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1984 Movie Reviews – Tank

by Sean P. Aune | March 16, 2024March 16, 2024 10:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.


We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1984 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1984 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around it’s March 16, 1984, and we’re off to see Tank.


The movie poster for this film said “TANK” in all capital letters. It feels like they could have also just as easily written”MOVIE,” and it would have been just as accurate.

Command Sergeant Major Zack Carey (Garner) moves to a new post in Georgia with his family and his refurbished, personally-owned Sherman tank. Once there, he runs afoul of a deputy (James Cromwell), and this causes the corrupt sheriff (G. D. Spradlin) to decide he needs to save his reputation by taking it out on Carey. This eventually turns into seeking revenge by arresting Carey’s son, Billy (C. Thomas Howell), and that’s where the tank finally comes into play. Shedding his commission, Carey breaks out his son with the help of a local prostitute (Jenilee Harrison) who was controlled by the sheriff, and they make their way to Tennessee to try to get some justice.

In his memoirs, James Garner referred to Tank as “just a workaday movie with nothing outstanding about it. I had fun making it, though, because I got to drive a Sherman tank and crash into things.” That is about the most honest and appropriate take on this film that you could ever ask for.

There is nothing outright offensive about the quality of this movie – other than Howell’s abysmal performance – it’s just how utterly barebones it is. It has a plot, it moves forward, and it ends. We had seen other military-doesn’t-mix-with-a-smalltown films before, but those at least had something to say usually. Tank simply exists.

There’s something to be said for simple entertainment, but it’s definitely nothing you need to go out of your way to watch.

1984 Movie Reviews will return on March 23, 2024 with Police Academy and Racing the Moon!


Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing