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Bruce Wilis
Helen Mirren
John Malkovich
Morgan Freeman
Karl Urban
Mary-Louise Parker
Brian Cox
Richard Dreyfuss.
Robert Schwentke.
Erich Hoeber
Jon Hoeber.
Running Time
111 minutes

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Where black ops meet hip ops...

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Bored, lonely retiree Frank Moses (Willis) is wanting some excitement, but a squad of assassins dropping in is not what he had in mind. Something in Frank's past with the CIA has made him a target, so it's time to get the band back together, all of them designated 'Retired: Extremely Dangerous'.

Well, you have to laugh. Which, since RED is a comic thriller, adapted from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s darker graphic novel, is fortunate. Over 20 years since Die Hard, Bruce Willis is still playing that guy — sardonic, wisecracking, good at killing (though he does so without exposing as much of his torso) — and it works a treat. This time Willis is ex-CIA agent Frank Moses, who in retirement mystifyingly lives in Ohio suburbia pretending he was just an analyst and finding excuses to ring single civil servant Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who deals with his pension, so he can flirt a bit long-distance. That he also reads romance novels is perhaps a humorous touch too much.

But commando types confuse his house with a Taliban hideout, forcing him to hit the road and gather a unit of black ops alum. It’s a scenic trip — Joe (Morgan Freeman) is in a New Orleans retirement home and wacko Marvin (John Malkovich) is in the Florida Everglades. En route Frank abducts Sarah, who finds it all a turn-on, and picks up Victoria (Helen Mirren), an ex-assassin running a B&B. Age hasn’t drained their survival skills, nor their skullduggery. The film glosses over their horrible pasts, dwelling instead on fellowship and the value of seasoned older people with experience. Isn’t that nice? Without spoiling anything, it will come as no surprise that working out why they are on a hit list reveals a conspiracy that leads to — where else? — the top, or at least to the rich and powerful with things to hide.

We also meet a former Russian foe (Brian Cox), a sneering Urban charged with eliminating the wrinklies and Julian McMahon as a weaselly Presidential hopeful. Richard Dreyfuss and old Ernie Borgnine are also wheeled on, in case the combined age of the principals wasn’t close enough to 1,000.

Fans of the comics will find this lighter, if a likable lark with action and revenge. Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, The Time Traveler’s Wife) keeps it on the rails despite the source material being slim on plot. That shows in not-very-surprising developments that rely on cast appreciation over startling invention.

Good fun, and though it breathes hard in the second half, the ensemble has charisma to spare.

Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Red
Empire Star Rating

RE: Oh well

That's a bit harsh on the Expendables. ... More

Posted by properdave at 21:16, 26 October 2010 | Report This Post

Oh well

This should have been awsome, but the director seemed more focused on blowing things up than properly using his all star cast. There is not nearly enough interaction between the characters, all of whom are one dimensional and unpleasant to watch. in fact- if you were to recast them with the Expandables there would be very little difference. Overall, the film seems to simply not understand the humor behind casting these actors in it- something even the trailers managed to grasp. Of course,... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by xzynomorpher at 20:45, 26 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Wasted Premise


Posted by UTB at 13:34, 26 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Wasted Premise

Pretty much feel the same, an enjoyable film for what its worth. Just couldn't get rid of the feeling Willis is generally lost in the action except for one great fight scene. Malkovic steals the show, Mirren and Cox make a lovely duet and Freeman was silky smooth. ... More

Posted by properdave at 23:14, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Wasted Premise

Surprised this is getting slated as much as it is. Thought it was a right laugh! Loved every minute of it. The whole cast was great, particularly Malkovic. He has a great character who was a lot funnier than I was expecting. Yeah the story wasn't ground breaking, but watching that great cast work together so well, as well as some genuinely great action scenes, made for a thoroughly enjoyable movie. 4/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by juanvasquez at 22:27, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Wasted Premise

It's a bit one dimensional,but it's decent sunday afternoon type fare. With the cast here you can't help but feel it's a squandered opportunity for something better. Willis fans will lap it up. It does look like the cast are having a bit more fun than the audience though! A faltering 3 stars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 22:06, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post

Wasted Premise

The premise is decent enough and the calling the cast all-star is an understatement, however It felt much lacking in the 'oldies gone wild' tone you get from the trailer or indeed the title. Willis gives a very hard boiled performance with heart and intensity, Malkovich adds a good comedic aspect to the film that was unexpectedly welcome but Freeman restricted screen time is heavily felt, he is almost dangled in front of us tormenting us with his absence. The action was minimal and it felt to ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Zayd Awan at 16:15, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post


All that can be said about Red is that it's decent. Nothing more, nothing less. The script is solid enough, the acting is solid enough and the direction is solid enough. It's less of an action movie than the trailer might suggest, but it's still great to see all these classic actors back and working together. If it weren't for them, a star would have to be taken off because the biggest appeal for this film is the inclusion of Willis, Malkovich, Freeman and Mirren etc. (Actually the biggest ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 14:24, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Retired, Extremely, Dull.

Saw it Saturday afternoon in a pretty packed cinema & along with everyone else really enjoyed it, especially Malkovich & the fight scene between Willis & Urban . I like it when you get to see "PROPER ACTORS" get to kill people & blow shit up rather than do a 10 minute monolouge Dame Helen's never looked sexier than when she was blowing people awaye01.gif]. A FUN 4/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:44, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post

Retired, Extremely, Dull.

I thought it blew big baby chunks, don't know what the other posters saw in it. Unfunny in the extreme with forgettable action sequences, a total waste of a pretty impressive cast line-up. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sarkycant at 00:36, 25 October 2010 | Report This Post


Brian Cox was awesome. As was Helen Mirren, she should do more action! Also Malchovich was a laugh too. It's got the energy and sense of old caper film.  Liked it. A good 3 stars. ... More

Posted by Invader_Ace at 20:36, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post


Decent action film, but not really memorable. Any stand out moments were purely due to Malkovich. Plus Morgan Freeman just disappeared during the Second Act.... SPOILERS Yes, I know he died, but it was a complete non-event END SPOILERS Still, Willis can still kick ass with the best of them and I can't wait to see Urban as Judge Dredd. 2.5/5 ... More

Posted by Timon at 18:59, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post

It’s hard to think of the usually prim and proper Helen Mirren blasting bad guys with a machine gun in between drinks at a fundraiser party, or the award winning John Malkovich squeezing a stuffed pig under one arm and brandishing a revolver with the other, yet it’s this kind of trashy, off-the-wall fun that RED relishes. This isn’t a film about slick young spies with laser watches and BMWs; it’s about battling assassins in slippers, bestowing wisdom on the young while ai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ehowarth at 15:39, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post


Knight and Day and Salt - both recent 'okay' films failed to blend action and fun in the way this does. A great cast, good action and a nice touch of humour. A packed cinema all seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 01:02, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post

Funny, Fun And Entertaining.

Red is awesome, it's a must see for sure. Bruce Willis is THE DUDE in action films, he's so cool! Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malechvich were pretty good too. Karl Urban was great eye candy. Plenty of action, laughable humour and not to be taken too seriously plot, Red is funny, fun and very entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 18:31, 23 October 2010 | Report This Post

Funny, Fun And Entertaining.

Red is awesome, it's a must see for sure. Bruce Willis is THE DUDE in action films, he's so cool! Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malechvich were pretty good too. Karl Urban was great eye candy. Plenty of action, laughable humour and not to be taken too seriously plot, Red is funny, fun and very entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 18:31, 23 October 2010 | Report This Post

Pretty Decent Fun

Angie Errigo has got it about right for this entertaining movie. Nothing surprising or out of the ordinary but fun because of the cast, especially Malkovich, and some nice little touches, such as Parker's reactions to every new development. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by johnc59 at 22:34, 22 October 2010 | Report This Post

more Helen Mirren Please

A fun enough film that is dodgily directed and has far too many pointless CGI effects added that ruin the flow of an ok film. The film gets better as Helen Mirren turns up ;who is surprisingly good as an action heroin. The film needs the group to get together quicker rather than the pointless wondering of the script. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JonnyPitt456 at 18:21, 22 October 2010 | Report This Post

I like this shit,it reminds me about Golden Eye with Brosnan and it's made like the comedy of 90's ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Sanya at 16:24, 22 October 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Dick Comment

I thought this effort was dreadful. Not at all funny.   1/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PerfectlyFlawed at 15:24, 22 October 2010 | Report This Post

Dick Comment

"in case the combined age wasn't close enough to 1000" That wasn't funny or clever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blindfold at 14:27, 22 October 2010 | Report This Post

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