Total Nerd The Best Alien Movies Ever Made  

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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.
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1
3,220 1,006
Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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2
3,053 849
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

3
2,152 866
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

4
2,638 802
Predator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more

5
1,681 1,126
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

6
2,181 1,139
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

7
1,949 719
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

8
1,598 741
Close Encounters of the Third ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more

9
1,855 833
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. ...more

10
1,924 667
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

11
1,509 662
Return of the Jedi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas was from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive ...more

12
2,165 779
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more

13
1,269 647
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

14
1,591 822
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Prometheus Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan ...more

15
1,224 650
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

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16
1,429 694
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier, originally from an unrelated script called Bug Hunt at ...more

17
1,320 570
Stargate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou Stargate is a 1994 French-American adventure science fiction film released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco Pictures. Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first ...more

18
1,450 801
Signs is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers for the film comprised Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam ...more

19
1,077 630
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The X-Files Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner The X-Files is a 1998 American science fiction film written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and directed by Rob Bowman. It is the first feature film based on The X-Files series created by ...more

20
1,213 642
Contact is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

21
1,209 591
Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The film stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Keith David. Dangerous criminal Richard B. ...more

22
808 500
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer adn directed by Nicholas Meyer.

23
1,122 596
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

24
1,592 780
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Avatar Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more

25
1,119 616
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more

26
909 683
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced by Howard Hawks' Winchester Pictures Corporation, released by RKO Pictures, and directed by ...more

27
736 495
Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. It is the eleventh film based on the ...more

28
710 454
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 The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

29
844 518
Galaxy Quest is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen Galaxy Quest is a 1999 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. The film follows the adventures of a troupe of actors ...more

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838 692
Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

31
968 367
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. When an American submarine ...more

32
895 193
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Richard777 added The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

33
788 550
Super 8 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Super 8 Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler Super 8 is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle ...more

34
679 352
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 Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 American science fiction action film. It is the twelfth installment in the Star Trek franchise and the sequel to 2009's Star Trek. J. J. Abrams directed a ...more

35
503 483
Superman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

36
768 519
Spaceballs is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks Spaceballs is a 1987 American parody film co-written and directed by Mel Brooks and starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis. It also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, ...more

37
695 545
Men in Black II is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Men in Black II Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson Men in Black II is a 2002 American science fiction action spy comedy film starring both Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. The film also stars Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, ...more

38
753 559
Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams & Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an ...more

39
570 370
Paul is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
wiabux added Paul Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig Paul is a 2011 British-American science fiction road comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film is about two British science fiction ...more

40
728 463
Predator 2 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Predator 2 Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover Predator 2 is a 1990 American science fiction action horror film written by Jim and John Thomas, directed by Stephen Hopkins, and starring Danny Glover and Kevin Peter Hall. The film is a sequel ...more

41
581 448
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 British-American comic science fiction film directed by Garth Jennings, based upon previous works in the media franchise of the same name, created ...more

42
794 483
The Chronicles of Riddick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton The Chronicles of Riddick is a 2004 American science fiction film which follows the adventures of Richard B. Riddick as he attempts to elude capture after the events depicted in the 2000 film ...more

43
512 414
Cocoon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens. The movie stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack ...more

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44
659 491
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson (19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When ...more

45
461 388
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more

46
538 381
They Live is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
They Live Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison They Live is a 1988 American science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows a nameless drifter referred to as ...more

47
442 391
Evolution is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Evolution Julianne Moore, Sarah Silverman, Dan Aykroyd Evolution is a 2001 American science fiction comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott, Julianne Moore and Ted Levine. In the United ...more

48
556 432
Species is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Species Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker and Marg ...more

49
528 388
Alien vs. Predator is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Alien vs. Predator Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan Alien vs. Predator is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen. It is the first installment of the Alien vs. ...more

50
460 303
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
e61121169 added The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more