Up 3,352 this week

The Young Americans (1993)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 October 1993 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,934 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 1 critic

Experienced N.Y. police detective John Harris is sent to London to help a local task force investigate a series of gangster killings organized by a new player in town - an American. Harris uses a teen wronged by gangsters to get to him.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 28 Jun 2011
a list of 96 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
a list of 37 titles
created 05 Apr 2014
a list of 8115 titles
created 19 Jun 2014
list image
a list of 43 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Young Americans (1993)

The Young Americans (1993) on IMDb 5.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Young Americans.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Tripwire (1989)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A terrorist (Warner) and an FBI agent (Knox) fight out a personal feud with one another.

Director: James Lemmo
Stars: Terence Knox, David Warner, Isabella Hofmann
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An American FBI agent is lured away by the Japanese Mafia--the Yakuza--in this action film.

Director: Frank A. Cappello
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Ryo Ishibashi, Michael Nouri
Boiling Point I (1993)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A pair of sociopath killers take on the police and the mob in order to make one last big score.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Dennis Hopper, Lolita Davidovich
Floundering (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this scathing and subversive social comedy, life in post riot Los Angeles is dissected under the sardonic eye of John Boyz, an unemployed thirty nothing flounderer on Venice Beach who is... See full summary »

Director: Peter McCarthy
Stars: James Le Gros, Shaka, Zander Schloss
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After the death of his strictly religious parents, forlorn young Darkly gets lost in the woods. A truck driver, Jude, rescues the exhausted man, who has only a bible for comfort. He brings ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Ridley
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Ashley Judd, Viggo Mortensen
Ruby Cairo (1992)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

After her businessman husband dies suspiciously in a Mexican plane crash, his widow begins to investigate his labyrinthine financial dealings, not all of which are legal.

Director: Graeme Clifford
Stars: Andie MacDowell, Liam Neeson, Viggo Mortensen
Phoenix (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A cop (Liotta) with a gambling addiction plots a theft from the bookies who are putting pressure on him to pay off or else.

Director: Danny Cannon
Stars: Ray Liotta, Anthony LaPaglia, Daniel Baldwin
Drama | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Seven teenagers retreat to a country house for the weekend to make their epic, an impossibly ambitious Celtic fantasy. As the making of the video drifts from playful hilarity to argument, ... See full summary »

Director: Anna Campion
Stars: Oliver Milburn, Dearbhla Molloy, Danny Cunningham
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A retired thief swears revenge on the lunatic who murdered his brother and partner, while going on the run with the loot they stole.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Stephen Dorff, Timothy Hutton
Fresh Horses (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Cincinnati college student breaks off his engagement to his wealthy fiancée after he falls in love with a backwoods Kentucky girl he meets at a party. She claims to be 20 years old, but ... See full summary »

Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Patti D'Arbanville
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Ray Loriga
Stars: Daniel González, Nico Bidasolo, Andrés Gertrúdix
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A troubled young woman hooks up with a money-crazed televangelist and becomes a rich, heavy-metal Christian rock star.

Director: Beth B
Stars: Stephen McHattie, Dominique Davalos, Exene Cervenka


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Harris
Edward Foster
Richard Donnelly
Terence Rigby ...
Sidney Callow
Jack Doyle
Craig Kelly ...
Christian O'Neill
Carl Frazer
Dave Duffy ...
Louis Carnegie
Geoffrey McGivern ...
Brian Carver
Nigel Clauzel ...
Lionel Stevens
Huggy Leaver ...
Mark Byrne
Gary Washington
Billy Cohen (as Chris Adamson)
James Duggan ...
Dermot O'Neill


The London police is having trouble with organized crime commited by juvenile delinquents. Their leader is an American who is an expert at turning young men into ruthless gangsters. American cop John Harris is asked to help the London police to break up the organization. Written by Mattias Pettersson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America has London's soul, now she's selling it! See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 October 1993 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Young Americans  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in 38 days. See more »


Featured in Björk: Volumen (1999) See more »


15 Minutes Of Fame
Written by Sheep On Drugs
Performed by Sheep On Drugs
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Old Man Keitel tell the Youth of Britain a good, knee-slapping story
17 December 2009 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

Films, no matter low-budget, high-budget, no-budget need to have one essential element to ensure that the time dedicated to the characters, emotions, and themes is not futile. That, singular strong moment, has to be story. Whether it is a horror film, a sci-fi film, or even a Bergman avant-garde film, there needs to be at least a small strain of story carrying the viewer from point A to point B, if that is missing – the entire structure of the film will collapse. Characters you can ignore, emotion can be faked, and the themes can be murky, but without that central story – your film will ultimately be found in the dollar bin at the nearest retail chop shop. Despite Harvey Keitel, Viggo Mortensen, Thandie Newton, and a slew of British accents – that is why "The Young Americans" failed. Absolutely it was a dark crime noir, a family retribution, and a love story, but the story in "The Young Americans" was so weak, that getting to the different point, the different scenes, felt rushed, unfamiliar, and murky. This jumbled, muddled mess of a film boasts cheapness from every angle, but due to the missing story – "The Young Americans" fails to be anything more than a random Harvey Keitel stumble at the store, or a cheap recommendation because you rented "Reservoir Dogs".

With the sound of raves in the background, the viewer is pulled right into the youth of Britain circa mid-90s. Dance parties, gangs, and late nights plague the screen as groups of genuine unknowns get killed in the night. This should have been an indication of what the remainder of the film would be like, but I trudged onward – and definitely not upward. After the brutal killings, we are swooped into the world of Harvey Keitel, or anti-antagonist (seemingly blending together every cop cliché/genre) John Harris. Brought in to help with a murder, we soon learn that there is a secondary motive in play – something that has to do with a very young, an extremely overacted, Viggo Mortensen. As we jump from one frame to another, one initial drawback are the dark, character building scenes … literally, there is the concept of symbolic lighting to set the tone … but director Danny Cannon used so much darkness some scenes are blank on the screen. Missing more than a fourth of the film, we are forced to follow an unknown path between Keitel, Mortensen, love-interest Thandie Newton, and relative newbie Craig Kelly. It is his story that transfers the power from Keitel, but is equally as unappetizing. After the death of a family member, Kelly's Christian decides to turn against the crew that did it, becoming a powerful tool for Keitel, but the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys are never answered – still giving us nothing but quick scenes, literally teleporting us from point A to point B, without reason or consequence.

As mentioned, the story is the ultimate failure of the film. There were actions made by our characters that did not seem to fit within the realm that Danny Cannon had created, but he continued to push through. Nothing was answered, situations were randomly created, and why was Viggo Mortensen's character so underdeveloped, yet so vital to the story? Who knows. That question became the downtrodden central theme to this film, and a reason why "The Young Americans" will never see success. With our story a clustered mess, how did the rest fair beneath the control of Cannon? Not surprisingly, the British were believable and grounded. The minor characters, perhaps outside of Craig Kelly, felt like real police and the setting (due to extensive British TV watching) felt like Britain 1993, but the influx of the American presence just ruined the rest. Keitel could have been Steven Seagul or JCVD, he was not cunning, nothing brilliant, just an American cop-dislocated and fighting against the shadow of a drug dealer. The entire subplot with his ex-wife was nothing short of embarrassing. Used to build his character, it just felt more like a cheap trick instead of honest emotion. The same can be said with Viggo Mortensen, who with choppy editing by Danny Cannon, never quite developed past the notion of "creepy guy". With a voice that sounded like a Lynch character, an unknown occupation, and a purpose to be in Britain (let's not forget his peculiarity towards young men), Mortensen felt more like a placemat than a villain. On the other side of this film, Newton read her lines well, and Craig Kelly attempted to work around Cannon and David Hilton's catastrophe of a script. It was obvious the actors were found, the script was heavily edited, and the final product was a rushed pile of poorly constructed LEGOs. One flick of your finger, it will all go crumbling down.

Overall, in case it hasn't been noticed, this was an abomination of a film. From the darkly lit scenes (you have to watch to believe how dark this film was), to the atrocious acting, to the story that went nowhere but somehow ended up at the final credits, "The Young Americans" was a direct to video release for a reason. Shot in 38 days, this film felt rushed and incomplete. Mortensen's character is the one I struggle with the most, as the ending leads us to believe that this was supposed to be a different film than the one we began or watched. There were too many wild-cards (see Jack Doyle) that muddled the main story. It is a murky mess that is easily forgotten and should be avoided. Danny Cannon may have given us "CSI" and "Judge Dredd", but this is an incompetent film that will appeal to nobody and fails miserably.

Grade: * out of *****

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the ending cigalechanta
Discuss The Young Americans (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: