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Cowboys & Aliens

4.0 out of 5 stars 1,474 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford star in this action-packed sci-fi western from the director of Iron Man (Jon Favreau) that critics call “wickedly original, unlike anything you’ve ever seen” (Jake Hamilton, Fox-TV Houston, TX). A stranger (Craig) stumbles into the desert town of Absolution with no memory of his past and a futuristic shackle around his wrist. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Olivia Wilde) and the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford), he finds himself leading an unlikely posse of cowboys, outlaws, and Apache warriors against a common enemy from beyond this world in an epic showdown for survival.

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Cowboys & Aliens fuses rip-snortin' horse opera with some whiz-bang sci-fi, melding dry and austere badlands with slimy, mucusy aliens. Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig, of James Bond fame) wakes up in the midst of sagebrush with a mysterious gadget around his wrist and no idea who he is--but he sure does remember how to take care of the bounty hunters who want to bring him in. His path soon crosses with a ruthless cattle baron named Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford, of Indiana Jones fame), who's not too happy with Lonergan, who got Dolarhyde's son in trouble. But their fracas becomes beside the point when spaceships descend and start lassoing people like cattle. The humans, including a mysterious woman (Olivia Wilde, Tron), a Native American tribe, and some snaggletoothed outlaws, band together to fight off this invasion from another world. The first two-thirds of Cowboys & Aliens is peppy fun, with its tongue-in-cheek Wild West-ness and colorful supporting cast (including Sam Rockwell, Keith Carradine, Paul Dano, and Walton Goggins) and fairly understated CGI. The last third, with the obligatory assault on the alien vessel and a mess of clichés and inconsistencies, deflates a bit, which isn't surprising given that six screenwriters were involved. Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) does what he can to keep things lively. Fortunately, the good spirits of the first two-thirds will carry most viewers through to the end. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Cowboys & Aliens (Click for larger image)






Special Features

  • Finding the Story
  • The Scope of the Spectacle
  • Feature Commentary with Director Jon Favreau

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Abigail Spencer, Buck Taylor, Olivia Wilde
    • Directors: Jon Favreau
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      PG-13
      Parents Strongly Cautioned
    • Studio: Universal Pictures
    • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011
    • Run Time: 119 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,474 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B004EPYZSK
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Cowboys & Aliens" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Joshua Lake on August 8, 2011
    Format: DVD
    You should watch this movie expecting a great check-your-brain-at-the-door flick, and it doesn't disappoint on that count. There are wild west gunfights, love interests, and aliens trying to take over the world -- what more could you ask for?

    Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde are residents of an old western town attacked by what a local preacher calls "demons." Those demons -- what we call aliens -- pillage and plunder, terrifying the locals and motivating them to drop old rivalries to defeat the new threat.

    The plot is simple, although it has a couple unexpected twists. You won't walk away with your mind blown, but you also will have enjoyed the show. The aliens are designed well, the characters are intriguing, and the plot has just enough mystery to keep you interested. This movie won't likely be winning any Oscars, but it's a fun film.
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    Format: DVD
    A man awakens in the desert to complete memory loss. The only clue to his past is a picture of a young woman and a metal contraption locked around his forearm. When he arrives in a nearby town of Absolution, trouble isn't far behind. But when strange lights from the sky arrive and begin shooting up the town and abducting its residents, the survivors decide to risk all to hunt the kidnappers and find their loved ones.

    Daniel Craig plays the amnesiac who comes to be known as Jake Lonergan. Craig is a stoic, hard man with a soft heart. When his past is revealed it's a bit of a shock, since it seemed to be against his nature. Harrison Ford also stars as Woodrow Dolarhyde, a tough war veteran, now rich and feared by the town and his employees. Sam Rockwell is Doc, a saloon owner who tries to toughen up to save his wife from abduction. And Olivia Wilde is the mysterious and beautiful Ella who seems to know something about Jake. The acting is solid and believable. Each character stands out and made the film worth watching.

    The characters and their stories are really what made the film. While the men had rough and tough exteriors, there was still plenty of heart. The feel was definitely a Western meets Alien, with plenty of violence and intense suspense and action. Clever one-liners throughout gave the film some much-needed laughs and light-hearted moments. Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat excitement from beginning to end, Cowboys & Aliens certainly lives up to the hype.

    The story is only roughly based on the original graphic novel. This is a different story, yet still has riveting characters, a mystery, and non-stop adventure. This was the film I was looking forward to most this summer. And I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. The Old West setting was charming yet gritty.
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    10 Comments 223 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    "Cowboys & Aliens" is a film with a simple plot with a few surprises. It takes place a few years after the Civil War and Harrison Ford is still complaining about the Union generals at Antietam, as well as having to deal with a spoiled, drunken son. Daniel Craig has amnesia and a strange bracelet clamped on his wrist. And Olivia Wilde is a beautiful, gun-toting woman who seems to know what's going on with Craig, as alien spacecraft start blowing up a town and the area's cowboys, and later robbers and Apaches. The film meanders along for quite some time, but heats up in the second half, as humans band together to try to save humanity from extinction.

    "Cowboys & Aliens" has some good action sequences and photography, and the aliens are ugly and scary. The main actors all do a good job, as does Keith Carradine as a sheriff and Sam Rockwell as a non-violent saloon owner who learns to shoot a rifle.

    All in all, this is a well-made film, which is generally entertaining, especially in its latter stages. Three and one-half stars.
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    Harrison Ford sleep-walks through the movie and Daniel Craig comes across as King Glum. OK movie but more inconsequential than I thought it would be.
    The whole alien thing was overly convoluted with the back story on Craig's character (ie the wrist band). I thought it would have more levity overall to save a lackluster plot. B movie at best.
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    I liked the movie, but can only give it 3 stars because I thought the aliens were totally unrealistic. I know that they were designed to be a scary monster type alien, but that’s exactly why I thought it took away from the overall theme of the move. Why did the writers think they had to be so hideous? It would have been much more interesting if they were more like the Klingons in Star Trek. I grew up back in the 50s and 60s watching movies like the Blob, we need to get away from that type of alien and make them more realistic.
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    The concept for this story is plausible: Earth is visited by aliens during the 19th century. That idea is intriguing to many who believe "they're out there" or they might be out there, and they've been here before... just waiting for our civilization to mature, or looking for some essential resource growing scarce on their home planet. So, we have a very unusual twist for a plot. But they blew it in the script and the screenplay.

    Why, WHY did they have to create the extra-terrestrials as the trite, super-ugly, drooling, fanged MONSTERS that walk around like fast-paced gorillas? And why did they create their space vehicle as some ultra cumbersome looking thing that seems utterly unimaginable as something futuristic that might even fly? That whole part of this move completely degrades the other part where some very fine actors - Craig and Harrison - likely then in need of work, do quite well. In this day and age of almost anything possible with computer graphics and special effects, you'd think they'd create the aliens as more believable than the silly creatures they came up with. Great to frighten young teenagers, but sadly unbecoming of what could have been done with this side of the story.

    Recall the first production of "War of the Worlds." There was far more sophistication there, so many years ago, on the alien side of things, than in this piece. Enough!

    I don't recommend "Cowboys and Aliens" even at no cost except to watch with the kids on Halloween. See something with Ford and Craig that's much better. I give it three stars because I'm feeling generous.
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