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.
list ordered by

1
2,944 886
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Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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2
2,782 758
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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

3
1,928 760
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

4
2,414 711
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Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

5
1,996 1,018
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Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

6
1,494 1,030
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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

7
1,733 640
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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

8
1,419 682
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

9
1,678 757
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Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

10
1,714 613
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The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

11
1,361 596
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Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

12
1,983 711
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District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

13
1,145 585
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Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

14
1,440 707
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Prometheus Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

15
1,101 591
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2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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16
1,310 716
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Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

17
1,294 637
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Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

18
1,182 521
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Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

19
980 566
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The X-Files Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

20
1,087 589
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Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

21
1,088 532
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Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

22
1,035 541
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WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

23
721 456
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
1,452 719
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Avatar Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

25
867 626
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

26
1,011 553
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War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

27
680 451
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Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

28
634 410
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
757 470
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Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

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30
779 623
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Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

31
881 341
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The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

32
716 503
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Super 8 Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

33
755 167
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Richard777 added The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

34
613 317
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
461 440
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Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

36
703 477
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Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

37
639 503
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Men in Black II Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

38
520 321
Paul is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
wiabux added Paul Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig

39
690 521
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Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

40
673 426
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Predator 2 Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

41
526 405
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

42
737 443
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The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

43
615 450
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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

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44
471 379
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Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

45
418 357
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

46
490 351
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
399 357
Evolution is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Evolution Julianne Moore, Sarah Silverman, Dan Aykroyd

48
518 398
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Species Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

49
480 348
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Alien vs. Predator Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan

50
401 266
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