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The Outsiders [1983] [PG-13] - 3.5.4



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


» Official Site
» IMDb Listing

Teen melodrama set in 1960s Oklahoma, based on S. E. Hinton's novel about rival gangs of young men from Tulsa's disparate neighborhoods: the upscale Socs and the underprivileged Greasers hate each other with passion, and fight at every opportunity. The plot revolves around budding writer and Greaser Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) who falls in love with a popular cheerleader (Diane Lane) from the Socs' side of town, a fight that ends in someone's death, and the rescue of children from a fire by unlikely heroes. Also with Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Waits, Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A young man tries to kiss a young woman, and she pushes him away and throws soda in his face.
 A young man walks up to a car, grabs his crotch and says, "you wanna see what's hanging?" A young man pulls up a young woman's skirt in a drive in theater and we see her underpants.
 A young man is shown bare-chested and in his jockey shorts. A young man is shown bare-chested and wrapped around the waist in a towel after showering. A woman is shown in a bikini in a movie.
 Two young women and two young men argue in a drive in theater, the young women get out of the car and it is implied that at least one of the young men was trying to force himself on one of the young women.
 A young man talks about his girlfriend "two-timing" him. Two young men talk about what love is like.
 Two teen brothers sleep in bed together, and they hold each other because they are cold (there is no implication of any sexual activity whatsoever). Boys and young men hug each other in many scenes in order to console each other.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A young man runs from police holding a gun in his hand: he is shot repeatedly by the police, and we see him with blood on his chest and face and he dies.
 Several young men get out of a car and begin to fight with two boys: one boy is punched and kicked, the other is dunked repeatedly into a fountain (we see blood in the fountain water) and a young man is lying motionless in a puddle of blood while a boy is holding a bloody knife.
 Two boys run into a burning church to rescue children trapped inside and the children are taken out while the church begins to collapse: one girl bites a boy on the hand, a boy's sleeve catches fire, and another boy is pushed through the floor of the church but the ceiling collapses on him -- we hear him scream for help, and we see him later in the hospital with badly burned arms and neck and we are told that he has broken his back. A boy dies from burns.
 Two gangs of boys and young men meet in a field to fight: they begin punching and kicking each other, and we see several with blood on their faces and noses; one young man's head is slammed repeatedly into the ground, and a boy is kicked and punched by several young men (he has a bloody gash on his face and blood coming from his ear).
 Two young men fight, one is punched in the face and he pulls a knife, and the fight ends. A young man pulls a knife on another young man. A young man shoves a boy to the floor, and the boy gets up and runs away.
 A young man holds a gun to a man's face, he steals money from him, and the man shoots at the young man as he runs away (the young man is apparently struck because we see a blood trail). A young man holds a gun to a man's head, and pulls the trigger a few times (it is not loaded).
 Several young men in a car hassle a boy walking along a road: they yell at him, they swerve around him, and eventually they get out of the car, grab him, push him to the ground, hold a knife under his chin (he is cut and we see blood) and cut off some of his hair; other young men come to his rescue and push and shove the others until they drive away in the car.
 We hear a man and a woman fighting inside a house and hear a slap suggesting that the man has hit his wife. A young man tells two boys how to run away after one of them has killed someone, and he gives them a gun to take with them. Two brothers argue, a third runs out of the house, and the other two chase him and tackle him.
 A boy dreams about a car being hit by a train (this is apparently how his parents were killed). A boy says that he'll kill himself one day. A boy says that he cannot feel his legs after breaking his back and that he'll never walk again. We hear that three brothers are on their own after their parents died in an accident. A boy talks about there being "a lot of blood inside of people" when he remembers someone bleeding after having been stabbed. A boy reads about men with bloody wounds and flies buzzing around them.
 A boy has a cut and a bruise on his cheek, and a young man has a bloody nose after a fight. A boy passes out from the pain of burn wounds. A boy collapses from being sick. A boy appears ill -- he is pale and sweaty.
 A woman yells at and insults a young man and a boy. A young man yells at three boys and chases them through a field. A young man and a boy wrestle. Two boys cut each other's hair with a knife. A boy drops a lit cigarette onto the floor while he is sleeping. Mice skitter through an abandoned church where two boys sleep on pews. A young man drives recklessly and turns in front of oncoming traffic.

PROFANITY 4 - 3 anatomical terms, 20 mild obscenities, name-calling (greaser, idiot, white trash, delinquent, scum, sucker, punk), 2 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Young men drink alcohol in many scenes, young men drink beer in many scenes, and a young man drinks beer in the morning. Many young men and high school age boys smoke cigarettes in many scenes and a young man chews tobacco.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of parents, gangs, knife fights, belonging, broken homes, love, brothers, friendship, doing the right thing, orphanages, truancy, suicide, reputations, labels, luck, taking responsibility for your actions, murder, self defense, serving jail time, heroism.

MESSAGE - There is plenty of good in the world, even in those whose demeanor gives the impression that they're unfeeling.

Special Keywords: S3 - V5 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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