More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.05%
Average: 2.54%
Pretty Bad: 3.39%
Total Crap: 3.39%

5 reviews, 88 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Endgame (2021) by Jay Seaver

Tom and Jerry by Peter Sobczynski

Stylist, The by Rob Gonsalves

Rumble Fish by Jack Sommersby

Saint Maud by Rob Gonsalves

One Night in Miami... by Rob Gonsalves

Wanting Mare, The by Rob Gonsalves

Tenet by Rob Gonsalves

Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez by Rob Gonsalves

Judas and the Black Messiah by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

Warriors, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jay Seaver

"It's at least a little clever, which is enough."
4 stars

It's kind of a shame that the present "Ultimate Director's Cut" of "The Warriors" feels the need to underline its mythic and comic book influences so plainly. When you don't point that sort of thing out, you have an action movie that reminds people of an epic quest despite its modest scale, rather than just trying to claim that sort of title.

It is, as the prologue tells us, the quest to return home. Coney Island street gang The Warriors has come to the Bronx along with representatives from every other gang in New York to listen to a speech by Cyrus (Roger Hill), leader of the city's most powerful gang, the Riffs. He proposes that if they work together, they could control the city - after all, they outnumber the police, the mafia, and anyone else. It sounds good, but Cyrus is assassinated by Luther (David Patrick Kelly), leader of the Rogues, who lay the blame at the feet of the Warriors. They flee, separated from their own leader (Dorsey Wright), but no place in the city other than their home turf is safe, since the radio has gotten the word out that the Warriors broke the truce and it's now open season on them.

One of the opening credits sets The Warriors in "The Future", although there aren't any ray guns or flying cars to be found. Instead, there's a vaguely dystopian feel, with what had been gangs have evolved into something closer to tribes. Skin color doesn't seem to be a major factor in their identity; the Warriors are integrated and none of the taunting between gangs or strife within goes to race. It's an unreal environment, familiar enough to feel possible but just fanciful enough to be a sort of alternate reality (at least, thirty years later).

Part of what makes the film such a world of its own is Bobbie Mannix's costumes for the Warriors and the other gangs they encounter. Each gang looks like a group of a Batman villain's henchmen which has lost its leader, from the leather-vested Warriors to the Baseball Furies in grey pinstriped uniforms and facepaint. As imaginative as some of these are, Mannix and company resist the temptation to make them too fancy; not even Cyrus's outfit is that far away from the ratty clothes worn by the low-level Orphans; they are street gangs, after all, not supervillains or superheroes.

The cast does a fine job of not making their characters into either. Dorsey Wright and Roger Hill certainly project charisma as Cleon and Cyrus, but not in a way that makes them fundamentally different than the young men they're leading. Michael Beck is less sure of himself as the gang's "war leader"; he's blessed with more sense than the rest but doesn't quite have what it takes to make people listen to it. He butts heads with James Remar's Ajax a lot; Remar's the one to remind us that even our protagonists aren't necessarily great guys, and he seems to have a great time playing the thug. David Patrick Kelly is maniacally over-the-top as Luther; Deborah Van Valkenburgh is all attitude as the girl who falls in with the Warriors, first as a hostage and then more willingly.

As much as Walter Hill may have been a little too keen to show off his influences in the new edition (and the animated transitions really don't work; both the art style and the way he pans between comic-book panels feel out of sync with the film's late-seventies style), most of what he did in '78 is tight. There aren't very many minutes wasted in the film, and when circumstances divide the gang up into smaller groups, he does a fine job of splitting time between them. The action scenes are pretty well-done, with much better hand-to-hand fight choreography than is typical of American movies of that time, and Hill manages to add a lot of style without having it take over the film.

"The Warriors" isn't a classic, but it certainly holds up after thirty years, which is a pretty nice feat in and of itself.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/27/08 03:32:12
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

11/21/20 Anne pathetic 1 stars
5/15/18 LEON INSTANT CLASSIC 5 stars
11/04/17 Outspeaker reminds me of the Chicago I grew up in, back in the 1940s. 5 stars
10/04/17 Maurizio I dug it ! 4 stars
4/24/17 David H. A little trite, but still a great time capsule of late '70s New York. 4 stars
6/16/13 RS Eerie view of a frightening NYC scene-over the top, but engaging. 4 stars
9/11/11 Rob Great action, great soundtrack, even if it is silly. 4 stars
11/08/10 Luke One of the best HORROR movies of all time... 5 stars
6/27/09 okgatsby A cult classic pulp joyride. If this doesn't rock you bopper then take off your colors. 5 stars
3/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess ACTION-PACKED!!!! 4 stars
7/26/08 Ace I don't know...I just like doing things like that 5 stars
6/13/08 DM It's silly but entertaining - and James Remar looks hot. 4 stars
4/19/08 Karrie Millheim I LOVE THIS MOVIE, old school gangs and a great story 5 stars
3/09/08 Bubba O'Reilly I like it, but... FOR GOSH SAKES, SOMEBODY HAIL A CAB!!! 4 stars
1/27/08 Jeffrey Gardner Watch this with Streets of Fire for the full 80's dystopian effect 5 stars
10/25/07 Andre original, & beautiful on blu-ray 4 stars
10/20/07 Roger Ebert You either like it or you don't. What else needs to be said? 4 stars
8/13/07 andrew gerges can u digit,can you digit,CANYOU DIGGIT!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/15/07 specialK i've been wanting to see it since '79....i'm sorry but this was total crap. 1 stars
6/20/07 Mick My fav' film of all time - a masterpiece. 5 stars
6/17/07 David Cohen A suspenseful and engaging thriller 4 stars
4/18/07 Mandrakegray The greatest CULT film of all time. A classic. Period. Can You Dig It? 5 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini kinda dull 3 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan lame silly adaption of sol yuricks far better and realistic book-movie pales to the book 2 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller The Coney boppers still get it done over 20 years later; they're not good, they're the best 5 stars
1/13/07 Tank Murdoch The Orphans were thebaddest gang,thats why the warriors ran from them! They're chickenshits 1 stars
9/19/06 Dan Weiss A great film from virgin actors. Ajax was the best. 5 stars
8/01/06 Joe CAAAAAAAAN YOOOOOOOOOU DIG IT?!? I sure as hell do. 4 stars
6/04/06 michael Come out and play definatly worth watching 5 stars
6/02/06 San Lamar i say take a look 4 stars
6/01/06 Bails Still as fresh now as the first time i saw it! A true classic 5 stars
4/22/06 ted lindsay greatest action film ever can you dig it 5 stars
4/05/06 Ajax If I was warlord we would have all made it back alive! Swan and Cleon went fagget! Wimps! 2 stars
3/24/06 Sugarfoot One of Hill's greatest movies. 5 stars
2/10/06 Dave Fucken Awesome shit, 5 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman warriors come out and playyyyyyyyyaayyy 4 stars
12/02/05 George a beautiful film,you just root for these warriors from start to finish 4 stars
11/23/05 C Vega a surpingly brilliant movie....DO NOT REMAKE THIS CLASSIC! 5 stars
10/21/05 Wisamane wow i didnt know the movie was made in the 70's it looked like from the 90's! amazing Fx! 5 stars
10/07/05 Curtis My favorite film, even the trailer kicks, over the top costumes, but there be tigers here 5 stars
6/05/05 Dave A fast pace film that keeps you entertained even if it has weaknesses. 4 stars
4/26/05 Trinere Tes performs Warriors live soundtrack set ! ! ! 5 stars
1/27/05 tatum Gangbangers a little TOO stylish; still rewarding 4 stars
1/24/05 Jeff Anderson WALTER HILL'S TRUE MASTERPIECE! Please, I beg you, do NOT remake this film! You'll be sorry 5 stars
1/03/05 bill jingle the movie is so sweet, ODB RIP 5 stars
5/20/04 Proteus from Warriors to 321 Contact for two cast members. Astonishingly fun. 5 stars
1/28/04 LIAM JACKSON great movie.the best scene is when cyrus is shot. it's so funny when he gets killed. 5 stars
12/19/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. "THE GODFATHER" of gang movies. Best gang: The Lizzies. 5 stars
11/28/03 john one of the best action movies ever made 5 stars
9/27/03 Alan Far more style than substance, but when it has this much style................ 4 stars
9/25/03 Stefan Halka Who ever a thought a plot about a gang trying to get back could be such a good watch? 4 stars
9/09/03 Laura Stuart James Remar Is So hot in this one! If you don't like this movie you suck 5 stars
8/30/03 Christian Adair Mann One of my favorite movies! Great action scenes! Kind of far-fetched, but great fun. 5 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Stylish and suspenseful, but it's still pretty cliched. 4 stars
10/21/02 Stacey Ouch. 2 stars
7/12/02 KMG's time to playay.... 5 stars
6/11/02 TLsmooth Inpired me to found The Crips. 5 stars
4/06/02 Tantive7 The People's opinion is, Awesome!! Nuff Said.. The critics are wrong in the end. THE BEST!! 5 stars
1/16/02 Ringer(big dog) A stunning,fantastic film AWESOME!!!!! 5 stars
11/14/01 King James One of the best ever 5 stars
11/13/01 marmy the best 5 stars
8/01/01 Allan Awesome, gripping, Swann's my man 5 stars
7/06/01 Bobby Hill Critics of this satire are clueless. The acting is in the movement: I can dig it! 5 stars
6/24/01 joelee Stylized violence & great art direction make up for hokey story. 4 stars
6/03/01 Tbone Awesome!!! one of my favorites of all time. 5 stars
4/28/01 Doug This must be a very old site COOL MOVIE THOUGHAus 4 stars
4/23/01 Skip Young I know it's highly revered, but it's never done anything for me. 2 stars
4/21/01 ReservoirDog2001 the greatest movie i ever saw 5 stars
3/06/01 Wanja Seifert Can you dig it??? 5 stars
2/02/01 ray pua a fukin well thought up movie for a film that was filmed in 79,this is the best gang movies 5 stars
12/23/00 irfan mirza entertaining and violent 5 stars
10/18/00 Will Marks Totally Brilliant 5 stars
9/26/00 Paul This movie makes you want to join a gang and kick butt! 5 stars
7/30/00 Rogue Librarian Best "Gotta fight every theme-oriented street gang" movie ever! 5 stars
7/06/00 francisco ponce all a chant to virility, 5 stars
6/28/00 HUSKER IN MY TOP FIVE OF ALL TIME!!! 5 stars
3/06/00 Neil Hawkins This film rocks, shout "CAN YOU DIG IT" on the vinegar stroke 5 stars
3/05/00 juan jaramillo GREAT MOVIE! MICHAEL BECK'S AWESOME 5 stars
8/23/99 Cyrus This film is brilliant! 5 stars
7/27/99 Pete Rios This movie ROCKS! 5 stars
4/13/99 Jon Jackson I stumbled on this movie by accident, it's a lot of fun, I can dig it! 5 stars
2/01/99 Original Gangsta word. this movie rocked. cool how they portrayed the NYPD as yet another gang 5 stars
11/29/98 Mike F SHIT! 1 stars
11/25/98 little jerry Poor Man's Kubrick.Hill's little known HARD TIMES[aka.The Streetfighter] is much better. 3 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob 'No reason...I just like doin' things like that!' 5 stars
9/28/98 Brandon B. Hillarious Broadway dancers portray long island gangs. 5 stars
9/17/98 Chuck-D this movie rules - campy 70's gang fun 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  09-Feb-1979 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast