With these men’s plight reduced to such a lame depiction of racism in the trenches, it’s practically impossible to get a grasp of what it was like to actually overcome these considerable obstacles. Basically, if there’s anything positive that results from sitting through Red Tails, as frustrating as it is, it’s that it inevitably makes you want to learn more. Still, while the effort is probably better than having none at all, simply put, these men still deserve a far better story.


  • Drugs/Alcohol: Social drinking depicted. One character also takes a slug from his flask to calm his nerves before and after every mission.
  • Language/Profanity: A crude reference to the male anatomy. A racial epithet. God’s name is taken in vain and paired with “da--“ on several occasions. Jesus’s name is also misused. Several uses of sh--, he--, bi-c- and da--.
  • Sex/Nudity: Kissing. Premarital sex is implied but never shown. Lightning’s wife-to-be is shown wearing a thin nightgown after they spend the night together.
  • Violence: While not anywhere near as gory or prevalent as, say, Saving Private Ryan or Platoon, there’s war-related violence throughout in Red Tails. We see planes explode and studded with gunfire. Pilots are wounded and shown with bloody gashes. Explosions. Lightning starts a fight after a racial insult is hurled his way.
  • Spirituality: Several pilots believe prayer is key for survival in combat. Deke affectionately carries a picture of “Black Jesus” with him and refers to his African-American Savior whenever he prays.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blogFor more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.