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.