6 Out-of-This-World Movies About Aliens You Need to Watch

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Since the dawn of cinema, alien movies have captivated audiences with their tales of the unknown, close encounters with otherworldly beings, and exploration of life beyond our planet. These films have not only entertained us but also challenged our perceptions and sparked our imagination about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. Alien movies have become a staple of pop culture, leaving an indelible mark on the collective consciousness and inspiring countless filmmakers and storytellers. In this article, we'll delve into the best alien movies that you absolutely must watch, from timeless classics to modern masterpieces that push the boundaries of the genre.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" is a heartwarming and emotionally resonant film that captures the essence of friendship and the wonder of childhood. The story follows a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) who befriends a stranded alien, affectionately nicknamed E.T. Along with his siblings, Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and Gertie (Drew Barrymore), Elliott helps E.T. find his way back home while evading government agents who seek to capture the alien.

What sets "E.T." apart from other alien movies is its focus on the bond between Elliott and E.T., which is both touching and profound. Spielberg's masterful direction, combined with John Williams' iconic score, creates a sense of magic and wonder that has endured for decades. The film's themes of loneliness, friendship, and the power of love continue to resonate with audiences of all ages, making "E.T." a true classic and a must-watch alien movie.

Year Director Box Office Awards
1982 Steven Spielberg $792.9 million 4 Oscars, 5 Saturn Awards

Arrival (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival" is a thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating alien movie that explores the complexities of communication and understanding between humans and extraterrestrial beings. The film follows linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) as she is recruited by the U.S. military to decipher the language of alien visitors who have arrived on Earth in mysterious spacecraft.

What makes "Arrival" stand out among other best sci fi alien movies is its focus on the power of language and the importance of empathy in bridging the gap between different species. The film's non-linear narrative structure and stunning visuals create a sense of mystery and awe, while Amy Adams delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Louise Banks. "Arrival" is a film that challenges viewers to think deeply about the nature of time, communication, and our place in the universe.

Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott's "Alien" is a groundbreaking film that redefined the science fiction and horror genres, introducing audiences to one of the most iconic and terrifying alien creatures in cinematic history: the Xenomorph. The story follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who investigate a distress signal on a distant planet and inadvertently bring a deadly alien creature aboard their ship.

What makes "Alien" a top alien film is its masterful blend of science fiction, horror, and suspense. The film's claustrophobic setting, H.R. Giger's nightmarish creature design, and Sigourney Weaver's breakout performance as Ellen Ripley create an atmosphere of unrelenting tension and terror. "Alien" spawned a successful franchise and continues to influence filmmakers and inspire audiences decades after its release.

Top Reasons to Watch "Alien":

  1. Groundbreaking creature design by H.R. Giger
  2. Sigourney Weaver's iconic performance as Ellen Ripley
  3. Ridley Scott's masterful direction and world-building
  4. Suspenseful and terrifying atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat
  5. Profound influence on the science fiction and horror genres

District 9 (2009)

Directed by Neill Blomkamp, "District 9" is a unique and socially conscious alien movie that uses the genre to explore themes of apartheid, xenophobia, and the dehumanization of the "other." Set in an alternate version of Johannesburg, South Africa, the film follows Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley), a government agent tasked with relocating a group of alien refugees known as "prawns" from a slum-like encampment called District 9.

What sets "District 9" apart from other alien movies is its gritty, documentary-style approach and its allegorical storytelling. The film's found footage elements and seamless blend of science fiction and social commentary create a sense of realism and immediacy, while Sharlto Copley's transformative performance as Wikus adds depth and humanity to the story. "District 9" is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful film that showcases the potential of the genre to address real-world issues.

The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter's "The Thing" is a masterclass in suspense, paranoia, and body horror that follows a group of scientists in Antarctica as they confront a shape-shifting alien that can imitate any living being. The film, a remake of the 1951 classic "The Thing from Another World," stars Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady, a resourceful helicopter pilot who must lead the fight against the alien menace.

What makes "The Thing" a must-watch alien movie is its groundbreaking practical effects, courtesy of special effects designer Rob Bottin, and its relentless tension. Carpenter's direction creates an atmosphere of isolation and mistrust, as the characters struggle to determine who among them might be the alien in disguise. The film's bleak ending and ambiguous resolution have sparked decades of debate and analysis, cementing its status as a top alien film.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Another Steven Spielberg classic, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," is a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that explores the impact of alien contact on everyday people. The story follows Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), an ordinary man whose life is forever changed after a close encounter with a UFO.

What sets "Close Encounters" apart from other best alien movies is its sense of wonder and optimism about the possibility of peaceful communication with extraterrestrial life. Spielberg's direction, combined with Douglas Trumbull's groundbreaking visual effects, creates a sense of awe and transcendence that culminates in one of the most iconic and uplifting endings in science fiction cinema. "Close Encounters" is a film that reminds us of the beauty and mystery of the universe and the potential for human growth and understanding.

These six best alien movies represent the incredible diversity and storytelling potential of the genre, from heartwarming tales of friendship and understanding to chilling horror and thought-provoking social commentary. Whether you're a die-hard fan of alien movies or just discovering the genre for the first time, these films are essential viewing for anyone who loves great science fiction and powerful, emotionally resonant storytelling.

As we continue to explore the mysteries of the universe and search for signs of extraterrestrial life, alien movies will undoubtedly continue to captivate and inspire us. They remind us of the vast possibilities that exist beyond our world and the importance of empathy, communication, and understanding in our relationships with others, both human and alien.

So, what are your favorite top alien films? Do you prefer the classic must-watch alien movies or the more recent additions to the genre? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more in-depth explorations of the best science fiction films and other great content!