Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Feels like a streamlined improvement on the original.
  2. Watching it again reminded me how remarkably the sound engineers did their jobs. Listen to the subtly amplified heartbeat - Ripley's? the ship's? - that pulses under the soundtrack through the last 15 minutes.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Cole
    The best thriller of 2003 was made in 1979.
  4. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    This is a five star film because it is one of the most perfect science fiction thrillers of all time.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt
    With the visuals and soundtrack given a wax and polish job for the big screen, Scott’s masterful use of shadows, framing and sound has never been more terrifying. No matter how many times you’ve seen this, you’ll still be hiding behind your fingers at every conceivable juncture.
  6. 100
    This edition -- clean and tight as Scott would have it -- presents a strong case for Alien as both the greatest horror film and the greatest science-fiction film ever made.
  7. Pay attention to the enhanced detail audible in a new six-track sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and Jerry Goldsmith's score have never twined so hauntingly.
  8. 100
    I recognize how few horror movies I've seen before or since that ever manage to capture such a tangible feeling of menace.
  9. This is the breakout role for Sigourney (née Susan) Weaver, whose iconic presence still propels this ride beyond the scores of substandard imitations that followed. Why see it on the big screen? Because it's bloody brilliant.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Agger
    The scariest movie in history is actually a bit shy. The subtle, romantic score by Jerry Goldsmith is what keeps the tension at a simmer.
  11. A landmark film, the unnecessary tinkering has not perceptibly harmed its overall effectiveness and it's a special Halloween treat to see it digitally spruced up and on the big screen for the first time in 25 years.
  12. 90
    Despite years of imitators, sequels (some great, some not so), and edited-for-television broadcasts, Alien has lost none of its power, and the big screen only intensifies its impact.
  13. Twenty-four years later -- digitally spruced up, with some scenes shaved and others padded with previously cut material -- Scott's film still shreds nerves.
  14. An old nightmare, made shiny new.
  15. 88
    Mostly it's worth seeing Alien, which established Scott as an A-list director, in a theater because his brilliant and often expansive visuals have always worked better on a big screen than on video.
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    What's most unusual about the original 24 years later, though, is its elegant minimalism.
  17. 88
    The most important features of this "new" version are the digital cleaning of the print and the re-mastering of the sound. There are a few added scenes, but they are mostly insignificant and have been previously seen (at least by fans of the movie) on the laserdisc or DVD releases.
  18. Alien, even with some scene tinkering that has left this "director's cut" one minute shorter than its original release, is still one of the creepiest, scariest, most shocking films ever.
  19. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    And while this director's cut doesn't really differ all that much from the original 1979 release, it contains a few minutes of never-before seen footage, including one serious bitch slap and an entire scene in which Ripley stumbles upon a few not-quite-dead crew members whose terrible fates foreshadow James Cameron's 1986 sequel.
  20. The overall effect is about the same -- slow start, then escalating suspense and violence. Today's shock-movie fans will enjoy shrieking at it, and others should skip it. In space, no one can hear you ask for your money back.
  21. 30
    Unfortunately, fulfilling an apparent need to assert absolute control over his early successes no matter the cost, the director has gone ahead and loused up his 1979 masterpiece of gothic sci-fi horror.
  22. This is no restoration but a revision...If there's a difference in overall quality, I'm unaware of it. Dave Kehr calls this 1979 feature "an empty-headed horror movie with nothing to recommend it beyond the disco-inspired art direction and some handsome if gimmicky cinematography.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 78
  2. Negative: 2 out of 78
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    Ridley Scott's "Alien" is scary and amazing. It has the scary tense moments, presenting them with such screenplay that's even rare these day. A definite must watch. Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2010
    This film is meticulously constructed, and all of its components fit together almopst perfectly. Creepily paced, wonderfully acted, and menaced throughout, Alien is one of the best films ever made. Full Review »
  3. howieh.
    Dec 19, 2005
    Excellent, stylish, suspenseful flick.