Young Guns (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Young Guns (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this Western based loosely on actual events and people, Emilio Estevez stars as William H. Bonney (aka Billy the Kid). Sought for a petty crime in Lincoln County, Billy is taken in by John Tunstall (Terence Stamp), a British ranch owner seeking to make it in the cattle business. Tunstall employs a group of "regulators," comprised of wayward youths he's gathered over the years, to watch over his ranch; in turn, he teaches them how to read and reforms them into better men. Tunstall's business interests come into conflict with those of corrupt and murderous businessman Lawrence Murphy (Jack Palance), whose widespread connections make him a power to be reckoned with. When Tunstall won't budge from his right to pursue a living, Murphy's henchmen stage an ambush and kill him. This triggers a vow of vengeance from the quick-tempered Billy and his five fellow regulators, who are deputized to serve arrest warrants in the murder. However, when Billy decides to gun down the suspects instead of detaining them, his loyal pals become accessories in a vigilante spree to wipe the territory clean of Murphy and his web of conspirators. Soon, the supposed lawmen are on the run from bounty hunters, henchmen, and government soldiers, from all directions of the compass. This box-office hit also stars Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermot Mulroney, and Casey Siemaszko.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Fusco, Louis Garfinkle
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 20, 2001
Artisan Entertainment


Emilio Estevez
as Billy the Kid
Kiefer Sutherland
as Doc Scurlock
Charlie Sheen
as Dick Brewer
Dermot Mulroney
as "Dirty Steve" Stephe...
Casey Siemaszko
as Charley Bowdre
Terence Stamp
as John Tunstall
Jack Palance
as L.G. Murphy
Sharon Thomas
as Alex McSween
Geoffrey Blake
as J. McCloskey
Terry O'Quinn
as Alex McSween
Alice Carter
as Yen Sun
Brian Keith
as Buckshot Roberts
Thomas Callaway
as Texas Joe Grant
Patrick Wayne
as Pat Garrett
Lisa Banes
as Mallory
Sam Gauny
as Morton
Daniel Karmin
as Sheriff Brady
as Henry Hill
Victor Izay
as Justice Wilson
Allen Keller
as John Kinney
Jeremy H. Lepard
as Jimmy Dolan
Daniel Kamin
as Sheriff Brady
Pat Lee
as Janey
Gary Kanin
as Col. Dudley
Jeff Prettyman
as Judge Bristol
Randy Travis
as Ring Member
Alan Tobin
as Bartender
Joey Hanks
as Hindman
Elena Parres
as Manuela's Mother
Tom Callaway
as Texas Joe Grant
Daniel Tucker Kamin
as Sheriff Brady
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Young Guns

Critic Reviews for Young Guns

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5)

Christopher Cain directed this western from a script by John Fusco, and on the whole seems much more comfortable with the scroungy and scatological dialogue than he does with the action sequences.

Full Review… | February 4, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Little more than a flawed romp, but energetic and enjoyable, with sterling performances from Sutherland and Estevez.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Young Guns is best watched in the playful, none-too-serious spirit in which it was made.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

They behave as if our adoration were their birthright.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

OK rehash of Old West villains, this time teaming them up in their early days.

February 21, 2008

Good idea to cast the brat pack in a Western but this was badly realised and altogether a bit flat.

Full Review… | February 4, 2008
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Young Guns


20/06/2012 (DVD)

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

Although the stars are nice to look at, the story, characters, and plot aren't all that interesting. It's the typical western, and I really don't care for westerns anyway. The action was probably the best part. Overall, it's okay, but I bet other people just watch it for the stars as well.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

I'll admit that Young Guns isn't all that great of a movie, but sometimes it's just nice to hear six reasons why the west was wild. It's basically an 80s movie set in the west with a cast of teen idols playing outlaws. In many ways it feels like a brat pack movie rather than an actual western, but I think that was obviously the intent here. It's undoubtedly got it's fun moments here like the peyote scene and the overuse of blood and insensibility when it comes to death. Somehow, this does end up feeling like some kind of bizarre prequel to Pat Garret and Billy the Kid. I never picked up on that before, but there are definitely some similarities. You've got the excellent taste in slow motion killings, character development that defies tradition and seemingly an entrance into the mind of a western outlaw. Now how can you beat a cast like Emilio Estevez as Billy, Kiefer Sutherland as doc, Lou Diamond Phillips as Chavez and a pre-drug Charlie Sheen? I guess if you threw in Zod and Jack Palance it'd be perfect. Oh wait, they are in it. The story is really easy to get into and the characters all have their goofy qualities. I think the more times I see this, the more I seem to enjoy it and and accept it for what it is. The 80s saw very few westerns, but this is the quintessential 80s western by far.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Young Guns Quotes

– Submitted by Daniel S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by sean b (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Sam B (4 years ago)

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