Total Nerd The Best Alien Movies Ever Made  

Originally by
100k votes 8.7k voters 1.2M views 162 items Follow Embed

List Rules Movies must feature extra-terrestrials

The best alien movies, ranked by fans of space and sci-fi genres. Alien movies can take several forms. What are the best alien movies? Many films about extraterrestrials, alien abductions, or visitors from other planets turn them into traditional horror villains. These "alien war" movies tend to follow a simple pattern: 1) UFOs arrive on Earth, 2) a misunderstanding or outright evil intent sparks a war between aliens and humanity, 3) with massively destructive and terrifying results. If you find you want more ideas then check out the best action movies on Netflix, best movies on Netflix instant and our list of scary movies on Netflix

Whether the movies are funny, scary, or totally crazy, there are plenty of parallels to be found between them. Consider the similarities of the recent Battle: LA, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, and even Tim Burton's genre parody, Mars Attacks. However, there are also films in which aliens are not an interstellar threat but a boon to humanity, or at least well-intentioned explorers. E.T. is the classic example of the "friendly alien" genre – and the xenomorphs in the Alien franchise stay in outer space, so that's good for humans, too. E.T. is also one of the best alien kids movies ever made.

What are the best alien films of all time? Often in these films, the aliens are tragically misunderstood, and it's the primal nature of human beings that spark conflict. Finally, there are numerous films about aliens which attempt to "realistically" depict what might happen if humans and extraterrestrials interacted. These include Close Encounters of the Third Kind (another Spielberg film!), District 9, and even abduction films purportedly based on "true stories," such as Fire in the Sky.

While this list does not include all alien movies ever made, it is a list of the best alien films. What do you think are the greatest alien movies of all time? Vote up the good alien movies you'd watch over and over, and down-vote the ones that aren't worth your time.

1
+ - 2,565 689
Ranker Video v
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

The Best Alien Invasion Movies What's Your Phobia?

2
+ - 2,358 604
Ranker Video v
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

3
+ - 1,930 579
Ranker Video v
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

4
+ - 1,507 625
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

5
+ - 1,295 839
Ranker Video v
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

6
+ - 1,699 867
Ranker Video v
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

7
+ - 1,246 536
Ranker Video v
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

8
+ - 1,429 540
Ranker Video v
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

9
+ - 1,403 649
Ranker Video v
Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

10
+ - 1,415 523
Ranker Video v
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

11
+ - 1,137 512
Ranker Video v
Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

12
+ - 1,737 613
Ranker Video v
District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

13
+ - 1,000 488
Ranker Video v
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

14
+ - 1,264 561
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Prometheus Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

15
+ - 957 498
Ranker Video v
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives 60+ of Your Greatest Childhood Fears

16
+ - 1,128 589
Ranker Video v
Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

17
+ - 878 469
Ranker Video v
The X-Files Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

18
+ - 1,086 538
Ranker Video v
Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

19
+ - 1,016 455
Ranker Video v
Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

20
+ - 966 495
Ranker Video v
Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

21
+ - 928 462
Ranker Video v
Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

22
+ - 912 455
Ranker Video v
WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

23
+ - 625 385
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

24
+ - 809 534
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

25
+ - 1,277 626
Ranker Video v
Avatar Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

26
+ - 898 471
Ranker Video v
War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

27
+ - 607 391
Ranker Video v
Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

28
+ - 572 353
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

29
+ - 648 415
Ranker Video v
Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

The Greatest TV Aliens Living Among Earthlings The Best Documentaries About Aliens

30
+ - 678 555
Ranker Video v
Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

31
+ - 785 301
Ranker Video v
The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

32
+ - 639 440
Ranker Video v
Super 8 Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

33
+ - 584 128
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

34
+ - 540 266
Star Trek Into Darkness is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Trek Into Darkness Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve

35
+ - 401 382
Ranker Video v
Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

36
+ - 571 444
Ranker Video v
Men in Black II Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

37
+ - 591 417
Ranker Video v
Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

38
+ - 613 459
Ranker Video v
Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

39
+ - 433 268
Paul is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Paul Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig

40
+ - 595 369
Ranker Video v
Predator 2 Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

41
+ - 661 392
Ranker Video v
The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

42
+ - 448 360
Ranker Video v
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

43
+ - 385 303
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

31 Celebrities Who Believe in Aliens The 9 Most Horrifying Things Found Living Inside People

44
+ - 418 332
Ranker Video v
Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

45
+ - 539 405
Ranker Video v
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

46
+ - 431 306
They Live is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
They Live Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

47
+ - 476 357
Ranker Video v
Species Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

48
+ - 329 316
Evolution is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Evolution Julianne Moore, Sarah Silverman, Dan Aykroyd

49
+ - 412 291
Ranker Video v
Alien vs. Predator Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan

50
+ - 345 209
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden