Director John Favreau basically goes bug nuts, taking two genres—Westerns and alien invasions—mashing them together, and somehow getting the crazy thing to work on an entertaining level. It doesn’t hurt that Favreau has populated the cast with one major talent after another. In what is surely one of the year’s greater casts, the film features Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Olivia Wilde, Paul Dano and Keith Carradine. Not a weak link in this bunch. It also helps that Favreau proves adept at both genres. The movie is a strong, fine-looking Western, and the invading aliens are dark, hostile, effectively scary creations. All in all, this is an experience as good as it is strange, and a welcome change of pace in a summer rife with superhero epics and sex comedies. It lags a bit in parts, but Craig and Ford make it worthwhile.

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