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

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5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 364 Ratings

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  • 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 move1873. 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)

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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: 83 out of 141
  2. Negative: 22 out of 141
  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 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. 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 bigA 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 10, 2011
    8
    Brutal, Brutal, BRUUTTALLL!!!! Okay I just got back from seeing "Cowboys and Aliens" and I have to say, I've seen 3 westerns in my whole life,Brutal, Brutal, BRUUTTALLL!!!! Okay I just got back from seeing "Cowboys and Aliens" and I have to say, I've seen 3 westerns in my whole life, and this, This tops them ALLL!!! If you could consider it a western, I consider it a Sci-fi Western Horror film. I have to put a warning up right now, this is not for the faint of heart or squemish, because there are a lot of jump moments in this film, and there is a lot of human and alien massacres in this film, BLOODILY I might add. Now this film is one of the best films, if not the best film, Jon Favreau has directed, And I love the first and second Iron Man film (2 more than the first.) Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wild all do fantastic jobs as the main characters, and the side characters are all well done too, Clancy Brown as the pastor, and Sam Rockwell as the Doctor all do fantastic jobs. But lets talk about the thing everybody loves in these movies, the aliens. The aliens in this movie have similar desires like the aliens in the terrible film "Battlefield Earth" They want gold, why I couldn't figure it out and am not sure if they mention it. The aliens look interesting, and I will say one thing right now that is a bit of a subplot with one of the aliens and Daniel Craigs character. Daniel Craig slashed an alien in the eye with a surgical tool, that was gonna disect him, this alien returns and tries to do the same thing, and what happens to him is the most awesome and satisfying death in any movie I have ever seen. The film starts out pretty slow but once the aliens show up, it speeds on by like nothing and is a definite thrill ride. Also the amount of human and alien blood and jump moments in this movie makes me wonder how it didn't get an R rating. The ending 35 minute action scene is incredible to watch and is very well done. All I have to say is, if you're squemish or very jumpy in horror movies, don't see this, but if you aren't and want a great action sci fi western film, check this out. Expand
  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.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, theI 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. Jan 15, 2013
    5
    Common sense is not welcome in a movie called
  7. Aug 4, 2011
    0
    I really feel this was one of the most boring and uneventful films I have ever seen. Why Would anybody make this film. I just don'tI really feel this was one of the most boring and uneventful films I have ever seen. Why Would anybody make this film. I just don't understand. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD Expand

See all 141 User Reviews

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