Wesley Stenzel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Coppola’s style and the insanely stacked cast make The Outsiders watchable, and it’s close to the best possible film adaptation of this novel. But the story here is so melodramatic and unsubtle that it’s difficult to take seriously, especially with the overwrought musical score.
Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, and Matt Dillon all miraculously find genuine emotion in the clunky dialogue and horribly-paced plot, while the rest of the future stars — including Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and Emilio Estevez — all seem like they’re trying way too hard to be cool. Maybe tryhard faux-coolness is the point of the story, but it’s neither moving nor pleasant to witness.
I get why fans of the book may have enjoyed this movie at the time, but ultimately, The Outsiders just isn’t a story that translates well to the screen.