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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)



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

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
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 27

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.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 102,452

My Rating

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

Dec 6, 2011


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July 29, 2011:
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Following San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, movie news slowed to a trickle this week, mostly...
July 29, 2011:
Critics Consensus: Cowboys and Aliens is All Mixed Up
This week at the movies, we've got bronco-busters and extraterrestrials (Cowboys and Aliens,...


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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'.

August 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (11)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Slate | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 31, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture | Comments (39)
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (24)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

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

January 14, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

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

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

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.

September 19, 2012 Full Review Source:

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.

February 1, 2012 Full Review Source:

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

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comment (1)

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

December 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD) | Comment (1)
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.

December 23, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

'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.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

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

December 13, 2011 Full Review Source: The Baltic Times

Not what you'd expect . . .

November 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page | Comment (1)
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.

October 26, 2011 Full Review Source: The Vine | Comment (1)
The Vine

full review at Movies for the Masses

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses | Comment (1)
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.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
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.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena | Comment (1)
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.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
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.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters | Comment (1)

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.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
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'.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire | Comments (3)
Fan The Fire

Audience Reviews for Cowboys & Aliens

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
May 31, 2014
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.
April 28, 2014

Super Reviewer

I just couldn't finish it. Don't think I will.
February 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. Jake Lonergan: I'm a wanted man.
    2. Colonel Dolarhyde: I could have sworn I saw Jake Lonergan die in that cave.
    3. Sheriff John Taggart: Damn shame. I was hoping to hang him myself.
    4. Jake Lonergan: Jake chuckles and rides off into the sunset.
    – Submitted by Stephan V (20 months ago)
    1. Meacham: [to Doc - learning to shoot] Don't yank on it - it's not your pecker.
    – Submitted by Brien M (2 years ago)
    1. Meacham: Not bad for a country preacher.
    – Submitted by Trypp B (2 years ago)
    1. Ella: I told you not to look in the light.
    2. Jake Lonergan: Yeah. Right.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)
    1. Ella: If it's all the same, I would like to ride along too.
    2. Meacham: Yes, ma'am. We've got a kid, a dog, why not a woman?
    – Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)
    1. Jake Lonergan: Demons took your gold. When you get to Hell, you can ask for it back.
    – Submitted by Moeslim A (3 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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