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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

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

269 46
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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

110 41
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Stargate Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

The Best Dystopian and Near Future Movies

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

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

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

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

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

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

113 54
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Signs Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

98 44
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Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Space Movies

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

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

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

63 36
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Spaceballs Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

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

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

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

Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Alien Invasion Movies

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

42 29
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The Faculty Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen

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

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

39 29
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Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

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

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

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