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50 best alien movies

  • #40. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

    - Director: Nicholas Meyer
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.57
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Metascore: 65
    - Runtime: 110 min

    “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” sees the crew of the USS Enterprise transporting an alien Klingon ship to sign a peace treaty with the interstellar government of the United Federation of Planets. Trouble arises when the Klingon chancellor is suddenly assassinated, and lead characters Kirk (William Shatner) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) stand trial for murder. Notably, this was the last “Star Trek” film starring cast members of the original 1960s TV show.

  • #39. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

    - Director: Jonathan Frakes
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.59
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 111 min

    The cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” star in this film installment of the popular sci-fi series, as the crew of the USS Enterprise-E travel back in time to change the past and stop the evil cybernetic Borg from taking over Earth. “Star Trek: First Contact” is one of the best-reviewed “Trek” films—celebrated critic Roger Ebert considered it to be one of the best movies of the franchise at the time of its release.

  • #38. The Abyss (1989)

    - Director: James Cameron
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.59
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Metascore: 62
    - Runtime: 171 min

    James Cameron’s 1989 blockbuster “The Abyss” takes its alien action deep below the ocean. Originally intended as a modern remake of Robert Wise’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” the story follows a civilian diving team who are tasked with searching for a missing nuclear submarine. They soon encounter danger after discovering an aquatic extraterrestrial species.

  • #37. The Hidden (1987)

    - Director: Jack Sholder
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.59
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Metascore: data not available
    - Runtime: 97 min

    Michael Nouri and “Twin Peaks” star Kyle MacLachlan play an FBI agent and homicide detective, respectively, hunting alien creatures who are able to take on the appearances of their human hosts. As the thriller progresses, all is not as it seems, and the two learn that they have unexpected, important roles in the shape-shifters’ mission on Earth.

  • #36. Voyage to the End of the Universe (1963)

    - Director: Jindrich Polák
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.59
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Metascore: data not available
    - Runtime: 81 min

    Before there was Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” there was Jindrich Polák’s “Voyage to the End of the Universe.” The Czech film unfolds through a series of vignettes as a 40-person space crew embarks on a year-long journey to a nearby star and encounter mysterious aliens in 2163. Apart from inspiring “2001,” it also incorporates elements of yet-to-be-released sci-fi classics like “The Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek.”

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  • #35. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

    - Director: Dan Trachtenberg
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.6
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Metascore: 76
    - Runtime: 103 min

    As “10 Cloverfield Lane” opens, a young woman who was in a car crash wakes up in an underground bunker with two men who insist that a mysterious apocalyptic disaster has made the surface of the planet uninhabitable. She quickly becomes determined to escape her captors no matter what state the planet is in, only to find that alien ships and creatures have arrived overhead. A sequel, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” debuted on Netflix in 2018.

  • #34. Save the Green Planet! (2003)

    - Director: Jang Joon-hwan
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.61
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Metascore: 70
    - Runtime: 118 min

    This South Korean black comedy centers on Lee Byeong-gu, an eccentric young beekeeper who kidnaps a powerful businessman whom he believes is an alien. While Byeong-gu tortures his prisoner in hopes of stopping what he believes to be an impending Armageddon, a nearby detective searching for the man discovers that the kidnapper has committed similar, ultimately deadly crimes in the past.

  • #33. Treasure Planet (2002)

    - Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.61
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Metascore: 60
    - Runtime: 95 min

    Disney secured a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination for “Treasure Planet,” an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel of the same name. In the film, 15-year-old Jim Hawkins journeys into a parallel universe after discovering a map to the greatest pirate trove in the universe. He finds work aboard an alien space galleon, fighting off black holes and a mutinous cyborg pirate in hopes of finding the mythic treasure.

  • #32. Annihilation (2018)

    - Director: Alex Garland
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.62
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Metascore: 79
    - Runtime: 115 min

    “Annihilation” revolves around a group of all-female explorers who enter The Shimmer, a quarantined disaster zone filled with mutating wildlife. As the characters unravel themselves, it becomes clear that an alien presence is responsible for the biological horrors at play. Alex Garland’s film received attention for its explorations of themes like depression and human self-destruction.

  • #31. Star Trek (2009)

    - Director: J.J. Abrams
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.62
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Metascore: 82
    - Runtime: 127 min

    J.J. Abram’s reboot focuses on the main characters of the original “Star Trek” TV show, this time starring a new cast led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Taking place in an alternate dimension so as not to discredit the franchise’s previous installments, the movie follows James T. Kirk and Spock as they race to stop a Romulan alien named Nero (Eric Bana) from putting the United Federation of Planets in jeopardy. The 2009 “Star Trek” won an Oscar for Best Makeup, making it the only “Trek” film to ever win an Academy Award.

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