Top Gun (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Top Gun1986

Top Gun (1986)



Critic Consensus: Though it features some of the most memorable and electrifying aereial footage shot with an expert eye for action, Top Gun offers too little for non-adolescent viewers to chew on when its characters aren't in the air.

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Movie Info

Devil-may-care navy pilot Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced training. Here he vies with Tom Kasansky (Val Kilmer) for the coveted "Top Gun" award. When not so occupied, Mitchell carries on a romance with civilian consultant Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). Shaken up by the death of a friend, Mitchell loses the Top Gun honor to Kasansky. Worried that he may have lost his nerve, Mitchell is given a chance to redeem himself during a tense international crisis involving a crippled US vessel and a flock of predatory enemy planes. The story wasn't new in 1986, but Top Gun scored with audiences on the strength of its visuals, especially the vertigo-inducing aerial sequences. The film made more money than any other film in 1986 and even spawned a 1989 takeoff, Hot Shots. An Academy Award went to the Giogio Moroder-Tom Whitlock song "Take My Breath Away." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Tom Cruise
as Lt. Pete `Maverick' Mitchell
Kelly McGillis
as Charlotte Blackwood
Anthony Edwards
as Lt. Nick `Goose' Bradshaw
Val Kilmer
as Lt. Tom `Iceman' Kazanski
Tom Skerritt
as Cdr. Mike `Viper' Metcalf
Michael Ironside
as Lt. Cdr. Heatherly `Jester'
Meg Ryan
as Carole Bradshaw
Barry Tubb
as Wolfman
Whip Hubley
as Hollywood
James Tolkan
as Stinger
Randall Brady
as Lieutenant Davis
Duke Stroud
as Air Boss Johnson
Ron Clark
as Inquiry Commander
Frank Pesce
as Bartender
Pete Pettigrew
as Perry Siedenthal
Troy Hunter
as Radio Operator
Linda Rae Jurgens
as Mrs. Metcalf
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Critic Reviews for Top Gun

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (15)

If you like airplane movies, Top Gun is about one-third of a dazzler, and the rest is at least watchable.

November 3, 2021 | Full Review…

The film's intensity mirrors the competitive and wild personalities of the pilots themselves. In this arena, the casting is on-target.

May 16, 2019 | Full Review…

... "Top Gun" is terribly monotonous.

February 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The movie, in short, hits its emotional marks, but it does so with such insistence that it feels less like real life than an object lesson in the architecture of the blockbuster.

January 3, 2018 | Full Review…

There are elements that hold up - especially Cruise's blinding charisma. The aerial scenes are still thrilling, and perfectly suited to a giant screen. Everything else? Well, that depends on how nostalgic you're feeling.

February 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The aerial sequences in Top Gun are as thrilling -- while remaining coherent -- as any ever put on film.

February 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Top Gun


Still one of the best action films around.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

Top Gun is a really good film, and is well worth watching. It is entertaining to watch, as something is always happening. Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a cocky pilot, who goes to Top Gun - for the best of the best. He is quite big headed, and gets the lady he likes .. eventually!!! There are some great moments in this play - funny, happy and sad. It has something for everyone - comedy, action, romance. It is really worth buying this film, as it is great to watch, however many times you have seen it. This film has stood the test of time. It came out about 20 years ago, and yet it is still enjoyed by many people. which just proves what a fantastic film it is! 4 Stars 2-1-2001 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


One can appreciate the film for being iconic, yet it is frustratingly bland and corny. Though Top Gun is full of action, nothing really happens, and the charming romance that inspires the classic hit "Take My Breath Away" becomes a vague, second-thought.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

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