6.0/10
13,248
167 user 43 critic

American Outlaws (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Western | 17 August 2001 (USA)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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 »

Director:

Les Mayfield

Writers:

Roderick Taylor (story), Roderick Taylor (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Hart's War (2002)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A law student becomes a lieutenant during World War II, is captured and asked to defend a black prisoner of war falsely accused of murder.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard
The Recruit (2003)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A brilliant young CIA trainee is asked by his mentor to help find a mole in the Agency.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Al Pacino, Colin Farrell, Bridget Moynahan
Tigerland (2000)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A group of recruits go through Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana's infamous Tigerland, last stop before Vietnam for tens of thousands of young men in 1971.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Clifton Collins Jr.
S.W.A.T. (2003)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An imprisoned drug kingpin offers a huge cash reward to anyone that can break him out of police custody, and only the L.A.P.D.'s Special Weapons and Tactics team can prevent it.

Director: Clark Johnson
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Director: Gavin O'Connor
Stars: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich
Intermission (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A variety of losers in Dublin have harrowingly farcical intersecting stories of love, greed and violence.

Director: John Crowley
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Kelly Macdonald, Colin Farrell
The Alamo (2004)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces at the Alamo in San Antonio Texas.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Emilio Echevarría
Phone Booth (2002)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Publicist Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist's sniper rifle. Unable to leave or receive outside help, Stuart's negotiation with the caller leads to a jaw-dropping climax.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker
Young Guns (1988)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips
Alexander (2004)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Alexander (Colin Farrell), the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest army leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson
Rough Riders (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Undersecretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt resigns to form a volunteer militia unit called "The Rough Riders" to fight in the Spanish-American War.

Stars: Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, Gary Busey
Triage (2009)
Drama | Mystery | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The wife of a photojournalist sets out to discover why he came home from a recent assignment without his colleague.

Director: Danis Tanovic
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Sives, Paz Vega
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Jesse James
Scott Caan ... Cole Younger
Ali Larter ... Zerelda 'Zee' Mimms
Gabriel Macht ... Frank James
Gregory Smith ... Jim Younger
Harris Yulin ... Thaddeus Rains, President Rock Northern Rail Road
Kathy Bates ... Ma James
Timothy Dalton ... Allan Pinkerton
Will McCormack ... Bob Younger
Ronny Cox ... Doc Mimms, Zee's Dad
Terry O'Quinn ... Rollin H. Parker - Rains' Gopher
Nathaniel Arcand ... Comanche Tom
Ty O'Neal ... Clell Miller
Joe Stevens ... Loni Packwood
Barry Tubb ... Captain Malcolm
Edit

Storyline

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 <gsm1224@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jesse James See more »

Filming Locations:

Dripping Springs, Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,855,475, 19 August 2001

Gross USA:

$13,264,986

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,601,109
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Farrell did as many of his own stunts as Les Mayfield would let him do. See more »

Goofs

Although the primary setting of the story is Missouri, the landscape, which is rolling hills and plateaus of brush prairie, does not exist in Missouri (that state's landscape is made of dense woods, farmlands, and Ozark Mountain ranges), and reveals the movie's true filming location in the Texas Hill Country. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

On the American release DVD there are 2 scenes that were cut from the original movie. One is a fight between Jesse and Frank at a bar. The other is Jesse "paying" for a girl for Jim Younger. See more »


Soundtracks

The Claddah
Written and Performed by Scott Nickoley, Jamie Dunlap, Molly Pasutti
Used by permission of Red Engine Music, Revision West
Courtesy of MasterSource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It's not good, but it's good fun
28 August 2001 | by uglykidmattSee all my reviews

The legend of Jesse James is one of those stories that people just never seem to get tired of. Every few years, we see a new cinematic version of the life of James, a former Confederate raider who became a folk hero after he turned to banditry following the war. The latest iteration of the story is "American Outlaws", a red-blooded B-style shoot-'em-up that offers little in the way of historical accuracy and even less in the way of storytelling elegance, but does serve up plenty of action and lots of fun.

Jesse (hot Irish newcomer Colin Farrell) makes a name for himself on the battlefields of the Civil War as an unpredictable live wire willing to do anything to get the Yankees. After the war, he and his levelheaded sure-shot brother Frank (Gabriel Macht) return to their home in Liberty, Missouri, only to find the railroad coming through town. The big rail money, backed up by hard-skulled detective Allen Pinkerton (a glowering Timothy Dalton), wants to buy the James farm, but the boys aren't selling. They didn't shed their blood on the battlefields just to give their home over to a railroad. Soon, however, it's back to war when a bomb destroys their farmhouse and the only way to get revenge is to strap on your guns and ride. As they rob railroad payrolls and bedevil the authorities, Jesse, Frank, and their gang get something besides revenge: they become authentic American legends.

It's a story every schoolboy knows. Hell, Bobby Brady was a Jesse James aficionado. Still, it's been a while since we've had a telling of the story, and this one does a fairly good job of keeping us entertained. Les Mayfield is not the obvious choice to direct a western (his most notable previous film was "Encino Man" with Pauly Shore), but he actually does a decent job. He handles the action sequences with flair, particularly a crackerjack bank shootout and Jesse's escape from the rail baron's train. The film's period accoutrements are all present and accounted for, the costumes and guns appropriately impressive, the cinematography by Russell Boyd all vibrant browns and golds.

There are also some nice performances from the mostly young cast. Colin Farrell makes Jesse a likable, oddly sweet kid whose charm is just as deadly as his gun. Scott Caan matches him as the hotheaded Cole Younger (more on him later), and Gabriel Macht is a sensible and solid Frank, his performance the best thing in the film. Ali Larter is nice eye candy as Jesse's lady love, but the story really gives her nothing to do, and while Dalton growls impressively behind a grungy-looking beard, he doesn't really get the chance to do anything evil.

This is where "American Outlaws" starts shooting itself in the foot. There is no real sense of a concrete enemy for the boys to battle, a true and implacable adversary. Harris Yulin blusters and barks as the railroad baron, but he never truly emerges as a figure of loathing. As a result, the film's finale is unfocused and confusing. Pinkerton's final action in particular makes no sense to me at all. Is he just giving a cocky young kid the benefit of the doubt? Is he doing it because Jesse's wife is hot? I don't get it.

"American Outlaws" is a frustrating film in some ways because everything you like is balanced by something that rubs you the wrong way. A great Civil War battle opening is marred by the sparseness of the Union ranks (Mayfield should have called for more extras that day). An appropriately Coplandesque score by Trevor Rabin is almost wholly sabotaged by the inclusion of a Moby song (MOBY!) at both the beginning and the end of the film. It almost makes you want to grab a six-gun yourself and blaze away at the troublemakers, leaving behind only those who are contributing admirably to the enterprise.

Still, I've come to expect the good with the bad this summer, and "American Outlaws" joins "Tomb Raider" and "The Mummy Returns" as a piece of escapism that is better than the critics' comments indicate, but not as good as it probably should be. Still, with these flouncy dull MTV teen comedies STILL dominating the marketplace, it's nice to see someone delivering a good old fashioned genre piece. In these parlous cinematic times, even a problematic western is better than no western at all.

I close with a bit of real history: after they stopped riding with the James boys, Cole Younger and his outlaws kept going, and one time even attempted to rob a farmhouse in their area. The woman of the house got the drop on them, though; she slammed a window on a gang member's hand, costing him two of his fingers. She survived to live a healthy long life, and have children and grandchildren of her own. One of those grandchildren was my grandmother. Someone should put THAT in a movie. It would make me happy.


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 167 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed