Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 358 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. It's a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival. (Universal Pictures)

    Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 28, 2011
    83
    This movie, saddle sores and all, is a lot of fun.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Holleman
    Jul 28, 2011
    50
    It would have been nice if Cowboys & Aliens had come come up with the right equation to balance originality and homage. But in the end, it all turned into trigonometry.
  5. Reviewed by: Josh Levin
    Jul 29, 2011
    50
    Instead of merging the Western and the sci-fi genre to form some new, transcendent class of popcorn fare, Cowboys & Aliens just regurgitates the conventions of both genres. Double the high concept, quadruple the clichés.
  6. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jul 29, 2011
    45
    Based on a graphic novel, Cowboys & Aliens never quite transcends the flat dimensions of its source material.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 26, 2011
    25
    Brandishing a literal-minded title as laughable as the rest of its action, Cowboys & Aliens mashes up genres with a staunch dedication to getting everything wrong, making sure that each scene is more inane than the one that preceded it.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 139
  2. Negative: 22 out of 139
  1. 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. 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
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    9
    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. Expand
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    8
    I liked the trailer. To my surprise gf did too. So we went. And i have to say, this is a great fun movie. Does exactly what it says on the packet. Yes it's a stupid title and a wacky mash-up concept, but I just really enjoyed it. Great cast of attractive ppl, great effects, pretty straight-forward if unusual plot. Good **** Collapse
  4. Nov 7, 2012
    6
    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. Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. Feb 6, 2012
    5
    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... Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2013
    0
    It looks good, but horrible.
    Daniel Craig's character looks great. I love the SF weapon on the wrist. But that's just about it.
    protagonist,
    aliens, flying machine characters are horrible.
    Most scenes are boring, slow.
    The battle scenes are bad.
    Aliens were stupid, die easily. I wanted more than that.
    Expand

See all 139 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Summer Movie Scorecard: The Best of 2011 So Far

    Summer Movie Scorecard: The Best of 2011 So Far Image
    Published: September 7, 2011
    The summer movie season has officially come to a close, which means that it's time once again to take a look at the quality and financial performance of the films released during the past few months (and the year to date).
  2. Comic Book Movies: Marvel vs. DC vs. Indie Publishers

    Comic Book Movies: Marvel vs. DC vs. Indie Publishers Image
    Published: July 26, 2011
    Whose comics make better movies: those published by Marvel, or ones from DC? Or do the best films come from indie comics, like this week's adaptation of Platinum Studios' "Cowboys & Aliens"? Find out inside as we compare the films of each comic book publisher.
  3. Dual Threats: Actors Who Direct Movies

    Dual Threats: Actors Who Direct Movies Image
    Published: June 27, 2011
    This week, star Tom Hanks returns to the director's chair with "Larry Crowne." We profile 20 other established actors who have made the leap to film directing, for better or worse.
  4. Summer Movie Preview: 30 Most-Anticipated Films

    Summer Movie Preview: 30 Most-Anticipated Films Image
    Published: April 26, 2011
    Get details and trailers for the 30 biggest films coming out over the next four months. While you're at it, read about the other 80+ movies heading to theaters this summer in our super-sized preview.