Who doesn’t love a good alien movie? With their weird languages and constantly having to be naked (you’d think if they can invent interstellar travel they could at least put on a hoodie). Nonetheless, you’ve gotta love em! You have those that scare us, and those who become our friends.

This is a list of essential alien films that are required viewing for all those would-be alien enthusiasts. The criteria to get on the list is that the film must feature a major character which is not from this planet.

10 Essential Alien Films

The Thing (1982)

Although it has a lazy title, the film is spectacular. The great concept that this alien can take the form of any person immediately injects the plot with intrigue. Even the remake wasn’t too bad and that’s a rare thing to hear nowadays.

10 Essential Alien Films


Predator. Just the name alone is terrifying (although these days it’s for a complete different reason), now throw in the fact it’s an alien race which travel the cosmos in search for the ultimate hunt. Yes, please! Seemingly a silly concept for an alien race, but in my opinion probably accurate. Think about us, humans, we hunt all the time (R.I.P. Cecil The Lion, too soon?) and gain great pleasure for some reason from it.

10 Essential Alien Films


Now for something even more sinister! E.T., the intergalactic immigrant! In all seriousness, this is a very charming film. This E.T., like many others on this list, inspired a generation to look up to the stars in hope of meeting with an alien and becoming best-ies.

10 Essential Alien Films

War of the Worlds (1953)

Then that fantasy comes crashing down, when the now-clichéd depiction of aliens coming to Earth involve them killing us all. No questions asked, just death. This is one of the major films that started the whole conversation about aliens between everyday people. The film played on our fears of an invading force and had us scared of floating microphone stands.

10 Essential Alien Films

Edge of Tomorrow

AKA Live. Die. Repeat. AKA All You Need Is Kill. AKA Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. AKA STOP CHANGING THE DAMN NAME! One of the best films of 2014 that had no right to be as good as it was. An awe-inspiring concept of using time-travel as a weapon in order to win a war mixed in with getting a chance to see Tom Cruise die a million times; what more could you ask for?

10 Essential Alien Films

Mars Attacks

Science Fiction can sometimes take itself too seriously, and every now and then it needs a reminder that this isn’t all real. In comes Mars Attacks, the funny-celebrity-filled comedy of 1996 (yes, nearly 20 years ago). This film is now enjoyable for a different reason, watching it and talking about each actor’s career and where they are today. Can you believe Michael J. Fox was in it?

10 Essential Alien Films

District 9

Although director Neill Blomkamp’s reputation is questionable today, at the time he was a gift sent down by the movie overlords, hitting science-fiction at one of it’s core values; using aliens to explain modern phenomenons. He hit the nail on the head with this one!

10 Essential Alien Films


It’s hard not have this on the list considering it’s the number one grossing film of all time. It’s a simple story, not a lot of great acting, quite predictable, but it is one of the most visually spectacular films ever. You honestly believe you’ve been transported to another planet. For it’s impact on cinema and it’s immense visuals it has earned its place on this list.

10 Essential Alien Films


This film has alien in the title! How could it not make the list. Simply a fantastic horror sci-fi with hints at a huge mythology surrounding it. Please do not screw up the next one!

10 Essential Alien Films


Yes it’s a comedy, but it’s highly memorable. Who doesn’t remember the scene when they have to cut off Orlando Jones’s leg? The uniqueness of the aliens in this film, for me, is what earned it its place on this list. How the alien rapidly evolves and goes through billions of years of evolution is outstanding, and on top of that a really enjoyable film.

Honourable Mentions

This category is packed full of excellent suggestions, so I decided to give some honourable mentions out.

Event Horizon – If you like sleeping, don’t watch this.

Pitch Black – Yes! Riddick is the coolest!

Men In Black – I FORGOT about this movie! HAHAHA!

Star Wars – Cannot wait for the next one.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers – *points and screams loudly*

Independence Day – They always have to attack the white house!

Are there any essential Alien films that I missed? What is your favourite Alien film?

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