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Total Nerd The Best Alien Movies  

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The best alien movies, ranked by fans of space & sci-fi genres. Alien movies can take several forms. What are the best alien movies? Many films about extraterrestrials or visitors from other planets turn them into traditional horror villains. These "alien war" movies tend to follow a simple pattern: 1)UFOs arrive at Earth, 2) a misunderstanding or outright evil intent sparks a war between aliens and humanity, 3) with massively destructive and terrifying results. 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.

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?
list ordered by

1
282 49
Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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2
269 46
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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

3
205 30
Predator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

4
131 30
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

5
176 64
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District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

6
143 48
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alien Movies
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

7
178 68
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

8
159 58
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

9
107 30
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Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

10
95 28
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Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

11
167 72
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Avatar Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

12
97 31
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The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

13
137 56
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alien Movies
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

14
110 41
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Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

15
134 60
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Starship Troopers Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

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16
98 41
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

17
98 41
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Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David

18
94 39
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2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

19
82 31
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The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

20
93 40
Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

21
113 54
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Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

22
98 44
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Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

23
91 41
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WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

24
99 48
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The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton

25
92 45
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War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

26
88 43
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Predator 2 Gary Busey, Bill Paxton, Danny Glover

27
81 38
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The X-Files Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

28
75 36
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Men in Black II Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Rosario Dawson

29
76 38
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Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

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30
69 36
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Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

31
61 32
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Enemy Mine Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr.

32
63 36
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Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

33
79 52
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Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

34
68 43
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Battle: Los Angeles Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Shaffer Smith

35
64 40
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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

36
52 30
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H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds Susan Goforth, Jamie Lynn Sease, Darlene Sellers

37
63 40
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Super 8 Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

38
61 39
Species is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Species Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge

39
39 21
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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

40
50 32
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

41
40 25
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They Live Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

42
52 37
Lost in Space is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alien Movies
Lost in Space Heather Graham, Gary Oldman, Lacey Chabert

43
36 22
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The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

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44
42 29
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The Faculty Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen

45
72 59
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Cowboys & Aliens Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig

46
53 41
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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

47
39 29
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Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

48
38 28
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Monsters vs. Aliens Reese Witherspoon, Amy Poehler, Renée Zellweger

49
38 28
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The Blob Erika Eleniak, Shawnee Smith, Julie McCullough

50
33 24
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The Last Starfighter Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart