Daniel Craig in 'Cowboys & Aliens': What the Reviewers Think

Universal Pictures

The actor's sci-fi-meets-western flick co-staring Harrison Ford hits theaters Friday.

Daniel Craig has mastered the tough-guy persona, he is the current James Bond after all. But, this weekend, the actor leaves the martini behind, replacing it daniel with a cowboy hat and lasso in Jon Favreau's sci-fi/western hybrid, Cowboys & Aliens, opening Friday. 

See what reviewers are saying about the British actor's performance. 

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The Hollywood Reporter film critic Kirk Honeycutt writes that Craig's Jake Lonergan, the amnesia-addled stranger who rides into the western town of Absolution with a strange wrist adornment, "is not a man to be messed with." 

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Honeycutt, who praises director Favreau for letting "his actors do their thing," also adds, "that wrist accessory worn by Craig should be a merchandising stroke of genius." 

The New York Times praised the actor saying he "makes for a surprisingly convincing cowboy."  Adding that it's his onscreen presence that makes the character successful. "Mr. Craig, with his brutally handsome face and coiled physicality, looks like a rawhide whip that’s just itching to get cracking."

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"It's James Bond and Han Solo strapping on their six-shooters and taking on aliens, and if that's not one hell of an idea for a summer blockbuster, we don't know what is," champions Moviefone...before they blast the film for being "disappointingly familiar" and the cast "surprisingly forgettable."

"Daniel Craig gets it done when he's punching the tar out of people, but his turn as Jake Lonergan definitely doesn't rank with the likes of Eastwood and The Duke," they say. 

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Roger Ebert agrees with the familiarity of the role, but praises the actor for delivering a "high standard" performance in a role he was "more or less born into." The critic, who calls the film "the most cockamamie plot" he's seen in a long time, says "Craig cold-eyed and lean, plays a character familiar in the genre; think of the Ringo Kid or Doc Holliday, bad guys who rise to goodness."

The AP's David Germain blasts Craig's aloof characterization, saying he takes "the stony-faced lone rider thing to such stoic extremes it borders on blandness." 

For his part, Craig told MTV that he focused a lot on his character's American accent, and intentionally kept his dialogue sparse. "I didn't want it to stand out -- I wanted it to sound as natural as possible," he said. "I cut as many lines as I could and got them down to one sentence or even one syllable sometimes.”


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