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Red Dawn

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language.

Reviewed by: Angela Bowman

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
War Action Adventure Drama Thriller Remake
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 21, 2012 (wide—2,600+ theaters)
DVD: March 5, 2013
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Relevant Issues
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invasion of American city by foreign army paratroopers

North Korea

guerilla fighters defending their community

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

courage, bravery, self-sacrifice

Teen Qs—Christian Answers for teenagers
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Featuring: Chris HemsworthJed Eckert
Josh HutchersonRobert
Isabel LucasErica
Jeffrey Dean MorganCol. Andy Tanner
Adrianne Palicki … Toni
Josh Peck … Matt Eckert
See all »
Director: Dan Bradley
Producer: Contrafilm
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
See all »
Distributor: FilmDistrict

“Welcome to the home of the brave”

This film is a remake of “Red Dawn” (1984).

Set in Spokane, WA and based on the 1984 motion picture (set in Colorado) about a group of teenagers turned guerrilla fighters rebelling against a Communist invasion, this modernized version of “Red Dawn” brings the story to life in a present day situation. While the basis of the film is the same as the previous, there are many differences, not only as far as what relates to the technology and world situation of today, but the location and other aspects have been changed to give it a life of its own. So, regardless of whether or not you have seen or even enjoyed the original “Red Dawn,” this version may be worth taking a chance on.

While it is set as a World War III type of film, it is not your typical war movie. At its core, it’s about fighting for what you believe in, for what’s right, for not only your country, but for those that you love. It’s about how no matter how small or insignificant a person or people seem to be, with enough will power and determination, anything is possible. It reminds me of what it really means to be a Christian. Fighting for what not only is right, but for something that means everything to you, versus doing it because you are told or ordered to. While a person can be “forced” to do something they don’t really want to do, no one can be forced to commit their life to Christ. And, in that choice to do so, there are going to be battles, and you are going to have to choose whether or not it is worth it to you to stand up and fight for what is right and true.

James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God as promised to those who love him.”

Objectionable Content: As with any other war-type film, this movie involves typical warfare: guns, explosions, people being killed, hunting animals for food. However, tastefully done and surprisingly, there is not a lot of blood. There are a few scenes of alcohol consumption (although not drunkenness). Language: “G_d damn” (4), “Jesus Christ,” “Oh G_d,” “Oh my G_dm” “damn,” the word “sh*t” is used over 30 times, 1 or 2 instances of “f*ck.” Other than that a few instances of a**, b*tch, p*ssy, d*ck, p*ss off (none used in sexual content).

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive——“Red Dawn” lived passed my expectations, which weren’t high, and was definitely better than the original. But first let me respond to the negative comment. The original plot for this remake had China invading, but, since China is such a large market for movies and often threatens, to ban movies that show China or Chinese in a negative light (i.e., Chinese mafia in “The Dark Knight”), so the studio required the makers to sink a million dollars changing the Chinese to North Koreans in post-production, delaying the films release. The silly plot hole of the North Koreans invading was the fault of greed, not bad script writing. The negative comment suggests that “The Man with the Iron Fist” is a better pick, but from the reviews I have read of that movie, I would recommend “Red Dawn” instead. …

Now to the movie. I found this one to be better than the original. Some of the characters, but not most, were much more developed than in the original. The plot was thicker and moved faster. Some of the senseless killings of the first were omitted or changed. I would recommend this movie, because it brings to light some of the very real dangers facing our lives today. China really could invade us, because we are in so such much debt and owe so much to them. This threat was originally a part of the script and is inferred in the opening credits. As Christians, we should be watchful and ready to pick up the pieces when our sinful society falls apart. Of course, we should trust God, because He holds it all in His hands.

Warning: I would not recommend this film for anyone under 17 because of the excessive use of bad language.

My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4

Charles, age 25 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed it. I didn’t really know what to expect. If I had to describe it, I would say it had the vibe of an old Mighty Ducks movie mixed with modern post-apocalyptic or monster movie vibe, i.e., “Cloverfield.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
J, age 26 (USA)
Positive—First of all, I’m 21, so no, I have not watched the old one. Overall, I liked this movie. It was pretty decent. The characters—well, I’ve seen a slew of them before, so I already liked them. Hemsworth (Thor) was an inspiring leader. They actually had the “Wolverines” go through training periods, to lend some believability. The language wasn’t too bad. The violence wasn’t as brutal as reality, of course. The ambush and fight scenes had a degree of reality to them. A degree, that is, lol.

This movie also doesn’t end nearly as sadly as the original did—and I really like J. Morgan’s character as Tanner, the soldier the Wolverines met in the original. Also, heavily emphasized is duty, and patriotism, even when times are bad. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Andrew, age 21 (USA)
Neutral—I didn’t have real high expectations for this movie going in, but found it to be mildly entertaining. The story has a lot of potential, but this latest re-make really only scratched the surface of what it could be. I would like to see a part two and see how it ends. I never understand why Hollywood feels it necessary to add so much vulgarity to movies. Seriously, has anyone ever left a movie and said, “I really liked the movie, I just wish there would have been MORE swearing”. I’ve never heard someone say that. If all the swearing were eliminated in the movie it would have been a lot better.

The action is good and the movie moves at a decent pace. The violence is about average for this type of movie, which is to say—probably more than is necessary. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-see, but okay for adults. No way should kids being seeing this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jason, age 39 (USA)
Negative—This lacks heart. There’s nothing of substance that viewers can empathize with and rally behind, as in the original. Even without comparing this to the original, it has a weak script, shallow characters, predictable plot. Sad, but this COULD have been a great movie, energizing and inspiring patriotism and a sense of pride in our country. This re-make is a flop. ‘nuff said.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Vic, age 45 (USA)
Negative—I have a problem with “Red Dawn.” After Thanksgiving, I decided to go see a movie. I had seen the original “Red Dawn” when it came out at the end of the Cold War in 84. It was a moderately entertaining movie with the U.S.S.R. and the Cubans invading the south western United States. Given that, I thought, well why not try the remake, but I had a lagging question: That is, this is 2012, so who is supposed to be invading us now? Okay, here is my problem, in the remake it is North Korea that invades. No, you didn’t miss read—North Korea! And so now I have to ask another more basic question, has the intelligence level of movie makers dropped that low? I mean, am I supposed to believe that N.K. transported thousands of troops across the Pacific, and that it was… (wait for it)… a surprise attack?

Come on, North Korea is the country that can’t even launch a missile, and has a hereditary dictatorship that has less to do with Karl Marx and more to do with the Marx Brothers. In fact, I think it is fair to say that North Korea is the Spinal Tap of governments. Save your money, this isn’t even one of those movies that is so bad it’s good. If you want to see one of those, go see “The Man With The Iron Fist.” At least you can laugh at the stupidity in that one; in “Red Dawn” you just yawn.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
Bob, age 52 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Neutral— This is a film that I wanted to see in the theater, but was not able to get around to. I have not rented it yet, but will do so shortly. I do have some relevant comments though today, and once I view the film will post more. I’ve done the research on this film. This film is and isn’t a remake of the original “Red Dawn” with Patrick Swayze from 1984. Everything I’ve read points to this film as actually being a direct port of an Australian film called “Tomorrow, When the War Began”. And when you look at the DVD covers, you can see why, they almost look like the same photo. LOL.

I will watch both since I am a fan of the original “Red Dawn.” I was disappointed to discover that the N. Koreans were chosen as the antagonists for this movie… Really? You’ve got to be joking. Wouldn’t we expect this to be an axis-style attack on a super-global scale? Such as the Chinese and Former Soviet Union leading a sneak attack against the US and it’s allies. I would also expect something a little more high tech, such as EMPs (electro magnetic pulse), cyber attacks, and satellites from low Earth orbit above the united states firing down on us, even including a coupe on the command and control of the International Space Station and launch facilities in the US. See all »
Chris, age 40 (USA)

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