Total Nerd The Best Alien Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Community
Originally by
118.0k votes 10.4k voters 1.2M views 161 items 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.
list ordered by

2,953 889
Ranker Video
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

The Best Alien Invasion Movies What's Your Phobia?

2,794 758
Ranker Video
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

1,934 762
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

2,420 714
Ranker Video
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

2,000 1,022
Ranker Video
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

1,498 1,033
Ranker Video
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

1,741 641
Ranker Video
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

1,426 683
Ranker Video
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

1,681 759
Ranker Video
Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

1,719 614
Ranker Video
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

1,365 596
Ranker Video
Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

1,989 711
Ranker Video
District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

1,148 587
Ranker Video
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

1,441 711
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Prometheus Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

1,104 591
Ranker Video
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives The Creepiest Kids in Horror Movies

1,314 717
Ranker Video
Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

1,296 639
Ranker Video
Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

1,186 522
Ranker Video
Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

981 567
Ranker Video
The X-Files Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

1,091 589
Ranker Video
Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

1,089 534
Ranker Video
Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

1,037 543
Ranker Video
WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

722 458
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

1,457 719
Ranker Video
Avatar Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

868 628
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

1,016 553
Ranker Video
War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

682 451
Ranker Video
Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

636 410
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

759 471
Ranker Video
Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

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

780 625
Ranker Video
Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

884 341
Ranker Video
The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

718 507
Ranker Video
Super 8 Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

760 167
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

614 318
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

463 441
Ranker Video
Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

704 479
Ranker Video
Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

640 504
Ranker Video
Men in Black II Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

521 322
Paul is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
wiabux added Paul Steven Spielberg, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig

692 522
Ranker Video
Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas

674 428
Ranker Video
Predator 2 Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

529 405
Ranker Video
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

739 444
Ranker Video
The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

616 451
Ranker Video
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

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

471 380
Ranker Video
Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

420 357
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

491 351
They Live is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
They Live Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

401 357
Evolution is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alien Movies Ever Made
Evolution Julianne Moore, Sarah Silverman, Dan Aykroyd

520 398
Ranker Video
Species Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

482 349
Ranker Video
Alien vs. Predator Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan

403 269
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