Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens Image
Metascore
50

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

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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 403 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: 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 28, 2011
    50
    The movie never makes much of a case for its own existence; it's a mediocre western clumsily welded to a mediocre alien shoot-'em-up, and if you allow yourself to think about its treatment of history for as long as one second, you'll feel insulted.
  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: 63 out of 144
  2. Negative: 22 out of 144
  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. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    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 ofAs 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. 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 theI 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 **** Expand
  4. Feb 6, 2012
    6
    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
  5. Jul 29, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Spoilers within...] I'm a big fan of westerns and of alien movies, but this particular combination of the two just didn't do it for me. What I like about westerns is feeling that hatred of the truly evil antagonist. Harrison Ford initially assumes that role, which is difficult because we identify with him as the good guy in so many films. He eventually redeems himself and makes the good guy conversion. The aliens are not bad enough to make you hate them like you normally would a Western baddie. They didn't engage me in the least. Not nearly as scary as the Alien creatures they looked a bit like. The use of Olivia Wilde was a little too "out there" for my liking. Her resurrection left my head spinning a bit. The movie has some serious pacing problems toward the middle stretch. And the "explosion" at the end - was that meant to look like another very famous explosion from about 1986?? And if so, I'm a little confused about the purpose. Anyway, I wanted to like this movie because Favreau is such a great movie guy and a solid director, but this material just didn't work. And Daniel Craig? Nope. Expand
  6. Sep 30, 2011
    5
    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 danielI 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. Expand
  7. Dec 16, 2011
    0
    This is close to the worst film I have ever seen. Good cast that should be ashamed of themselves. Beyond-cliched Western characters, graftedThis is close to the worst film I have ever seen. Good cast that should be ashamed of themselves. Beyond-cliched Western characters, grafted on aliens plot, and the most infuriating attemps to manipulate with "touching" moments that haven't been remotely earned. The definition of polished turd. Expand

See all 144 User Reviews

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