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Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cowboys Vs. Dinosaurs is a 2015 movie in which the title pretty much says it all. Unsurprisingly, there is frequent blood and gore once the CGI dinosaurs are unleashed on Montana; characters are attacked and bloodied with their entrails exposed and often eaten by these merciless prehistoric creatures. The cowboys fight back with guns, rifles, shotguns, and propane tanks. A man and woman start to get undressed; the man says he wants to "do it raptor-style." Four young women strip to their bikinis and consider going skinny-dipping. A male friend puts his cowboy hat in front of his crotch, presumably hiding an erection. There's some mild profanity: "hell," "goddamn," "ass." There's also an extremely drunk man in a holding cell throwing up on the floor and in buckets, stumbling, and slurring his speech.
What's the story?
The Lando Mining Site is near Livingston, Montana, and is believed to contain an unusually high concentration of iridium. Much to the dismay of the miners who are working at the site, it also contains dinosaurs who have managed to live in a massive cavernous expanse in the middle of the mine. Local law enforcement, as well as the greedy owner of the mine (Vernon Wells), refuse to believe rumors of dinosaurs coming out of the mine to attack the locals. But soon enough, the dinosaurs make their way to Livingston, wreaking havoc and eating people alive. It's up to the cowboys and cowgirls of the town to fight back with guns, rifles, shotguns, lassos, and propane tanks.
Is it any good?
COWBOYS VS. DINOSAURS continues the SyFy Channel's trend of seeing how far the viewing public is willing to go to suspend its disbelief in the name of mindless entertainment. Though the premise is ridiculous, the dialogue cheesy, and the action ludicrous, the real problem is that there really isn't anything unexpected in this attempt at the "so bad, it's good" genre. For instance, will anyone be surprised to see a cowboy riding a stegosaurus, rodeo-style?
Though the self-awareness in Sharknado was as entertaining as the other hilariously absurd elements to that movie, by this point that same self-awareness seems stale. In a cable-television landscape polluted with reality freak shows that might as well all be called Alaska's Deadliest Truck Improvement Amish Gypsy Home Flippers, how is a deliberately bad B-movie supposed to stand out? This movie is predictable in its idiocy, which makes it guilty of the worst crime of all with movies like these: being boring.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about over-the-top B-movies. Why do you think movies with absurd premises, cheesy dialogue, and ludicrous action are deliberately made these days, and why do you think some people enjoy them?
How do movies like these compare with, say, B-movies from the 1950s?
How is violence shown here? Does it seem necessary to the story? Why, or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.