The Outer Space
We’ve been led to believe that aliens are naturally hostile creatures—but who knows for sure? Want somebody to blame? Blame these movies. Grab a couple bucket of popcorns while you’re at it.
10. War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise
“The Day the World Ended” would’ve been a more fitting title. This near-apocalyptic novel by H.G. Wells has since been adapted into film twice, with the latest attempt starring Tom Cruise and widely acclaimed director Steven Spielberg taking the helm. The novel (and both movies) depicts the Martian invasion of planet Earth, treating the viewers to a harrowing vision of what it’s like to be rid of your own planet… the hard way. The latest movie was both a critical and box office hit. Reviewers especially loved the special effects (Oh… that invasion scene!) and Spielberg’s directorial proficiency.
No wonder why this movie ranked 10 in this list and ranked 7 in the Top Ten Worst Movie Adaptations That Book-Lovers Hate.
The Evil Slips through
Dreamcatcher: can a title get anymore disturbing than that? This movie is a direct adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. In both the book and the film, what starts out as a series of strange occurrences turns out to be the kind of horror mankind has long been waiting for but has never truly prepared for—alien life form on Earth. The most frightening vision in this film, however, isn’t the mere presence of the alien being itself, but its ability to take over the human body and gain complete control of it. The film was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and stars Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Donnie Wahlberg, Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant.
No wonder why this movie ranked 9 in this list and ranked 4 in the Top Ten Worst Movie Adaptations That Book-Lovers Hate.
8. Starship Troopers
The Starship Troopers Poster
The title’s a bit lame for an alien movie, but wait until you see the impressive action sequences, not to mention the horrific sight of the film’s main antagonists: the Bugs. In this movie, mankind and the Bugs are at war against each other. The humans are fighting for survival, the Bugs for galactic supremacy and dominance. This 1997 film was adapted from Robert A. Heinlein’s Hugo Award winning novel of the same name. It was directed by Paul Verhoeven and stars Casper Van Dien as the Filipino recruit Juan “Johnny” Rico, Dina Meyer and Denise Richards.
7. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
The Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi supposedly wraps up the blockbuster Star Wars trilogy, only to be debunked from that honor almost two decades later with the release of The Phantom Menace. Return of the Jedi chronicles Luke Skywalker’s adventures as (finally!) a full-pledged Jedi. He returns from his one-year absence to find his friends Leia and Han Solo in captivity. Add to that the Empire’s plans to build another intergalactic weapon in replacement for the Death Star and Luke has one too many problems to last him the rest of the film. The movie was directed by George Lucas and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
A Movie by Steven Spielberg
Close Encounters of the Third Kind cements Steven Spielberg’s reputation as one of the most formidable directors of his time. No doubt, Spielberg is to science fiction movies as Stephen King is to horror novels. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 film about humanity trying to reach out to aliens and aliens trying to be good. This movie is pure Spielberg, both helmed and written by the legendary director and starring Richard Dreyfuss as the unforgettable protagonist Roy Neary. This is actually one of the first Hollywood films to depict aliens as benign lifeforms.
The Planet Alien
“This Time It’s War” says the film’s tagline. So war it is! This action-packed installment to the original Alien movie has a lot to live up to and it did, with flying colors. The first Alien movie was a suspenseful horror flick. In Aliens, the director and crew decided to do away with all that. Instead they crafted a masterpiece of a story that involved using pulse rifles to blow alien brains out of alien heads and setting alien cocoons on fire with a flamethrower. The movie was directed by acclaimed director James Cameron and stars Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, Carrie Hein, Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn.
4. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
The Revenge of the Sith
The Revenge of the Sith is the sixth and final installment to the Star Wars saga. In contrast to Luke Skywalker’s ascension to Jedi status in Star Wars VI, Revenge of the Sith (or Star Wars III) attempts to capture Anakin’s descent into the Dark side to become the much-feared antagonist of the past films: Darth Vader. The movie also chronicles the fall of the Jedi Order and of the Republic, paving the way for the rise of the rebellion and the slum-like universe of the original Star Wars we’ve all come to love. The movie was directed by George Lucas and stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson.
The Signs Of Life
M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs was a blockbuster film of 2002, a science fiction movie that is not a science fiction movie. Signs tells the story of a lowly family trying to cope with the loss of their mother when, suddenly, a series of strange supernatural occurrences turn their lives upside down. A chain of events is set into motion that leads to the ultimate conclusion, which might be too much for what the family is willing to bargain for. This is currently the second highest grossing Shyamalan film to date, second only to The Sixth Sense. The movie was both written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and it stars Mel Gibson, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin and Joaquin Phoenix.
In space no one can hear you scream
Alien is the first and only film in the series deserving the title “horror flick”. It was also both a critical and box office hit, spawning several sequels and video games and other media. Alien follows the story of the space vehicle Nostromo and its crew after taking in an infected crew from another ship. Little did they know this infected person would be the least of their problems, especially when this mysterious infestation matures to become one of the most feared creatures in movie history. The movie was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt.
1. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
He is 3 million light years from home
Of course, the best alien movie of all time has nothing to do with destructive spaceships and acid-spitting aliens. Instead, it has a lot to do with love. Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra Terrestrial won the hearts of audiences everywhere—yes, even the politicians at the United Nations!—from Ronald Raegan to Princess Diana. The movie tells the story of a boy who befriends a stranded alien and does everything in his power to keep its presence a secret from his mother and the government. The film stars Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Robert MacNaughton, Dee Wallace and Peter Coyote.
So there you have it: the Top 10 Alien Movies of all Time. We’ve got to hand it to Spielberg for bringing us the best of them.