American Outlaws (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Western  |  17 August 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 11,744 users   Metascore: 25/100
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When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thaddeus Rains, President Rock Northern Rail Road
Ty O'Neal ...


When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is rightfully theirs. In the course of their vendetta, they will become the object of the biggest manhunt in the history of the Old West and, as their fame grows, so will the legend of their leader, a young outlaw by the name of Jesse James. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Much Fun Can't Be Legal! See more »


Action | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

17 August 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesse James  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,855,475 (USA) (17 August 2001)


$13,264,986 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During training Gregory Smith, the youngest of the cast, became so good with a gun the wranglers nicknamed him "Secret Weapon". See more »


When the gang is riding off after the first bank robbery, Jesse's saddle bag is going across his lower left arm. In the next shot it is on his left shoulder but he has only moved his right arm to grab a gun and never moved his left arm. See more »


[first lines]
Cole: Gatling! They got a Gatling gun!
Bob: Goddamn it Cole, this stopped bein' fun about two years ago!
See more »


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Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc./Mute Ltd.
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By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

my applause to the cast & crew

Smart, energetic, funny, exciting and underrated; these are just a few adjectives that describe "American Outlaws;" a western that will take everyone by surprise. Colin Farrell is a breath of fresh air and Gabriel Macht is a pure delight as they take the reigns in one of the funniest westerns I have seen.

Farrell and Macht are joined by Scott Caan, Timothy Dalton, Kathy Bates and Ali Larter whose comedic, intelligence and intense talent to create a film that is rich in character driven performances.

Most of the credit must be given to the writers of "American Outlaws" because they took the western genre and created one of the most unique westerns in recent years through the addition of humor. With action-packed sequences, strong performances and smart writing; the writers made the audience look at westerns in a whole new way; clever and stylish.

Though I feel originality is important in any film I see, it is not always necessary for a film to succeed. "American Outlaws" contains many cliché ridden scenes, but the true genius of this film is the presentation of the film.

Inspired by actual events, "American Outlaws" takes the audience on a comedic journey through the lives of the James-Younger gang and their battle with Allan Pinkerton and the railroad.

The success of "American Outlaws" partially stems from the great ensemble performance provided by Farrell, Macht, Larter, Caan, Bates and Dalton. It was apparent from the start that the "American Outlaws" cast gave maximum effort was going to take me on a satisfying comedy thrill ride through the Old West. It was clear that the cast of "American Outlaws" had fun together making the film, so when this occurs everyone is guaranteed the film will bring satisfaction.

Charisma, intensity and courage; these are the elements brought to the screen by the latest breakout star. I must admit it took me awhile to get over the shock of watching a charismatic, youthful looking actor steal the spotlight from his talented co-stars, but that is exactly what occurred with Farrell in "American Outlaws." "American Outlaws" allows Farrell the opportunity to step out of the shadows into the limelight to take his place among the best young actors in Hollywood.

It didn't take long to realize the discovery of the next big movie star would be found in "American Outlaws" with proof coming from Farrell's energetic and fun performance as Jesse James. I was smiling when I saw Farrell on screen because it meant the writers had created a character filled with imagination and ideas that made the movie a joy to watch.

Aside from Farrell, another bright spot in "American Outlaws" shined with the emergence and second breakthrough performance turned in by his co-star, Gabriel Macht. With enormous screen presence and impact turned in by Macht, this is an actor who will soon hear his name called as a winner of the coveted academy award.

Rounding out "American Outlaws" is the addition of Timothy Dalton and Kathy Bates. Commendations must given to Dalton for making the character of Allan Pinkerton a delight to watch. It didn't take me long to recognize that he was the right man for the job. With his look, demeanor and presence, Dalton confirmed my suspicions.

A short appearance can sometimes be the most memorable as with the case of the actress who portrayed Ma James. Bates has always been a favorite of mine because she brings credibility to each film she stars in. With "American Outlaws," Bates role is short, sweet and to the point.

The bottom line is "American Outlaws" is an underrated film that will bring everyone pure satisfaction and serve as great entertainment.

22 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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