Redemption Day

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Redemption Day Movie Poster Image
Generic terrorist/kidnapping movie has violence, language.
  • R
  • 2021
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Underneath the violence, tries to address U.S. greed for oil and what moral and political concessions the country's leaders will make to get it. It's not an entirely clear message --  more of a flat statement. But it could still inspire discussion. Characters show courage while triumphing over the odds, some teamwork.

Positive Role Models

Main character, a U.S. Marine, offers a positive representation of a person of color, showing great courage, perseverance. That said, the heroes also kill villains without repercussion, and they're not the most three-dimensional characters in the world.


Guns and shooting. Blood spurts and head wounds. Explosions. Characters are shot and killed. Dead bodies. Prisoner dangles from chains and is whipped. Neck-slicing. Fighting. Suggestion of possible rape (false). Woman with bruises and bloody wounds. Vomiting.


Shirtless man. Married couple sleeps in bed together.


Sporadic use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bastard," "stupid." (Some words are seen in subtitles.)

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink at a party. Cigarette and cigar smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Redemption Day is the story of a U.S. Marine with PTSD (Gary Dourdan) who races into action when his wife is kidnapped by terrorists. The movie tries to say something about shady American morals and politics, but all is lost in its utterly generic action. Violence is heavy, with guns and shooting, blood spurts, the (false) suggestion of rape, neck-slicing, death and dead bodies, fighting, whipping, and women being bloodied, bruised, and killed. A married couple is shown sleeping in the same bed; she's said to be pregnant. Language includes sporadic use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "bastard" (with some shown in subtitles). Adults drink at a party, and others smoke cigars and cigarettes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byI. Andrew January 16, 2021

Remarkable Masterpiece

The entire world is talking about this action movie despite its low budget production. The main character is a U.S. Marine, who offers a positive representation... Continue reading
Adult Written byasadayqub January 8, 2021

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In REDEMPTION DAY, U.S. Marine captain Brad Paxton (Gary Dourdan) has nightmares about a failed mission in Syria. Meanwhile, his archeologist wife, Kate (Serinda Swan), has made a major discovery and heads to Morocco to start a dig. Unfortunately, she unwittingly trespasses into enemy territory, and she and two colleagues are kidnapped by a terrorist group. So Brad springs into action to rescue his wife. Meanwhile, a shady U.S. ambassador (Andy Garcia) tries to keep his personal interests intact, and the terrorists discover a secret about Kate that they exploit for an even higher ransom demand.

Is it any good?

Trying to address real-world political and moral concerns, this action movie instead comes across as utterly generic and low-rent, with no surprises or thrills and with little emotional engagement. Moroccan-born director and co-writer Hicham Hajji does get points for trying to shed light on events in Syria, Morocco, and Algeria -- and for trying to make a statement about the United States' lust for oil. He also gets a few points for avoiding any kind of gung-ho blind patriotism. But all of these things are uncomfortably wrapped up in a bland, lifeless action movie that resorts to dull, shaky-cam thrills and cheap-looking gunshot wounds.

One scene in particular verges on being offensive: It tries to make viewers believe that Kate is going to be raped but instead pulls a "twist." Both Dourdan and Swan are likable enough in their roles, but the roles themselves are flatlined, mainly expressed in soft, serious tones throughout, without any nuance or depth. In supporting roles, Ernie Hudson and Martin Donovan are serviceable, doing the kind of thing they regularly do. Garcia at least gets to chew on some scenery, actually chewing on Cuban cigars as a bonus. In the end, though, Redemption Day is, sadly, unredeemable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Redemption Day's violence. How is it different when heroes are killed vs. villains? Are there consequence for the violence?

  • Is Brad Paxton a positive representation? Is he strong? Smart? Independent? Why is it important to see a wide range of representation in the media? Did you notice any stereotypes in this film?

  • What does the movie have to say about the United States and oil interests? How do you feel about the situation?

  • Is the main character a "lone wolf" type, or does he rely on teamwork? What's the difference?

  • Is smoking -- especially the U.S. ambassador's cigars -- glamorized here? What impact could that have?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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