocks on the football team that guide and direct the feeble and panicky among them. Their party grows as they take on some young ladies and a downed USAF F-15 pilot. As the struggle ensues, they change from sniveling teenagers to battle hardened guerillas whose rugged individualism and character are forged in battle. The moral dilemma of dealing with a collaborator-a Benedict Arnold in their midst-makes the reality of war especially gut wrenching. Their fighting spirit embodies that of the hardened American pioneer families whose fortitude built a nation and vanquished their enemies. The shoot-em up violence is in this film is tame by today's standards and not that close up, and frankly a lot of the denunciations of violence following its release in 1984 were by liberals critics who found the anti-communist message in the film to be an anathema. Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense Alexander Haig had the utmost praise for this movie, in declaring, "This is one of the most realistic and provocative films that I have ever seen. It captures the stresses of patriotism, the emotions of love, and above all THE FUTILITY OF WAR." It was not received well in Europe and the leftists denounced it as rabid anti-communist propaganda. It ought to marshal up patriotism for any red-blooded American. Sic Semper Tyrannis!"
Peter Ingemi | Worcester County, Massachusetts United States | 11/22/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Many years ago when this movie came out it was the type of movie that can scare you, since the concept of the world turning on us and the Russians taking over was not so impossible.It reminded one of all the people that came before us who resisted what was wrong and either did or didn't live to tell their children about it.It is a well acted film and a scary one. It is violent but it is meant to be, it doesn't sugar coat the cost of resistance but it makes the point on its necessity. It even gives us a sympathetic character as a foe who when observing his men ambushed is torn by the sight he often engineered.Much like THE MISSION it is a distrubing film becasue of the truth of its message. Unlike THE MISSION it is a movie I can bear to see more than once since in the end right will prevail (but not on film), the fact that they are remembered rather that celebrated makes the most sailent point.This is a very heavy movie and should be watched as such, unlike what some think it doesn't celebreate violence, but shows the personal price that must be paid for a good cause."