Entertainment

The Best First Contact Movies  

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3k votes 654 voters 33.9k views 23 items

List Rules Movies that show first contact with aliens only.

A list of the best first contact movies ever made, ranked by film fans' votes. This list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about first contact with aliens are at the top of the list. If there are any great films you think we missed, please feel free to add them yourself. 

The films on this list are the most famous first contact movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already if you're a fan of films about first contact with aliens.


This list answers the questions, "What are the best first contact movies?" and "What is the greatest first contact with aliens movie of all time?" and contains everything from The Day the Earth Stood Still to Solaris.


Various bits of information are included with these popular Hercules movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. So whether you're watching these movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these are some good first contact movies to enjoy.

list ordered by
1
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Tucker DeSaulnier added Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner
Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It stars Amy ...more
2
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Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno
Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more
3
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Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more
4
Alien is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
Scott Klingaman added Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
5
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DarrylWright added Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott
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
6
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DarrylWright added Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more
7
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Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard
Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film based on Star Trek, and the first film to feature no cast members ...more
8
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Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox
Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more
9
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger
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
10
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Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood
District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more
11
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Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more
12
Predator is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
wiabux added Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers
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
13
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biggamepanama added Charlie Sheen, Teri Polo, Ron Silver
The Arrival is a 1996 science fiction film directed by David Twohy and starring Charlie Sheen, and co-starring Lindsay Crouse, Ron Silver, Teri Polo, and Richard Schiff. Sheen stars as radio ...more
14
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Benjamin Dunn added Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton
The Fourth Kind is a 2009 American science fiction-horror film directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, starring Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Corey Johnson, Will Patton, and Mia Mckenna-Bruce. The title ...more
15
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DarrylWright added Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, Candice Bergen
2010 is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by Peter Hyams. It is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and is based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel ...more
16
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wiabux added Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler
Super 8 is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle ...more
17
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Jennifer Connelly, Keanu Reeves, Jon Hamm
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 2008 American science fiction film, a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The screenplay is based on the 1940 classic science fiction short story ...more
18
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DarrylWright added Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy
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
19
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ehamartens added Sharlto Copley, Embeth Davidtz, Christian Camargo
Europa Report is a 2013 science fiction film directed by Sebastián Cordero, and starring Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra, and Sharlto ...more
20
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George Clooney, Viola Davis, Natascha McElhone
Solaris is a 2002 American science fiction drama film written and directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney and Natascha McElhone. It is based on the 1961 science fiction novel ...more
21
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Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker
Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more
22
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David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg. The film is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, about an extraterrestrial on ...more
23
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Bootsdad added Christopher Walken, Andreas Katsulas, Frances Sternhagen
Communion is a 1989 drama/thriller film based on the book of the same name by Whitley Strieber. Starring Christopher Walken and Frances Sternhagen, it tells a story of a family that experiences ...more