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Few filmmakers other than Warren Beatty would have had the courage and vision to fashion an epic film from the life of famed American Communist John Reed (who is the only US citizen buried in the Kremlin). The film is an effort to humanize a political movement that has previously been depicted on screen in a series of unsubtle and prejudicial broad strokes. The film begins in 1915, when Reed (Beatty) makes the acquaintance of married Portland journalist Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton). So persuasive is Reed's point of view--and so charismatic is Reed himself-- that Bryant kicks over the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As for Beatty, Reds is his bravura turn."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Filled with rich ideas."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Viewed today, it's not so effortlessly impressive, but it's still an uncommonly intelligent and quite entertaining film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A left-leaning pretty boy's distended, black book ramblings."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Reverse Shot
"Reds is finally just an appealingly conventional epic movie-star romance with radical trimmings, but it contains several sharper elements that suggest the colorful period it seeks to recreate."
‑ Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine
"Reds is an extremely fine film."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Vittorio Storaro, who won an Oscar for his cinematography, keeps the long film moving at a healthy pace, mixing static shots with subtle camera movement, never showing off or detracting from the story."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"One of the most ambitious Hollywood films of the 80s, Reds is trying to do too much (historical epic, political expose, and romance), but the insertion of interviews with contemporaries of John Reed is original and poignant."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Marred by historical bluff and jarring cutesiness, 'Reds' is nevertheless the sweeping melodramatic stuff of classic moviemaking."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Epic telling of Communism roots via Warren Beatty."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Warren Beatty's political epic features superlative performances and speaks to the inner-rebel in each of us."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"an epic love story ... As a teenager I saw it four times in the theater (which I now find pretty astonishing, considering the movie is well more than three hours long -- I had a lot more free time in 1981!)"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"It's tragic that more American filmmakers aren't taking risks like this at a time like this."
‑ Chris Cabin,
"Were it not for the antique clothing and music, you wouldn't know that the dialogue isn't taking place in the 21st century."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"Political drama and sweeping romance in one - only Warren Beatty would, or could, do it."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
More reviews for Reds on Rotten Tomatoes