10 Best Alien Invasion Movies

Wednesday, December 1 by Lara Stewart

Alien invasion movies are in one of those genres that won't die as you can see from these 10 best alien invasion movies. Among the reasons for this are that aliens make great metaphors for real things that we are afraid of. And, it doesn't hurt that otherworldly creatures look cool, and alien invasion movies give directors a great excuse to blow things up. There are lots of good films in this genre, but these are ten of the best alien invasion movies.

  1. "Independence Day" (1996) The sheer exciting spectacle of the massive alien ships and showy pyrotechnics earn this movie a place on the list. And that's before you consider the all-star cast and this film's role in the recent sci-fi renaissance.
  2. "Mars Attacks" (1996) This comedic alien invasion movie from Tim Burton is a marked change of pace from the usual horror-tinged fare. The cartoonish aliens, sometimes more cartoonish humans and the silly resolution make this one an unusual entry in the alien invasion movie genre.
  3. "Predator" (1987) Can a single alien signify an invasion? It can when that alien is a highly skilled sports hunter looking for human trophies for its walls. Predator is far more slow and deliberate than action movies made today. Audiences get a little time to sweat with the protagonists as they outsmart an alien that has come to the fight with bigger guns and better technology.
  4. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978) There have been several adaptations of Jack Finney's creepy alien invasion novel, but, this one is the best. The aliens in the film are a dig at the decade's "I'm OK/You're OK" self-help attitudes, and drips with biting sarcasm. Star turns by Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy are a treat.
  5. "They Live" (1988) Like the aliens in "Body Snatchers," the aliens in "They Live" are a stand-in for a disturbing social phenomenon, but this time, it's greed, materialism and consumer culture on the chopping block. Snappy dialogue like Nada's infamous bubblegum line just add to the darkly comedic fun of this alien invasion movie.
  6. "The Thing" (1982) Isolation and paranoia run deep in this grim alien invasion film. Tempers are already high and violence percolates just under the surface even before aliens start taking over those manning this isolated arctic station.
  7. "Men in Black" (1997) Tommy Lee Jones's deadpan delivery just makes everything funnier in this comedic alien invasion movie, and Will Smith's smooth delivery adds charm to the usual straight man routine. Vincent D'Nofrio's creepy invader alternately gives big laughs and big scares. Add in winking vindication toward popular conspiracy theories ranging from aliens to Elvis and you have a campy, exciting good time.
  8. "Alien Trespass" (2009) This under-appreciated film is a loving homage to the alien invasion films of the 1950s. Eric McCormick stars as a local astronomer who is the only one who will trust a good alien to help save the world from a bad one. The sets, acting and filming style are all perfectly 1950s to the last detail. A must-watch for horror and comedy fans alike.
  9. "The Faculty" (1999) This alien invasion movie rehashes the plot of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," but with a comedic twist. As a bonus, we get to see John Stewart in a rare acting role.
  10. "District 9" (2009) This isn't an alien invasion in the sense of it being a hostile invasion, but rather, a ship full of desperate refugees. However, these aliens are quite, well, alien, and the residents of Johannesburg, where they land, consider their presence there to be quite the invasion. Themes of xenophobia and a sharp rebuke of the treatment of refugees run through this unconventional alien invasion movie, giving viewers some food for thought along with the usual creepy aliens and alien technology.