Cowboys & Aliens

Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
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  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 27, 2011
    75
    Cowboys & Aliens has without any doubt the most cockamamie plot I've witnessed in many a moon.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    Director Jon Favreau keeps the tone light but, aside from the occasional low-key gag or one-liner, the humor is never allowed to upstage the more serious elements.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 29, 2011
    75
    This midsummer crowd-pleaser from the ateliers of Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard is still a great deal more rip-roaring fun than, say, the campy movie version of "The Wild Wild West."
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    Take a cowboy movie, add space aliens. That's a gimmick that could easily have exhausted itself after 20 minutes, but director Favreau, a team of screenwriters and some well-cast actors keep it alive, and the result is a crowd-pleasing summer movie with more wit than most.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 27, 2011
    75
    A hell-for-leather action film with a healthy serving of scares. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 28, 2011
    63
    Neither fish nor fowl (nor extraterrestrial), and that's a problem. Craig, handsomely craggy, plays it straight, and like Eastwood's Man With No Name, he doesn't have much to say.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    The component genre parts coexist, excitingly, without veering into camp or facetious desperation. 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.
  8. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 28, 2011
    63
    A loving throwback to the classic westerns and sci-fi adventures of yore, this celebration of two of cinema's most revered genres doesn't stint in lavishing their most cherished conventions with even-handed affection and respect.
  9. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 27, 2011
    63
    That it lacks the snap, crackle and kapow of the summer's better comic book blockbusters isn't surprising. With all this effort riding on a big, expensive and rushed studio summer picture, the real miracle is that any of them come to life.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 27, 2011
    70
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Jul 24, 2011
    80
    The key to its success lies in the determination by everyone involved to play the damn thing straight. Even the slightest goofiness, the tiniest touch of camp, and the whole thing would blow sky high. But it doesn't.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 29, 2011
    63
    A film that is neither great nor horrible. Favreau does enough things right in Cowboys & Aliens to churn out a mostly enjoyable bit of mindless summertime action, just not enough to come close to rivaling his 2008 crowd-pleaser "Iron Man."
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 28, 2011
    83
    This movie, saddle sores and all, is a lot of fun.
  14. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    The movie is plainly entertaining, with a terrific cast and a fast-moving story helping you overlook the dialogue's frequent failure to crackle.
  15. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Aug 1, 2011
    80
    A simple entertainment in a summer of overcomplicated disappointments. Also much harder-edged than you may have expected.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jul 24, 2011
    80
    While Cowboys & Aliens offers little in the way of sociological insight (except perhaps giving the white man a taste of his own resource-stealing medicine), it's still a ripping good ride.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 384 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 142
  2. Negative: 22 out of 142
  1. Sep 7, 2011
    6
    Yes, the movie's plot is PREPOSTEROUS with a f*cking huge "P". The mix of SF and the west was a impossible task for Jon Favreau (since heYes, the movie's plot is PREPOSTEROUS with a f*cking huge "P". The mix of SF and the west was a impossible task for Jon Favreau (since he makes great movies that have shallow depth like Iron man). However surprisingly he succeeds in presenting a great movie thanks to the dark atmosphere with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford's cool performances. Though I felt the 'Western" part of the movie was significantly stronger than the "SF" and that the director could have just focused on the Western part and make the movie "Cowboys" without the "aliens". Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    2
    Jesus. This movie is so overwhelmingly mediocre. C&A is a prime example of Hollywood cashing in on overly bland and unoriginal movies thatJesus. This movie is so overwhelmingly mediocre. C&A is a prime example of Hollywood cashing in on overly bland and unoriginal movies that have so much hype built up on them (and a ridiculously unnecessary budget). Jon Favreau is an extremely overrated director with no originality whatsoever. Boring cinematography. Boring script. Boring editing. Seen-that-before action sequences. And questionable casting (Olivia Wilde with her im-trying-too-hard-to-be-serious expressions and dialogue, and Daniel Craig, the Englishman who you can easily tell is trying oh so hard to cover up his accent). The story is FULL of action movie cliches that make the following scenes hugely predictable. The Aliens: not scary, that **** has been done before, and MUCH better. Favreau tries to make the movie out to be epic and dramatic, but it sadly ends up being another run-of-the-mill ****ty summer action movie. But, I'm sure this movie will gross millions and millions of dollars and the "public" will say that it's a "great movie, so entertaining and funny!" and blah blah blah. The dialogue is boring as hell and some scenes are so over-acted that it almost feels as if they are making a parody of themselves. If you have any sense of the many possible quality that defines a movie as "good", stay away from this one. If you want to sit for two hours and have your intelligence insulted with unoriginality and bland mediocrity, go see it. I was anxiously waiting for this movie to come to its predictable, dumb ending, so I could GTFO out the theater.
    I know that this movie was intended to be just an entertaining summer blockbuster, but jesus, actually make it worth my time and bring SOMETHING new to the table. This movie had virtually nothing to offer, which ultimately made it completely unentertaining and pointless.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2011
    10
    Cowboys & Aliens is very entertaining. Is it art? No. It's just great commercial entertainment. It's an exciting, funny, scary way to spend aCowboys & Aliens is very entertaining. Is it art? No. It's just great commercial entertainment. It's an exciting, funny, scary way to spend a couple of hours. It's shot beautifully. The casting is first rate. The faces on the old west guys are worth the price of admission. It's not nearly as good a film as the first Alien movie, but it has a lot of the same scary/entertaining qualities. If you want to have a fun ride on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon this the movie to see. Should you see it now or wait until it's available to rent? See it in a theater. The sound and visual effects demand a big screen. You can rent it later. Because you'll want to see it again. Full Review »