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Cowboys and Aliens 2011

In Silver City, Arizona, Apache Indians and Western settlers must lay their differences aside when an alien spaceship crash lands in their city.

Starring:
Daniel Craig, Abigail Spencer
Runtime:
1 hour, 58 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Director Jon Favreau
Starring Daniel Craig, Abigail Spencer
Supporting actors Buck Taylor, Matthew Taylor, Cooper Taylor, Clancy Brown, Paul Dano, Chris Browning, Adam Beach, Sam Rockwell, Ana de la Reguera, Noah Ringer, Brian Duffy, Olivia Wilde, Keith Carradine, Brendan Wayne, Gavin Grazer, Toby Huss, Wyatt Russell, Jimmy Jatho
Studio Paramount
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
After a somewhat slow start, Cowboys And Aliens turns into a fun scifi western. It's a surprisingly dark and gritty film, playing like a straight western at first. Imagine you're watching an old John Wayne movie. You're enjoying it, and suddenly alien spaceships come out of nowhere blasting everything in sight and kidnapping the locals. That in a nutshell is the plot, sounds ridiculous, looks ridiculous but if not taken seriously, despite the surprisingly dark and gritty tone then it's also a lot of fun. Some good performances, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde are all very good and there's a solid supporting cast too. All the western cliches are there, Daniel Craig is the stranger with no name, Harrison Ford the rich bad man that runs the town and then the spaceships arrive. Very good fx and good action scenes make this a fun movie.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What an odd combination. Even now having watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it, I can't quite get my head around it.

I've always felt that any film can be elevated by top notch actors. Think Star Wars, X-Men or Lord of the Rings. All of them have a wealth of seasoned and highly talented actors in tow. And Cowboys and Aliens is no different.

Daniel Craig is fantastic in the role of gun fighter/outlaw and Harrison Ford brilliant as a John Wayne esque ranch owner/ex civil war veteran. They both bring enough acting talent and gravitas to the film to outweigh the film's eyebrow raising premise.

The first 30 minutes or so are spent building the characters and it's flawless. It completely hooked me in. The balance of the film played out as expected, the aliens finally take a beating and that was that. I had a great time and I'm quite sure it's a film I'll be watching again.

However, if I'm wearing my critical hat I'd have to say that although a properly enjoyable B-movie in the vein of Independence Day, I reckon with this cast they could have made a really top quality western. I'm not sure they needed the aliens. Before watching the film I could not imagine Daniel Craig playing a cowboy. After watching it, I'm struggling to think of many actors past or present who can play the tough, silent, ruthless gunslinger any better. Seriously his performance was up there with Clint Eastwood or John Wayne.

I reckon there's a western revival coming and Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford should be at the head of the queue.

I'd almost say this film was a missed opportunity, but it really wasn't, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But as I said, I still can't quite get my head around it.

If you like westerns and you like good sci-fi then this is the film for you. Don't take it too seriously and it'll scratch most of your itches.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
...instead its just an exciting premise that somehow never translates its full potential to the screen.

The "cowboy" bits especially at the very start are quite gritty and sets you up to think this will have you riveted for the next 100mins or so. Expectations are therefore quite high by the time the "aliens" come into the picture.

But then the pacing of the movie becomes erratic, some things just don't add to the storyline, or add up - Upside down riverboat episode anyone? Or the dog that miraculously survives an alien encounter? Time is spent developing depth to characters that's frankly not needed, and its to the detriment of pacing - I don't want a dose of sentiment or character introspection when watching a movie called "Cowboys and Aliens", let's leave that to "True Grit" or "Unforgiven" or (insert your own favourite gritty and deep cowboy movie here).

Almost as overcompensation for the emotional mawkishness, you are then occasionally entertained with scenes of quite bloody violence, prolonged in the finale. Overall its not quite 'balanced', and frankly you're left feeling there should be more, by the end. But Daniel Craig's great in character, looks quite fetching in chaps, and has a waist that's trimmer than any of his leading ladies.
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Format: Blu-ray
I was quite skeptical about this movie. What were they thinking about mixing two completely unlike genres, cowboys, Apaches and aliens together? Well, my mistake. The end result is both a good western and a very credible sci-fi movie. So, out of an apparent weird mix came out an original movie under a plausible story line (Sorry, no spoiler, I will not go into the details of the plot).

I really liked the performance of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. All three main actors have in common to be associated with their roles in previous serial movies or TV series, where they played the lead or a key role. In this movie they managed to deliver a performance quite different from the character we are used to, particularly Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. I think this is her first key role other than "House" in which you can appreciate the quality of her acting. I hope she gets more opportunities like this to show us her talent.

As for the special effects, they are quite realistic, and it is notable that the insect-like aliens are not hidden with low lighting like in so many alien movies. The amazing thing is that the SFX are not based completely on computer animations (GCI). The film was shot using good old puppets and animatronics for the close-ups, combined with CGI for the battle scenes. Even some of the alien ships were scale models. My only quibble is that one of the alien features resembles a lot the character Kuato in Total Recall [DVD] (no spoiler again). My respects to director Jon Favreau, a great combination of old and new technology.
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