User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 377 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 377
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  1. Jan 24, 2013
    5
    Very formulatic despite very appealing special effects and acting.
  2. Dec 15, 2011
    5
    There's only one real problem with "Cowboys & Aliens." It's not very much fun. The characters are developed decently well for a summer movie, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford excel as cowboy tough guys, and the story has the potential to be a fun summer ride. But director Jon Favreau and his 5 screenwriters squander that fun by not giving the cast much to do. The action is sparse, and whenThere's only one real problem with "Cowboys & Aliens." It's not very much fun. The characters are developed decently well for a summer movie, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford excel as cowboy tough guys, and the story has the potential to be a fun summer ride. But director Jon Favreau and his 5 screenwriters squander that fun by not giving the cast much to do. The action is sparse, and when there is action, it consists of Craig pointing and shooting at aliens like a live action game of "Area 51." Oh, and there's also some cowboys running away from a series of explosions. I admire the fact that they were wanting to make a serious alien invasion movie, but just because you're making something serious does not mean it can't also be fun. That's what the makers seem to have forgotten. The movie starts out strong when its strictly a western, but once the aliens come to invade, it becomes a dull adventure. Expand
  3. Jan 1, 2012
    5
    It offers great performances from Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde not so much Ford and it is very entertaining, but sadly the two genres do not blend well thanks to the Director. And offers some just dumb twists along with it. I give this movie 52%.
  4. Aug 1, 2011
    8
    The movie has great action, plot, and character growth. The aspect of memory loss in the main character helped the plot grow. It was nice to see a western movie, and alians didn't add a bad touch. In all honesty, i don't believe this movie deserves a 10, but it doesn't deserve anything below a 7
  5. Aug 18, 2011
    3
    All the worst cliches of a western: bad buy rancher and outsider. Deposed sheriff. Frontier town. All the worst cliches of a science fiction movie: screeching aliens, drool, plot to take over the world, fateful flaw, sleep mode. If it was parody, I missed the point. Really, really bad. I have seen worse. Noisy, though, with lots of explosions if that is your thing.
  6. Aug 20, 2011
    7
    Cowboys and Aliens needed better aliens to support the cowboys, the pacing was uneven, and there was nothing innovative or new, but Cowboys and Aliens was fun, thanks to fun action, a strong cast, and a script which was much better than I thought it would be. It may not be a Captain America or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but it is better than the sad action movies thisCowboys and Aliens needed better aliens to support the cowboys, the pacing was uneven, and there was nothing innovative or new, but Cowboys and Aliens was fun, thanks to fun action, a strong cast, and a script which was much better than I thought it would be. It may not be a Captain America or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but it is better than the sad action movies this year such as Transformers Dark of the Moon. Expand
  7. Aug 27, 2011
    7
    It's a decent film. It's not bad but it's nothing too special either. The story is good and the representation and setting of the cowboy theme is excellent. You know what to expect if Daniel Craig is in a film and this film definitely has many good fight scenes. There were a few twists but I could predict the ending very quickly, but it is a fun ride nonetheless. So if you like cowboys,It's a decent film. It's not bad but it's nothing too special either. The story is good and the representation and setting of the cowboy theme is excellent. You know what to expect if Daniel Craig is in a film and this film definitely has many good fight scenes. There were a few twists but I could predict the ending very quickly, but it is a fun ride nonetheless. So if you like cowboys, aliens and action and adventure then you will probably enjoy this film. Expand
  8. Aug 31, 2011
    5
    Instead of building up the massive long fight scenes that take up the running time they decided to make up a story that was pointless and didn't do anything to change the overall tone of the movie.
  9. Oct 14, 2011
    5
    It started good, then everything ends so bad, george harrison is excelent has always, but Steven Spielberg should stop producing such bad movies i mean he is just gettin a bad rank with movies like this
  10. Nov 30, 2011
    10
    At first I thought, woah, this seems like a pretty ridiculous movie. The aliens would just pulverize the cowboys but I thought hey, it'll be a good laugh i'll rent it anyway. and boy was I surprised, it was actually a pretty good film, the story was pretty good and made you think about it and the fight scenes were also rather well made. I don't see why people are rating it down so much,At first I thought, woah, this seems like a pretty ridiculous movie. The aliens would just pulverize the cowboys but I thought hey, it'll be a good laugh i'll rent it anyway. and boy was I surprised, it was actually a pretty good film, the story was pretty good and made you think about it and the fight scenes were also rather well made. I don't see why people are rating it down so much, it's a good film. Expand
  11. Dec 1, 2011
    3
    Overall, i did not enjoy this movie, the storyline is ridiculous and the aliens look poorly created. there is a reason why people do not make sci-fi/western movies and i think this film shows you just why
  12. Dec 15, 2011
    5
    Cowboys & Aliens is like a food with dust and yes the dust is the Aliens . Its kinda kinda disappointing . and all that goes to the story . Its really bad and once again proved that Western and Si-Fi doesn't get along at all . Acting was good . Good to see Ford and Craig together . Direction was 50/50 but Jon is better then this . The western part was good . I liked that little town . ButCowboys & Aliens is like a food with dust and yes the dust is the Aliens . Its kinda kinda disappointing . and all that goes to the story . Its really bad and once again proved that Western and Si-Fi doesn't get along at all . Acting was good . Good to see Ford and Craig together . Direction was 50/50 but Jon is better then this . The western part was good . I liked that little town . But The alien part sucked big time. So don't make a Cowboy movie with Aliens . Expand
  13. Jan 21, 2012
    5
    The story line could be great but the actors were bad. Daniel Crag and Harisson Ford acted like a 10-year-old and made the film ridiculous. But I was kinda satisfied with the supporting cast.
  14. Jan 27, 2012
    7
    I liked this movie more than I thought I would. Although it left me feeling like I needed more aliens and much less cowboys. I felt that the aliens weren't well defined. One day you could unload a full revolver into them with no effect and other times one shot could kill them. They stay underground because they don't see well in light but when they come out in bright daylight they killI liked this movie more than I thought I would. Although it left me feeling like I needed more aliens and much less cowboys. I felt that the aliens weren't well defined. One day you could unload a full revolver into them with no effect and other times one shot could kill them. They stay underground because they don't see well in light but when they come out in bright daylight they kill just as good as they do in the dark. Supposedly there's only one scout craft but they find a steam ship "500 miles away from any river big enough to hold it". The flash backs seem out of place and don't give you enough info to actually care about his past. Other than all of that it has the right amount of humor, fights, death, strange drugs, and explosions. Its a pretty good movie after you look past all the things I found wrong with it. Expand
  15. BKM
    Feb 11, 2012
    6
    The title tells you right up front how ridiculous this movie will be, so don't get upset if you can't take it seriously. With that being said, I found the movie to be slickly entertaining with strong performances by Ford and Craig in the lead roles. It's pure escapist entertainment despite the efforts of the entire cast to play it as serious as possible and somehow it all works.
  16. Apr 20, 2012
    5
    This is by no means an amazing film. The plot is mostly predictable, the dialogue is cliched, the characters are pretty bland. However this does not make it a bad film. The performances from Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig were surprisingly good and the action scenes were mildly exciting. All in all, a film that can provide some light entertainment. However if you're looking for a groundThis is by no means an amazing film. The plot is mostly predictable, the dialogue is cliched, the characters are pretty bland. However this does not make it a bad film. The performances from Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig were surprisingly good and the action scenes were mildly exciting. All in all, a film that can provide some light entertainment. However if you're looking for a ground breaking film, look elsewhere. Expand
  17. Jun 29, 2012
    3
    Cowboys and Aliens is a film about farmers with RPGS fighting an earth shattering war against aliens that supposedly kill people with the giant penises according to my brother and his friend. I got bored as soon as the first load of of bandits came along after Daniel Craig tried to get Ben 10's omnitrix off his arm. I didn't really know what was going on and am curerently writing thisCowboys and Aliens is a film about farmers with RPGS fighting an earth shattering war against aliens that supposedly kill people with the giant penises according to my brother and his friend. I got bored as soon as the first load of of bandits came along after Daniel Craig tried to get Ben 10's omnitrix off his arm. I didn't really know what was going on and am curerently writing this review while watching the film. Everyone has the same Cowboy personalities we've seen before and I now wish I was watching a film about Farmer John and his RPGn taking on the blind Alien Paedophiles in an Earth shattering war. This emotional bit on right now with Farmer John 2 dying only means my brother going on about how he hates this film and Farther John being kidnapped and sexually abused by the Aliens. I'm bored now Expand
  18. Aug 10, 2012
    5
    Fun popcorn summer movie, nothing more and nothing less. The fact that five writers are credited with script credits likely leads to the film's muddied plot.
  19. Aug 25, 2012
    3
    So much has been made of this film but in truth, it is a pretty poor film. Daniel Craig gives a pretty good performance and obviously Olivia Wilde is gorgeous but neither is good enough to lift this film out of the dumps. I was pretty shocked considering Jon Favreau has directed some very good action films.
  20. Aug 26, 2012
    7
    I was super excited to see 'Cowboys & Aliens'. I never read the comic book that the film was based on, but I absolutely loved the concept of cowboys duking it out with aliens. The fact that the director of 'Iron Man' was behind the director's chair also had me psyched. While I certainly got a solid movie out of it, I was expecting more. The film never is as fun as you might expect, andI was super excited to see 'Cowboys & Aliens'. I never read the comic book that the film was based on, but I absolutely loved the concept of cowboys duking it out with aliens. The fact that the director of 'Iron Man' was behind the director's chair also had me psyched. While I certainly got a solid movie out of it, I was expecting more. The film never is as fun as you might expect, and that probably has to do with how serious the film is in tone. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are great, the special effects are pretty good, and the blending of western and science fiction elements is done well. If the film let itself loose and didn't take itself as serious as it did, it could have been a lot more fun. With that being said, it's a fine film overall. Expand
  21. Oct 3, 2012
    5
    It was Better than I thought but still was not good. Cowboys a Aliens 5.5/10
  22. Nov 7, 2012
    5
    Cowboys & Aliens is a bit of a mixed bag. It opens strong with a distinct western flavor but when the aliens turn up, it gets a bit choppier. I love sci-fi, but I can't help thinking that Cowboys & Aliens was a lot more interesting when it was just Cowboys. That said, it's uniqueness pulls it through and it winds up as a solid splurge of B-movie shlock.
  23. Jan 10, 2013
    5
    I actually liked this. I found the concept extremely interesting, I had no idea what to expect from combining two polar opposite genres, the Western and Sci-fi, but overall, this worked I thought. This film is much more Western than Sci-Fi, and I think that one of the best things about it. The characters, story, setting, scenery, cinematography, dialogue...it's all very western, which II actually liked this. I found the concept extremely interesting, I had no idea what to expect from combining two polar opposite genres, the Western and Sci-fi, but overall, this worked I thought. This film is much more Western than Sci-Fi, and I think that one of the best things about it. The characters, story, setting, scenery, cinematography, dialogue...it's all very western, which I really liked. Aliens capture some civilians, and some citizens go to the rescue. It's simple and it worked. The characters are completely likable, and the cast is brilliant, all giving good performances. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Olivia Wilde...they were all excellently cast, and they deliver! The cinematography and costumes were good. And the special effects were good! So overall, I have very little to complain about! Expand
  24. Dec 22, 2012
    6
    Based on a recent graphic novel of the same name, the concept of cowboys battling aliens is certainly a novel one but it doesn't really work for me. I expected more intrigue from a screenwriting team including Damon Lindelof. What you get if you cross a John Wayne film with Independence Day

    I'm not sure if Jon Favreau and Universal Studios were trying to pitch this as a new Indiana
    Based on a recent graphic novel of the same name, the concept of cowboys battling aliens is certainly a novel one but it doesn't really work for me. I expected more intrigue from a screenwriting team including Damon Lindelof. What you get if you cross a John Wayne film with Independence Day

    I'm not sure if Jon Favreau and Universal Studios were trying to pitch this as a new Indiana Jones but Daniel Craig is not nearly likeable enough with his stereotypically surly cowboy. Ford is suitably gritty as the veteran gun-slinger finding his softer side. Granted there are some exciting scenes but overall it falls pretty flat in merging the two polar genres. One scene where Craig carries Olivia Wilde in his arms until he collapses in exhaustion simply made me want to watch True Grit instead.
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  25. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    Although Cowboys and Aliens featured some decent performances, it lacked the energy of a good action flick or the intellectual depth of a decent sci-fi film.
  26. Jan 23, 2013
    6
    It is an entertaining film, has its dull moments, but overall okay.
  27. Apr 6, 2013
    2
    Cowboys and Aliens is dazzling as VFX if you add but people that work at Empire Magazine that say this movie is good and giving it a 80 is never worth it. I have watched so much movies in my live but never seen someone making a mock of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig so bad and adding aliens in the plot. Jon Faverau has made a great movie called Iron Man, so why doesn't he keep makingCowboys and Aliens is dazzling as VFX if you add but people that work at Empire Magazine that say this movie is good and giving it a 80 is never worth it. I have watched so much movies in my live but never seen someone making a mock of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig so bad and adding aliens in the plot. Jon Faverau has made a great movie called Iron Man, so why doesn't he keep making movies like that!? I mean the story and plot were okay and the acting was brilliant but nothing more! It's bland through 15 minutes and bores! Craig doesn't do that well as an outlaw! The plot was dumb and good at the same time. ONE TIME WATCH ONLY. Expand
  28. 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 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 movieYes, 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". Expand
  29. 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 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. IfCowboys & 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. Expand
  30. Aug 4, 2011
    6
    The western part of this movie is spectacular. On the other hand, the sci fi part of this movie was way below par. I am a sci fi fan and all but this movie just didn't meet my standards
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
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jul 31, 2011
    50
    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.