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The Best First Contact Movies

Updated January 8, 2021 3.5k votes 700 voters 35.8k views59 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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  • Contact1
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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
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  • Arrival2
    259
    66

    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
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  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind3
    167
    60

    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
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  • Alien4
    154
    54

    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
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  • The Abyss5
    117
    38

    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
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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey6
    146
    59

    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
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  • The Fourth Kind7
    93
    41

    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
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  • Independence Day8
    128
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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
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  • District 99
    125
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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
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  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial10
    106
    56

    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
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  • Star Trek: First Contact11
    95
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    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
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  • The Day the Earth Stood Still12
    80
    47

    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
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  • Predator13
    87
    54

    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
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  • The Man Who Fell to Earth14
    51
    35

    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
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  • The Arrival15
    57
    49

    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
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  • Super 816
    48
    47

    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
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  • 201017
    33
    32

    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
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  • Cocoon18
    32
    31

    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
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  • The Day the Earth Stood Still19
    50
    55

    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
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  • Mars Attacks!20
    47
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    Mars Attacks!

    Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson

    Released1996

    Directed byTim Burton

    Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton. Earth is...  more
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  • Communion21
    30
    33

    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
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  • Europa Report22
    37
    47

    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
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  • Ender's Game23
    1
    1

    Ender's Game

    Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley

    Released2013

    Directed byGavin Hood

    Ender's Game is a 2013 American science fiction action film based on the novel of the same...  more
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  • Alien 324
    1
    1

    Alien 3

    Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance

    Released1992

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Alien 3 is a 1992 American science-fiction horror film and the debut feature film of director...  more
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  • Aliens25
    1
    1

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James...  more
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