Box art for Top Gun

Top Gun

action & adventure, drama, romance

Top Gun takes a look at the danger and excitement that awaits every pilot at the Navy's prestigious fighter weapons school.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 12
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Exciting Tom Cruise classic has some intense scenes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Top Gun is a blockbuster thriller that's chock full of narrow escapes, chases, and battles -- just what older tweens and teens love to see. But parents beware: There are also some violent and upsetting scenes, chiefly the death of a main character, which make it intense for younger kids (especially in the 3-D version). There's one graphic-for-its-time sex scene, though no nudity, and in one iconic scene, there are quite a few naked male torsos on a beach volleyball court. Winning is the most important thing to all the pilots, who try to intimidate one another with plenty of posturing and banter -- though when push comes to shove, loyalty and friendship have important roles to play, too. While sexism is quite noticeable, two strong female characters help keep some of the objectification in check.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about whether they believe the moral of the story: "There are no points for second place." Is winning all that matters? What would you jeopardize to win?
  • Who do you think Top Gun is aimed at, audience wise? How do you think it might be different if it had been made today?
  • Do you think it was right for Charlie to pursue a romantic relationship with Maverick?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 8
    see all Top Gun reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: This movie gets worse with time.

- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Watchable but rarely enthralling...

- David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rotten: Noisy, slick, and shallow, Tony Scott's MTV-like actioner became emblematic of 1980s blockbusters, reflecting in its macho bravado and cheap elitism the mood of the Reagan era; in the process, it also made Tom Cruise the biggest star of his generation

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Guilty pleasure + Tom Cruise with aviator glasses.

- emilebond007, Friday, October 22, 2010

3 stars

Val baby as Iceman, coolest role literally, that was bad. Tom pre-scientology, love it.

- Chiefilms, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

5 stars

Top Gun always has been and always will be one of my favorite movies of all time. It showcases Tom Cruise in a way that no movie ever quite has before or after. He is seen as what you might call the perfect human being. Charm, good looks, volleyball skills and singing are just a few of his talents. His main feature is being the greatest pilot of all time; soaring the skies in his F-14A Tomcat. Now a lot of people are out to get Tom Cruise and either claim that he's a bad actor or that he's just a freak, but my guess is that it's only jealously that clouds the minds of these non-believers that he is a gift to mankind. I don't think anyone else has as much awesome aspects about themselves and Top Gun only proves this beyond the shadow of a doubt. He commands the screen as hotshot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and delivers one grand performance. Next to him, you have a soire of supporting cast members that do a great job here including Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tom Skerrit and Anthony Edwards. Kelly McGillis also fares well as his instructor/squeeze, who can't resist the dashing good looks and charisma of her pupil. A lot of flack also gets thrown Tony Scott's way as well in terms of his directing style, but it's hard to pick apart Top Gun and see anything but beauty. It is shot in a way that makes you see the true power of these fighter pilots and their respecting aircrafts. Even when there isn't pulse pounding action occurring, you still get the full treatment. Even during your average game of volleyball, there is intensity oozing out of the screen. Now some people also have the theory that Top Gun is just about some kind of made up love story between Maverick and Iceman, but to me that's just a childish remark and a weak attempt at trying to make a movie belittled. Anyone who actually takes the time to watch this epic masterpiece would know that it's anything but that. Top Gun is essentially the definition of a fun summer movie, but also contains a lot of heart and genuine storytelling. We can relate to these larger than life characters because they are so well played out and so well written. It's had not to get wrapped up in all the visuals and surprisingly effective Kenny Loggin's Academy Award-Winning soundtrack that brings you right into the story. The fact is, some people may never get Top Gun; which is fine. However, those who do get it know how unbelievable cool it is and share the admiration for this great piece of movie-making. Top Gun isn't just some stupid, soulless, blockbuster at all. It has a true purpose and has real emotions running through its adrenaline pumping veins.

- ythelastman89, Monday, May 30, 2011