The Best Alien Movies Ever Made Films

The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

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77,320 votes 6,726 voters 943,621 views 228 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.


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  • 25 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1860
    - 411
    Alien

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1683
    - 399
    Aliens


    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1395
    - 375
    Predator


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

    ;
  4. 4
    + 976
    - 400


    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1261
    - 593
    Independence Day


    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

    ;
  6. 6
    + 997
    - 363
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ;
  7. 7
    + 911
    - 350
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind


    Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1037
    - 413
    Men in Black


    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

    ;
  9. 9
    + 947
    - 561
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1333
    - 429
    District 9

    ranked low on reranks
    Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

    ;
  11. 11
    + 970
    - 342
    The Fifth Element


    Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

    ;
  12. 12
    + 794
    - 352
    Return of the Jedi


    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ;
  13. 13
    + 711
    - 332
    Total Recall


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

    ;
  14. 14
    + 672
    - 357
    2001: A Space Odyssey


    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

    ;
  15. 15
    + 812
    - 339


    Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

    ;
  16. 16
    + 704
    - 371


    James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 737
    - 319
    Stargate


    Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

    ;
  18. 18
    + 821
    - 375
    Starship Troopers


    Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

    ;
  19. 19
    + 628
    - 314
    The X-Files


    Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

    ;
  20. 20
    + 784
    - 396
    Signs


    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

    ;
  21. 21
    + 705
    - 319
    Pitch Black


    Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

    ;
  22. 22
    + 694
    - 354
    Contact


    Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

    ;
  23. 23
    + 972
    - 476
    Avatar


    Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  24. 24
    + 674
    - 299
    WALL-E


    Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

    ;
  25. 25
    + 642
    - 337
    War of the Worlds


    Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

    ;
  26. 26
    + 426
    - 271
    Star Trek


    Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

    ;
  27. 27
    + 435
    - 277


    Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    ;
  28. 28
    + 570
    - 221
    The Abyss

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

    ;
  29. 29
    + 464
    - 301
    Galaxy Quest


    Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

    ;
  30. 30
    + 494
    - 397
    Mars Attacks!

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 420
    - 252


    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

    ;
  32. 32
    + 365
    - 187


    Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve

    ;
  33. 33
    + 475
    - 322
    Super 8


    Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

    ;
  34. 34
    + 267
    - 66

    ranked low on reranks & added by Richard777
    Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

    ;
  35. 35
    + 309
    - 159

    added by wiabux
    Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig

    ;
  36. 36
    + 422
    - 303
    Spaceballs


    Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

    ;
  37. 37
    + 504
    - 296
    The Chronicles of Riddick


    Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

    ;
  38. 38
    + 446
    - 339
    Cloverfield


    Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

    ;
  39. 39
    + 441
    - 321
    Men in Black II


    Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

    ;
  40. 40
    + 435
    - 275
    Predator 2


    Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

    ;
  41. 41
    + 278
    - 257
    Superman


    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

    ;
  42. 42
    + 308
    - 250
    Cocoon


    Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

    ;
  43. 43
    + 401
    - 309
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


    Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

    ;
  44. 44
    + 359
    - 276
    Species


    Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

    ;
  45. 45
    + 283
    - 225
    Dark City


    Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

    ;
  46. 46
    + 280
    - 225


    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

    ;
  47. 47
    + 266
    - 192
    Alien vs. Predator


    Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan

    ;
  48. 48
    + 314
    - 273
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


    Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

    ;
  49. 49
    + 301
    - 228


    Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

    ;
  50. 50
    + 236
    - 146


    Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Paul McGann

    ;
229 +

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