Parents' Guide to

River Runs Red

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bloody violence, strong language in weak revenge thriller.

Movie NR 2018 94 minutes
River Runs Red Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

A very strong message badly delivered.

Dear Wes, I shan't bang you over the head as director and writer as the message within is powerful and needed. I think shaking the tree is the only way we get ahead as a community. In truth I was gutted not to be able to complete the film, which is not an indictment upon your art, really. The scene that killed me was the deeply uncomfortable hugging in the kitchen. Taye visibly winced in that scene - fine artist as he is but I could not get past that, sorry. You had a truly stella cast which ought to have lead to a slam dunk to lend a sporting metaphor. Please, please rise above the -ve and tell the story again as It's too important not to. I salute your effort, truly.
age 13+

ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!! If you have ANY common sense than you will catch and understand extremely quick

This is directly to the person who claims to be ‘iamwesmiller’ you are the one and only reason I created this account. In hopes that you are truly who you say you are and that there’s the slightest possibility of you seeing this review. Amongst the other problems you commented towards, I believe you missed some of the most HUGE discrepancies. Firstly, in the very beginning Tay says to his son the black people are better than white instead of telling a kid that there is no difference instead of trying to further the race hatred in our country. Ok without getting into that ridiculous topic, let’s go to the part that literally destroyed this movie. My girlfriend and I could only laugh at and make fun of this movie in its entirety through the whole movie because of all the absolute WORST plot lines I’ve EVER seen in a movie, especially one containing fairly large stars and how they missed it, only points out their lack of intelligence as well. How the hell can people be so truly airheaded that they miss the fact that this judge who is 26yrs old (as pointed out towards the end after he kills the cop and the APB was put out), also had a 23yr old son (which was stated in the beginning in the kitchen during the conversation between the father and son), also the fact that during the meeting between the mayor and chief of police and the judge (Tay) they said how he’s been on the bench for 10yrs LMFAO!! So he was in law school at what 11-12yrs old? Just going through this movie and seeing one plot failure after another made this movie absolutely terrible and blew my mind that NO ONE who had any sort or common sense seemed to catch any of these failures beforehand. Well that’s all I’m going to get into since this was the only reason I went and created this account. To anyone else reading this, if you want a good laugh from a TERRIBLE movie plot line than go and watch to see how many utter bumblef*** mistakes you can find. Otherwise, I would recommend that you or no one EVER watch this horrible excuse of a movie. Go watch sharknado 7 or whatever number they are on now because that is probably 100000% better. Especially for story and plot lines, I’m sure everything will at least add up correctly.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

You sense that its heart is in the right place, but this thriller is simply too poorly made to accomplish much of anything. River Runs Red starts promisingly, as if it might be a family drama. Then it takes a hard left turn into its execution-by-cop plot, and no character behaves believably again. A gunshot victim is taken to a garage, and everyone stands around calmly kvetching as he bleeds. Coleman quickly gets all the evidence he needs to prove guilt -- or at least force a serious investigation (and he is a judge) -- but instead, he becomes a "vigilante" in one of the worst-planned home invasions ever. Relationships have no root; couples have no chemistry. In scene after scene, the body language is all wrong, as if no one senses the urgency of the situation.

Writer-director Wes Miller resorts to nail-on-the-head dialogue ("Don't forget your black robe doesn't hide your black skin" ... says Coleman's wife) and hammer-on-the-head symbolism: In the daytime, in his house, Coleman sits in a mysterious room with one side of his face lit red, the other blue -- and then we never see that room again; the bad guy actually wears a nearly black cowboy hat. And Miller throws in some strange musical interludes, including off-puttingly enthusiastic singing by a vocal group during Coleman's son's wake. What seems to be intended as a critique of trigger-happy police and the criminal justice system's tendency to protect them utterly degenerates into nonsensical violence.

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