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The Best Alien Movies of the '80s 

Ranker Film
Updated September 23, 2019 2.2k votes 398 voters 33.2k views 40 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite alien films that were released in the 1980s.

These best 1980s Alien movies are absolutely out of this world. With so many classic alien movies from the 80s to choose from, which will you vote for? Whether you're looking for 80s alien movies with epic battles or something more mysterious or charming, you'll find something you're looking for below.

A parody of George Lucas' Star WarsSpaceballs is certainly one of the most memorable (and funniest) alien movies of the 1980s. Mel Brooks had done it again with Rick Moranis and John Candy, creating one of his most epic 1980s alien films. Recite funny lines like "Lightspeed is too slow. We'll have to go right to ludicrous speed" as you quickly vote on this movie as your pick for 1980s alien movie. 

You can't vote on this list without mentioning the critically acclaimed, classic Steven Spielberg alien movie of the 80s, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. This movie skyrocketed Drew Barrymore to major child stardom, and is not only one of the greatest 1980s alien films, but one of the best movies of all time.

With so many to choose from, which amazing 80s alien movies will you rank to the top? Help shape this list by casting your votes!


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1
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Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

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

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2
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

Released: 1987

Directed by: John McTiernan

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

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Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual Movie #3 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #157 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

3
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Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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

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4
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Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

Released: 1982

Directed by: 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

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#97 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #13 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #84 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
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Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks

Released: 1987

Directed by: 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

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6
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Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

Released: 1989

Directed by: James Cameron

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

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7
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Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr.

Released: 1985

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Enemy Mine is a 1985 science fiction drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen based on the story of the same name by Barry B. Longyear. It starred Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. as a human ...more

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#49 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #307 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #551 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

8
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Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Carpenter

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9
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Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh

Released: 1986

Critters is a 1986 cult comedy horror science fiction film starring Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush and Scott Grimes. It was the directorial debut of Stephen Herek who ...more

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10
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Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens, Veronica Cartwright

Released: 1986

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Mark H. Baker and Michael Burton, about David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who is taken by an ...more

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#84 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #194 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #138 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

11
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Jessica Tandy, Luis Guzmán, Hume Cronyn

Released: 1987

Directed by: Matthew Robbins

Batteries Not Included is a 1987 family-comic science fiction film directed by Matthew Robbins about small extraterrestrial living machines that save an apartment block under threat from ...more

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#173 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #269 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #129 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

12
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Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

Released: 1985

Directed by: Ron Howard

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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13
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Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart

Released: 1984

Directed by: Nick Castle

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in ...more

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#65 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #218 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #214 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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Jeff Bridges, John Carpenter, Karen Allen

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Carpenter

Starman is a 1984 American romantic science fiction film, directed by John Carpenter, that tells the story of an alien who has come to Earth in response to the invitation found on the gold ...more

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15
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James Caan, Terence Stamp, Mandy Patinkin

Released: 1988

Directed by: Graham Baker

Alien Nation is a 1988 American science fiction action film directed by Graham Baker. The ensemble cast features James Caan, Mandy Patinkin and Terence Stamp. The film depicts the assimilation ...more

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16
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Christopher Titus, John Vernon, Royal Dano

Released: 1988

Directed by: Stephen Chiodo

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy movie made by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder. It is the only Chiodo Brothers' ...more

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Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, James Cromwell

Released: 1985

Directed by: Joe Dante

Explorers is a 1985 family-oriented science-fiction fantasy film written by Eric Luke and directed by Joe Dante. The film stars Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix as teenage schoolboys who build a ...more

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18
The Transformers: The Mo... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alien Movies of the '80s
James Arthur Fritz added Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1986

Directed by: Nelson Shin

The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated TV series by the same name. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986 and in the UK on December 5, ...more

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19
Repo Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alien Movies of the '80s
timweber added Jimmy Buffett, Emilio Estevez, Harry Dean Stanton

Released: 1984

Directed by: Alex Cox

Repo Man is a 1984 American science fiction comedy film directed by Alex Cox. It was produced by Jonathan Wacks and Peter McCarthy, with executive producer Michael Nesmith, and stars Harry Dean ...more

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20
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Jennifer Aniston, Nikki Cox, Danny Cooksey

Released: 1988

Directed by: Stewart Raffill

Mac and Me is a 1988 American science fiction adventure film co-written and directed by Stewart Raffill about a "Mysterious Alien Creature" that escapes from nefarious NASA agents and ...more

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21
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Christopher Walken, Andreas Katsulas, Frances Sternhagen

Released: 1989

Directed by: Philippe Mora

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22
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Alyson Hannigan, Kim Basinger, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1988

Directed by: Richard Benjamin

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23
Transformers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alien Movies of the '80s
James Arthur Fritz added Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Odette Annable

Released: 2007

Directed by: Michael Bay

Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line. An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil ...more

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Patrick Stewart, Mathilda May, Peter Firth

Released: 1985

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

Lifeforce is a 1985 science fiction, horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby, based on Colin Wilson's 1976 novel, The Space Vampires. Featuring Steve ...more

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25
G.I. Joe: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Movies of the '80s
James Arthur Fritz added Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, Sgt. Slaughter

Released: 1987

Directed by: Don Jurwich

G.I. Joe: The Movie is a 1987 animated film spin-off from the animated series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the original Hasbro toyline. It was produced by Sunbow Productions and ...more

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