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The Best First Contact Movies

Updated October 2, 2019 3.2k votes 683 voters 35.3k views23 items

List RulesMovies 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.

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  • 1
    Contact is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
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    Contact

    Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster

    Released1997

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    Arrival is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    237
    57

    Arrival

    Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker

    ReleasedNovember 11, 2016

    Directed byDenis Villeneuve

    Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Close Encounters of the Third  is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    169
    55

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr

    Released1977

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    152
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    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    144
    54

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 6
    The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
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    37

    The Abyss

    Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

    Released1989

    Directed byJames Cameron

    The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    131
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    Independence Day

    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1996

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    District 9 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    119
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    District 9

    Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy

    Released2009

    Directed byNeill Blomkamp

    District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    104
    58

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Star Trek: First Contact is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
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    51

    Star Trek: First Contact

    Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell

    Released1996

    Directed byJonathan Frakes

    Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    Predator is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    86
    52

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    78
    44

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie

    Released1951

    Directed byRobert Wise

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 13
    The Arrival is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    53
    46

    The Arrival

    Charlie Sheen, Teri Polo

    Released1996

    Directed byDavid Twohy

    The Arrival is a 1996 science fiction film directed by David Twohy and starring Charlie Sheen,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Super 8 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    45
    46

    Super 8

    Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka

    Released2011

    Directed byJ.J. Abrams

    Super 8 is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    The Fourth Kind is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    39
    39

    The Fourth Kind

    Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas

    Released2009

    Directed byOlatunde Osunsanmi

    The Fourth Kind is a 2009 American science fiction-horror film directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    48
    53

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    Jennifer Connelly, Keanu Reeves

    Released2008

    Directed byScott Derrickson

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 2008 American science fiction film, a remake of the 1951... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    2010 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    33
    33

    2010

    Helen Mirren, John Lithgow

    Released1984

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    2010 is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by Peter Hyams. It is a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Cocoon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    26
    26

    Cocoon

    Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard

    Released1985

    Directed byRon Howard

    Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Europa Report is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    36
    44

    Europa Report

    Sharlto Copley, Embeth Davidtz

    Released2013

    Directed bySebastián Cordero

    Europa Report is a 2013 science fiction film directed by Sebastián Cordero, and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    42
    53

    Mars Attacks!

    Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson

    Released1996

    Directed byTim Burton

    Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 21
    Solaris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    32
    43

    Solaris

    George Clooney, Viola Davis

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Solaris is a 2002 American science fiction drama film written and directed by Steven... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    The Man Who Fell to Earth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    22
    33

    The Man Who Fell to Earth

    David Bowie, Rip Torn

    Released1976

    Directed byNicolas Roeg

    The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Communion is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best First Contact Movies
    13
    32

    Communion

    Christopher Walken, Andreas Katsulas

    Released1989

    Directed byPhilippe Mora

    Communion is a 1989 drama/thriller film based on the book of the same name by Whitley... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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