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Parents' Guide to

Red Army

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Fascinating documentary about legendary Soviet hockey team.

Movie PG 2015 85 minutes
Red Army Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+

Fabulous Fetisov/hockey narrative!

A great film! Just awesome! I was a huge fan of hockey in the 1990s and had no idea that I was watching history unfold (although the announcers in the 90s would say that from time to time). I remember Fetisov from when he was playing for the New Jersey Devils and although the announcers would sing his praises I couldn't see how he was such a great player, so thankful that he got traded to the Detroit Red Wings, where it was clearly a much better fit. This documentary interlaces the politics with the sports very well and it is easy to get wrapped up into Fetisov's stories of the Soviet hockey system, even if you are not a big sports fan. Well done by Polsky!
age 17+

I found this amazing; profanity

R: language. I did not expect so much language in this family movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This is an interesting and revealing film. Most American sports fans have heard about the famous "Miracle on the Ice" game during the 1980 Winter Olympics. There are movies, TV specials, and books dedicated to that single victory. But what most Americans don't know as much about is the Soviet team that the Americans defeated. Polsky introduces audiences to those players not as former Cold War enemies or rivals on the ice but as extraordinarily talented hockey players who changed the sport and impressed even the greatest of players, like Wayne Gretsky (who's shown in news footage), with their on-ice finesse and balletic choreography. The Russian Five, as the men and their opponents tell Polsky, were more than athletes; they were the symbolic epitome of Soviet system: working together as seemingly one mind. It's amazing, and even someone who doesn't care about hockey will find their story worth watching.

Fetisov is the primary interviewee, and as a captain of the Russian national hockey team and later an NHL player-turned-assistant coach, he's got a unique perspective on what made that Soviet team such a blessing (the other players) and a curse (Tikhonov, who refused to be interviewed for the film and died in late 2014). Red Army is structured chronologically, using Fetisov as the main protagonist. He's honest about how terrible their equipment was compared to that of the Canadian and American players and how awful it could be to only see his wife and family a couple of times a month, but he and his teammates are also nostalgic for the time in their lives when they played so beautifully that, decades later, they're still considered the best at what they did.

Movie Details

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