Red Tails

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Red Tails
Genre: War
Directed By: Anthony Hemingway
Produced By: Rick McCallum
Chas. Floyd Johnson
Written By: John Ridley
Aaron McGruder
Starring: Nate Parker
David Oyelowo
Elijah Kelley
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Terrence Howard
Distributed By: Lucasfilm Ltd
20th Century Fox
Release Date: January 20, 2012
Runtime: 125 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $58 million
Box Office: $50.4 million

Red Tails is a 2012 war movie, directed by Anthony Hemingway and starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.


The 332d Fighter Group (the Tuskegee Airmen), a primarily African-American fighter squadron, are called to duty in the second World War.

Bad Qualities

  1. As expected from a film by George Lucas, the movie is terribly written.
    • Terrible acting from pretty much everyone, mostly due to the bad script.
    • Cringeworthy dialogue.
    • The characters are all bland, stereotypical, and in some cases, offensive.
    • Excessive use of CGI, which is of questionable quality in many places.
  2. A lot of the maneuvers the planes make defy the laws of physics.
  3. It's clear no one did much research into the movie, due to the large numbers of historical liberties it takes.
    • The real-life Tuskegee Airmen were well-trained and professional, not the undisciplined buffoons the movie portrays them as.
    • In real-life the Tuskegee Airmen did attack a warship, but it was a smaller ship, not the battleship as portrayed in the film.
  4. Cheesy and unfitting soundtrack.
  5. Overall, the film feels very disrespectful to both the Tuskegee Airmen and the U.S. Army Air Force, based on their portrayal.

Good Qualities

  1. A film about the Tuskegee Airmen would have been pretty interesting; in fact, a much-better movie, The Tuskegee Airmen, had been made in 1995 by HBO.
  2. Some action scenes are pretty good, such as the scene where the Tuskegee attack a military train.
  3. Some CGI effects are decent.
  4. It does have some nice cinematography, like the scenes in Italy.


Reviews were mixed to negative, with a 40% critic rating and 58% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus "Despite a worthy fact-based story and obvious good intentions, Red Tails suffers from one-dimensional characters, corny dialogue, and heaps of clichés".


  • George Lucas had started writing the movie in 1988, but it took a couple of decades before production started.
  • George Lucas blamed the fact that no one wanted to distribute the film on the fact that it had a mostly-black cast.
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. had starred in a previous film about the Tuskegee Airmen, the 1995 film The Tuskegee Airmen.
  • Red Tails was the first movie to be released in the Auro 11.1 sound system format.


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