Watchworthy
686 voters

The Best First Contact Movies

Updated October 2, 2019 3.3k votes 686 voters 35.4k 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.

...more
  • 1
    Arrival
    251
    62

    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

    More Arrival 

    #222 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#6 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

  • 2
    Contact
    277
    75

    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
  • 3
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    164
    57

    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

    More Close Encounters of the Third Kind 

    #624 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#12 of 181 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

  • 4
    Alien
    151
    50

    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

    More Alien 

    50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About AlienThe Best 1950s Alien Movies

  • 5
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    142
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    The Abyss
    111
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    The Fourth Kind
    93
    38

    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

    More The Fourth Kind 

    #151 of 151 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies#409 of 720 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 8
    Independence Day
    128
    69

    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

    More Independence Day 

    13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movie#17 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 9
    District 9
    120
    69

    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

    More District 9 

    #63 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again#50 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

  • 10
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    103
    54

    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

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

  • 11
    Star Trek: First Contact
    94
    53

    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
  • 12
    Predator
    87
    51

    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

    More Predator 

    Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual MovieKiller Details In ‘Predator’ That Fans Have Hunted Down

  • 13
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    79
    46

    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
  • 14
    The Man Who Fell to Earth
    51
    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

    More The Man Who Fell to Earth 

    #158 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#22 of 25 The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas

  • 15
    The Arrival
    55
    48

    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

    More The Arrival 

    #49 of 57 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made#501 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • 16
    Super 8
    48
    45

    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

    More Super 8 

    #48 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies#23 of 35 The Best Suspense Movies On Amazon Prime

  • 17
    2010
    32
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Cocoon
    31
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Cocoon 

    #620 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#145 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 19
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    47
    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

    More The Day the Earth Stood Still 

    #29 of 50 The Best Movies Based on Short Stories#104 of 313 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

  • 20
    Mars Attacks!
    47
    54

    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

    More Mars Attacks! 

    ‘Mars Attacks!’ Was Tim Burton’s Ultimate Unregulated Experiment And It’s Stranger Than You Remember#34 of 55 The Funniest Movies About Politics

  • 21
    Communion
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    Solaris
    31
    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

    More Solaris 

    #209 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#42 of 49 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama

  • 23
    Europa Report
    34
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More 

    #4 of 68 The Best Found Footage Movies#16 of 35 The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel