Top 12 Alien Invasion Movies Ever

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing
May 29th, 2014

Aliens regularly invade theaters and television screens, giving audiences thrilling battles between humans and the invading force. These films can be funny, serious, scary or a combination of the three. Whether the invasion is by a single entity, a stranded group or a full battle fleet, alien invasion movies are a common favorite among movie buffs. Here are some of the best alien invasion films of all time.



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Independence Day

Released in 1996, "Independence Day" features a large-scale alien invasion. A mothership, individual fighters and deadly, destructive weapons attack Earth. These dangerous aliens can level a city with a single weapon blast, but humorous quips from star Will Smith add a light tone that makes this a favorite for many ages.



district-9.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

District 9

"District 9" is a unique alien film in that it does not focus on a war between the aliens and humans. Instead, this 2009 movie looks at a city housing a group of aliens who are stranded on Earth. The aliens live in slums and face bigotry and distrust from their human neighbors. Still, a corrupt government organization ensures audiences get a satisfying battle.



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The Thing

A classic film based on the book, this 1982 horror movie takes place on a research base in Antarctica. An unknown alien force infiltrates the base by taking on the appearance of individuals and going undetected. The danger of the monster is how hard it is for the characters to know where it is and who it has infected, keeping everyone on their toes.



predator.jpgPhoto Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.


This 1987 film spawned a franchise consisting of multiple films and print works, as well as a video game. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Predator" takes place in a Central American jungle on Earth and has a single deadly alien. This gritty film created an iconic monster that has had two cross-over films with "Alien."


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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Released in 1956, this is a film adaptation of the novel, "The Body Snatchers." Aliens attack a small town in California, replacing people with emotionless duplicates. This film uses a frame narrative to tell the story and flashbacks to reveal the plot. In 1978, a remake was released.



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Star Trek: First Contact

The eighth "Star Trek" film was released in 1996. The Borgs are attacking Earth, and the Enterprise, led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, has to stop them. Featuring time travel, assimilation and betrayal, this film explores the first contact of humans with aliens within the Star Trek universe.


the-abyss.jpgPhoto Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

The Abyss

Written and directed by James Cameron, this 1989 film takes the alien invasion genre to the bottom of the ocean. Set mostly within a submarine, the crew faces lack of air, flooding and an impending missile strike as they try to decide whether the aliens, called NTI for non-terrestrial intelligence, are a force for good or evil.


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The War of the Worlds (1953)

This classic is the first film adaptation of H. G. Wells' 1898 novel. The film updates the story to the 1950s, where the world is invaded by an alien force. Considered one of the most iconic alien invasion stories, this war between Martian and Earth forces almost has a deadly end.



dark-city.jpgPhoto Credit: New Line Cinema

Dark City

Released in 1998, this science fiction film centers around a strange town that has a few key features, such as perpetual night and regular changes to the town's structure and memories. Extraterrestrial parasites are used in hopes of gaining information about humans in this invasion story.


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They Live

In this 1988 film, the rulers are secretly aliens. This group controls the world through mass media and advertisements. The unique aspect of "They Live" is that the ruling aliens have a pact with certain key humans to ensure power for both, while the rest of the humans are controlled through subliminal messages.



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Instead of an invading army, 2008's "Cloverfield" is a mega-monster film similar to Godzilla. One huge monster attacks a city and drops smaller parasite-type monsters that root out the scattering humans. "Cloverfield" is filmed in first person, which gives audiences an up-close and personal look at an invasion.



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Mars Attacks!

Putting a comedic spin on stereotypes common in alien invasion movies, this 1996 film includes large-headed Martians who want to kill most humans while experimenting on others. A parody of common invasion films, this is a great break from traditional, serious and scary alien movies.

These are some of the best alien invasion movies around, and they can give audiences as a break from the real world. These 12 films are must-see titles for anyone interested in good, old-fashioned "aliens versus humans" stories.