American Outlaws

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

A blend of history with myth and legend creates larger than life heroes and villains in a nations past. Some of the most enduring legends in American history are wrapped around the blazing battles of the Old West between lawmen and outlaws. And some outlaws come across as good guys, like Robin Hood stealing from corrupt royalty to help the oppressed poor. Thats the image presents of Jesse James (Colin Ferrell), a charismatic gentleman robbing from the railroads to save honest farmers and avenge his mothers death at the hands of railroad thugs. With his brother Frank (Gabriel Macht) and cousins Cole, Bob and Jim Younger (Scott Caan, Will McCormack, Gregory Smith), Jesse challenges the imperious attitude of a corrupt railroad baron. But he also faces the challenge of Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton) and his detectives. Although Pinkerton admires the daring tactics and ideals of the James-Younger gang, he plans to capture the outlaw. Recreating the myth of Jesse James, the film brings back the fun and action of classic westerns.

Although fashioned around historical characters, the story deals more with the myth and legends of the West. Jesse and his gang appear to have good motives for their law-breaking. They also are shown to be, sometimes humorously, polite and civil. On a couple of occasions, including the midst of a Civil War battle, Jesse allows unarmed or outgunned opponents to walk away. Although Mrs. James is presented as religious, asking if her boys prayed and acted as good Christians, she believes the Lord allows killing yankees and railroad men. There are lots of shootouts as befits the genre, but none of the violence is overly graphic or gory. And while comments are made about Coles sexual escapades, Jesse and his childhood sweetheart Zee (Ali Larter) comment about waiting until after marriage for some things. Although mild crudities are heard frequently, several obscenities and strong profanities muddy the dialogue. Frequent shootouts and crude dialogue lock up AMERICAN OUTLAWS.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (28) times Mild 23, moderate 5

Obscene Language: Several (8) times S-word 3, other 5

Profanity: Several (7) times Regular 4 (GD, J, Swear to G, G forsaken); exclamatory 3 (OG, O Lord 2)

Violence: Many times Moderate (war scenes, many shootings, explosions, hanging threat, slap, punches, wrestling)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near Nudity Few times (women in old-fashioned underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Comment about mans sexual escapades, woman hides wounded man in her bed, boy asked about being with woman, man carries dance hall girl up stairs, woman says some things wait til after marriage, swimming couple kiss)

Drugs: Cigarette smoking, alcohol

Other: Outlaws civil polite and generous, mother portrayed as religious but encourages killing yankees, man only kills in self-defense, gang donates money to churches and schools, clergy encourages large fee for marriage, railroad baron uses law to his advantage (big business/military alliance), lawman admires adversary

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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