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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 235
Fresh: 104
Rotten: 131

Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 19
Rotten: 27

Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 102,687


Movie Info

1875. New Mexico Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It's a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Now, the stranger they … More

PG-13 (for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference)
Western , Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Damon Lindelof , Alex Kurtzman , Roberto Orci
In Theaters:
Dec 6, 2011
Box Office:
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Cowboys & Aliens

All Critics (236) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (104) | Rotten (131) | DVD (9)

What started as 'True Grit'-meets-'War of the Worlds' ends up closer to - whisper it - 'Wild Wild West'.

Full Review… | August 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Takes itself much too seriously, with acts of brutality outnumbering the gags.

Full Review… | August 8, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

It's fun to think about what Cowboys & Aliens might have been if any creativity had crept past the title page.

Full Review… | August 2, 2011
Top Critic

Cowboys & Aliens is an agreeable time-killer, but I'll bet a couple of clever kids could make a livelier movie with a Woody puppet and a Predator doll.

Full Review… | July 31, 2011
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

[A] phenomenally successful two-man war against narrative clarity and continuity.

Full Review… | July 29, 2011
The Atlantic
Top Critic

A film that entertains, even if it doesn't live up to the full-on madness potential the title portended.

Full Review… | July 29, 2011
Top Critic

The film is driven more by its concept than by its plot but it's still a fun summer film.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

Expensive, a misfire, but perfectly servicable for what it is

Full Review… | January 14, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Delivers on the promise of an exciting genre mash-up but, even with a talented cast and revered team of writers, fails to weave a fulfilling story.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

Patchy, if enjoyable in parts, but nowhere near as awesome as that title suggests it should be.

Full Review… | September 28, 2012

Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens" is a film that starts off with promise, but quickly loses its way as it tries to merge two different genres.

Full Review… | September 19, 2012

Rather refreshingly what-you-see-is-exactly-what-you-get: a western with aliens grafted on, or a sci-fi invasion film with cowboys grafted on--nothing more, nothing less.

Full Review… | February 1, 2012

A mercilessly boring, wasted opportunity that forgets to have a sense of humor, charisma, or aliens.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

... A dour affair that fails to capture the spirit of either genre.

Full Review… | December 28, 2011
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

While we were hoping and rightly expecting some old school magic from the director of Iron Man, the director of Iron Man 2 showed up.

Full Review… | December 23, 2011

'Reach for the skies' has a whole new meaning now. The science-fiction Western 'Cowboys & Aliens' is an entertaining, genre-blending romp. It's a serious movie, too - a drama with comedic moments - and that makes it all the more exciting.

Full Review… | December 22, 2011
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

Not the Boys Own Adventure it could have been, but a fun - if often flawed - romp.

Full Review… | December 13, 2011

Not what you'd expect . . .

Full Review… | November 22, 2011
Sci-Fi Movie Page

No amount of gee-whiz techno-wizardry or nifty pop-cultural juxtapositions can save Cowboys & Aliens from two terrible truths: it has a dud script, and a dud director.

Full Review… | October 26, 2011
The Vine

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
Movies for the Masses

we get a standard story, some decent setpieces and only a few funny lines...Take the ride, but don't blame us if you end up saddle sore.

Full Review… | September 16, 2011
SFX Magazine

Uma diversão eficiente que, sim, poderia ter explorado sua ótima premissa com mais cuidado, mas que ao menos não a desperdiçou com "homenagens" tolas e auto referenciais.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Cinema em Cena

The two marquee stars don't interact much, the "big" action pieces are fairly ho-hum, and the movie just cowpokes along when it seems like it should be having a lot more galloping fun.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
American Profile

As always, the men's transformations -- from selfish, ignorant individuals into something like a community -- are helped along by their union against a common enemy.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011

I don't think too many people are going to wander into the theater expecting The Tree of Life. The film delivers exactly what it promises.

Full Review… | September 2, 2011
Christianity Today

So in much the same way that 'Transformers' is essentially a robot war with a few humans stumbling around trying to get laid; this film should really have been called 'Alien Bracelet Vs. Aliens... With Some Cowboys Falling Off Their Horses'.

Full Review… | September 2, 2011
Fan The Fire

Audience Reviews for Cowboys & Aliens


Daniel Craig was great. Ford had his moments. But this movie could have been so so so much better!

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Now this film is one of the most entertaining films Jon Favreau has directed, And I love the first Iron Man film. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wild all do good jobs as the main characters, and the side characters are all well done too, Clancy Brown as the pastor, and Sam Rockwell as the Doctor all do fantastic jobs. The aliens in this movie have similar desires like the aliens in the terrible film "Battlefield Earth" They want gold, why I couldn't figure it out and am not sure if they mention it. The aliens look interesting, and I will say one thing right now that is a bit of a subplot with one of the aliens and Daniel Craigs character.The film starts out pretty slow but once the aliens show up, it speeds on by like nothing and is a definite thrill ride. The ending 35 minute action scene is incredible to watch and is very well done. All I have to say is, if you're squeamish or very jumpy in horror movies, don't see this, but if you aren't and want a fun action western film, check this out.

My final rating
3.5*s out of 5

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

Every now and again along comes a great idea for a movie ... that simply fails when it comes to execution. The Western that the film begins as is actually okay (if generic), but when the sci-fi portion kicks in, uhh, nothing. Its like they forgot to have fun with the concept. The actors are okay (Craig doing an okay Yank accent, Ford given little to do but grouse), the whole work servicible, but its akin to being served a meal w/o the main course. You leave wanting more.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

I just couldn't finish it. Don't think I will.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Cowboys & Aliens Quotes

Jake Lonergan:
I'm a wanted man.
Colonel Dolarhyde:
I could have sworn I saw Jake Lonergan die in that cave.
Sheriff John Taggart:
Damn shame. I was hoping to hang him myself.
Jake Lonergan:
Jake chuckles and rides off into the sunset.
– Submitted by Stephan V (22 months ago)
[to Doc - learning to shoot] Don't yank on it - it's not your pecker.
– Submitted by Brien M (2 years ago)
Not bad for a country preacher.
– Submitted by Trypp B (2 years ago)
I told you not to look in the light.
Jake Lonergan:
Yeah. Right.
– Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)
If it's all the same, I would like to ride along too.
Yes, ma'am. We've got a kid, a dog, why not a woman?
– Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)
Jake Lonergan:
Demons took your gold. When you get to Hell, you can ask for it back.
– Submitted by Moeslim A (3 years ago)

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