Parents' Guide to

Cowboys & Aliens

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Cool but predictable sci-fi Western has lots of violence.

Movie PG-13 2011 118 minutes
Cowboys & Aliens Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 24 parent reviews

age 10+

The least prudish parent here says 'avoid this one for violence'

There is hardly a PG-13 movie to which I would not take my six year old, and a few select R ones have crept in also (like the Terminator.) I find the comments here about cleavage, kissing, swearing, and drinking absurdly prudish. And generally, my minimum age is 5 or 6 years younger than the average. However, I think this is utterly too violent and scary. The creatures are horrible (great from an effects point of view), they torture humans, they are quick and viscious. There is a ton of gore, lost limps, and children's well being is threatened during the film (they get abducted by these horrible creatures). So, from someone bemused by much of the discussion here, I would say this is one to avoid.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

The butt review

This movie has got some rude language and a lot of violence. This movie is more for teens and not for little kids for the PG-13 rating. But really the only bad thing about this movie is the action. The aliens ain't scary at all.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (24):
Kids say (57):

Craig buzzes with a simmering intensity that can turn into a swashbuckling boil at any moment. With his sharp features and broad shoulders, he transforms from brooding loner into a relentless warrior every single time he's threatened -- from the opening scene to the last alien he dispatches. But as promising as the movie starts -- with Craig's amnesiac, wounded gunslinger stealing clothes (including tight-fitting leather chaps) off his rivals and galloping into town -- the middle is a muddle of alien carnage and incomplete plot development that leaves you dissatisfied no matter how exciting it is to watch Craig and Ford share the screen.

Ford, no longer dashing and young, is now the perfect curmudgeon; his Dolarhyde is a meanie with a soft spot for his ne'er-do-well son. Beach is earnest as Ford's underappreciated charge-turned-employee, but the Native American subplot in the second half feels a bit Dances with Wolves without any heart. Wilde is appropriately gorgeous as the enigmatic Ella, but her romance with Jake is far too predictable. If director Jon Favreau had paid as much attention to the story as he did the fighting sequences, Cowboys & Aliens could have been a milestone instead of just another passably cool summer movie.

Movie Details

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