Parents' Guide to

Red State

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Startlingly violent, intense Kevin Smith shocker.

Movie R 2011 88 minutes
Red State Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

When will it end?

First off having seen the movie it has potential, there are twist and turns, and the director does not follow all the "rules" moviegoers expect and that is the best part of the movie, however, what is missing is flow, I feel a disconnect between scenes and some scenes are way too long. I know the director wants to build tension but to hear a lunatic rant for what seemed like 5 minutes was a bit much no clues the rant will end until you say to yourself finally we are going to move on. These teenagers are too cynical and appear too street smart to fall for the stunt they are tricked into. The dumb one should of drawn the others in but a big disconnect. Some good scenes and other scenes just wasted. To drive by the main lunatic without a focus on his crazy stare, you see him in the background you see him without a sign and kind of apart from everyone, but you are not sure, one second you hear dialog like it is coming from some political correctness re-education camp the next second dialog is usual. Goodman's initial scene is too long, and this is where you can feel that this is a low budget movie. If you are a Kevin Smith fan, watch the film for a feel of where he is at directing and writing.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

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

This gruesome, brutal movie is going to be a tough sell to fans of Smith's usual humorous fare. Writer/director Kevin Smith is known for his vulgar comedies about troubled slackers (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, etc.), but for his 10th feature film, he strikes out in a radical new direction with a horrific thriller. Aside from RED STATE's rampant language and sex talk, it barely feels like a Smith movie -- unless you consider that religion in some form or another has crept into many of his films, most notably Dogma. He's clearly very angry at those he thinks justify hatred in the name of righteousness.

Even in his comedies, Smith has never been shy or held back on taboo topics; but here he turns his usual humor into a cynical rant, without a specific comment or a likeable hero. It's very effective and highly powerful, but the movie's main drawback is that it's so heavy and dark.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 23, 2011
  • On DVD or streaming: October 18, 2011
  • Cast: John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Michael Parks
  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 88 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence/disturbing content, some sexual content including brief nudity, and pervasive language
  • Last updated: November 26, 2022

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