80

The New York Times

By Janet Maslin
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.
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75

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
The movie blows through the Brat Pack smoke screen - it is superior to Colors in that regard - to reveal the troubled, lonely and sometimes crazy males behind the macho, misogynist posturing of men in groups. You couldn't find a nicer bunch of killers. [12 Aug 1988, p.C3]
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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]
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70

Los Angeles Times

By Michael Wilmington
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]
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63

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
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]
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63

USA Today

The surprisingly entertaining Young Guns isn't really so young. The cast is uniformly convincing, especially Estevez as a deranged Billy the Kid and Kiefer Sutherland, playing against type as the gang's calm center. [12 Aug 1988, p.7D]
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50

TV Guide

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.
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50

Chicago Tribune

By Dave Kehr
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]
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50

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
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]
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40

Empire

Good idea to cast the brat pack in a Western but this was badly realised and altogether a bit flat.
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50 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.