Red Army


Biography / Documentary / History / Sport

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 6,086


Downloaded 111,778 times
April 12, 2019



Ronald Reagan as Soldier
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701.68 MB
23.976 fps
84 min
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1.24 GB
23.976 fps
84 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Davor-Blazevic-1959 9 / 10 / 10

The greatest sports dynasty in history

Red Army (2014) documentary, directed by Gabriel Polsky, retells the story of probably the greatest dynasty in the history of sports, the Soviet Union national ice hockey team of the 1980's, and its best five-man unit featuring Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov on defense, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, and Sergei Makarov (aka the KLM Line) at forwards, all in their 20s, aided with the legendary goalie, Vladislav Tretiak, in his 30s. The five dominated national and international hockey for nearly a decade. Having foundation of their game laid by Russian hockey coaching pioneer Anatoli Tarasov, based on creativity, organized team movements to create and win the space, as well as individual puck control, with its timely transition into an empty space on the next zone of the rink, ultimately to a player in prosperous scoring position, Soviet players, additionally subjected to military discipline added by Tarasov's successor, head coach Vladimir Tikhonov, who took over the Soviet national team in 1977., skated three times a day, eleven months of the year, "perfecting both their individual skills and their teamwork". Knowing that "copy is never as good as the original", creative "father of Russian hockey", Tarasov, sought inspiration from other team sports, even from theatrical arts, primarily ballet, to create a unique style, "a completely new way of playing hockey, which changed the sport". I was lucky to watch alive two games of this incredible hockey team in 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, the first one early in the competition and the last one in the finals. In the opening round, against Cubans, USSR won comfortably, and in addition to enjoying the game and individual virtuosity of USSR players, managing to combine two seemingly incompatible traits, improvisation with harmonious and fluent team play, comparable maybe only to similar traits of the best jazz orchestras, by having being coincidentally seated right in front of him, I was also listening to the professional comments of Ivica Osim, one of the greatest footballers to grace the soccer fields of Sarajevo, who has had thus far spent most of his active career whether playing for or coaching my favourite local team "Zeljeznicar", and was soon to coach national team of Yugoslavia. It was pure delight to listen to professional comments this great football enthusiast and expert had about the style and strategy of the Soviet national hockey team, and about the skills of its players, as well as comparison between the two sports, level of individual skills and tactics applicable in both. I can clearly remember Osim's comments and his longing for soccer outfield players of comparable individual skills, conditioned for so called total football, based extensively on player's capability not to cover only for his nominal position in the field, but, as it becomes required, to take over the role of any other player in a team. Strength of this team composed of players with incomparable skills was shown in the final game. Although the end result was not impressive, 2:0, nearly routine execution left no doubt who's dominant, and another participant, Check Republic, practically had never had a chance to win. Documentary, cleverly composed from interviews with three players of thus far surely the best five skater hockey unit ever to hit the ice, and from mixture of archive footage from their games, trainings and other life events, by showing how great and undefeatable they have been, really does them a great justice. Therefore, in the rest of this review I'll rather just add the words of the "Red Army" director, copied from a featurette "Gabe Polsky Hockey Commentary" found on a DVD: (Red Army-Director Gabe Polsky discusses the essence of Soviet hockey-2014) "I'm Gabe Polsky and I directed the movie Red Army. The Film is about the Soviet Union and the greatest sports dynasty in history. The Soviet Union national hockey team revolutionized sport, they took hockey and sport to a whole new creative level. When I was a young kid and I watched for the first time (the) Soviet Union play in a 1987 Canada Cup VHS tape it was a religious experience, it was incredible what they did on the ice creatively. This was the best hockey ever played in history. In the series you saw the greatest players from the Soviet Union face off against the greatest Canadian players. (Starting Lineups: USSR (Fetisov, Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Kasatonov) vs Canada (Grossman, Gartner, Gretzky, Messier, Bourque).) The Soviet style play here is like a finely tuned symphony: the passing, weaving, improvisation. (situation description) Krutov hits the puck out of the air to his team mate Makarov who has a breakaway: improvisation and awareness. (situation description) Here we see how they knew each other so well they could almost play blindfolded together. The passing is like an artistic tapestry. They transitioned fast and confused defenders with their movement. (situation description) Here we see incredible skill and creativity, and a sense of one other. This kind of hockey was incredibly fun to watch. (situation description) Here we see how quickly they punish you for mistakes. (situation description) This is one of my favourite players showing the skill level of the Soviet players... (situation description) The Soviet game and style is all about puck possession and passing we see here. (situation description) Here's Sergei Makarov, one of the greatest magicians in hockey history, passes to Krutov and then has an accurate shot. (situation description) Here tremendous skill, being able to shoot from any position. (situation description) And this here (Demiensky breakthrough and score), my friend, is pure art... the essence of hockey." Learning the essence and enjoying the art of ice hockey, indeed, while delightfully watching masters of the ice rink in their stellar moments.

Reviewed by elgatony 8 / 10 / 10

The Slava Fetisov Show.

Fetisov is a prickly guy. The opening scene where he blows off the interviewer to use his cell phone established this. However, he's a hockey legend so the interviewer puts up with it and often fumbles his questions. This is the mistake of "Red Army," a decent biography of Slava Fetisov, rather than that of the Russian hockey team. There are lots of great game footage as well as old footage of the founder of the Red Army team, Tarasov, which the film covers for about 10 minutes but other than Tretiak, some player I never heard of, a journalist, Fetisov's wife and a KGB agent, there aren't that many people other than Fetisov who have a voice in the movie and even less who were players we know. Two other star players are interviewed: Vladimir Krutov, who comes off as more prickly and private than Fetisov and Alex Kasatonov who also evades direct questions. Former coach Viktor Tikhonov refused particaption. This leaves Fetisov to carry the film and unfortunately, the interviewer is so out of his depth and star struck that he allows Fetisov to become the star at the expense of others. For instance, an article is full frame about his quitting the Red Army team. Yet also mentioned in the article as someone who quit with him is Igor Larionov. Where's HIS side of the story? The movie follows Fetisov into the NHL but NO mention is made of how Red Army coped with the sudden losses of it's stars. No mention is made at all of the first Soviet to be allowed to play, Sergei Priakhin. No mention is made of Tretiak's successors. Just how do you replace the best goalie in the world? VF mentions there was a purge of staff & players after the 1980 loss. WHO?? As for Tikhonov, nothing is mentioned that he actually had lots of playing and coaching experience before taking over Red Army yet the movie leaves it that he was hired simply because he was a protégé of a KGB bigwig. As for Kasatonov, the movie implies that their rift came simply because Kasatonov didn't appear with other players in a TV interview supporting Fetisov. It was more complicated than that but basically Fetisov felt AK was Tikhonov's spy, a resentment that carried over when the NJ Devils signed both and they stunk because there was no chemistry anymore. A competent documentarian would've found time to mention these things and balance the film but, again, this is the Slava Fetisov Show. So much so that no mention is made of how he was the one who hired the limo that led the career ending limo wreck that ended Vladimir Konstantinov's career. OK, it's not his fault but that's TWO car accidents he walked away from and it ended a teammates' career. I'd say that's pretty important. Nor is anywhere mentioned the alleged steroid use the USSR team has been notoriously accused of. Of course he'd deny it but it'd be nice to have him on the record as saying so. If you want a REAL history of that team, keep waiting. This movie is a flawed puff piece although if you're a Fetisov fan, this is the movie for you.

Reviewed by ironhorse_iv 8 / 10 / 10

Puck Yeah! This movie indeed reach its goal! It was very informative.

Made to capitalize on the fact that Russia got to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, this documentary directed by Gabe Polsky looks and acts like a propaganda film by its trailers. It sounds like it was going to tell the story of the Soviet Union's dominance of ice hockey during the Cold War, however, after watching it, it's really doesn't explore much of that. It's more about the social and cultural parallels between the collection styles of the Soviet Union vs the Individual. It told from the perspective of its captain, Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov, who witness it, during the early and late 1980s. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to see a story about a man fighting against the system, but I thought it was going focus more on CDKA (Centralnyy Dom Krasnoy Armii) AKA Soviet Union's Red Army hockey club and its members, throughout its 46 years history. The film barely talk about the past members of the hockey team like Vyacheslav Starshinov, Boris Mikhailov, Vitaly Davydov, and Viktor Yakushev during the pre-1980s era, nor does the movie explore or explain the different between the Soviet Union national ice hockey team and that of the CDKA. The film makes it seem like, all of the championships was completed all by the same team, when technically; it wasn't. It's like if a movie was made about the New York Rangers, and made them, seem like they won, all the Olympic golds for Team USA when in truth, they're two different teams. It's a bit misleading. The film also fails to talk about the discussion of steroid use, a drug that the Soviet Union was very open in using in sports in that time, nor the fact that there were scandals, where other Russian hockey's clubs intentionally lose to the Red Army in order to make the CDKA look strong. Also, the depiction of today's Russian stars perceived lack of patriotism for their country was a bit misleading. Internationally, Alexander Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments. Also, the movie is a bit misleading when it comes to Fetisov and his relationship with the NHL. The film makes it seem like Fetisov didn't have an interest in joining the NHL, until the late 1980s, in reality, Fetisov had been interested in joining, even before the 1980s Winter Olympics. In fact, he was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft eleven years prior to Soviet's newfound glasnost policy, but couldn't committed to it, due to trouble with travel papers. Also, Fetisov's trouble transformation from Soviet Union's style of hockey to NHL's style was also somewhat fictional. He debuted with the Devils in 1989–90 and recorded eight goals and 42 points, both NHL career-highs for Fetisov. In fact, most of the years, he spent with the Devils, they got to the playoffs. Plus, the film fails to mention that Fetisov was their assistant coach for some time. The film also fails to mention, the June 13, 1997 limo crash that Fetisov, along with teammate Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov got injury from. It would had help the human story that the film is trying to tell with Fetisov's backstory about friendship and the death of his brother. I like that side of the story about brotherhood, and I think you would like it, too, even if you're not a sport fan. There is a wonderful shot of teammate, Alexei Kasatonov getting interview about his betrayal of Fetisov, and you can't help, feeling bad for him. In my moment, most of the talking-heads interviews were beautifully lightened, place, and shot, even if some of them were awkwardly put in, like the ex-KGB member, Felix Nechepore, being interrupted by a little girl about his sunglasses. It adds to the charm of the film. Even Fetisov is introduced to us as a douche bag, but softly shown as a very complex, but busy, old morals good person. It really took me completely by surprise. The film is also very good at its editing. The archive sport event/ training footage mix with the interviews, match so well. The music and effects for it, was amazing. The pacing, not so well. For a movie about the Red Army, it really stop talking about it, 2/3 in. Yet, it was also very surprising that they would talk about the 1980's 'Miracle of Ice' moment so early, in the movie. 20 minutes in. I thought, that would had been the climax, but whatever. In the end, 'Red Army' is a must-see documentary, whether you're a hockey fan or not. Overall: I highly recommended seeing this film.

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