(1988)

Critic Reviews

50

Metascore

Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
The New York Times
Young Guns is best watched in the playful, none-too-serious spirit in which it was made. Though the film concentrates reverentially on its young stars, it also includes good performances from a few grown-ups, notably Terry O'Quinn as a lawyer and Jack Palance as the story's wild-eyed villain.
75
Chicago Sun-Times
Considering how tidy and self-aware most such Hollywood projects are, any movie that can give Phillips' Mexican-Indian a monologue in which he painfully recounts the massacre only he survived and then blithely rejoices in idiot gunfire is a movie you have to respect. [12 Aug 1988, p.35]
70
Los Angeles Times
To say Young Guns is one of the best big Westerns of the '80s doesn't mean much: Westerns have been almost moribund since 1976. But it does hint at this movie's surprising vitality, bloody ebullience and violent impetuosity-qualities it shares with crazy little Billy. [12 Aug 1988, p.11]
63
San Francisco Chronicle
Young Guns is really a modern action movie in the revenge mode, disguised as a western. But with all its faults, it more or less works. Palance is a great heavy, Estevez makes an off-the-wall hero, and there's usually enough happening on screen to keep you interested. [12 Aug 1988, p.E3]
50
YOUNG GUNS is simply not a very good movie--western or otherwise. Fusco's script provides little character development and muddies the narrative with some unlikely supporting characters. Still, it proved to be popular enough to lead to a television spinoff and a sequel in 1990.
50
Boston Globe
Fusco's script undercuts whatever freshness it may have brought to its view of Billy the Kid with a steady stream of howlers, most of which involve Kiefer Sutherland, as the sensitive member of the gang. [12 Aug 1988, p.24]
50
Chicago Tribune
Billy's burning, self-destructive energy is about all Young Guns has going for it-the suicidal kicks James Dean found in chickie races are here transposed to six-gun shoot-outs, filmed in a slow-motion process that strives vainly to evoke Sam Peckinpah. [12 Aug 1988, p.H]
40
Washington Post
The movie is showy without having any noticeably coherent style. Indeed, it might have been possible to enjoy Young Guns as a larky spree if the photogenic stars didn't carry themselves with such a smug, self-congratulatory air. But they behave as if our adoration were their birthright.
40
Empire
Good idea to cast the brat pack in a Western but this was badly realised and altogether a bit flat.
20
Chicago Reader
Full of odd notions and interludes, the movie never really comes together, but fitfully suggests a cross between Boys Town and Greaser's Palace.

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