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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: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 25

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.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 101,423

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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All Critics (236) | Top Critics (44) | 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

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 | Comments (39)
New York Magazine
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

It's just big silly fun, the kind you're supposed to have at a summer movie with a ridiculous title.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (23)
Detroit News
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

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

Super Reviewer

I'll admit that Cowboys and Aliens might have some issues here and there, but I thought it was a lot of fun. This showcases some of the best elements from classic westerns like The Searchers and Rio Bravo, while also having some new things to say. The idea of blending a western with sci-fi has been attempted before with the instant classic known as Wild Wild West, but ultimately doesn't blow over well with audiences and critics alike. I feel like this is basically the same situations. For those who do get it and enjoy the style, it will be a great movie full of great action and genre taboos. Stepping up the game with aliens actually works a lot in my opinion, unlike the lame comic this is based on. Somehow it just works due to the way the story is written and executed. John Favreau did a great job in my opinion at making this look great and have the feeling of a classy action movie and not a cheesy b-movie. Then there's the unstoppable brute force known as Daniel Craig that gives intensity a new meaning. I'm a huge fan of him and this highlights all of his main qualities as an actor. It's also nice to see Harrison Ford in anything really, but his character was completely priceless and unique in terms of the types of people he usually plays. The two together feel like a team up of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne battling bloodthirsty aliens. However, there's no getting around the goddess Olivia Wilde who enters each frame with unparalleled hotness. This also has a great supporting cast that includes The Kurgen and a Windtalker.Overall, this movie is as fun as you allow it to be. If you don't just accept the reality of the movie, you will be a cynic throughout. The intent was not to show why Aliens could have existed in the west, but to show an action-fueled adventure with an incredibly unique feeling. I think people are taking stabs at this for basically no reason. Maybe it's a little outlandish, but that shouldn't distract you from having a good time. The movie doesn't constantly make you aware of the reality, it's easy to lose yourself in the beautiful visuals, fun characters and storytelling. I also like that Cowboys and Aliens doesn't take itself as a joke or some kind of spoof, it really plants itself within a very realistic and serious setting. Most film-makers would've tried to make light of the situation and to me that's a cop out. Jon Favreau is just fine with having a fantastical story and going with it. To me, it worked well in this case and I think this is a really great movie because of that.
January 13, 2014

Super Reviewer

An outlaw with total amnesia teams up with the local townsfolk, his old gang and the last surviving members of an Apache tribe to rescue their people stolen away by body snatching aliens. I have to say that the little kid inside of me loved the idea of matching six gun toting outlaws against flying saucers and the set up to Cowboys & Aliens actually lives up to the idea really well. Daniel Craig makes an extremely charismatic tough guy with no name and the opening scenes as he tries to discover what happened to him are great. It does lose its way a little as the aliens creep more and more into the story but it throws itself into the preposterous premise with such abandon you can't help but get carried away by its sheer enthusiasm. It would have been a more satisfying experience if we'd learned more about the aliens, rather than them being relegated to bug-eyed monster duties but Favreau has proven that he has a flair for unpretentious entertainment and this is another example; it certainly won't win any awards for originality, but it is reasonably good fun.
August 26, 2013
xGary Xx

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 (16 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 (2 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 (2 years ago)
    1. Jake Lonergan: Demons took your gold. When you get to Hell, you can ask for it back.
    – Submitted by Moeslim A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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