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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 2

Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.

67

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 45,097

My Rating

Movie Info

Clint Eastwood's fifth film as a director and eighth Western as a star (ninth if you count Paint Your Wagon), The Outlaw Josey Wales chronicles the hero's violent journey westward after the Civil War. With fresh memoris of his family's slaughter by Red Leg soldier Terrill (Bill McKinney), Confederate Josey Wales (Eastwood) refuses to join his captain Fletcher (John Vernon) and the rest of his comrades in surrender to a U.S. Army regiment. Deemed a dangerous outlaw after a bloody one-man battle

Mar 30, 1999

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (2) | DVD (22)

All in all, a very creditable film.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The screenplay is another one of those violence revues, with carnage production numbers slotted every so often.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Eastwood] gets to the heart of the matter briskly, orchestrates his confrontations intelligently and gets off without lingering unduly over the resultant ugliness.

October 26, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Demonstrated Eastwood's ability to recreate his first starring role, as the mythic Man with No Name of the Italian Westerns, and to subtly undercut it through comedy and mockery.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eastwood is such a taciturn and action-oriented performer that it's easy to overlook the fact that he directs many of his movies -- and many of the best, most intelligent ones.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A soggy attempt at a post-Civil War western epic.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (10)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An important movie in the maturation of Clint Eastwood as both actor and director.

June 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Though the story is pat...there's pleasure to be had in the memorable one-liners, the irreverent humor...and the Western action against the backdrop of frontier scenery. [Blu-ray]

May 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

It's a powerful, revisionist, revenge Western with many unique touches.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An underrated early directorial effort by Clint Eastwood.

October 26, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

An epic journey to redemption, set against a riveting portrait of a battered country.

October 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Fun western character study

February 26, 2007

Eastwood whups 'em again

October 10, 2005
Film Threat

One of Eastwood's earliest 5-star Western classics.

April 2, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

A top-notch Western.

October 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Eastwood's brooding, bloody masterpiece.

May 11, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Eastwood's constant re-sketching of and playful ambivalence towards Eastwood-as-Star is brilliantly illustrated in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

May 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema

Still Eastwood's best directorial effort for my money.

March 17, 2004

One of Eastwood's standout westerns

June 7, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

The Greatest Western Ever made . . . [Eastwood's] trademark squint and scowl are brandished to full effect

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for The Outlaw Josey Wales

I'm not sure The Outlaw Josey Wales is the classic it is often regarded as, for be it was only above average. That said, there does seem to be more to the story than most. I can't think of many anti-war westerns, so I commend its originality, which still stands to this day. It's certainly a western that is easy to watch that is worth its length. Gritty, but I didn't like all the spitting at the Dog much.
June 26, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

One of the best westerns of all time. Another Eastwood Classic. Clint Eastwood is excellent, he delivers a thrilling performance and even more thrilling directional feature. A stunning and well-crafted western that delivers plenty of sensational shoot-ours and great humor. A fun and exhilarating action-packed adventure. A great cast in some wonderful supporting roles just add more to love about this movie.
November 18, 2012
allan913

Super Reviewer

Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales is a near flawless Western with a great cast of actors. Directed by Clint Eastwood who also plays the lead role of Josey Wales, This is a classic Western that is packed with effective story telling, good action, memorable characters and above all, great directing. I very much enjoyed this film, and though it's not as legendary as Sergio Leone's Westerns, this is still a classic of the genre. Clint Eastwood delivers a great performance alongside Chief Dan George. The Outlaw Josey Wales is a great tale of revenge and payback. I think it's a subject that suits Clint Eastwood well, and he doesn't disappoint. This is a well crafted film with a great cast, great performances and an engaging story. If you're a Clint Eastwood fan, then you really should give this one a shot. This is a superb Western, and it will please fans of the genre. I really enjoyed John Vernon's performance as Fletcher, the man hunting down Josey Wales. Both Eastwood and Vernon light up the screen, and it's what makes this film so good. Combine that with a great story, and you have yet another Western classic. If you enjoy exciting Westerns, then this is the film for you. The cast is great, and the story is always exciting, and the performances are top notch. The Outlaw Josey Wales is a great film, and directed by Clint Eastwood, you can expect an excellent film for sure. If you love Eastwood's work, then don't miss out on this one. A must see for Eastwood fans.
December 19, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A typical horse opera with Eastwood as the stranger you better not mess with, only different, yea charged, with the blithe spirit of Chief Dan George as the unlikely second banana, who manages to lift the usual proceedings single-handedly into 4 star territory.
November 28, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

    1. Lone Watie: I've noticed when you get to disliking folks they aint around long neither.
    – Submitted by James J (4 months ago)
    1. Josey Wales: Buzzards gotta eat too.
    – Submitted by Dan C (15 months ago)
    1. Fletcher: Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.
    – Submitted by David B (18 months ago)
    1. Lone Watie: This is a good place to die.
    – Submitted by Philip v (19 months ago)
    1. Terrill: Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.
    – Submitted by Joseph B (20 months ago)
    1. Lone Watie: All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it's not for eatin'. It's just for lookin' through.
    – Submitted by Joseph B (20 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Texaner (DE)
  • The Outlaw Joesy Wales (UK)
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