The Outsiders

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 117

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 18, 2016
    6
    Francis Coppola has made a well acted and crafted but highly conventional film out of S.E. Hinton’s popular youth novel, The Outsiders. Although set in the mid-1960s, pic feels very much like a 1950s drama about problem kids.

    Screenplay is extremely faithful to the source material, even down to having the film open with the leading character and narrator, C. Thomas Howell, reciting the
    Francis Coppola has made a well acted and crafted but highly conventional film out of S.E. Hinton’s popular youth novel, The Outsiders. Although set in the mid-1960s, pic feels very much like a 1950s drama about problem kids.

    Screenplay is extremely faithful to the source material, even down to having the film open with the leading character and narrator, C. Thomas Howell, reciting the first lines of his literary effort while we see him writing them.

    But dialog which reads naturally and evocatively on the page doesn’t play as well on screen, and there’s a decided difficulty of tone during the early sequences, as Howell and his buddies (Matt Dillon and Ralph Macchio) horse around town, sneak into a drive-in and have an unpleasant confrontation with the Socs, rival gang from the well-heeled part of town.

    When the Socs attack Howell and Macchio in the middle of the night, latter ends up killing a boy to save his friend, and the two flee to a hideaway in an abandoned rural church. It is during this mid-section that the film starts coming to life, largely due to the integrity of the performances by Howell and Macchio.

    Howell is truly impressive, a bulwark of relative stability in a sea of posturing and pretense. Macchio is also outstanding as his doomed friend, and Patrick Swayze is fine as the oldest brother forced into the role of parent.
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  2. Apr 3, 2014
    4
    The Outsiders was a very good book, but the movie doesn't even come close. Right from the get-go, the story dwindles and the actors portray their characters awkwardly, almost as if they have no clue what type of character they should be playing. Add this to the list of another one of Coppola's bombs.
  3. Jan 2, 2013
    5
    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 hisLet 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.
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  4. JayH
    May 6, 2008
    6
    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.
  5. smithy
    Oct 14, 2007
    5
    All i can say is its not as good as the book.
Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: John Engstrom
    75
    The director gives us a small, sincere and nearly perfectly realized film about adolescence in Oklahoma, aptly entitled The Outsiders. [24 Mar 1983]
  2. 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.
  3. 63
    Coppola's teenagers seem trapped inside too many layers of storytelling.