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Critic Reviews

Takes itself much too seriously, with acts of brutality outnumbering the gags.

-Anthony LaneFull Review

Cowboys & Aliens is 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.

-David EdelsteinFull Review

[A] phenomenally successful two-man war against narrative clarity and continuity.

-Christopher OrrFull Review

A film that entertains, even if it doesn't live up to the full-on madness potential the title portended.

-Laremy LegelFull Review

It's just big silly fun, the kind you're supposed to have at a summer movie with a ridiculous title.

-Tom LongFull Review

Over on the aliens side, it's hard to make out faces, but there's no doubt about their place of origin: These slimy, growling, bug-eyed and distinctly non-scary things are straight from central casting.

-Rick GroenFull Review

Nothing very exciting happens.

-Joe NeumaierFull Review

It may be two treats in one, but for an audience that's pigged out on spectacle all summer, that might be two treats too many.

-Ann HornadayFull Review

The movie gets by on the strength of agreeable talent who enjoy playing along and can endure the horse manure and space goo being shovelled.

-Peter HowellFull Review

This sharp-looking, committee-written adaptation of a genre-splicing graphic novel wins points by frequently, smartly and affectionately tipping its hat to classic Westerns and their archetypes.

-Lou LumenickFull Review

It's hard to say what is most depressing about "Cowboys & Aliens" - the film itself, or the fact that this was the best movie a posse of major Hollywood players could come up with.

-Kenneth TuranFull Review

A crowd-pleasing summer movie with more wit than most.

-Mick LaSalleFull Review

A stultifying pileup of nonsense and stupidity, with way too many cowboys (and Indians and Mexicans and a scrappy mutt and a cute, brave orphan) and not nearly enough aliens.

-Rene RodriguezFull Review

Favreau's film doesn't take any risks, reducing the stakes to the point where the movie descends quickly from its fun exposition to a collection of meaningless explosions and predictable action sequences.

-Ian BuckwalterFull Review

The storytelling, punctuated by incoherent flashbacks, is often inscrutable: I'm still trying to figure out which side of the cosmos gave birth to the woman played by Olivia Wilde.

-Joe MorgensternFull Review

There is enough to like and to savor in Cowboys & Aliens that it makes for an enjoyable two hours in the dark with a big bag of buttery popcorn.

-Charlie McCollumFull Review

[A] loud new action genre mash-up.

-Chris VognarFull Review

Action-packed yet curiously lifeless, "Cowboys & Aliens" shoots blanks.

-Colin CovertFull Review

Cowboys & Aliens could have been the tangelo of genre-blenders. Instead, it's more like the Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancake & Sausage on a Stick.

-Richard CorlissFull Review

The Searchers meet Independence Day. Great fun.

-Richard RoeperFull Review

Tonally, the movie is off: not quite as sober and majestic as the John Ford westerns it's inspired by, nor as ironic and irreverent as, well, Favreau's two Iron Man films.

-Steven ReaFull Review

[Favreau] wavers uncertainly between goofy pastiche and seriousness in a movie that wastes its title and misses the opportunity to play with, you know, ideas about the western and science-fiction horror.

-Manohla DargisFull Review

Alien-invasion aficionados should be pleased. Western nostalgists may be pleasantly surprised. Fans of cowboys-versus-aliens movies, well, it's been a long wait and here's your movie.

-Michael PhillipsFull Review

The filmmakers here (who include director Jon Favreau (Iron Man), five credited writers, and countless special-effects technicians) don't seem to have agreed on whether they're paying homage to these genres or mocking them.

-Ben SachsFull Review

Cowboys & Aliens is a mashup of a mediocre Western and a mediocre science fiction story. The resulting film is far better than the sum of its two seemingly disparate parts.

-James BerardinelliFull Review

The mash-up of cowboys and aliens doesn't do either camp any favors. How are we supposed to work up a rooting interest when both sides are shooting blanks?

-Peter TraversFull Review

It's like a double feature but with all the boring bits taken out and all the fight scenes run together.

-Stephen WhittyFull Review

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.

-Andrew O'HehirFull Review

Five credited screenwriters, and this is the best they can do?

-Moira MacDonaldFull Review

As preposterous moneymakers go, it's ambitious and well-made.

-Roger EbertFull Review

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