These Freaky Alien Movies Are Outta-This-World Good, Promise


To be perfectly honest, space freaks me TF out. Billionaires can go off and race in their rockets if they want, but I’m v content hanging out down here on Earth, thx. However! I will never not enjoy space movies, mostly because they let me throttle through the cosmos and experience extraterrestrial encounters from the comfort of my couch. Even if you’re the furthest thing from a sci-fi geek, the best alien movies out there may just change your mind…and may just get you to believe in life on other planets. (Or not. Whatever. Just keep an open mind, k?)

From comedies to action flicks to genuinely terrifying thrillers, alien movies run the gamut, as do the forms those aliens take (’cause they don’t all look as cute as E.T., unfortunately). And while ghost movies and zombie movies have been known to mess with my head (and my REM cycle), movies about alien invasions are sometimes the freakiest ones of all…because, you know, aliens may just be real. (And if you don’t believe me, just ask E.T. activist Demi Lovato.) Ofc, you don’t have to be a believer to enjoy a good alien movie, and I’ve rounded up some of the best new alien movies streaming rn—as well as a few classics I couldn’t resist adding. Prepare yourselves for UFOs, destructive invasions, and a lot of Tom Cruise with these out-of-this-world entertaining sci-fi movies.

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1

The Vast of Night (2019)

Set in 1950s New Mexico, The Vast of Night follows a radio DJ and a switchboard operator as they attempt to hunt down the source of a mysterious audio frequency, which mayyyy just be extraterrestrial in origin. (Spoiler alert: It is.)

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2

Rim of the World (2019)

Expect to get major Stranger Things vibes from this one, which tells the story of four teenage misfits who find themselves entrusted with stopping an alien invasion taking over their summer camp…and the world.

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3

The Tomorrow War (2021)

With an all-star cast that includes Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, and J. K. Simmons, this sci-fi thriller is set in the near future, following what happens when a group of soldiers and regular people are sent into the future to fight aliens.

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4

Extinction (2018)

In this action flick, an engineer haunted by recurring nightmares of an alien invasion visits a psychiatrist for help…only to meet another patient who has been having similar visions. And as it turns out, their shared visions have actually been a warning (*gulp*).

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5

Spectral (2016)

What happens with the US military discovers that creepy ghostly aliens are claiming the lives of soldiers deployed in Moldova? They take down the alien force in order to save the capital from destruction, of course.

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6

A Quiet Place (2018)

Yes, A Quiet Place is fully an alien movie, and IMHO, the Death Angels are some of the freakiest extraterrestrial creatures encountered in movie history. Don’t forget to follow this one up with A Quiet Place Part II.

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7

Captive State (2019)

After living under alien rule for 10 years, residents in a Chicago neighborhood decide whether they want to overthrow the extraterrestrial occupation in this fun thriller. Oh, and did I mention that the cast for this one is legit stacked?

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8

Dark Skies (2013)

Keri Russell stars in this supernatural horror flick as Lacy, a real estate agent who finds herself and her family plagued by a series of terrifying events…and as you probably already guessed, aliens are responsible.

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9

The Darkest Hour (2011)

Not to be confused with the 2017 Winston Churchill biopic, The Darkest Hour follows five American strangers who—while traveling in Moscow—find themselves victim to an alien attack and are forced to band together to survive.

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10

Under the Skin (2014)

Scarlett Johansson stars in this movie as a predatory alien disguised as a beautiful woman who tries to lure unsuspecting men into her van. TBH, who could blame them??

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11

Annihilation (2018)

In Annihilation, Natalie Portman plays a biologist and former soldier who attempts to figure out what happened to her husband inside “Area X,” a mysterious US zone where the laws of nature don’t seem to apply (because aliens, ofc).

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12

Arrival (2016)

Arrival follows the story of a skilled linguist who’s recruited by the army in order to communicate with extraterrestrial life, and it’s a GD crime that Amy Adams didn’t win the Golden Globe for this one.

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13

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

In Battle: Los Angeles, a long-predicted alien invasion takes down the world’s greatest cities one by one, until only LA remains as the final battleground. Humankind is then left in the hands of a Marine staff sergeant and his platoon so…no pressure!!

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14

Attack the Block (2011)

If you need a good laugh, watch Attack the Block, which stars John Boyega (aka Finn from Star Wars) as a teenage gang leader who must defend his crew from the aliens invading their South London housing complex.

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15

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise is stuck reliving the same alien battle—as well as his brutal death—over and over, but with each battle, victory seems more like a possibility. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with aliens.

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16

Oblivion (2013)

Yet another Tom Cruise-takes-on-aliens flick, Oblivion is set in 2077 on an Earth devastated by aliens, following a veteran soldier who—before he can escape to a distant colony—must battle a new alien threat and save the planet.

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17

War of the Worlds (2005)

Okay, last Tom Cruise alien movie, promise!! In this one, a divorced dock worker attempts to reunite his kids with their mom after aliens invade Earth and start taking down major cities, and if you aren’t already convinced, Tom Cruise + aliens = a good time.

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18

Life (2017)

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, this sci-fi horror movie follows a six-member space crew as they discover the first evidence of life on Mars—and lo and behold, that life is not friendly.

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19

The World’s End (2013)

Another funny alien movie, this comedy revolves around five friends trying to finish an epic pub crawl they started over two decades earlier…only to find themselves interrupted by an extraterrestrial attack.

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20

Cloverfield (2008)

An oldie but a goodie, this found-footage flick follows six friends in NYC as they attempt to flee the massive extraterrestrial monster attacking their city. Side note: 10 Cloverfield Lane is also v good, and even though The Cloverfield Paradox isn’t, you should watch it anyway just for the cast.

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21

Super 8 (2011)

Set in 1979 Ohio, this sci-fi thriller revolves around a group of young teens (including Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney) as they attempt to make a homemade zombie movie, only to find themselves facing off with alien invaders. Plot twist!

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22

Pacific Rim (2013)

Sea monsters take on robots in this epic sci-fi movie, and while the premise sounds absolutely ridiculous, it’s way better than you’d think. Follow this one up with Pacific Rim: Uprising for double the fun.

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23

Ender’s Game (2013)

It may have been a box office bomb, but I will never not endorse the star-studded movie adaptation of Ender’s Game, which follows a gifted teen to a military academy in space, where he prepares for an inevitable alien invasion.

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24

District 9 (2009)

30 years after aliens are discovered and captured in South Africa, a company field agent contracts a virus and begins to mutate into an alien himself in this terrifying thriller.

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25

The Endless (2017)

In this sci-fi thriller, two brothers who escaped from a supposed UFO death cult 10 years earlier receive a mysterious video message, which convinces them to visit Camp Arcadia for the first time in a decade. Cue all the creepiness.

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26

Signs (2002)

Obv you can’t have an alien movie round-up and not include Signs, which is singlehandedly responsible for my ongoing fear of crop circles.

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Corinne Sullivan’s debut novel, Indecent, tells the story of a recent  college grad who accepts a teaching position at a tony all-boys boarding  school, only to find herself deeply obsessed with a student at the risk  of her job and her sanity.

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