67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
As long as it stays in the air, Red Tails is a compelling sky-war pageant of a movie. On the ground, it's a far shakier experience: dutiful and prosaic, with thinly scripted episodes that don't add up to a satisfying story.
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63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
There isn't a real, flesh-and-blood figure in the bunch. Everything about Red Tails - the breaking down of racial barriers, the military achievements, the courage and sacrifice - is diminished in the process.
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63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
David Oyelowo stands out as the daredevil Joe "Lightning" Little, the unit's best flier. With his bravery and bravado, he's the film's most complex character.
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60

Movieline

By Stephanie Zacharek
In the end Red Tails is mostly about the coolness of flying. Its heart is in the clouds, instead of with the men at the controls.
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50

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
You leave Red Tails thinking of what might have been instead of what is – a missed opportunity.
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50

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
The movie is so desperate to be palatable, to appeal to everybody that it doesn't taste like anything.
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50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
Every character here is so squeaky-clean, and the prejudice as depicted is so toothless and easily overcome, that the film feels like a gingerly fantasy version of what, in real life, was an exceptional example of resilient trail-blazing.
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40

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
George Lucas produced this candy-coated, fictionalized drama, and while its cast is first-rate and its flying sequences sharp, the movie is as glazed and wide-eyed as a 70-year-old comic book.
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40

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
One could argue that the target audience - black teenagers, Mr. Lucas has said - might be most receptive to a film that conveys history through contemporary entertainment. But this isn't contemporary entertainment, it's antiquated kitsch reprocessed by the producer's nostalgia for the movies of his boyhood. The story has been stripped of historical context - don't black teenagers and everyone else deserve hard facts? - and internal logic.
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25

San Francisco Chronicle

By Amy Biancolli
What's missing is any hint of realism. There's no grit to it anywhere.
Full Review
46 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.