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Red Tails (12A)

Red Tails (12A)

Action, Adventure, Drama

A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.

The critical consensus

Lucas’ dream project crashes and burns due to thin characterization, hoary clichés and crude simplifications, making for a feeble tribute compared to Days of Glory, Rachid Bouchareb’s comparable 2006 drama about the Algerian contribution to the war.

**(*)(*)(*)Eddie Harrison, The List, 11/05/2012

George Lucas honours the African-American heroes of ww2 with a popcorn memorial that’s as eye-saucering as it is shamelessly corny.

***(*)(*)Paul Bradshaw, Total Film, 29/05/2012

The dogfights are exceptionally well done but the dialogue feels ripped from the pages of Victor, and the attempts to tackle America’s racist past are horribly heavy-handed.

***(*)(*)David Edwards, Daily Record, 01/06/2012

While this all-black war film shows some of the Star Wars man's old radicalism, it's still full of cliches, one-dimensional characters and CGI dogfights.

John Patterson, The Guardian, 02/06/2012

The story of how an all-black squadron overcame bigotry and won their wings in the Second World War should be an inspiring one, and in the air there’s certainly spectacle worthy of a Star Wars dogfight. On the ground, however, the script seems to be as gung-ho as a corny John Ford war pic.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 03/06/2012

This has great action, an affable cast and an inspirational story. But given its subject, it could have been so much more.

***(*)(*)Ian Freer, Empire Online, 05/06/2012

Alas, while it’s occasionally exciting, like everything else in the film, a sense of over-familiarity makes it seem all too pedestrian – and that’s the last thing a movie like this should be.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 07/06/2012

The brave airmen of the Tuskegee really deserve a better tribute than this.

**(*)(*)(*)Thom Atkinson, The Skinny, 01/06/2012

Like many films honouring the memory of honourable minorities in the grim days before civil rights, this George Lucas-produced war epic is an insomnia cure.

**(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews Financial Times, 07/06/2012

Excels in the sky but not on the ground.

**(*)(*)(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 07/06/2012

All in, not so much a wartime Top Gun as a fair to average actioner.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 07/06/2012

Competent aerial war flick.

***(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 08/06/2012

What a missed opportunity.

**(*)(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 08/06/2012

The storytelling style is naïve in the extreme but the film works well enough as an old fashioned action adventure while casting new light on an episode in wartime history that has been ignored.

***(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 08/06/2012

The true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a squadron of African-American second world war flying aces, is one of those amazing tales that you just couldn't make up. Unfortunately, this George Lucas-produced retelling plays like it was made up, and with very little care.

***(*)(*)Phelim O'Neill, The Guardian, 07/06/2012

A vital story that everyone should know about has been semi-fictionalised and adorned with every verbal and dramatic cliche known to Hollywood.

Philip French, The Observer, 10/06/2012

Disappointment gives way to frustration at this botched opportunity to tell an important story properly.

Ashley Clark, Little White Lies, 06/06/2012

Features about Red Tails (12A)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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