The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on a true story, The Tuskegee Airmen chronicles the experiences of the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Using Hannibal Lee (Laurence Fishburne) as a focal point, the movie follows the airmen from their initial training at Tuskegee, Alabama, through their combat assignments during World War II. Featuring fascinating vintage military planes and exciting air-combat footage, the film also depicts the racism encountered by the pilots. In one example, the airmen are forced to give their seats on a crowded train to German prisoners of war. Even after the airmen complete their training, the military brass is reluctant to trust them in battle. But First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt publicizes their plight by going to Tuskegee and having one of the African-American pilots take her for a plane ride, and shortly thereafter the airmen are assigned a combat role. Eventually they join with other African-American pilots in the 332nd Fighter Group where their skill in protecting bombers from enemy fighters finally earns them the respect they deserve. The screen story was co-authored by Robert Williams, one of the pilots trained at Tuskegee.

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Laurence Fishburne
as Hannibal Lee
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Billy `Train' Roberts
Andre Braugher
as Lt. Col Davis
John Lithgow
as Sen. Conyers
Daniel Hugh Kelly
as Col. Rogers
Allen Payne
as `Stick'
Mekhi Phifer
as Lewis Johns
Rosemary Murphy
as Eleanor Roosevelt
Christopher Bevins
as Young Hannibal
Eddie Braun
as Tail Gunner
Brett Jones
as Right Waist Gunner
Max Daniels
as Left Waist Gunner
Tim Kelleher
as Lt. Wesley (B17)
Jack Dwyer
as Operations Officer
James Field
as Conductor
Vivica A. Fox
as Charlene
Bennet Guillory
as Hannibal's Father
David Harrod
as White Pilot No. 1
Johnny Judkins
as White Pilot No. 2
Tim Kellehen
as Lt. Wesley (B-17)
Doug Krouse
as Walter's Instructor
Ed Lauter
as Gen. Stevenson
Barry Lehman
as German Prisoner
Janet MacLachlan
as Hannibal's Mother
Allan McCormick
as Lewis's Instructor
Willie Minor
as Black Prisoner
Perry Moore
as Reggie Newton
Marco Perella
as Col. Sirca
David Pickens
as Gang Boss
Rick Snyder
as Chairman Cassidy
Allan R. Stokes
as Drill Sgt.
Ned Vaughn
as Capt. Butler (B-17)
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Critic Reviews for The Tuskegee Airmen

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

This cliche-bound script is an equal-missed-opportunity employer.

December 8, 2017 | Full Review…

The script's familiar, since air combat isn't a new genre by a long shot, but the additional mission of the men proving themselves gives telepic its extra dimension.

August 25, 2008 | Full Review…

True story of African-Americans in WWII has mature themes.

May 5, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The script has a weak structure and the characters are fairly superficial, but the film is still moving as all get out.

August 25, 2008

A superbly crafted production featuring outstanding aerial sequences.

August 25, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Too self-important, too cliched, and too dismissive of the talent at its disposal.

August 29, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for The Tuskegee Airmen

Based on a true story, "The Tuskegee Airmen" tells the story of a group of African American pilots and their challenges in becoming airmen for the United States to help fight for their country. The film includes many clips of actual footage of various missions being carried out mixed in with the rest of the acted material. The film is a simple but effective look into the troubled and corrupt world that blacks were forced to be part of during times of segregation. There were moments you could feel the pain and loss through their eyes and there were several times I connected with these men and their struggles. Overall this was a wonderful film that HBO made for television and is much more correlated with a theatrical film then a television movie. This is a solid watch no matter the color of your skin and is a great story of acceptance in the most basic of ways.

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

Ackackack go the enemy fighters, swoonswoonswoon go the soundtrack violins... Well, you could do worse than watch Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr , Andre Braugher and more swoop stylishly through the air and stride fetchingly around in pilots jackets for ninety minutes , but both the calibre of acting and the true story of an elite squad of black US pilots fighting racism and Germans are let down by the made-for-HBO-tv overdramatics .

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer


A good film that could have benefited from a larger budget.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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