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50 best alien movies

  • #30. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

    - Director: Leonard Nimoy
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.63
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 119 min

    James T. Kirk and his crew travel back in time to 1986 to stop an alien probe from devastating Earth. They do so by bringing humpback whales back to the future since the whales are the only creatures that can communicate with the probe.

  • #29. Galaxy Quest (1999)

    - Director: Dean Parisot
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.65
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Metascore: 70
    - Runtime: 102 min

    “Galaxy Quest” serves as a parody of sci-fi franchises, especially “Star Trek” and its fans. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman lead the film, playing actors who previously starred in a cult space opera TV series. However, they’re drawn into a real outer space mission when actual aliens visit Earth and seek their help fighting a reptilian warlord, having mistaken the show for a documentary.

  • #28. Dark City (1998)

    - Director: Alex Proyas
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.66
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Metascore: 66
    - Runtime: 100 min

    When this sci-fi noir begins, protagonist John Murdoch wakes up in an unknown hotel to find that he has been found guilty of multiple murders, with no memory of whether he committed them or not. While attempting to piece together whether or not he is innocent, John discovers a sinister underground world run by a group of aliens known only as “the Strangers.” Director Alex Proyas based the Strangers on Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” character, Riff Raff, and O’Brien himself has a role in Dark City as Mr. Hand.

  • #27. Starship Troopers (1997)

    - Director: Paul Verhoeven
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.68
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Metascore: 51
    - Runtime: 129 min

    “Starship Troopers” takes place in the distant future, where Earth is in the midst of a battle against a giant insect-like alien race known as Arachnids, or more colloquially, “Bugs.” Viewers are introduced to the world through a young soldier named Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), who progresses through a futuristic military unit called the Mobile Infantry. Director Paul Verhoeven uses the conflict between humans and Bugs to satirize nationalism and xenophobia, even including visual allusions to real-life propaganda films and Nazi attire.

  • #26. The Avengers (2012)

    - Director: Joss Whedon
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.68
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Metascore: 69
    - Runtime: 143 min

    Six films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the all-star superhero team of the Avengers finally came together to stop Loki (Tom Hiddleston)—the brother of Asgardian prince Thor (Chris Hemsworth)—from conquering Earth with the help of his alien army. Marvel later introduced more intergalactic characters, notably through the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise’s central band of antiheroes.

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  • #25. Under the Skin (2013)

    - Director: Jonathan Glazer
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.69
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Metascore: 80
    - Runtime: 108 min

    Scarlett Johansson leads “Under the Skin” as Laura, an alien femme fatale who feeds upon men who she seduces and later consumes in a mysterious liquid pool. Although the main alien is introduced as a succubus-like entity, she soon becomes dangerously embroiled in her temporary human life. In 2016, the movie ranked #61 on BBC’s “100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century” list.

  • #24. The Fifth Element (1997)

    - Director: Luc Besson
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.69
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Metascore: 52
    - Runtime: 126 min

    In the 23rd century, taxi cab driver and former special forces major Korben Dallas’s (Bruce Willis) life is forever altered when a young woman named Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) suddenly falls into his car. She reveals that she is linked to four mystical stones that are missing and crucial for defending Earth against an evil cosmic force’s impending attack on the planet. They learn that the stones were put in place as safeguards by an alien race called the Mondoshawans, and race to find them before it’s too late.

  • #23. A Quiet Place (2018)

    - Director: John Krasinski
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.72
    - IMDb user rating: 7.5
    - Metascore: 82
    - Runtime: 90 min

    Real-life partners John Krasinski and Emily Blunt star in “A Quiet Place” as a married couple struggling to keep their family alive after the world is invaded by blind aliens who hunt and kill anything that makes a sound. The post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama functioned as an allegory of the perils of parenthood, with a sequel film set to hit theaters in 2021.

  • #22. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

    - Director: Doug Liman
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.73
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Metascore: 71
    - Runtime: 113 min

    Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s 2004 Japanese novel "All You Need is Kill," "The Edge of Tomorrow" sees rookie soldier William Cage (Tom Cruise) and celebrated super soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) face off against Mimics, aliens who have conquered most of continental Europe by 2020. Cage becomes caught in a time loop where he’s repeatedly killed on the battlefield, but with each loop, he becomes a more skilled soldier. Cage and Rita—who has her own experience in the loop—team up and devise a plan to stop the Mimics' attack.

  • #21. Repo Man (1984)

    - Director: Alex Cox
    - Letterboxd user rating: 3.74
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Metascore: 82
    - Runtime: 92 min

    Set in Los Angeles, “Repo Man” follows young punk rock fan Otto (Emilio Estevez), who joins a car repossession agency and begins pursuing a Chevrolet Malibu that’s wanted for a $20,000 bounty. However, things become more complicated when Estevez learns that an alien entity is seemingly hidden in the car’s trunk. Alex Cox’s comedy is regarded as a quintessential 1980s cult classic, and pointedly takes aim at the Reagan administration’s conservative domestic and foreign policies.

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