General Consensus: RED

I’ve been trying to think of a way that I can return some link love for all those critics/blogs that I love to read.  Since I love reading reviews of films that I’ve seen what I’ll do is each week whatever new release that I review here I will post what I think the General Consensus of the movie is by posting short snippets of many reviews here.  Check it out below:

So here’s how this is going to work.  Since I want to create an average score for the film (like my own blogosphere only version of RT or IMDB) I will only count reviews that have a rating.  If your rating is letter graded then I will convert it using High School style grades (i.e. A = 9/10, B = 8/10, C = 7/10, D = 5/10, F = 3/10).  I’ll definitely mention other, non-scaled reviews, but they won’t be calculated into the overall General Consensus.

Directed by: Robert Schwentke

Written by: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber

Starring: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker & Ernest Borgnine


I loved how the film is filled with warm humour and charming sensibility to it. Sure, we get age jokes and appearance jokes, but they are never mean-spirited but instead rather truthful and tension breaking as they are carefully crafted throughout the film. I also loved the old gang versus the new blood vibe to the film, especially with Karl Urban serving as the straight laced young generation with a very adept, get it done and family man vibe to him. – Shannon the Movie Moxie. Grade: N/A

There are around 4 or 5 action set pieces, so the movie isn’t nearly as explosive as it could have been, but the story does a great job of upping the ante as the rabbit hole gets explored. Still, the whole thing feels light – brought on by humor rooted in a violent world of professional killers. For them, death is not nearly as profound an event, and a lot of humor comes both from the situations they find themselves in and their natural response to them – one usually of nonchalance and creepy calm. – Cole Abaius from Film School Rejects. Grade:N/A

Parker is pretty funny as the befuddled Sarah who soon becomes Frank’s enthusiastic ally in his mission. I suppose if I’m chained to my desk at work daily, I’d be as eager to live it up a bit. Morgan Freeman, who’s as adept in comedy as he is in dramatic fares, also brings in the laughs in most scenes he’s in, including one where he gleefully ogles the retirement home nurse as she fixes the TV. – Ruth Maramis from FlixChatterGrade: N/A

Red relies too heavily on big names to make the material pop rather than directly addressing the many problems with its confusing, amorphous screenplay. Surely it seemed like a pretty safe conclusion — I’m as surprised as anyone that a film this stacked could be so completely devoid of personality. – Colin from FilmJunk. Grade: 3.75/10

What makes this movie work is not only the fact that the action is so stylistically enjoyable, like a The A-Team, but also that all the actors involved have great comedic timing.  John MalkovichMorgan Freemanand Helen Mirren all work in their roles well.  The gag of these calm retirees all turn out to be the most efficient killers that you’ll ever meet just works so well. – Andrew from GmanReviews. Grade: 7.5/10

Red is an entertaining action, thriller, that suffers the most common mistake of its genre: a collection of good ideas and scenes, string together by an incredibly thin plot, and overly generic characters. Leaving Red to be just another one of the films where everything plays out exactly like one would expect it to. – Univarn from A Life in Equinox. Grade: 6.5/10

Have you have been hammered into submission by the usual demonic combo of vfx and bone-crushing sound design, ready to duck for cover if you ever hear the mention of  ‘kinetic filmmaking’ again?  Red has been made for you, then. It’s light as air and almost inconsequential in terms of its narrative and character inspiration, but what it gets right  is that it understands its audience. – Bartleby from Movie Mobsters. Grade: 6.25/10

I really liked his use of postcards to signify every time the characters travel to a new state. The film was paced well and the music kept things upbeat and moving along smoothly. Schwentke’s one weak spot is the action scenes, which are all closely-cropped, shaky and edited together poorly, which makes the action difficult to follow and keeps the action scenes from ever being truly great. But sadly, that seems to be the norm these days. – Joel Murphy from Get The Big Picture. Grade: 6.0/10

Most of the time when Bruce Willis is an action hero mode, we have pure movie magic. Here, not so much. Willis has always been an actor that you love for his average-joe sense and witty banter, but he has little to do to recapture that same grand screen-presence we’ve seen him triumph countless times before. John McClane is a character you want to save the day. With Frank Moses, that’s not the case. Moses is superior to most standard action protagonists, but he’s not the lovable hero we’ve seen Willis previously capture. There’s very little charm to Moses. – Jack Giroux from The Film Stage. Grade: 5.5/10

The movie excels because of its cast.  It’s amazing that after 25 years, Bruce Willis can still win an audience with just a flash of his trademark impish grin.  Malkovich has the most colorful character of the bunch and he doesn’t disappoint.  However, he also doesn’t chew the scenery or try to hog the spotlight and I applaud his restraint. – Matt Goldberg from Collider. Grade: B- (7.5/10)

Malkovich — pursing his lips with suspicion, ranting about government surveillance and going the full-on wacky route — offers a memorable addition to his long litany of grand oddball parts. Parker adeptly blends a spirited sort of toughness with the vulnerability of the regular girl along for an unexpectedly wild ride. Urban makes a compelling family man villain, though the screenplay underplays Cooper’s more intriguing characteristics. – Robert Levin from Film School Rejects. Grade: C- (6.5/10)

RED is as loud and violent as you’d expect from a movie about a shaggy gang of semi-automatic-toting geriatrics, but it’s mostly played for laughs with the sort of tongue-in-cheek dialog that Willis especially, excels at. The thin plot moves predictably from point A to point B and there’s zero tension, but writers Jon and Erich Hoeber (adapting Cully Hamner’s and Warren Ellis’s limited DC comic book of the same name) work hard delivering wisecracks and zingers that ably bridge the many wild action sequences – Tom Stockman from We Are Movie Geeks. Grade: 8.0/10

The current pop-cultural fondness for aged celebrities might work to “RED’s” advantage — what, no Betty White? — and there is a certain pure delight in seeing Helen Mirren wield a sniper rifle, for example. The movie gets by for a while on nothing more than exuberant overkill. Director Robert Schwentke (“Flightplan,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife”) favors smooth, stylized action over gritty, graphic violence, and he stages some cheerfully over-the-top scenarios. The screenplay, adapted by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber (of last year’s “Whiteout”), is glib and breezy. – Eric D. Snider. Grade: B- (7.5/10)

Where Red runs into a problem is the the film’s contradiction with its source material. The graphic novel from which the film is based is extremely violent, but that’s not what’s important, it’s the edge the comic delivers that’s missing. – Brad Brevet from Rope of Silicon. Grade: C+ (7.5/10)

“RED” is neither a good movie nor a bad one. It features actors we like doing things we wish were more interesting. I guess the movie’s moral is, these old people are still tougher than the young ones. – Roger Ebert. Grade: 5.0/10

The trailers for the film make RED look significantly more cohesive than it ultimately plays on screen. While I love nothing more than a good “getting the band back together” buddy flick, our titular RED team was never really a team at all, and it’s never exactly clear why Frank pulls in Morgan Freeman’s Joe or Helen Mirren’s Victoria, when the only true targets are he and Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich). But it’s at least effectively muddled enough that you don’t notice the incongruity until you’re out of the theater. – Kate Erbland from Gordon and the Whale. Grade: 6.0/10

The film never pretends, even for one second, to be anything other than a celebration of old school talent in supped-up contemporary firecracker filmic display. That is to say that whilst it would be entirely irresponsible of me not to mention that the plot is incidental and that the story is really just about as predictable as they come, it’s ultimately of little consequence when what the film achieves is giving its audience a riotous good time. – Tara Judah from The 405. Grade: 7.0/10

Only for so long can the high-calibre cast conceal the fact that Red is fairly derivative stuff, featuring a plot so patchy and forgettable it mimics the symptoms of dementia. – Anders Wotzke from Cut Print Review. Grade: 7.0/10

Avg. Score: 7.0/10