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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 361 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 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)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 28, 2011
    This movie, saddle sores and all, is a lot of fun.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 27, 2011
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 140
  2. Negative: 22 out of 140
  1. Jul 29, 2011
    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
    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
    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 **** Expand
  4. 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
  5. Dec 28, 2012
    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. Expand
  6. 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... Expand
  7. Aug 4, 2011
    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't understand. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD Expand

See all 140 User Reviews


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