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July 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The reviews of Cowboys and Aliens are about as mismatched as, well, cowboys and aliens. Critics either buy the ridiculous concept (this is not a comedy, by the way,) or they don’t. Most don’t. Rex Reed in the New York Observer calls the plot of the movie “idiotic” but allows that it could prove to be a big hit. “Never underestimate the desperation of summer moviegoers to escape reality no matter how much they trash their I.Q.s. They’ll do anything to get out of a heat wave,” he writes. Claudia Puig in USA Today observes that while the movie may be intended as “an explosive genre mash-up,” it ends up being “a listless misfire.” Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that the real problem is that the two movie genres — western and sci-fi — never mesh in this movie. “Instead, it’s somewhere in between, neither fish nor fowl (nor extraterrestrial), and that’s a problem.” Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times calls it “the most cockamamie plot I’ve witnessed in many a moon.” On the other hand, his Chicago colleague, Michael Phillips of the Tribune, deems it “the unlikeliest good movie of the year.” Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post also thinks that the concept works. “A loving throwback to the classic westerns and sci-fi adventures of yore, this celebration of two of cinema s most revered genres doesn’t stint in lavishing their most cherished conventions with even-handed affection and respect,” she enthuses.