Young Guns

Critics Consensus

Young Guns rounds up a posse of attractive young leads, but this cheerfully shallow Brat Pack Western ultimately has too much hat and not enough cattle.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 62,390
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Movie Info

In this western, a group of young, hotheaded kids, including the infamous William H. Bonney (Emilio Estevez), are hired to help out British land-owner John Henry Tunstall (Terence Stamp). When their boss is killed, Bonney leads the group of gunslingers out to capture the murderers. Giving in to his rage, Bonney shoots the guilty men down instead of bringing them back to town, and he and his boys end up on the run from the law.


Emilio Estevez
as Billy the Kid
Kiefer Sutherland
as Doc Scurlock
Charlie Sheen
as Dick Brewer
Dermot Mulroney
as "Dirty Steve" Stephens
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
Daniel Karmin
as Sheriff Brady
Sam Gauny
as Morton
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
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Critic Reviews for Young Guns

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (22)

Audience Reviews for Young Guns

  • Feb 22, 2012
    This is far from any such allegations of being underrated. Sure it's very well-acted by the entire cast, especially by Sutherland as Doc and Estevez as Billy the Kid, as well as action-wise quite tense, but the storyline is historically inaccurate and generally uninteresting. Plus the soundtrack is close to a fatal flaw, as techno does not fit in the right mood and setting.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2011
    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
  • Jul 19, 2011
    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 R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2011
    The film suffers from an extreme lack of development, overly quiet spots, abrupt events, the occasional expendable scene, some gratuitous forms of violence, dialogue that worsens as the film progresses, a bit of a cop-out ending and an overact-tastic performance by Lou Diamond Phillip. Still, though it's not perfect, the film is supported by solid and somewhat unique production designs, good sound, decent cinematography, a progressive increase in compellingess, some effective comic relief and solid action sequences, especially the last. As for the soundtrack, it gets a bit corny, but is still pretty solid. Of course, the real question is "Does it fit?" Yes, if this took place in the then-modern '80s times. Sure, it fits the premise, but often contradicts the Western theme, but when it does fit, it really livens things up and when it doesn't fit, it's still fairly entertaining. Now, let's discuss the "Young Guns" behind "Young Guns". The ensemble members are charming and have great chemistry, but are - as I said - barely developed. They're entertaining leads, but there's little to invest in them outside of that. Still, their likeable charisma do a decent job at redeeming the underdevelopment, as do the particularly solid performances by Estevez and Sutherland. It may not be the most compelling ensemble, but there is enough to like about them to keep the film going. Now, I know what you're thinking "How many more times are you going to repeat your point until you fill-out this paragraph?" Yeah, I think I'm good. At the end of the day, "Young Guns" is flawed and not terribly outstanding, but still boasts enough colorful music, decent action and charm to be a genuinely enjoyable ride.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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