The Outsiders


The Outsiders

Critics Consensus

The cracks continue to show in Coppola's directorial style, but The Outsiders remains a blustery, weird, and fun adaptation of the classic novel.



Total Count: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 138,278
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Movie Info

Teen rivalry in a small Southern town sets the stage for this dramatic interpretation of the novel by S.E. Hinton. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders tells the story of the ongoing conflict between the Greasers and the Socs in rural Oklahoma. C. Thomas Howell stars as Ponyboy, the youngest of three orphaned boys who pal around with the local hoods known as the Greasers. When Ponyboy and his friend (Ralph Macchio) get into a deadly confrontation one night, the two go on the run from the cops, and they grow up quickly and soon realize the insignificance of their petty posturing. Matt Dillon stars as the tough-as-nails leader of their group and Patrick Swayze appears as Ponyboy's oldest brother. A host of other 1980s Brat Pack celebs fill out the cast. Dillon later appeared in another Coppola adaption of a Hinton book, Rumble Fish. ~ Bernadette McCallion, Rovi

Watch it now


C. Thomas Howell
as Ponyboy Curtis
Matt Dillon
as Dallas Winston
Ralph Macchio
as Johnny Cade
Patrick Swayze
as Darrel Curtis
Tom Cruise
as Steve Randle
Emilio Estevez
as Two-Bit Matthews
Rob Lowe
as Sodapop Curtis
Glenn Withrow
as Tim Shephard
Diane Lane
as Cherry Valance
Leif Garrett
as Bob Sheldon
Darren Dalton
as Randy Anderson
Tom Waits
as Buck Merrill
William Smith
as Store Clerk
Tom Hillmann
as Greaser in Concession Stand
Hugh Walkinshaw
as Soc in Concession Stand
Teresa Wilkerson Hunt
as Woman at Fire
Brent Beesley
as Suburb Guy
Ed Jackson
as Motorcycle Cop
Dan Suhart
as Orderly
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Critic Reviews for The Outsiders

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (14)

  • In The Outsiders, the director's class is consistently present, but it may be a case of the wrong man for the job, since overall film plays unevenly, with a cliche and detached ambiance that robs the plotline of what passion it might've whipped up.

    Mar 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 11, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Well acted and crafted but highly conventional.

    Dec 11, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • The film is unremitting in its morbid sentimentality, running its teenage characters through a masochistic gamut of beatings, killings, burnings, and suicides.

    Dec 11, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Lightly likeable.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A deeply strange film that gives '60s hoodlums the personalities of Care Bears and places them under constant attack from preppies in pastel sweaters.

    Sep 9, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/4

Audience Reviews for The Outsiders

  • Nov 17, 2014
    Held up as a prime example of the 80's Brat Pack I found this a beautifully shot but ultimately dull film with some uncertain acting from a very young cast. The ones who make the most impression (Estivez, Swayze) have the least to do and Howell and Macchio grated on me for most of the time. Maybe the book is better but this film didn't make me want to read it.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2011
    The Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppola is a very well done adaptation of S.E Hinton's classic novel, The Outsiders. Francis Ford Coppola brings together an impressive and talented cast of actors. This is a superb film with a terrific story. I find that The Outsiders is often overlooked as a great film, because after all, Francis Ford Coppola did direct The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. The Outsiders is a terrific, well plotted and directed film that stays truthful to the book. That's what I love about Coppola, his respect for the source material. Just like he did with Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coppola stayed true to the novel when he made The Outsiders. This boasts a great cast of now known actors, and they each deliver good performances. The Outsiders is both dramatic and funny, and Coppola's brilliant directing definitely pulls you in. You feel something for the characters and you sympathize with them. Francis Ford Coppola is a phenomenal director, and because he's directed three film classics before this, The Outsiders is often forgotten, but it shouldn't. The film will appeal to fans of the book, as it stays truthful to the source material, and is yet another solid effort from Francis Ford Coppola. The Outsiders tells a remarkable story of a rivalry between two Teen gangs and the struggle to survive a brutal confrontation and the ultimate run from the law. The Outsiders is not a perfect film, but it definitely is a classic\, and is a definite must see.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2011
    Notable for its, then unknown, cast of movie stars--Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane and (golly) Tom Cruise--The Outsiders must go down as a well-intentioned folly. Francis Ford Coppola's attempt to transform S.E. Hinton's syrupy teen novel into nostalgia infused pop-poetry only buckles under its faithfulness to the sentimentality of the author's saccharine prose--a book about male camaraderie clearly written by a young girl with a lot of feminine feelings.
    Bob O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2011
    I'll be the first to admit when I don't get a movie...and I don't get The Outsiders. It doesn't have anything of major importance to say, the characters are not memorable and the film appears to be a sanitized version of real life. The worst part, I think, is not being able to emotionally connect with any person on screen; we are dropped into the middle of an existing story and left to figure out exactly what's going on and why as the story unfolds. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though it takes too much time and energy to get everything at the same time. I'm also dubious about some of the acting, especially the younger actors. They don't have the authority to pull off a bunch of hoodlums from the wrong side of the tracks in a fight to the death with a bunch of preppies. Sorry, not buying it.
    Jason V Super Reviewer

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