Cowboys & Aliens - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cowboys & Aliens Reviews

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Anna Smith
Time Out
August 17, 2011
What started as 'True Grit'-meets-'War of the Worlds' ends up closer to - whisper it - 'Wild Wild West'.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
August 8, 2011
Takes itself much too seriously, with acts of brutality outnumbering the gags.
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Leonard Maltin
indieWIRE
August 4, 2011
As its title indicates, this is a strange cross of movie genres, and lest any viewers get antsy, it doesn't allow much time to pass before we first encounter UFOs in the Old West. The film takes its time unraveling the rest of the story...
| Original Score: 2.1/2
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Josh Levin
Slate
August 2, 2011
It's fun to think about what Cowboys & Aliens might have been if any creativity had crept past the title page.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 31, 2011
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.
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
July 29, 2011
[A] phenomenally successful two-man war against narrative clarity and continuity.
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
July 29, 2011
A film that entertains, even if it doesn't live up to the full-on madness potential the title portended.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 29, 2011
It's just big silly fun, the kind you're supposed to have at a summer movie with a ridiculous title.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
July 29, 2011
The small moments of poetry ... are lost amid too much digital sound and fury.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 29, 2011
Over on the aliens side, it's hard to make out faces, but there's no doubt about their place of origin: These slimy, growling, bug-eyed and distinctly non-scary things are straight from central casting.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Leah Rozen
TheWrap
July 29, 2011
Characters are so sketchily drawn that little is really at stake here.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 29, 2011
Nothing very exciting happens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 29, 2011
It may be two treats in one, but for an audience that's pigged out on spectacle all summer, that might be two treats too many.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 29, 2011
The movie gets by on the strength of agreeable talent who enjoy playing along and can endure the horse manure and space goo being shovelled.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 29, 2011
This sharp-looking, committee-written adaptation of a genre-splicing graphic novel wins points by frequently, smartly and affectionately tipping its hat to classic Westerns and their archetypes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2011
It's hard to say what is most depressing about "Cowboys & Aliens" - the film itself, or the fact that this was the best movie a posse of major Hollywood players could come up with.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 28, 2011
A crowd-pleasing summer movie with more wit than most.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 28, 2011
A stultifying pileup of nonsense and stupidity, with way too many cowboys (and Indians and Mexicans and a scrappy mutt and a cute, brave orphan) and not nearly enough aliens.
Top Critic
July 28, 2011
Favreau's film doesn't take any risks, reducing the stakes to the point where the movie descends quickly from its fun exposition to a collection of meaningless explosions and predictable action sequences.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/10
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 28, 2011
The storytelling, punctuated by incoherent flashbacks, is often inscrutable: I'm still trying to figure out which side of the cosmos gave birth to the woman played by Olivia Wilde.
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Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
July 28, 2011
There is enough to like and to savor in Cowboys & Aliens that it makes for an enjoyable two hours in the dark with a big bag of buttery popcorn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 28, 2011
[A] loud new action genre mash-up.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 28, 2011
Action-packed yet curiously lifeless, "Cowboys & Aliens" shoots blanks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 28, 2011
Cowboys & Aliens could have been the tangelo of genre-blenders. Instead, it's more like the Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancake & Sausage on a Stick.
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
July 28, 2011
The Searchers meet Independence Day. Great fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 28, 2011
Tonally, the movie is off: not quite as sober and majestic as the John Ford westerns it's inspired by, nor as ironic and irreverent as, well, Favreau's two Iron Man films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 28, 2011
[Favreau] wavers uncertainly between goofy pastiche and seriousness in a movie that wastes its title and misses the opportunity to play with, you know, ideas about the western and science-fiction horror.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 28, 2011
Alien-invasion aficionados should be pleased. Western nostalgists may be pleasantly surprised. Fans of cowboys-versus-aliens movies, well, it's been a long wait and here's your movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
July 28, 2011
The filmmakers here (who include director Jon Favreau (Iron Man), five credited writers, and countless special-effects technicians) don't seem to have agreed on whether they're paying homage to these genres or mocking them.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 28, 2011
Cowboys & Aliens is a mashup of a mediocre Western and a mediocre science fiction story. The resulting film is far better than the sum of its two seemingly disparate parts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 28, 2011
The mash-up of cowboys and aliens doesn't do either camp any favors. How are we supposed to work up a rooting interest when both sides are shooting blanks?
| Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Holleman
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 28, 2011
Aside from the idea of mixing two well-loved genres, there is not a single original thought. The creators seem to have turned off their creative juices after identifying as many genre set pieces as possible.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 28, 2011
It's like a double feature but with all the boring bits taken out and all the fight scenes run together.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 28, 2011
The movie never makes much of a case for its own existence; it's a mediocre western clumsily welded to a mediocre alien shoot-'em-up, and if you allow yourself to think about its treatment of history for as long as one second, you'll feel insulted.
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
July 28, 2011
You want cowboys and aliens in the same movie? This one's for you. If you want anything beyond what the title promises, look elsewhere. And that means even anything resembling a clever mash-up of established genres.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 28, 2011
Five credited screenwriters, and this is the best they can do?
| Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 28, 2011
As preposterous moneymakers go, it's ambitious and well-made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 27, 2011
Dialogue is terse and predictable, and the sci-fi thriller portion is even less compelling than the Western saga.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 27, 2011
It really is "Aliens'' on the open plains, "Independence Day'' for the nation's centennial, and what the movie lacks in originality and stick-to-your-ribs Western authenticity, it makes up for in pell-mell multiplex entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 27, 2011
Cowboys & Aliens has fun moments, but it's a plodding entertainment because it mostly tastes like leftovers.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 27, 2011
"Cowboys & Aliens" is exactly what it sounds like: a cowboy movie and an alien movie thrown together, a genre mash-up that's more fun than good, but pretty good nonetheless.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
July 27, 2011
What makes the movie work, really, is that above and beyond the conventions themselves doing their jobs, the actors seem truly invested...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 27, 2011
Cowboys & Aliens is one of the silliest movies ever made, but so many otherwise serious people have attached their names to it that, as Arthur Miller wrote in Death of a Salesman, attention must be paid.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
July 26, 2011
As in his handling of the first Iron Man, [Favreau] displays here the rare ability to patiently lay down the track along which his narrative will move, and he gets some good work from his performers.
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David Germain
Associated Press
July 26, 2011
Favreau slipped from fresh and flamboyant on "Iron Man" to lame and listless on its sequel, and there's more of the latter on "Cowboys & Aliens."
| Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Debruge
Variety
July 25, 2011
A ripping good ride.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2011
It sounds kooky on paper, but on the screen, cowboys and aliens make beautiful, fun music together.