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Mixed or average reviews- based on 361 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 361

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  1. Sep 14, 2011
    I saw this movie with my wife and teenage daughter at the local cinema. At first I was a bit worried if my wife and daughter would enjoy a sci-fi action movie. I knew I would, because I am a huge star trek and star wars fan. For the whole duration of the movie, my wife and daughter never said a word to me. Also, we hardly touched our pop corn or pop soda. Brilliant movie, Great day out. You also need to see it on a big screen or cinema to appreciate it wholly. Expand
  2. Sep 30, 2011
    I do not remember. combining cowboys and aliens, not very good idea but the movie was 35% fun, not better, not worse, I do not like daniel Creig reminds me of Vin Diesel, the last total disgust.
  3. Oct 22, 2011
    Cowboys and Aliens stars Daniel Craig as Jake Lonergan who wakes up in the western dry landscape with no memory of who he is and why he is there and the only thing that doesn't faze him as much as it should is the strange bulky band that is clamped on to his wrist. After Jake walks into a small town he is recognised as a wanted man by the Sheriff for stealing Colonel Dolarhyde's (Harrison Ford) gold and is imprisoned with a little help from Olivia Wilde's character and soon after strange flying ships start attacking the town and stealing the townspeople. Right from the get go we it feels amazingly like a western tale with a long panning shot of the dusty landscape to Craig suddenly popping up in a panic with the famous blue eyes being the only thing that sticks out. Even the scenes following could be plucked from a spaghetti western, weather it be Jake kicking the crap out of a group of outlaws or Jake kicking the crap out the towns resident **** The mood does start to change when Jake begins to blow alien spaceships out the sky with the laser armband thing he is wearing and when the spaceships start to pluck people like ants from their homes and kidnap them. The entire movie tries to balance these two genres and does it surprisingly well. It makes the story not believable to any stretch of the imagination which is a good thing. The acting is decent enough from pretty much everybody that steps in front off the camera and the set pieces are epic with great direction but one of the things that makes me respect this movie more than anything is that the aliens are well thought out and do have more of a place in the story other than to be a punching bag for the main lead. If there is one thing that slightly niggles me about this movie it is the ending, I don't want to give away to much but it leaves the movie off on a sort of on a low note with a "that's it" type of feel. Over all it does bring the amazing action sequences, a few jumps and a good experience. Yes it is a Hollywood cash grab, but it is a good one. Expand
  4. Nov 19, 2011
    How could someone pour a lot of money into something so bad? Aliens and cowboys? What were they smoking? Talk about genre cliche after cliche. One of the year's worst big budget movies not even redeemed by decent acting.
  5. Nov 24, 2011
    As an all round "alien-movie" fan, I must admit my score might be a bit biased. I'm also a huge Lindelof/Orci/Kurtzman fan. The film doesn't dally about getting to the point of the story, which is both a good and bad thing. Good for your average cinema goer and bad if you're fond of the twisted screenplays these guys are known for (MI:3 / Star Trek). The story seldom exhilirates or drives you to the edge of your seat. But that doesn't mean it isn't entertaining. The action and visual effects will keep the analytics glued. As far as acting goes Dan Craig pulls off the cowboy persona quite decently - albeit a bit formulaic. Wylde delivers all you could really expect from her which is nothing to write home about. Some of the best acting in the movie is actually left to the Sheriff Character's Grandson - believe it or not. Credit though, must be given to Ford's performance - as he really delivers one that forces you to attempt remembering who it is you're actually watching.

    The movie is all-round entertaining. But breaks no new ground, in contrast with what we've grown accustomed to from the crew.
  6. Dec 1, 2011
    Cowboys & Aliens is certainly a movie. Itâ
  7. Dec 5, 2011
    my summary, the worst thing about this movie is that I am not going to have my 118 minutes back.... ever. So, my rec. is that if you have anything better to do, for example, watching the flowers grow, don't hesitate.
  8. Dec 19, 2011
    Most people sitting here reviewing this movie, I think were looking for something incredible intelectually stimulating and emotionally compelling - Which is something you're never gonna get out of a movie like this. As ridiculous as the premise sounds, the film is incredibly entertaining and just damn cool. With good acting from the leads, a storyline that isn't too bad, and action scenes that make you go 'God damn, that's cool!' I must say that this is one of my favourite movies to come out this year. Expand
  9. Dec 25, 2011
    Unbelievably silly and Mediocre, this movie is laughable at best, the fact that this movie was completely illogical and dumb the scripting and plot is awful and boring.
  10. Dec 31, 2011
    As far as genre mashups go, Cowboys and Aliens pretty much takes the cake. The plot is absolutely ridiculous in a fun way, and the novelty of cowboys shooting aliens is unforgettable. Add in some comedic scenes and a wonderful cast mainly dominated by Daniel Craig, and you've got yourself one rollicking good time.
  11. Jan 15, 2012
    So quickly wanting to get past 'the plot be crazy lol' swamp, let's get into what the film did. Well it had a nice setup as a beginning and built tension well. It also was nice that it went for a little bit of the old Jaws thing by not showing the aliens too much early. But then, oh meh... Harrison Ford must of got lackadaisical and sated after lunch, and the screenwriter and director must of started smoking weed together, because the rest of the film is just lazy as hell. No innovation, originality, or even fun really. Just what you expect, but more boring. It's a film about Cowboys V.S do you make that boring? Daniel Craig looked like he was the only one who gave a **** Least till he saw it at the premier I'm guessing. Expand
  12. Jan 19, 2012
    I actually read the GN before watching the movie so I would have a good idea of what to expect and could see what did not translate. I don't read many GNs but I have never been so disappointed at the end of one as I was with this GN. So, by comparison, the movie is really good! They basically had an idea to work from, as provided by the GN, and then had to create everything else to make the movie. This is one where the movie is actually much better than the original book! Expand
  13. Feb 6, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was ok, but hoped it would be better. Daniel Craig plays it really straight and I cared little for his character. Harrison Ford is underused. Aliens are ok, but pretty much what you expect. I felt that the cowboys never seemed to be as terrified of the aliens as they should have been. Why did Daniel Craig's gang volunteer to sacrifice themselves to distract the aliens to save a bunch of people they had never met? And Olivia Wilde emerging from the fire ... once that had happened I figured anything could happen. Expand
  14. Feb 6, 2012
    Seriously, this is one of the rare times I totally agree with the overall critics rating. This movie is boring most the time. The plot is almost not available and the special effects are sometimes reallt bad! Skip it it's not worth the 2 hours...
  15. Mar 2, 2012
    A strangely enjoyable movie that can be humorous and action packed, but surprisingly never cheesy even with the fact that it's just one big goofy idea, it succeeds because it takes itself seriously even when it could just give in and be a campy flick, it ca be a bit predictable at times but in the end comes together to be a highly enjoyable movie that I can't help but recommend.
  16. Mar 19, 2012
    This movie was very sad, exciting and thrilling. I would like to watch it again as it is very funny and sad at the same time!
  17. Apr 3, 2012
    First off, this is a 9 out of 10 Movie. Acting is good. Everyone does good. Score is really good. Story is good. This movie has quiet a good story. Also the visual effects, set pieces, and action sequences are really good. Overall, this is a great movie. Title sounds stupid, but it still delivers.
  18. Apr 6, 2012
    It's about time we had an new and original idea for a western! I admit, I was a bit hesitant - How could they possibly mix the two... but it came together and created what I crave most - something NEW!
  19. Apr 12, 2012
    Cowboys & Aliens is a good western (with cool sci-fi stuff thrown in), for some reason it reminds me of transformers, I think it's the action in it, stuff explodes, people scream, you know what I mean. Basically, it's a fun western with aliens thrown in, I think anybody that likes those sort of things should watch it, it seems like a Micheal bay film but a bit better.
  20. Apr 14, 2012
    This movie was surprisingly good. It had great action and a great mystery unraveling before our eyes, the only thing lacking was character development (not including the main character). It was a crazy cross between Sci-Fi and Western which they pulled off well, if you love westerns or sci-fi you would want to see this movie. Its worth watching.
  21. May 14, 2012
    Cowboys and Aliens is a lot better than I thought it would be. Sure, the mixing of genres doesn't seem ideal, but who are we to judge? Its enjoyable, its fun- what more can we ask of it?
  22. Nov 7, 2012
    The plot is preposterous, and at times the performances are a little more serious than they should be, but I still had fun watching it. Favreau is the man for the job here.
  23. Nov 28, 2012
    It's two top-billed actors give it their best, but it's almost not enough to save this movie from the ridiculous elements that run rampant throughout it.
  24. Jan 9, 2013
    This movie is one of Speilberg's greatest hits yet! I liked it. What could be better trhan seeing two figures that have a bunch of stories, and mixing them. I give this a ten out of ten because of the creativity that speilberg put into this.
  25. Jan 15, 2013
    Common sense is not welcome in a movie called
  26. Feb 14, 2013
    I loved this movie! It`s a much more of an original idea then most of the same old same crap out there.It`s funny how crap like "Cabin in the Woods", get a high rating, but a fun movie like this gets trashed.
  27. Mar 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Cowboys & Aliens shows promise when it first starts, featuring a silent almost Clint Eastwood-like protagonist (Daniel Craig)and a dusty, gritty western town we all like to see in our Westerns until all of a sudden character-introduction goes into overdrive and we're meeting one character after another, never stopping to focus on who they are are and what kind of traits they possess. Instead, they all play out as these archetypical characters one may find in a spaghetti western until the aliens show up. That's when they become mere pawns to be sacrificed to further the plot. There is some character development but most of the time you'll find yourself just not caring, the characters being almost as faceless as the nondescript aliens that they are fighting. Everything that happens in this movie is highly predictable, there is no sense of humour to it and despite the massive budget, famous actors and unique premise it comes out as a very generic and bland science-fiction movie. The only way you can still tell it's a western after 30 minutes in is that they meet up with a bunch of indians and that they ride horses. Something that bothered me because it seemed like the creatures were put under a lot of stress for our entertainment. No western needs that many horses faling over for something that doesn't help the story move forward one iota. Other than that all pretense of it being an actual western is dropped in favour of good looking but generally bland CGI with a plot we've seen so many times before. Watch it if you enjoy science-fiction but don't expect a masterpiece in any way. Harrison Ford makes for a horrible bad guy, the overacting just jumps off the screen until he has a change of heart somewhere halfway through the movie after which he seems more comfortable in his role. Expand
  28. Mar 17, 2013
    As a western, it works. As a sci-fi, it doesn't. A movie that by its very name you would think would have more fun with the concept. Instead they actually take themselves a bit too seriously trying desperately to merge two genres that usually wouldn't work. It does kind of work, but what we get is a movie that just feels like it can't decide who its appealing to: Fans of Westerns, or fans of Sci-fis. Harrison Ford really seams to be not even trying in this movie, but it was kind of fun seeing him play a bad guy for a change. Overall: A movie that boasted more than it could possibly deliver and that perhaps could have been better had they turned up the comedy a bit. Expand
  29. Mar 25, 2013
    Besides a few corny moments Cowboys & Aliens is a fun interesting ride of two unlikely foes. Jon Favreau mixes classical western and sci- fiction quite well even when the story can at times be dull.
  30. Mar 31, 2013
    I don't care that it's got a silly title. "Cowboys & Aliens" is a straight-up super-sized platter of undiluted entertainment. Jon Favreau deftly weaves together the iconic genres of Western and sci-fi in a seamless plot that has fun with all the cliches and tropes of both worlds while making their mixing feel authentic and honest and it is just awesome. This is the kind of fun-loving action picture that I just die for. The effects are great, the scenery is spectacular, the vision is huge, the performances are lovely, the music is cool, and it's got friggin' Harrison Ford in a ten-gallon shooting aliens. How the hell can that not be fun? People can whine and moan about how stupid this movie is all they want they're missing the point. My absolute enduring favorite movies are always the ones that take themselves seriously while having total fun with themselves (ahem, "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns"). And this flick delivered that in total spades. Expand
  31. Mar 31, 2013
    Interesante mezcla de géneros. Western y ciencia ficción. E igual de interesante mezclar a Indiana Jones y James Bond, además de Trece la doctora bisexual de House.
    Entretenimiento y lección al verdadero rol paterno.
  32. Apr 8, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Being one of Hollywood's top directors today after directing the two successful 'Iron Man' movies, Jon Favreau has now turned his direction to aliens in a western world and 'Cowboys and Aliens' is the product. Cowboys and Aliens is an American Western Science-Fiction movie and starring talented actors like Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Sam Rockwell.

    The film's main plot favours simplicity instead of complexity, it is 'grabbing' instead or 'challenging' or to easily put-Cowboys and Aliens never offers much fresh or colossal contents. The story: in the creators' 'creative' imagination, the inhabitants of the invaded town got abducted by Aliens. So Jake Lonergan (Played by Daniel Craig), an amnesiac outlaw, joins up with a posse to rescue the captured people. Heard before? Repetitive? Formulaic much?

    The thing which troubled me the most is the image of the 'alien'. It is neither intelligent looking nor it is interesting to look at; it is just as good as other beasts or monsters in any mediocre films, and it leads to a conclusion that it's intelligence and the looks of the alien, simply doesn't matched. Bloodcurdling or 'smart' looking would be there in my expectations but the aliens in the movie declined to touch me.

    The performances are above-average. Daniel Craig, being a skillful actor, is raw, wild and genuinely appealing. I would not be pleased to mention that his work for this film is admirable or solid, but he is undeniably well equipped with charisma and for any actors, that mentioned skill is hugely important. Harrison Ford's contribution is as important as Craig's in this one. Ford is greatly appealing too, and his skills for acting are very much in evidence here. Other actors and actresses too deliver fine performances but Paul Dano somewhat disappoints me here. After showing somehow a great performance in There Will Be Blood, Paul Dano sells an acting show which I would say, mediocre, and I feel like I'm being hit. I expected more from him.

    I'm very much in love with the settings of this movie. I adore on how the filmmakers captured the beautiful images of the western world and needless to say, the greatest element of Cowboys and Aliens is the sublime shots that the filmmakers have captured.

    Despite being flawed, I believe that this movie is still a fun ride. Formulaic? Yes it is. But sometimes, formulaic stuffs could capture my attention as they are very easy to follow.


    ( ( Twitter (@Alex_DeSmall)
  33. Jun 13, 2013
    I love Westerns and I love Science Fiction and movies from both genres that are fun. Conceptually this is a great idea mixing the genres as they have done. My initial review is that it begins very well, sags in the middle, then picks up in the final few acts.

    The special effects are very well done. I really enjoy the design of the aliens. They are menacing and threatening with no regard
    for human life. The acting is very well done. Both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig offer believable characters that are not one dimensional. Both men are tough, full of pride and though they are on different sides of the issue at the start of the movie it is not so easy to distinguish the typical western good guy from the bad guy. The plot is creative and they way typical adversaries in western movies all come together to battle the aliens flows well into the story and is not forced and artificial.

    Once the aliens arrive and the back story of Daniel Craig's character is explored is when the movie begins to sag. Other things also happen that slows down the pacing of the movie. One event is the revelation of another alien which is used to explain the motive of the invading aliens. I think they could have found another way for exposition and it would have quicken the pacing. The other reason the middle of the movie sags is that many scenes take place in the dark and it is difficult to view what was happening. I wish movie makers would lighten night scenes just a bit so we the viewer could see a bit more of what is going on.

    The final confrontation with the aliens is when the movie come back to life and returns to the pacing and quality story telling that it began with. Although a bit uneven all in all the movie does deliver an exciting, fun and gritty combination of the two genres.
  34. Aug 3, 2013
    First off, let me just say that the scenery, the cast, and the effects are all fantastic! Unfortunately, it's the pace and story that seems to doom the movie. The first quarter of the movie gets off too a strong start, but somewhere at about the halfway mark it grows slow and redundant.

    The first couple action scenes are very unique and intense as you would expect due to the plot,
    although the aliens themselves are somewhat comical looking and could've been better. The movie also suffers from a lackluster 25 minute action scene at the end. In all honesty, the scene dragged on way longer than I wanted it to and I found myself not even caring about the outcome.

    It's not a awful movie, I just expected a lot more. It may also be one of those movies that is better to catch on cable instead of going out to rent.
  35. Sep 9, 2013
    Cowboys and Aliens cannot bother to make you care about the characters, and halfway in you lose all interest to the story whatsoever. Although the action is riveting and quite well filmed. Sam Rockwell is very good as the doctor who can't shoot anything and is undoubtedly the best thing about the film. Cowboys and Aliens has a weak story and annoying characters but makes up for that by having exciting action sequences and surprisingly good CGI. Expand
  36. Sep 26, 2013
    The metascore (as of September 26, 2013) is completely right, giving this movie a 50. It was neither good nor bad, right smack dab in the middle of average films. Ford and Craig are good actors, if not great, but they're stranded in weak material.
  37. Nov 23, 2013
    The movie has a very interesting concept and some nice actors, but it is pretty boring. Also the events happening along the storyline seem stupid and not logical just like in some B-class Sci Fi movie.
  38. Apr 2, 2014
    Pretty stupid movie if you ask me. I mean Aliens? Probably one of the most cliche thing to have in movies nowadays; and it's even worse when you mix it with an extremely unfitting theme for aliens: cowboys. In some ways I could see some of this being a somewhat decent concept, but overall it just fell flat and made this awful movie. The only thing I probably liked in this film was that some locations were pretty cool and the acting was alright (Harrison Ford is great of course). But overall this film was pretty bad and just tried too hard to be a sophisticated Alien film but overall it was just stupid. I would never recommend this abomination of a film in a million years. Expand
  39. May 25, 2014
    I really wanted to see this movie when it was first coming out because i love both western and alien movies oh yeah plus the lovely Olivia Wilde. Sadly this movie was just crap. The movie was one predictable event after another i think i called out at least 10 things that ended up happening. The cast was the only good thing though with actors such as Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Walton Goggins its was a shame that with that many great actors the film didnt turn out better. The plot was stupid and pointless writing was terrible but i will say the CGI was good also the aliens looked so lame.

    Overall i give it a 5.0 i was going to give it 4 stars but that was before i seen that the dog didnt die so i was nice and gave them a star for that.
  40. Nov 12, 2014
    Good cast and visuals and rest is waste. A good mixing genre doesn't mean to be a good results overall. Let's talk about antagonists which are aliens in the film, no characterisation for them... I mean nothing at all. They are just toys to complete the film. Hard to believe, terrible dialogues or I would like to say the whole screenplay with amateurish editing... It was an experiment to blend western and science fiction genres which results into a long, boring, bland and bad Jon Favreau's inferior film. He spent his energy into it rather than Iron man-3. Expand

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Aug 1, 2011
    A simple entertainment in a summer of overcomplicated disappointments. Also much harder-edged than you may have expected.
  2. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jul 31, 2011
    That is what kids will come away with, together with a dose of wishful thinking: the vague belief that, with good will and a foe from far away, all those feuding parties of the Wild West - the cowboys, the Indians, and the no-good rogues - could have settled their differences and got along just fine. Go tell it to Gary Cooper.
  3. 40
    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.