Despite the odds of us being alone in this big wide universe are slim to none, we probably won’t get to see an alien anytime soon unless we watch it on the silver screen. Thankfully, Hollywood has a very big history of making movies about aliens in all shapes, forms and sizes.
Since picking just one alien movie to watch is close to impossible, we’ll just give you a nice assortment of alien movies that can be called “the best” depending on who you ask. And if they’re not the best, at least they’re still a pretty decent watch.
The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron is always a director that manages to lure in audiences and The Abyss is no exception to that rule. Despite James Cameron literally choking Ed Harris to make the choking scene more authentic, it’s still a very good movie. Ed Harris may just have a different opinion on the matter.
Denis Villeneuve always delivers visually and he definitely does so in Arrival. The movie also stars big actors like Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and it’s a very clever story. In this movie, it isn’t immediately clear if the aliens are here to be friends or enemies and a linguistics expert has to find out which it is.
Before we knew James Gunn as the guy that made Guardians of the Galaxy or The Suicide Squad, he made a lovely little film called slither. Expect the typical people that like working with James Gunn (Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, …) in this move about alien parasites that are taking over your typical American town.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This is a very classic movie, but it’s also a Kubrick movie. The pacing in the movie is notoriously bad, but the attention to detail in keeping the whole space thing as authentic as possible is notoriously good. Depending on what you’re looking for, this might be the movie for you. The aliens in this movie aren’t actually aliens, but more like alien-created monoliths.
District 9 (2009)
If you’re looking for a movie that protests racism and classicism in a way where no ethnicities get offended, District 9 is probably your best bet. In this movie the actual aliens are the victims of racism which allows for a bit more rawness when dealing with these issues. And the effects still hold up to this day, which is always good news.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Most sci-fi blockbusters just simply aren’t worth watching, but Edge of Tomorrow is a nice exception to that rule. Granted, the plot isn’t overly complicated or unpredictable, but at least this Tom Cruise movie will give you the alien-infested equivalent of the thrill ride that his Mission Impossible movies are.
Sadly after almost 45 years we’ve still not managed to find a movie that depicts the horror of what would happen if the aliens we meet don’t want to be our friends. Ridley Scott put himself and Sigourney Weaver solidly on the map with this movie and it’s hard to imagine anything every knocking this off its throne.