Sound Off: Jon Favreau's 'Cowboys & Aliens' - What Did You Think?

July 29, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Hitting theaters everywhere this weekend is Cowboys & Aliens, a comic book adaptation from director Jon Favreau that is putting an end cap on the summer opening this final week of July. Starring the likes of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and Clancy Brown, the film is more of a western that brings aliens into the mix, not the other way around. So is it any good? Is it boring or actually entertaining to watch? How is Jon Favreau's directing this time? If you've seen it, leave us a comment below and tell us what you thought of Cowboys & Aliens!

To fuel the campfire this time, I saw Cowboys & Aliens at its world premiere at Comic-Con, and I will say I enjoyed watching it, but it's not a perfect film. If anything, Jon Favreau deserves the most credit for his directing, as he does a fine job of visualizing the world and directing great characters within it, but the story is where the most troubles lie. Not only did I think Olivia Wilde's character was entirely unnecessary and simply a plot device to help move the story forward, but I still never really understood Daniel Craig's story. Was he a bad guy turned good? Plus, by the time it ends, he walks away in the same place as he started, no arc at all. It's a good movie, but lacks quite a bit to make it great; entertaining at times, but not much more.

What did you think of Cowboys & Aliens? One of the summer's highlights, or dull and boring? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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  • Jmswilliamsjr
    I just saw the movie and I really enjoyed it. It moved along at a good pace. I will add this one to my movie collection. Jim Williams
  • Todd
    I enjoyed the movie. I do think it would have been better if it wasn't built up so much. I went in expecting a lot and although it didn't quite hit my expectations, it was a fun movie.
  • Angry Chief
    Why is Wilde nude in the commercial? Is it just obligatory skin or is it for a real reason?
    • Kathy5271
      try seeing the movie.
      • Angry Chief
        If the movie has to use semi-nuditiy to get me to see the movie, then I won't. I just want to know if they are using it as a cheap ploy to get people to see the movie or if it is a legit factor in the movie.
        • Gerstein Musmanno
          For such a cheap ploy, it sure has piqued your interest.  Besides, how many "real" reasons are there for her to be naked that are essential to the plot?  In an action movie? 
          • Angry Chief
            Forgive me for being human. I guess I won't be seeing this one.
      • Anonymous
        are you always this helpful ?
  • Eric
    I feel like it fell flat.  The acting, the dialogue, and the way it was filmed.  It just felt really lazy.  I guess my expectations were really high...  I wouldn't recommend this film.  It's very cliche and you can easily guess what happens next (i forgot the word...sorry, i just woke up and my brain isn't functioning properly yet).  It's a typical formulaic hollywood movie that doesn't keep you excited or on the edge of your seat because it tries to have a story but since the dialogue isn't great, it just bored me...  I love the actors, the director, and the writers of this movie but the movie itself.....sadface.
  • Mangelooc
    I enjoyed the tone of the film and admired the continuous journey through the "wild west" the characters embarked on. The genre mash up welcomed a lighter comedic tone that produced multiple laughs throughout the film. I felt the character development lacked in someways as I never felt a strong connection with anyone. Nevertheless there are well acted protagonists that touched on a wide array of relations hips: father/son/"son", husband/lost wife/mystery love interest and more. Hard to post on phone maybe ill add more later. A
  • Whiteandred23
    i enjoyed it. i'm not sure why it's getting so much hate... I mean billington's review tore it apart.. but he also really liked thor so.. 
    • I didn't write a review... Do you mean Jeremy's review? The only write-up I've done for this movie is the one above, that paragraph about my thoughts on it. The other review we published was written by Jeremy Kirk, not me.
      • Anonymous
        There you go...getting blamed for crap you didn't do.  ~sigh~
        • Whiteandred23
          apologies, jeremy sucks at reviews. not alex. 
  • Stark
    It sucked but at least it was better than Green Lantern. 
    • Maribeldeschain
      That's not saying much.
    • Octopus9498
      Green Lantern was actually a decent movie. I think people like to say it sucked because that's the thing to do.
      • Anonymous
        No Green Lantern was really bad.
  • Gregore
    Should never have let Napoleon do the previsualization. 
  • Kathy5271
    I loved it! I laughed, I got a bit teary eyed, I was tense. Well done I would recommend to all my friends. And if you didn't figure out if Daniel Craig's character was a bad guy that turned good - as well as Ford's character you really lost the whole message of the movie - because it does have a message. Perhaps you were wanting more transformers or some other candy coated super hero nonsense!
    • Ponypwn
      Bahhhh spoiler
      • Anonymous
        So?  The Sound Off blogs are replete with spoilers.  If you don't like it, don't read the columns...
      • What's spoiled? Besides the fact it was obvious, THIS MOVIE IS NOT ORIGINAL!!! By that I mean it's based off the comics so the storyline has been around for people to read. Geez...
  • Mjcasey52
    I just saw the movie and I really enjoyed it. 
  • I liked this movie quite a bit not sure why the reaction has been so lukewarm. Pretty much everything worked for me Daniel Craig's story, Harrison Ford's story all of the performances and while Olivia Wild's character's actions didn't always make perfect since I think she was added as a character to let the people of that time period know exactly what they were dealing with(of course one could argue that she could have done that the first time the aliens attacked rather then waiting till the end of the second act). As a whole I thought this was a far better movie then Iron Man 2, which got mostly positive reviews, so the negative critical reaction doesn't make much since to me.
  • Anon
    it was one of those movies that are SO bad that you end up having a good time in the theater making fun of it. And when i got out i had a big smile on my face coz i realized that jon favereau IS NOT directing Iron Man 3. 
    • Octopus9498
      Not even close. It was a GOOD movie. Apparently you didn't see the same movie I did.
  • Anonymous
    Personally, I liked it.  It was not an Oscar candidate by any stretch, but then again with the premise of the film, I really didn't expect it to be.  I though the characters were a little light, but no more so than the last half-dozen Westerns I have seen (Unforgiven excluded).  All in all I'd give it three point five figs on Fremont's Fig Rating Scale.   
  • this movie was too predictable
  • one
    Fell far short for what it could have been. The entire thing was very stale...some campy lines, no real plot. Aliens didn't look scary, they actually looked goofy and they really werent even in it until the last 20ish minutes. Wilde's character was pointless. Overall, just disappointed.
  • 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.
  • I guess the question I have is this: Is it predictable because the story line follows the graphic novel too closely?
    • Eric
      I have never touched the graphic novel and it was the cheesiest most predictable movie...  It was rather disappointing to me....
      • That's too bad. Thanks for the reply Eric. I'll probably wait to borrow it from my brother...who buys every movie no matter how awful.
  • Cryof1voice
    It was good but not great. I did have fun, but as some have been saying, it lacks some depth in characters. The visuals were solid. At one point it was kinda cool to see two generations of badasses in the same shot. My roommate however had an issue with one of the plot twists, and ended up not liking it. I would suggest if you like aliens and cowboys or really wanted to see it, go see it and have fun with it. Otherwise skip it or wait for home release.
  • Abovocom
    I went having low expectations with my wife, who dislikes sci-fi.  We both left feeling that it was really a good movie.  I don't know why everyone disliked it. 
  • Jalts4
    I enjoyed it a lot and just have fun with it
  • Anonymous
    It was the shit. One I'll no doubt buy on dvd...
  • Anonymous
    I liked it. Thought it stood by it's namesake in exactly what it was. Cowboys & Aliens. Harrison did a great job as his character with balancing grit & heart. *spoilers* his 'man up' speech to the little boy was awesome. Was even happy to see the dog after the river boat. 😉 I did walk away from the movie feeling like it could have offered more, but I don't know if that's because I saw super 8, battle of LA & transformers prior to this one. Jake was pretty nice with the bracelet!
  • I didn't like this movie. I walked out at the part where they are observing how to *SPOILERS* attack the alien tower. I was an hour and a half into the movie, and it was only getting worse since the first scene where Daniel Craig owns those three guys in the beginning. I was really hoping this was going to be a good movie.
    • Rift
      aww man you walked out on the best scene! i agree with you, but it totally turned around at that part!
    • redguy
      a movie about cowboys and aliens can't be a masterpiece. just accept it was a scifi/action/ludacris film and enjoy.
  • Anonymous
    Really enjoyed it! Loved Craig and Ford in their roles, and combining the Western and Sci-fi genre worked well.
  • Disappointed
    I was really disappointed. The writing wasn't that great and there were a few issues with plot holes I guess you could say ** SPOILERS**  one of which that kinda annoyed me was at the alien tower scene. They go out of the way to say its best to attack them during the day because they can't see that well yet once the battle starts the aliens could see pretty darn well...
    • redguy
      yup, noticed that.  that's quite a goof, they saw pretty well in daylight.
  • Jeremy
    *SPOILERS WITHIN* I wasn't really expecting much when I went in, and I was actually a little surprised when I left. Not surprise at how much it shattered my expectations mind you.  I found most of the film somewhat boring.  The Indian chief really bugged me, he doesn't speak English, but suddenly seems to understand it, when he replies to two back to back lines of dialog without needing it translated. It's never really established whether or not he can or can't understand it.  It feels like you're watching Family Guy, wondering if they can or can't understand the damn baby. The plan to blow up the ship really got me. "Hey, I'm gonna take your only means for defending yourself to blow up the ship." "Okay, I'll cover us with my six shooter, which has proven quite unsuccessful in taking one of these fuckers down." Lazy, convenient writing if you ask me. Not Favreau's best work by any means.
  • redguy
    to fuel the fire .... i enjoyed it. for me, it was an original idea, i simply enjoyed, a good solid popcorn flick on a lazy sunday night. i will get the bluray, worth adding to my collection. bout the movie: good special effects, aliens are done well. considering the premise about the aliens "these are just scouts" i will accept a bunch of indians and cowboys could have defeated them, tho their weapons and their body strength were no match to humans. Let's close an eye and say "ok, let's just say it could happen"
  • Legion
    Iron Man 2 sucked. I should've listened to the word of mouth on that film. This time I won't make the same mistake. Pass on Cowboys Vs  Aliens.
    • Adam L
      iron man too sucked! this was good
  • It was quite funny in parts, but mostly never made any sense.
  • Para
    one of favreau's best imo. the guy is slowly becoming the scorcese of our times. i think this will become a cult classic very soon.
  • Roro
    soooo crap kept nodding off and i dont do that
  • Anonymous
    "I still never really understood Daniel Craig's story. Was he a bad guy turned good? Plus, by the time it ends, he walks away in the same place as he started, no arc at all." Wow, you must have really hated 'High Plains Drifter'.
  • Jaychristopher333
    This movie was one of the worst I've ever seen. The characters were cardboard and confusing...Dolarhyde was suppossed to be some horrible badass but at the end of the movie I think 4 guys wanted him as a surrogate father, Olivia Wildes character was ridiculous and unnecessary, the aliens were boring. I think I just realized...this movie was a sci-fi movie by someone with no interest in the genre. From Olivias stupid exhortations to Craig " I know you can help me etc""" . It was someone desperately trying to gin up a mystery without any of the preceding pertinent plot points lined up at all....straight cliches with no continuity whatsover. 5he scene where the preacher died was laughable...I'm suprised he didn't grab his heart and go "gah". And the upside down paddleboat ? WTF? The Indians looked like 50s movies old white guys in brown makeup indians. What a ham-fisted half-assed half-baked poor excuse for a movie... its truly sy-fy channel entertainment and that's not saying much.....
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