Cowboys & Aliens - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cowboys & Aliens Reviews

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November 19, 2016
Jon Favreau directs Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in Cowboys and Aliens. The film begins with Jake (Daniel Craig) waking up dazed, lost and confused. He does not remember who he is, or how or why he is in the circumstances that he is. He notices a foreign bracelet on his arm, and a wound on his abdomen, but does not know how he got them. He makes his way into town to discover that he is a wanted man for terrorizing towns. As he is on the verge of being apprehended and sent to trial, an alien invasion sweeps across the town abducting individuals with long cords.

At this point all bets are off, and he, a doctor (Sam Rockwell), a cattle baron Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), and a mysterious woman Ella (Olivia Wilde) all decide to travel together to trace down the and recover their loved ones. There only hope is with Jake and his arm bracelet, that is a powerful weapon, and having him recall his past to aid with the origin of the alien invasion. As they travel they come across savage native Indians, and bounty hunters that all aim to kill them. They soon all come to realize they must band together despite their differences to fend off these aliens and ensure their survival.

Cowboys and Aliens is by no means an amazing film, but it has some originality to it. The blend of science fiction and western is by no means common. All the characters give fine performances in what is generally a weak story. Some of the scenes with the Indians and Jake's former crew somewhat detract from the film and do not offer enough value to the film. The action sequences and special effects of the movie are pretty good and keep the film interesting. The scenes of Jake remembering his past has some interesting moments, and ultimately keep the plot moving, but there are too many of them. The film offers some twists and turns, and does avoid some typical Hollywood clichés. Despite the fusion of genres and a solid cast, Cowboys and Aliens is not much more than your typical blockbuster film. The film has good effects, and some good action, and a solid character base, but does not build much beyond this.

-11.19.2016
½ November 18, 2016
This film had potential to be so much more and I think that is why it only gets 3 stars. With the actors of such calibre as Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig you expect much more than you are given. Unfortunately apart from the interesting opening I found myself not really wondering what was going on and just passively watching the rest of it. Some of the action scenes were interesting but I hate films where the protagonist is invulnerable apart from one thing as it makes fight scenes significantly less tense unless said maguffin is in play.
½ October 31, 2016
Great movie. Doesn't assume the audience is stupid. For a main character Daniel Craig doesn't speak much but this is barely noticeable as everything is explained through the narrative. Some very interesting side characters. The preacher injects themes about the nature of God which are very intersting with the bartender providing the antithesis, the nature of man. Some genuinely creepy moments and the ending is quite beautiful. Only let down is prob 1 action moment is a bit too far fetched.
½ September 5, 2016
biggest pile of crap i have ever watched
½ July 28, 2016
160728: Walt Goggins, Daniel Craig, Adam Beach and other strong actors portraying some fun characters. Great wardrobe and accessories for you western fans; got to love the S&W Model 3s. Decent action and story which all equals a previously underrated film by me. Just slightly underrated but no longer. Actually, upon this viewing, was thinking this film could easily due for a sequel. The characters are strong enough so all they need is a new adventure. Perhaps zombies?
½ July 28, 2016
Not as much aliens in the film than I expected and I was surprisingly fine with that. It's more of a cowboy movie, and that's what I liked about the movie the most. Pretty much all of the alien sequences were a little underwhelming, but enough to make you still entertained and not turn the film off.
July 28, 2016
The more I watch this flick, the more I enjoy it. I mean, really, its got two of the best actors ever! The movie does pull you through it with interest and the bits of the past they show throughout the film enrich the storyline. It ends rather pat, but it's a good watch I thought.
July 18, 2016
Lots of big names, fair acting, if a bit formulaic. Decent popcorn flick.
June 22, 2016
Not great, but okay.

Originally written July 30, 2011--
Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution. He quickly finds that strangers are unwelcome, and no one does anything without the approval of tyrannical Col. Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). But when Absolution faces a threat from beyond Earth, the stranger finds that he is its only hope of salvation. He unites townspeople, outlaws and Apache warriors against the alien forces in an epic battle for survival.

I have to admit. I really wanted to like this movie. The director, Jon Favreau, directed some of my favorite movies---Elf, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2. So I was really looking forward to what I "thought" would be a classic sci-fi western. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. It's okay, not great, but okay. In the words of Roger Ebert, one of my favorite movie critics, "'Cowboys & Aliens' has without any doubt the most cockamamie plot I've witnessed in many a moon. Here is a movie set in 1873 with cowboys, aliens, Apaches, horses, spaceships, a murdering stagecoach robber, a preacher, bug-eyed monsters, a bartender named Doc, a tyrannical rancher who lives outside a town named Absolution, his worthless son, two sexy women (one not from around here), bandits, a magic bracelet, an ancient Indian cure for amnesia, a symbolic hummingbird, a brave kid with a spyglass, and a plucky dog who follows the good guys for miles and miles through the barren waste and must be plumb tuckered out." That pretty much tells you all you need to know. Like I said, this movie isn't great, but it's okay. Three stars out of five.
June 18, 2016
Good cast and idea, just terribly written and filled with cliches. Nothing new.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2016
I fell asleep the first two times I tried to watch it. I didn't miss much.
May 23, 2016
Cowboys and aliens decency, great cast, and interesting premise are wasted with a generic theme and juvenile story-telling,
May 10, 2016
A strong concept for what could have been an amazing B movie classic, but seems to miss every check mark it sets.
April 26, 2016
Never really exceeds more than being just a "not bad" movie. Comes up short of delivering any real memorable scenes. Too dark in a lot of the nightime scenes...
April 23, 2016
WOW......WOW......WOW......WOW......JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS A GOOD MOVIE 2 WATCH.......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie.......I think that Daniel craig, Harrison ford, Olivia wilde, paul dano, adam beach, Abigail spencer, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.......I think that the director of this western/action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie......WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT SOME SCENES THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.......I think that both Daniel craig/Harrison ford were great as the lead roles throughout this movie........




Writing
In the film's period as a developing project under several studios, different versions of the screenplay were drafted by numerous screenwriters, beginning with Steve Oedekerk. Other screenwriters involved included David Hayter, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Jeffrey Boam, Thompson Evans, and Chris Hauty.When Universal and DreamWorks re-partnered in 2007, they hired Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus. In 2009, Ostby and Fergus were replaced by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof. Kurtzman and Orci analyzed American Western films including The Searchers. Orci said, "The first draft was very kind of jokey and broad and then it went very serious. You kind of swing back and forth between the two extremes and the tone until you find the exact right point where a Western and a sci-fi movie can really shake hands without it seeming unnatural." "Imagine you're watching Unforgiven and then Aliens land," Orci explained.

Orci also said, "The comic has the themes of enemies uniting to fight a common enemy and has the setting of that specific time period, so we kept the inspiration from all of that. In terms of the specifics of the story and who these characters are, we wanted the audience to be surprised and to not feel like they've already seen everything if they were fans of the comic. So, while the themes and the setting and many of the elements are a great inspiration, the story is completely adapted and translated for live action." The aliens were loosely based on the Anunnaki gods of Zecharia Sitchin's interpretation of the Babylonian religion, who have a distinct interest in gold.

Filming
Cowboys & Aliens was not originally planned to be shown in 3-D. When approached with the idea by DreamWorks, Favreau was not interested, stating that Westerns should be shot only on film (as opposed to being shot digitally, which is required for modern 3D technology), and didn't want it to be converted after filming. "That would be like filming in black and white and colorizing it," he reasoned. Director of photography Matthew Libatique shot Cowboys & Aliens in the anamorphic format on 35 mm film to further a "classic movie feel".

On a budget of $163 million, principal photography for Cowboys & Aliens began at Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico on June 30, 2010.One of the filming locations was Plaza Blanca, "The White Place", where Western films like The Missing, 3:10 to Yuma, City Slickers, Young Guns, and The Legend of the Lone Ranger had been filmed. Sound stage work took place in Los Angeles, with additional location shooting at Randsburg, California. Filming finished on September 30.

A scene in which Craig's character rides a horse alongside a ravine and jumps down it onto a spacecraft emulated many scenes in American Western films where cowboys rode along a moving train and jumped on it. Favreau said the scene referenced the one in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones chases a truck and noted that a similar scene existed in the 1939 film Stagecoach, saying "We're constantly referencing back to our roots." Cowboys & Aliens also make multiple references to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, such as the introduction to the aliens through the bright lights on their aircraft and an upturned paddle steamer in the middle of the desert. The film also "tease[s]" monster movies, and the scenes in the paddle steamer were a deliberate homage to Alien



man this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch, its got such a fantastic cast throughout this movie.......I think that this is such an enjoyable western movie 2 watch, its got such a great cast throughout this movie.....its got good fight scenes throughout this movie.........man this is such a good western movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.......it is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with such a great cast throughout this movie....
½ April 22, 2016
Superbly cast, excellent premise and a pathetic treatment to the said premise leaves it in a cohesive mess that never lives up to any expectations. The element of surprise for the cowboys seeing Aliens or even digesting the fact is missing as a bunch of gunslingers go about as a routine kidnapping and rescue mission. It fails both as a western and a science fiction.

A man with no name (Daniel Craig) wanders into a small town in Arizona with a weird object attached to his wrist having no memory of his past. The town is in the iron grip of a powerful landlord with past military experience Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). When the man with no name was identified to be Jake Lonergan a notorious criminal wanted by the law, an alien invasion occurs abducting many people from the town which is when everyone realizes that Jake's wrist object is the only weapon that could help them. The rest is the adventure to take the attack to the enemy and free their loved ones.

Harrison Ford starts off as not being too comfortable playing the second fiddle but comes to terms as the story progresses. Daniel Craig doesn't have much talking to do and he looks mysterious throughout even after the mystery is solved. The visual effects are a little inconsistent which can be no excuse in today's times that too coming from a big studio production while the director has a past record of handling it a bit too well in the Iron Man franchise. The talented Sam Rockwell is wasted here and Olivia Wilde looks like she has just freshened up in every frame while her character is in the harshest of conditions. With its bloated runtime, it can work up your patience as everything looks all too familiar even with a fresh mash-up of genres.

Cast, premise and technology could not save the insensitivity of its handling
April 2, 2016
This film is quite boring if I want to be honest, but still full of dazzling visual effects and interesting scenes.
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2016
A good film, Enjoyed the action and the special effects were good, But with all the hype round this film I wanted abit more, But don't get me wronge it's not a bad film at all it's worth a watch, The aliens looked good too.
March 26, 2016
Western movie with a sci-fi twist, but still the same values as any 1950s B movie.
Why did such top actors get involved with this?
Made it to the last half-hour.
½ February 29, 2016
Can't wait to see this, this weekend!
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