Critics Consensus: Cowboys and Aliens is All Mixed Up

Summary

This week at the movies, we've got bronco-busters and extraterrestrials (Cowboys and Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford), little blue people (The Smurfs, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry), and modern romance (Crazy, Stupid, Love, starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling). What do the critics have to say? What is Cowboys and Aliens? Is it a Western? A sci-fi thriller? An homage? A parody? Well, say critics, it's all those things and more, though it's not quite as seamless -- or as fun -- as one might have hoped, given the talents involved (and the B-movie promise of its undeniably awesome title). Daniel Craig stars as a mysterious man with no memory of his past who stumbles into a rough-and-tumble town called Absolution. Back to Article

Comments

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Whodathunk a rom-com would be the best reviewed movie for a summer movie season weekend?

Jul 28 - 08:39 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I agree. I think that also really just points to how badly Hollywood messed up both The Smurfs and Cowboys and Aliens.
While rom-coms are dime a dozen, and not all too hard to churn out, one would think that Hollywood could at least make a mediocre family comedy and a mediocre actioner. It is the main reason they exist.

Jul 28 - 09:31 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

I don't know if I'm gonna see "Cowboys & Aliens," but it's a little short than Indiana Jones. So probably I'll see both "The Smurfs" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love." That would be awesome.

Jul 28 - 09:07 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

Too bad about Cowboys and Aliens, though it comes as no surprise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks...awful. The makeup used in the first film looks infinitely better than the new and "improved" digital effects.

Jul 28 - 09:09 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I thought that I was the only one who thought those apes looked...well they don't look like apes.

Jul 28 - 10:52 PM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

To each their own but you guys are nuts. Those effects look great

Jul 29 - 12:42 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I disagree entirely, what are you guys on about? The effects look great, and the 3rd trailer really made it case for it being good, but I guess it remains to be seen.

Jul 29 - 03:45 PM

Spidershrimp

J. L.

If a contemporary big-budget movie can't manage to craft better FX than the original Jurassic Park, then it's doing something wrong.

Jul 30 - 08:05 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I don't think they are awful, they just look insanely human. Like a hairy human. Not a lot like apes.

Jul 30 - 02:37 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I agree. I think that also really just points to how badly Hollywood messed up both The Smurfs and Cowboys and Aliens.
While rom-coms are dime a dozen, and not all too hard to churn out, one would think that Hollywood could at least make a mediocre family comedy and a mediocre actioner. It is the main reason they exist.

Jul 28 - 09:31 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

I thought that I was the only one who thought those apes looked...well they don't look like apes.

Jul 28 - 10:52 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Avengers is a question mark because there are a lot of characters in it. While it's possible to juggle that many characters, it does take skill (and perhaps some freedom from studio executive tinkering), and the director will most likely need to isolate one or two of the characters as the primary ones.
The first X-Men tended to focus mostly on Wolverine and also deftly pulled in the other characters, giving them enough screen time. But when you have a movie full of guys who can play the lead role, how is that best handled. Can they put aside their egos to serve the story. I don't want it feeling like an NBA All-Star game.

As for The Dark Knight Rises, I feel there's no way the movie will suck. At the very least, it will be OK.

Jul 28 - 11:06 PM

George C.

George Clooney

I must say, I think the critics might not have "gotten" C&A. I haven't seen it yet so I can't decide for myself, but I trust Favreau to a certain degree and I think it could be very subtly tongue-in-cheek and/or satirical. That's the sense I got when it was first announced and, of course, trailers don't portray it like that because they're trying to drawn in the action-picture crowd. I'm gonna go see it to check out the possible subtleties in it. Then again, I could be dead wrong and it could be another unintelligent Hollywood blockbuster designed to suck $ out of my wallet. Unfortunately, there's only 1 way to find out for sure and that way plays right into the blockbuster idea.

Jul 28 - 11:23 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

I was hoping this wouldn't happen. :(

Jul 28 - 11:32 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I think Gordon must have coined the phrase (and without any intended irony): "60% of the time, it works EVERY TIME"

Jul 29 - 12:35 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I was pumped about Cowboys & Aliens when I read all about the development. Then I saw the first trailer...I'll wait to rent it on DVD, and not right when it comes out.

Jul 29 - 12:38 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I was worried it would fall into the trap of cliches and incoherence, and according to the reviews, it does. I am pretty disappointed, as I like pretty much everyone in the cast.

Jul 29 - 01:29 PM

King  S.

King Simba

What do you mean mediocre reviews for Captain America and Thor? Both are certified fresh at more than 75%. In fact, with the exception of Green Lantern and Cowboys and Aliens this has been a pretty impressive summer for comic book adaptations

Jul 29 - 12:40 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I was JUST going to say that, King! Good job!

Jul 29 - 12:42 AM

Alexson Philip

Alexson Philipiah

I will lose a lot of my faith in nolan, if he messes up the dark knight rises....:/

Jul 29 - 06:41 AM

jay z.

jay groon

Which he wont because he is not some summer blockbuster hack that decides to do sequels out of nowhere. He had an original idea from the start of Batman Begins to do a saga. That means he is very measured and calculated when making these sequels.

TDK rose above all and i'm sure TDKR will more than likely be that much better.

Jul 29 - 08:51 AM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

My ONLY fear is that TDKR may suffer the same fate as Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand, AKA the second sequel curse (which strangely always seems to effect comic book trilogies). If anyone can beat that curse though, it's Nolan.

Jul 29 - 10:32 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Not many series films have had a good 3rd part. 2 of the greats that come to mind are LOTR(ROTK) and HP:PoA.

Jul 31 - 07:31 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Also Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Aug 2 - 05:59 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I have to ask - WHY was The Smurfs reviewed?! Did they honestly think the critics would even remotely enjoy it? I would have just skipped the critics - since it won't impact who will pay to see it.

Jul 29 - 12:41 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I was JUST going to say that, King! Good job!

Jul 29 - 12:42 AM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Yes, but that doesn't say much of his abilities as an ACTION director. I agree, he is good with the human elements and with the basic story elements.

Jul 29 - 01:15 AM

Sean Y.

Sean Y.

I think it's best not to try too hard to understand him.

Jul 29 - 01:34 AM

Fekkesh

Jonathan Mitchell

actually, it's more a remake of "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes" than "Battle". Still, why bother?

Jul 29 - 01:50 AM

King  S.

King Simba

A bit surprised about the reviews for Cowboys & Aliens. While not exactly a great director, all of Jon Favreau's films have been pretty entertaining, and before Cowboys, none of his films scored less than 70% positive. Then again, the film did seem a little uneven in tone. Given the premises and the director, you'd expect it to be a light action comedy like Iron Man, and yet the trailers tried to make it appear as Unforgiven with a science fiction twist. Oh well, it still looks like it might be passable entertainment. As for its box office chances, the goodwill the director has recieved from Iron Man, along with the fact that it features both James Bond and Indiana Jones could give it a decent OW, though I think Captain America will remain on top.

The Smurfs - is anyone really surprised at its reviews? All you have to do is look up previous live action adaptations of cartoons and you'll get Scooby Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Yogi Bear. Unfortunately, all of them have crossed 100 mil domestically, even Yogi Bear, and Smurfs will likely continue that trend.

I was actually hoping Crazy Stupid Love would get good reviews, as the cast is impressive, and Emma Stone has made some pretty smart choices in the roles she's picked over the last couple years. Here's hoping it can top the OW of the Smurfs.

Jul 29 - 01:53 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

I don't know about Smurfs reaching the heights of the others you mentioned. Do kids really know what the Smurfs are? Alvin and Scooby cartoons still play, and they even rebooted the Scooby cartoon, so those characters are still relevant to kids. I don't think the Smurf cartoons still run, do they? So will there be that much interest? Plus I think they look kind of creepy.

Jul 29 - 06:04 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Kids know who they are. Smurfs still play too. Not sure how well it will do, but it has no competition in the box office for its demo (sadly, it looks like Pooh will only be discovered after it hits DVD). From the looks of the obnoxious commercial, it's being made perfectly clear that kids don't need a knowledge of the source material (the cartoon, not the original comic strip) to like it and punish their parents by making them go. I think it will debut in the mid-teens and have a low (but consistent) run. I'd also suspect it plays well worldwide.

Jul 29 - 10:45 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Well what do I know! Estimates as of Saturday afternoon are putting it at $38 million weekend. Wow. Just wow.

Jul 30 - 01:57 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Jul 30 - 02:02 PM

Dean W.

Dean Wirth

Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks good, will see it opening weekend.

Jul 29 - 04:18 AM

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