Red Tails (2012) starring Cuba Gooding Jr, Gerald McRaney, and David Oyelowo.
This movie is based on a true story about a group of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program. They faced incredible segregation issues and were forced to either be on the ground during World War II or do meaningless missions. They finally received their call to battle and not only shot down race barriers but led the ally victory bombings over Berlin.
My wife and I saw this movie and would recommend it to anyone. The production company was Lucasfilm which I did not know going into the movie. They did a great job as expected with the air combat scenes. The fight scenes were very cool but the over all cinematography was neat as it gave the feel we were in the 1940's. The landscape of Italy made us want to go visit the place even more (on our bucket list).
Red Tails had a mix of humor, drama, cultural issues, and suspense. Many times my wife said to me that her palms were sweating during the fight scenes in the sky. The movie did a great job of allowing the viewer to place themselves within the film and relate to different characters. It didn't just paint a politically correct picture where all the whites were bad and the African-Americans were good either. The movie did a great job of balancing the racial issues of the day.
One of the characters nicknamed Easy, played by Nate Parker, was very relatable to many. This particular character was trying to live up to his father and seemed to be a perfectionist. He ended up turning to drinking to cope with the lack of affirmation he received from his father. This was spite the fact he excelled in everything he did, including the air force. He set unreal expectations on himself and was living in the guilt of not fulfilling those very expectations. I found him to be a very likeable person in the movie and natural leader.
The other main highlighted character was Joe 'Lightning' Little, played by David Oyelowo. You might recognize David Oyelowo from The Help (2011). David played this part perfectly. Joe Little was a wild card and lived life on the edge. He especially pushed the limit while in the air and tried things no other pilot would dare. His character added a tremendous amount to the drama and suspense of the movie.
The movie addressed a period in time that history would prefer to forget. A critical moment in time when a group of men desired to fight for their country against a lunatic dictator. They fought hard and came through when they were called upon. There victory wasn't just over the Germans but is was a message of hope and perseverance.
Cuba Gooding Jr. actually stared in the TV film, The Tuskegee Airmen which aired in 1995.