‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (2011)


Likely all of us saw the television spots for this, and I even read a review or two. Now on DVD, never in a million years did I imagine myself watching this unusual movie. Still, one lazy Sunday afternoon, this did happen.

Cowboys and Aliens (2011) Film Review

Waking in the middle of the desert without a clue who he is, or how he got the wound in his side and an odd metallic bracelet, prompts Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) to discover his past. Riding to the nearest dusty town, the local preacher stiches him up, and soon after, he attracts the interest of the locals when he stands up to the wimpy, arrogant son (Paul Dano) of the town’s wealthy employer. It turns out, according to the Sheriff (Keith Carradine), Jake’s a wanted man.

‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (2011). Daniel Craig plays a stranger seeking the truth of who he is in this 2011 sci-fi. Text © Rissi JC

Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) is a Colonel from the war whose experience in battle makes him bitter. When he gets word that his son is in trouble with the marshals, and of the stranger in town, he sees his chance to use Jake. Before anything happens, flying machines attack the town. During the attack, the contraption on Jake’s arm acts against the machines but despite this, the creatures kidnap several of the residents, including Woodrow’s only son. This sense Jake, the mysterious Ella (Olivia Wilde) and Woodrow out on a search party.

Sci-Fi is not my scene but I do like superhero movies. That being said… much to my own amusement, I actually did enjoy this one. It has a different twist to it by pairing cowboys with aliens (although Indians do make the appropriate appearance) and its acting isn’t half bad either. Some of the plots get caught up in redundancy but that’s pretty much the norm. It’s more fun than it should be not knowing for sure whether or not the hero is one to root for or wish ill towards.

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‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (2011). Daniel Craig stars in this #scifi film about a man who tries to remember his past (and instead must fight aliens!). #Moviearchives #Movies #FunMovies Click To Tweet
‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (2011). Daniel Craig plays a stranger seeking the truth of who he is in this 2011 sci-fi. Text © Rissi JC

Everything about Jon Favreau’s (Iron Man) Cowboys and Aliens seems to suggest he’d have another number one box office hit on his résumé. Nominated for various different awards, it does surprise me that the special effects were sometimes not up to par. The aliens are definitely creepy looking (case in point: their chest opens to reveal organs and a pair of hands emerge, eww), but I think any time productions blend supernatural and live-action, it’s a challenge to make everything look “legit.”

Perhaps what I like best about the movie is its emphasis on trust and the relationships that come out of that. It’s true that this band of characters is out of necessity but it becomes so much more than need, and forms a “no man left behind” kind of friendship. The scope of the movie cannot always be taken seriously, but nonetheless, this the movie is very definition of “popcorn flick.”

For a winter afternoon, it doesn’t get much more fun that this trip to the Wild West. 

CONTENT: there is some violence and the sometimes “scary” aliens who terrify [they kill victims] and attack the search party. Then there’s an epic battle that climaxes in the final ten minutes [there’s death] and the aliens bite into the flesh of their victim’s neck. Characters shoot their attackers [some right between the eyes causing green goop to spurt from them]. Stakes impale men and Jake uses his weapon to burn a hole through a man’s middle. Another character dies, the body burns and then the person walks out alive from the flames [obscurely, we see the person naked]. Fist fights break out a time or two. There’s some profanity [sh*t and a couple of crudities]; one man repeatedly calls a woman a whore. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I have been wanting to see this…partly because of Harrison Ford but also because of the cowboys :) And the horses…it had horses right? Thanks for the review…maybe I can see this one soon :) Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  2. oh, brother. my dad wants to see this. my brothers love aliens and he looooves cowboys/western stuff, so we'll likely be renting it soon. thanks for the review!


  3. I watched this the other night and for me it was kinda "meh." But I'm glad you enjoyed it. Maybe you'll slowly move into watching more sci-fi and that's never a bad thing. ;)

  4. Ruth – me, either. I most definitely didn't expect to enjoy it much at all. Imagine my surprise when I did. ;D

    Sierra – I wasn't expecting to see this one, but someone loaned it to my dad, and so, I gave it a shot and wound up enjoying it a lot. It isn't the "best" movie but it's entertaining.

    And, yes, there are plenty of horses. =)

    Jessica – I think your dad and brothers would enjoy this one; especially if they like sci-fi, if not they might not much care for it. Enjoy if you see it, and you are welcome. =)

    Juju – on a lazy afternoon, entertainmenet doesn't come much better than this one! I really enjoyed it for its creativity but am not likely to buy it – although I wouldn't say that I never want to see it again. =)

    Enjoy this one if/when you see it.

    Charity – oh! I am sorry you felt so-so about this one. I was going to ask you what you thought of it, but your comment beat me to it. =D

    I just saw another sci-fi movie called In Time. It isn't nearly as prevalent as this one was, but it kind of has that vibe going for it. Anyway, it was really entertaining and a review is on the schedule for tomorrow.

  5. The fact that I'm not a fan of anyone in the cast for this film probably didn't help it much — I've never liked Daniel Craig or Harrison Ford.

    Excuse me, I now must go and hide from all the rabid Harrison Ford fans. ;)

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