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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.03%
Average: 3.39%
Pretty Bad: 10.17%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 53 user ratings

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Outsider, The (2002)
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by Chris Parry

"Like a termite-infested wagon, it just falls apart the longer it goes."
2 stars

An Amish man is lynched by Montana ranchers not keen on losing land to the Amish homestead, while the law won’t lift a finger to help. Regular raids onto the holy men’s land are becoming more and more frequent when a wounded gunfighter (Tim Daly) stumbles onto the property. The widow of the murdered man (Naomi Watts) cares for the gunfighter until he’s well, upon which time he hangs about to keep the bad guys at bay and slowly engage in a forbidden affair with the Amish woman.

The Amish have always been fodder for Hollywood whenever the biz needed a fish out of water story on the quick. Such drivel as the Tim Allen comedy, For Richer or Poorer, generally makes out the Amish folks to be backward Germanic hicks with no time for anything but raising the odd barn, churning some butter and saying “ja” a lot. In the aforementioned comedy (and I use that term loosely), everything was just peachy keen as soon as Kirsty Alley taught the Amish folks to wear colorful clothing. On the other hand, in this drama (and again I use the term loosely), everything is just peachy keen when the Amish kid learns how to use a slingshot on the bad guys and mom decides that humping the gunfighter is more important than her religion and family.

Well, that’s nice.

At it’s best when it allows itself to be a simple western gun-fighting story, The Outsider generally loses its way when it tries to be a morality tale. Naomi Watts’ character seems to be terribly torn about whether she should submit to her passions, thereby damning herself to being shunned by her people, but a little horizontal rumba or two later and she’s throwing her Amish garb into the dirt and frolicking naked. Granted, the audience probably doesn’t want to endure three months of bad moods and depression from the female lead, but seeing as the film takes a good hour to even get beyond the ‘healing and getting to know you’ stage, the sudden drive for speed doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

It makes more sense, however, when you learn that the screenplay (written by Jenny Wingfield) was adapted from a Penelope Williamson novel. It’s a common problem when screenwriters adapt from a novel, that by the time they’ve got to the halfway point in the script, they realize they’ve only actually gone through 1/4 of the book, leaving them speeding through scenes to try to catch up from that point on. Good screenwriters can work around this problem, but I fear Jenny Wingfield might not find herself in that category.

Essentially, there’s a lot of cliché and a lot of easy answers in The Outsider that dull whatever impact the strong performances from Tim Daly and Naomi Watts might have left on the viewer. The awfully predictable ending takes that dull impact and flushes it down the toilet, leaving you wonder exactly why you just spent the last two hours watching the thing.

Supporting roles by Keith and David Carradine don’t even come close to saving matters. I had high hopes. They were dashed, one by one. Avoid.

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originally posted: 12/02/02 07:11:50
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User Comments

7/23/18 Lisa This is one of my FAVORITE romances of all time!! I keep going back to watch it again/again 5 stars
5/12/16 Deborah Mcpeters I loved the story. Tim Daly is hot as hell. I loved the way he would look at her. Great wes 5 stars
1/12/15 Pat M. Nice way to while away a Sunday afternoon. 4 stars
2/15/14 Annie Loved the movie! Tim Daly was outstanding not to mention sexy as hell! 5 stars
10/11/07 Emmy Best movie I've ever seen! Tim Daly and Naomi Watts were so natural - a true love story. 5 stars
9/04/07 Lucia SK I wish I was there. I loved it. 4 stars
7/29/07 Jeremy Excellent acting and good plot. I enjoyed it 5 stars
1/01/07 Audrey Interesting how different the eFilm critics comments were from the User Comments. 4 stars
12/21/05 kastellos A very good love story, you truly feel the emotion between the two. Very good chemistry. 4 stars
10/07/05 Jan Tomko loved it 5 stars
9/12/05 R.W. Welch Passable frontier saga but rambles on a bit long. 3 stars
12/17/04 Theodore J Duguay Outstanding 5 stars
10/31/04 Luanne Loved it 5 stars
9/27/04 Stephanie I thought it was terrific--totally not what I thought it was gonna be. 4 stars
9/26/04 Raphael I don't think it is brilliant but it is a nice drama and worth a look 4 stars
8/17/04 Shirley powerful acting, story, lighting and scenery 5 stars
7/14/04 Betty I thought it was GREAT-Tim Daly was HOT 5 stars
6/19/04 Karen Woods I thought it was a great movie! 5 stars
6/17/04 Linda Warren I loved it. 5 stars
5/23/04 winifred murdock wonderful 5 stars
5/18/04 Trish gOOD WESTERN ENTERTAINMENT 4 stars
2/08/04 Mickie Beautiful western love story, Johnny finding love & God - Rebecca helping him. 5 stars
1/26/04 Shannon Tim Daly and Naomi Watts were great 4 stars
1/20/04 Darby Kilian very entertaining; loved Watts and Daly 5 stars
1/20/04 Teresa Purvis I thoroughly enjoyed it and sat through it a second time. Tim Daly was so good looking. 4 stars
1/04/04 Cindy Thomas Thought it was a nice movie about finding life and love. 5 stars
12/29/03 MEIRAV NORA COHEN Wonderful movie, great acting, perfect script and direction 5 stars
10/30/03 Celina Hernandez I loved it 5 stars
9/07/03 Joe Ann Perry very GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD 5 stars
8/31/03 Female Viewer Most men never realize its about the romance that attracts us, not stupendous stunts. 4 stars
8/31/03 T.J. THis movie was great! Tim Daly was first rate. 5 stars
8/27/03 louise campbell loved the movie 5 stars
8/05/03 Iilana Tim Daly was great in this role. Never noticed his star quality before. 5 stars
7/07/03 Donna Oswald fell in love with tim all oer again in this movie 5 stars
6/10/03 Roseann Oliverio easy on the eyes, more character stretch for Tim Daly 5 stars
6/06/03 Elena It is a great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/13/03 Donna Oswald I fell in love with Tim Daly in this movie !!!!! 5 stars
4/12/03 Debbie It has a deeper meaning than just the movie itself 4 stars
4/06/03 Mickie I like the film 5 stars
3/21/03 Cristina Alvarado Awesome, Loved Tim Daly 5 stars
1/16/03 Liz Royal Love It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/12/03 Liz Royal Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-seen it every time it came on 5 stars
1/02/03 Vesna It's beautiful - just open your heart to it. 5 stars
12/25/02 Linda Dowell I loved this movie and have watched it over and over! Tim's a Babe, its a female fantasy!! 5 stars
12/20/02 Joann DeMange I loved the story 4 stars
12/19/02 Christen Holden Love it!!!!!!!! I want to buy it!!!! Were can I find it?? 5 stars
12/12/02 Lisa Wilkinson I thought this was well-acted and not a slam against the Amish people. 4 stars
12/09/02 Julie Weigle I really loved this movie and would buy it if I could find it! 5 stars
12/08/02 richard outstanding 5 stars
12/08/02 john/watts avenger my rating did not show up so i am submitting it again. great perf! VERY LITTLE NUDITY! 5 stars
12/02/02 Buddha What next, Christian strippers? 3 stars
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  10-Nov-2002 (PG)


  02-Feb-2002 (PG)

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