Subscribers! Add a note to this movie and/or put it into one of your private movie lists.
When the citizens of a Midwest town learn that a corrupt railroad baron intends to force them off their land in the name of progress, a group of young farmers join forces to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. In the course of serving this vendetta, the renegade farmers become the targets of the biggest manhunt in the history of the Old West.
Action Western - Non-discriminating action fans, particularly younger ones, are the
audience most likely to enjoy this light western/adventure. Those
seeking anything of substance better look elsewhere. Violent, but
non-bloody, content may be of concern to parents.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
(Close new window when finished with Full Reviews)
Review Below Average "That the movie has obviously been fashioned for the
summer teen audience raises a question: Does the Game Boy generation really have
the slightest appetite for horses, saloon banter, or romance that is literally
James Berardinelli, Internet Critic
Review Below Average "Casual movie-goers will label this as a "bad
movie", and will depart multiplexes nodding sagely about why (they think)
Westerns are no longer made. Aficionados, will deem American Outlaws to
be a sacrilege.''
Review Poor "Should cruel mischance lead you to see this movie, do me a
favor and rent Kaufman's "The Great Northfield, Minnesota, Raid" and
then meditate on the fact that giants once walked the land in Hollywood. The
style, class and intelligence of a Western like that (in an era which also gave
us "The Wild Bunch") is like a rebuke to "American Outlaws."''
TV Guide OnlineFull
Review Average "While movies like THE LONG RIDERS (1980) and THE GREAT
NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA RAID (1972) aim to be serious considerations of the
outlaws' lives and legends, this picture just wants to have fun.''
Note: The rating above is our
interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review.
We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
The farmers left Liberty, Missouri as boys. Four years later, steeled from fighting on the losing side of the Civil War, the soldiers return home as hardened men hoping to reclaim their former lives — farming their land and caring for their families.
But the homecoming is short-lived: Jesse and Frank James (COLIN FARRELL and GABRIEL MACH'I'),
brothers Cole and Bob Younger (SCOTT CAAN and WILL McCORMACK) and their trusted comrade Comanche Tom (NATHANIEL ARCAND) return to find Liberty occupied by Federal troops. Meanwhile., the Rock Island Railroad, led by the powerful Thaddeus Rains (HARRIS YULIN), is forcing farmers
to sell their homes at immorally low prices as the R.I.R. builds westward. Making matters worse, the infamous Allan Pinkerton (TIMOTHY DALTON) and
his Pinkerton Detective Agency provide limitless manpower to force the railroad company's agenda on unsuspecting citizens.
United by a common bond to defend their homes from the imperialistic East Coast establishment, this small group of former soldiers, together with Jim Younger (GREGORY
SMITH), Clell Miller (TY O'NEAL), and Loni Packwood (JOE STEVENS), form the James-Younger Gang. Their vendetta against the railroad company takes the renegades on a journey throughout the Old West, as they attack their adversary where it hurts most — in the wallet — to prevent the railroad from barreling through outlaw country. Initially underestimated by their opponents, the James-Younger gang prove themselves to be "the perfect
outlaw band" by ravaging the railroad's supply lines, sabotaging track and robbing the banks where the company's payroll is stored.
By sharing some of the loot with their neighbors, the outlaws become respected
heroes in the hearts of the people. But the gang's retaliation spree inevitably pulls Jesse away from his true love, hometown beauty Zee Mimms (ALI LARTER), and his growing notoriety flames internal conflicts within the gang — conflicts that could prove as great a threat to their survival as their nemesis Allan Pinkerton.