(2012)

Critic Reviews

31

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
67
It's easy to take most films' war-torn elsewheres for granted, and taken on its own merits, Red Dawn is a victory of small battles and heavy artillery, sentimental but rarely too hackneyed, energetic without becoming too silly.
60
Despite the considerable impediment of a premise arguably even sillier than that of the original "Red Dawn," helmer Dan Bradley's long-delayed remake of John Milius' 1984 kids-vs.-Commies adventure delivers enough thrilling action sequences and rock-'em, sock-'em fantasy-fulfillment to amp its B.O. potential.
50
Thor's Chris Hemsworth leads the pack as a high school football star-turned-Marine, while Josh Peck plays his stubborn younger brother. There's also a collection of junior guerrillas, including The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson and Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki. Take that, screaming North Koreans with no agenda!
50
Only those with paranoid fantasies of an en masse invasion on American soil will find Red Dawn remotely powerful. The concept should have been updated to allow for more complex and surreptitious kinds of warfare.
50
As a combat action spectacle, the movie takes a straightforward, gritty approach that makes for mostly solid viewing.
50
This version is unlikely to strike a similar chord with young audiences while severely disappointing older fans of the original.
50
Many of the original film's booby-trap scenarios are repeated here, but without Milius' grandiosity and nihilism. There's less of both in the new Red Dawn. It's not a disaster. It's just drab.
50
Ultimately, the problem with this Red Dawn is the same problem with the first one. Despite the more realistic battle scenes, nothing in it feels more fateful than a football game.
50
The best segments of the film occur early, as the setting is established with a dose of "Friday Night Lights" normalcy followed by an invasion that recalls "Independence Day."
40
Single-mindedly action-oriented to the point where Milius's film seems relatively ruminative.
40
The New York Times
In his debut the director, Dan Bradley, a stunt coordinator with a long list of credits, handles the low-fi action well, which helps divert attention from the bargain-bin special effects, bad acting and politics.
40
A new Red Dawn could have been so much more fun had it thrown a properly out-of-bounds tea party. (It lacks the signature brawn of original director John Milius, a guns-first libertarian.)
38
Hobbled by a laughably bad script and a uniformly uncharismatic cast.
38
This world is divided between the makers and the takers, and after just a few minutes of Red Dawn, you'll realize there's not much more you can take.
30
The new Red Dawn's body count is as high as its predecessor's. But the fatalism in all of Milius' projects - even the silliest ones - has weight. That's not the case with the remake, whose portrayal of violence derives more from video games than from history.
25
Unfortunately, the characters are so programmatic, the premise so ridiculous and the situations so far-fetched even if you accept that premise that no energy can be built, and the little that's there can't be sustained. Red Dawn is a vigorous but pointless exercise.
20
In this group, only Hemsworth stands out.
12
Slant Magazine
It feeds the warrior fantasies of adolescent boys with a testosterone-heavy tale of a war free of moral complications.

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