When North Korean forces invade American soil without warning, a group of young civilians work together to survive and fight back against their oppressors. Led by former soldier, Jed, the group (who call themselves ‘Wolverines’) soon learn to use guerrilla tactics in their bid to take back their city and save the inhabitants from imprisonment and interrogation. Although the odds seem stacked against them, their desperation and bravery give them the upper hand with an army who underestimate the power of the American spirit.

Red Dawn (2013 – UK) – Director: Dan Bradley

Is Red Dawn appropriate for kids

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 93 mins / UK release date: Friday 15th March 2013

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Will Yun Lee

Genre: Action


Red Dawn’ is a remake of the 1984 movie of the same name which starred Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. This time around the Soviets have been replaced with modern super-evil, North Korea. Apart from a flimsy premise in the opening scene of the film, no real explanation is given as to why North Korea wishes to invade America. Indeed, it was originally going to be Chinese forces, but this was altered in post production in order to ensure that the film would be released in the lucrative Chinese market!

The scenes of the Wolverines training and beginning their fight are good, however the majority of the plot consists of coincidence and convenience which makes it unrealistic and sometimes quite laughable. Chris Hemsworth adds some seriousness and depth to his role as Wolverine leader, Jed, but the rest of the characters are either two-dimensional or unbelievable. ‘Red Dawn‘ is entertaining as an American patriot action flick which moves at a good pace and doesn’t take too long to get to the interesting and high-octane parts. If you want nothing more than a relatively solid action movie then you won’t be disappointed.


There is plenty of action in ‘Red Dawn‘ but it is never too intense or gratuitous. There is quite a lot of subdued threat and some stronger danger towards specific characters. The worst of the violence sees a character shot in front of family members. This is not sustained and the camera cuts away when the shot is made but then immediately returns so that we see the character fall to the ground. This is an emotionally intense scene as we see the reaction and grief from his loved ones who are unable to stop the murder. Later in the film, another character is stabbed deeply but is able to get up and escape. The violence in all of the action scenes in not over the top and blood is kept to a minimum; there are occasional red ‘puffs’ when someone is shot but this are subtle and not highlighted. There are also several occasions where people are hit by cars causing loud thumping noises and fast shots of a body going through a windscreen. This happens on three separate occasions throughout the film. Similarly, there are several instances of a character being shot whilst running, the result of which being that they crumple to the ground at speed.

The main issue that parents are likely to have with this film is the bad language which varies from mild to moderate and one strong word is used for dramatic effect. The first 15 minutes of the movie, when the North Korean forces are invading, has the worst of the bad language, however it continues throughout and the script barely has a line go by which doesn’t include some form of curse word. We gave up counting around half way through when it became clear that the swearing was not going to stop. The majority of the bad language is moderate and is either used in an insulting manner or due to high pressure situations.



We feel that the target audience for ‘Red Dawn’ is male teenagers who enjoy plenty of action and swearing. While the violence is likely to be suitable for children aged 10 and over, the bad language makes us recommend this movie for children aged 12 and over, depending on how you feel about your child hearing (and possibly repeating) these words which are used excessively in the script.

  • Violence:  3/5 (not too intense or gratuitous, minimal blood, some implied deaths by bombs/explosions)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (family members and some main characters are killed either on or off-screen, nothing graphic is seen or mentioned)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (the threat of an invading force who promise peace but secretly imprison or kill anyone they see as a threat)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (some kissing, Jed and a friend talk about one of his previous girlfriends and mildly imply that it was a sexual relationship, a couple kiss in a car and one of their hands is placed on the other’s thigh, it is then quickly removed. Also some references in the script to a ‘porn stash’ and a character who misses ‘voluptuous’ women)            
  • Bad Language: 5/5 (constant mild to moderate bad language throughout, one strong word used at a pivotal moment)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (references to deaths, murders, interrogation and imprisonment)  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of fighting against oppression, not giving up and doing what is right.

Words by Mike Record


Red Dawn [Blu-ray]

New From: £4.56 GBP In Stock

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