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Red Dawn | 2012 | PG-13 | - 2.6.5

Remake of the 1984 film about American teenagers vs. communists: The North Koreans invade Spokane, Washington and take its citizens hostage, imposing martial law. Local teens (Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, and Connor Cruise) name themselves the "Wolverines" after their high school football team and train in the woods in order to acquire the guerilla fighting techniques needed to free their city. Also with Chris Hemsworth and Jeffery Dean Morgan. Directed by Dan Bradley. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A teen boy and a teen girl kiss and embrace briefly while sitting in a car twice, each saying "I love you." A man and a woman kiss and are interrupted by booming sounds in the distance. A male soldier attempts to kiss a female soldier, she runs away and he staggers after her.
 A male teen football player calls an opposing team member a derogatory term for a woman three times and the other player (also male) asks, "Are you hitting on me?" A group of male teen freedom fighters say they miss "hot girls" while they are away fighting. A teen boy mentions that another teen boy must have a hidden "porn stash," but the second teen ignores the comment.
 Several teen girls wear scoop neck and V-neck blouses that reveal cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man is shot in the head off screen and the camera cuts to a long shot of him falling to the ground and we later see him lying dead with blood on his head. A teen boy with a rifle runs across a road and North Koreans shoot him down using machine guns; we hear that he died. Two soldiers shoot each other accidentally and fall on the street. Two teen girls in a high-rise building shoot assault rifles at several enemy soldiers across the street and kill them (no blood is shown).
 A teen boy with a rifle stays by the side of a road, sending others on without him so that the enemy will find only him; we never see this boy again. Two teen boys fall dead in a secluded and abandoned railway tunnel when it is bombed (there is a loud explosion, smoke and flames). A man in an apartment with friends is shot from the outside and falls dead (we see his still body and a teen boy reaching down to close the eyes; no blood is shown).
 A large group with explosives, handguns, rocket launchers and assault rifles attacks a building as one of them calls out, "It's a good day to die, gentlemen" and we see several enemy soldiers fall dead and a female soldier screams, a teen boy jumps from a balcony to a lower floor, rolls and fires a machine gun to kill several enemy soldiers (no blood is seen), others in the group jump from nearby hotel windows onto the roof, an enemy soldier drives a tank into the building and teen boys kill the driver with their machine guns (we see smoke, but no blood); two men fight using handguns, knives and martial arts until one man is shot in the head off-screen, and a soldier is struck by a grenade explosion and he coughs up a little blood (we see his dead body slumped and sitting still against a wall).
 A woman lures a group of enemy soldiers into a dead-end alley, where teen boys and a man pop up from hidden holes in the ground, and shoot half a dozen enemies with assault rifles (they fall dead with no blood shown); the group picks over the bodies and take the dead people's weapons and some of the uniforms. A woman is stood in the center of a street while an enemy soldier points a handgun at her head; the enemy is shot dead by snipers.
 During an early morning attack we hear explosions, houses shake and the sky fills with military planes and soldiers parachuting to the ground: bombs burst in flame and smoke in the background, as one plane is shot down, cracks in half, hits the ground in a flame-filled explosion and parts of it are thrown into a house causing it to explode and other houses erupt in flames and explode; enemy soldiers walk through streets and fire machine guns at other soldiers (many fall, presumably dead, but we see no blood). Several scenes feature teenage boys and girls running with handguns and rifles, firing them at the enemy and killing them, causing one boy to stop briefly and vomit onto the ground (we see yellow vomit as he groans and goes down on one knee). The enemy fires at teens many times with machine guns and rocket launchers and miss them; we see flames and a car explodes. Enemy representatives make public announcements on a stage at a military presentation and as they speak a car bomb explodes and sends fire down a street; people run and scream (no one looks injured), a teen boy commandeers a school bus by shooting two enemy soldiers guarding it (no blood is shown), crashes the bus into an enemy Jeep killing a soldier that falls off screen and the enemy officer in charge limps away, and gunfights occur in a parking garage and stairwells, with grenades blowing up sections of staircases (we see several enemy soldiers fall dead).
 A teen boy is trained to shoot a deer, which is shot off screen; we see the deer's body on the ground, largely off screen, as a man hands the boy a cup of blood to drink as a tradition, and the boy drinks it and grimaces as we see a small spot of blood on his lower lip.
 Many people jump into cars and pickups, drive quickly and we see several car crashes and flipped vehicles (we see no injuries). A pickup drives through fences and yards, finally crashing into an enemy jeep and throwing a soldier to the ground (killing him off screen and we hear that he died). A man and several teenagers, all with scratched faces, flee in a pickup amid other car crashes. A parked car explodes in flames and smoke, flipping on top of a second parked vehicle. Teen boys and girls drive stolen jeeps though prison fences, blow up guard towers and rescue some men and women that join the freedom fighters.
 Enemy soldiers arrest a family and we see a local prison filled with Americans dressed in orange prison suits. An official is taken hostage and we hear that several sets of parents and one mom died, leaving teens orphaned. An enemy army captures a Police HQ building and it is draped in red banners. A montage of scenes features soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms shaking their fists, and explosions on a battlefield with smoke and flames and missiles fired into the air that strike a ground target in the distance and explode. Enemy soldiers search people in streets at checkpoints and take several to prison.
 A soldier burns down a cabin using a flamethrower that creates tall, wide flames and smoke. Bombs burn out a section of forest, leaving blackened stumps and many small fires on the ground. A teen boy rides a bomb-laden skateboard and lets it roll by itself into an enemy supply pile and explode. Teen boys blow up the floor of Police HQ, a car repair shop and a store. We hear that patriotic groups are acting as guerilla teams keeping the enemy at bay and we hear that the whole Southern border is alight with fires between the US and Mexico to stop invasions.
 We see a man with a bloody cut on his side as a woman sews him up (a little blood appears between large black stitches). A teen boy has what looks like a bullet puncture wound, with scrapes around it and some blood, but we hear that there is no bullet, just a tracking device.
 At night in the woods, a disguised man jumps at a woman holding a rifle; a male voice calls out to unhand the woman and we see several men as flashlights come on, and the men are surprised to see several teenagers with rifles.
 A high school football game includes several violent tackles, including one in which a helmet flies off a head, and players are punched in the stomach and name-calling occurs; no one is seriously injured and we see no blood.
 Teen boys and teen girls pick over dead enemy bodies and take their weapons; two of the boys carry rifles and steal food from a restaurant at gunpoint as the crew workers look worried.
 A US Marine trains a team of teenage volunteer commandos to fight North Korean invaders: He argues repeatedly with one of them (his younger brother); the teens search a cabin and trailer and find handguns, rifles and ammunition; several times, they walk into town to acquire additional weapons; we see them practicing shooting, Judo throws and tracking skills, as well as splicing together electronics and building bombs; they acquire cuts and scrapes on their faces and hands that show some blood.
 A teen boy gathers a group of about 50 men, women, teen boys, and teen girls to train as freedom fighters and describes how they need to fight to save their homeland from the occupying forces of the North Koreans and Russians.
 An enemy commander berates a captain in his army, shouts, pounds a desk and orders him to kill teen patriots. A US Marine says, "When Marines die, they just go to Hell and regroup." We hear that North Korea will no longer tolerate its enemies in their airspace or national waters. A woman says that once on a picnic, she contracted food poisoning and vomited and a male friend laughs at this.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words (one is mouthed and not heard), 1 obscene hand gesture, 32 scatological terms, 12 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut-up), name-calling (spoiled child, cowboy, pussy, mo-tards), stereotypical references to teenagers, men, women, football players, US Marines, American patriots, Chinese, North Koreans, Russians, communists, traitors, 4 religious profanities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Men and women drink beer from bottles and mixed drinks from short glasses in a bar, beer bottles are shown sitting on tables and around a bar, we see a beer tap and bottles of liquor on shelves in a bar (under-aged teenagers in the bar are not shown drinking liquor), a man holds a six-pack of beer and drinks from one bottle, a man offers his teen brother a beer and the brother declines, teens and adults hold unopened bottles of beer and do not drink, and a man attempting to kiss a woman staggers several times in a police building hallway and it is unclear whether he had been drinking.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Military preparedness, war, North Korea, communism, martial law, women and teenagers fighting on the battlefield, death, loss, family, friends.

MESSAGE - Be prepared against any enemy attack on your own soil.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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