The Outsiders (1983)

(On TV, July 2017) It’s no exaggeration to say that the best thing about this film is the cast list. Consider a Coppola film featuring Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise. No wonder it still regularly plays on TV even thirty-five years later. Alas, the actual film itself feels underwhelming. While a good character study of late-sixties teenagers, The Outsiders feels rote and dull compared to other movies tackling the same topics. Some of the plot points feel needlessly melodramatic, while the overall pacing of the film feels dull. The cast is very young, so seeing even famous names is more interesting than satisfying. (Many of them have very small roles too—if you’re hoping for a big Tom Cruise performance, for instance, you will have to make do with only a few moments.) While The Outsiders definitely has some historical curiosity, I found the film a chore to get through, even considering the cast list.

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