Red Tails

2012 PG-13 2h 5m Blu-ray / DVD

Red Tails

2012 PG-13 2h 5m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
The 332nd Fighter Group -- an all-black World War II unit made up of the best U.S. escort pilots and known as the Red Tails -- fights racism at home while fighting the Nazis abroad in this drama based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Bryan Cranston, Lee Tergesen, Method Man, Andre Royo
Anthony Hemingway
Blu-ray DVD
English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers. PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Red Tails is a World War II action-drama inspired by the real-life Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black fighter pilot squadron. Executive produced by George Lucas, the film has several intense aerial combat sequences (including loud gunfire, fiery explosions, bloody injuries, crashes, and deaths) and shows the racism the aviators encountered every day. It's stirring (if not exactly unpredictable) and patriotic and tells an important story with messages about bravery, duty, loyalty, and friendship. In addition to the many battle sequences, there's some swearing (including "s--t" and the "N" word) and drinking (one character battles a dependence on alcohol), as well as a relationship between one of the pilots and a local Italian girl.

Sexual Content

A pilot courts an Italian woman who lives near their base; they exchange a few kisses, and one scene shows them waking up together (he's shirtless, and she's in lingerie).


Many intense aerial combat sequences as the pilots tangle with German fighters in the air and/or strafe targets on the ground (including trains, trucks, an airfield, and more). Lots of loud gunfire and big explosions, and several scenes feature injured pilots who are struggling to return to their base despite serious, often bloody injuries. Major characters are hurt in battle, and one is captured. Planes catch on fire and crash; early sequences show bomber crews taking severe losses (including close-ups of some dead soldiers' faces). The pilots also occasionally get into fistfights on the ground with each other or with other members of the military.


Language includes "s--t," "ass," "damn," "bitch," "bastard," "hell," "goddamn," and "crap." A white soldier insults a black pilot using the "N" word. "Negro" is used frequently, as it was a common way of referring to African Americans in the 1940s; "colored" is also used often but is seen as a more derogatory term.

Social Behavior

The story has strong messages about equality, duty, loyalty, and friendship. The African-American pilots face prejudice at almost every level of the military, but those attitudes are shown to be small-minded and wrong, as the pilots' skill, bravery, teamwork, and dedication to duty finally win over even some of their most bitter detractors. Through sometimes-painful consequences, characters also learn lessons about following orders, believing in themselves, and putting honor above glory.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One character has a drinking problem that grows more serious throughout the film; he frequently sips out of a flask, often seeming desperate for a drink. One of the unit's commanding officers likes to smoke a pipe; cigars are also seen and smoked. Some scenes take place in bars where the soldiers drink to blow off steam.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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