Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. 75
    Francis Coppola's revision of his 1983 film of S.E. Hinton's best seller The Outsiders is funny, touching and revelatory, with twenty-two minutes of added footage and a new soundtrack featuring Elvis Presley. [Review of re-release]
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The charismatic Dillon is a believable delinquent and gets solid support from a cast that went on to populate some of the better youth pictures in years to come. [Review of re-release]
  3. Reviewed by: John Engstrom
    The director gives us a small, sincere and nearly perfectly realized film about adolescence in Oklahoma, aptly entitled The Outsiders. [24 Mar 1983]
  4. 63
    Coppola's teenagers seem trapped inside too many layers of storytelling.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Francis Coppola has made a well acted and crafted but highly conventional film out of S.E. Hinton's popular youth novel, The Outsiders.
  6. This is an honestly moving, ungainly film. [25 Mar 1983]
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Alas, The Outsiders is not quite a good one. Because it falls in with the undulating rhythm of the life of its heroes, for whom a fatal fight and a quiet night have almost equal importance, the picture never manages to reach the peaks of satisfying Hollywood melodrama.
  8. It is spectacularly out of touch, a laughably earnest attempt to impose heroic attitudes on some nice, small characters purloined from a ''young-adult'' novel by S.E. Hinton, the woman who wrote the novel on which ''Tex'' was based.
  9. 10
    Francis Ford Coppola's gang film is as moony about death as "One From the Heart" was over romance; the film is unremitting in its morbid sentimentality, running its teenage characters through a masochistic gamut of beatings, killings, burnings, and suicides.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Jan 2, 2013
    Let me just say that I read "The Outsiders" in novel form before having seen this movie. Viewing "The Complete Novel" edition, I felt that this adaptation did not serve the book the glory it should have. While the locations and sets were fitting to the story, and the plot is very faithful to its source material, the problem is the unconvincing acting. Thomas C. Howell lead in one of his early roles as Ponyboy, a greaser from Oklahoma. His friend Johnny, played by Ralph Maccio, becomes responsible for a murder of one of the Socs, a class of rich teens, and the two have to face the trouble they've made.

    Howell's performance just kills it for me. He shows such little emotion in his expressions and tone, which does not worm for a deep and sensitive character such as Ponyboy. The same can be said about Maccio, whose crying scene is incredibly forced. I understand that, according to Metacritic's "15 Films that Critics Got Wrong," what makes this movie so "great" is that its stars would go on to become big names in Holywood, but their lack of experience at the point this was made is actually a flaw to me. To top it all off, they use ridiculous fake southwestern accents that make it hard to take seriously. See it only if you are that big of a fan of the book.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2012
    A very hard hitting and moving story about rival gangs and the effect it has on the lives of the people in and around the gangs. The story follows two of the younger greasers after one of them accidently kills a rival gang member in self defence. They leave town and believe they will have to remain on the run forever.

    With a cast to die for, The Outsiders is an incredible, hard hitting film. Portrayed in a believable and moving way, the cast includes Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. But Ralph Macchio stands out in this film as Johnny Cade.

    The direction of Francis Ford Coppola along with stunning performances from the cast bring this film to life. You feel for the characters as they take you on an emotional rollercoaster. You laugh along with them and share in the anguish and feel the pain they all go through just to survive. It is hard not to watch the film now without comparing other films the cast have made since this film. But for many of the cast, it is up there with the finest performances of their career.

    The film is an adaption of a classic novel by S.E. Hinton who was just 16 when the novel was first published in 1967. It was also her first novel. The book has become part of school English curriculum.
    Full Review »
  3. JayH
    May 6, 2008
    Considering the talent involved, and the remarkable cast of young stars, the movie just lacks involvement and depth. All the ingredients are there, somehow it didn't fully come together. Still, it is a well crafted film and it is interesting, just not as interesting as it should have been. Full Review »