The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

97k votes 8.5k voters 1.1M views 185 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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  1. 1
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    Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

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

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  2. 2
    + 2,055
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    Aliens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

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  3. 3
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    Predator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

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  4. 4
    + 1,168
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    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

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  5. 5
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    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  6. 6
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    Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

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  7. 7
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    Close Encounters of the Third ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

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  8. 8
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    Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  9. 9
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    Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

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  10. 10
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    The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

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  11. 11
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    Return of the Jedi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  12. 12
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    Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

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  13. 13
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    District 9 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

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  14. 14
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    Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

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  15. 15
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    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

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  16. 16
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    Stargate is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

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  17. 17
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    Signs is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

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  18. 18
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    Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

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  19. 19
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    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  20. 20
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    Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

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  21. 21
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    Contact is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

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  22. 22
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    James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

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  23. 23
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    WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

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  24. 24
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    Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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  25. 25
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    Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

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  26. 26
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    War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

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  27. 27
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    Avatar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

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  28. 28
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    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

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  29. 29
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    Galaxy Quest is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

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  30. 30
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    Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

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  31. 31
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    The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

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

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  32. 32
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    Super 8 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

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  33. 33
    + 359
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    Superman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  34. 34
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    ranked low on reranks
    Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve

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  35. 35
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    Men in Black II is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

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  36. 36
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    Spaceballs is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

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  37. 37
    + 442
    - 102

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

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  38. 38
    + 537
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    Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

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  39. 39
    + 381
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    added by wiabux
    Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig

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  40. 40
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    Predator 2 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

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  41. 41
    + 344
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    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

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  42. 42
    + 394
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    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

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  43. 43
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    The Chronicles of Riddick is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks
    Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

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  44. 44
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    Cocoon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

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  45. 45
    + 483
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    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

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  46. 46
    + 375
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    Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

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  47. 47
    + 416
    - 327
    Species is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

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  48. 48
    + 289
    - 277


    Julianne Moore, Sarah Silverman, Dan Aykroyd

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  49. 49
    + 252
    - 253
    Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis

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  50. 50
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    Alien vs. Predator is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made


    Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan

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