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Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 325

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  1. 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.
  2. Apr 19, 2011
    "In space no one can hear you scream". A most memorable tagline from one of the most terrifying, science fiction horror films I have seen in my life. After the success of Star Trek and Star Wars, the filmmakers have produced a terrifying Sci-fi horror and boy have they done a great job. The film focuses on seven space crew members, who are on a return ship to Earth. The crew, awakened by the ships computer, receives a transmission from an unknown asteroid. By orders from their employers, the crew search on the asteroid and find an alien spacecraft. Kane (one of the crew members) searches inside a chamber which encountered of numerous eggs, and one of them opens up and releases a creature, famously known as a "Facehugger" that attacks him on the face. The crew decide to take Kane back to their spaceship and try to remove the Facehugger, but are unable to as it is strapped tightly around is neck, and fear any sudden move attempt could cause the creature to strangle Kane and kill him. Eventually though he lets go of Kane and dies of unknown cause. I will not spoil what happens from this point, but what I will warn all newcomers who haven't seen the movie yet to brace themselves. What I really liked about this movie was that, although the special effects for its day were great, it was more of the suspense than anything. I've got to admit, suspense was a category that I never really got into because they would always drag it on for too long and wanted to know the climax as soon as possible. But when I watched this, I got into it so much that I wasn't bothered about the timing of how long it took to actually unveil the mystery or shadow hidden in the dark. The performance of cast also helped to make this film come alive, as I reckon it wouldn't have got the same response from critics and audiences had they not delivered a great performance. Nowadays I understand and appreciate these kinds of films more. I realised that that you don't always necessarily need to start and finish and movie with a bang by showing off none stop action - gun shooting, long lasting brawls and chase scenes that usually occur during the final 30 minutes of a film. Sometimes just a quiet and frightening suspense like this is a good enough. I give credit to Dan O'Bannon who wrote this incredible story, and director Ridley Scott for using his skills to make sure that the cast, (particularly Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley) delivered a brilliant performance. Alien is one of the films that have become a cult classic, and still remain popular today Expand
  3. Jun 27, 2012
    Best Science fiction horror in history, but we all know that don't we. I just wanted to recommend another good Sci-fi horror film that I enjoyed almost as much as Alien called Pandorum, check it out.
  4. Jun 14, 2012
    I think Ridley Scott should be called "The Master of Sci-fi." The thing I liked the most about "Alien" was Sigourney Weaver's character "Ripley." She's an out-of-this-world knockout that can even shoot massive creatures of Alien lifeforms to becoming one of the most popular characters today and back in the day. I have watched it sometimes, but I haven't get the quadrilogy on Blu-Ray. The Alien franchise was one of the best (except Alien 3, which was a far less Cameron-styled sequel) and although Prometheus is certainly not a prequel or a reboot to the Alien universe, it just goes to show the entire world what kind of strange and eerie creatures have ever been landed. But "Alien" deserves a big honor, one of the best science fiction movies of all time. Expand
  5. May 10, 2013
    Alien is near-perfectly paced and incredibly tense horror flick that slowly progresses from a space trip gone awry into a waking, breathing, nightmare.
  6. Nov 13, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ridley Scott only made two great movies. This is one of those! The artistic direction, the interior designs, the design of the alien creature, the alien planet and the Nostromo are all looking spectacular!
    The mood is just perfect! Sigourney Weaver created a believable "dominant" female character. Ian Holme as the scary, calculating and sexually frustrated android is also excellent in his role! The music is unsettling, the camera work is beautiful! One of the rare gems of science fiction - horror genre!
  7. Dec 5, 2013
    Ridley Scott is a master of world-building, no matter how small it is. Here he took us to a windy planet but mainly the setting was the spaceship Nostroma. A crew of seven is forced to investigate a signal from an unknown vessel. So a series of gruesome events unfold. Scott takes half an hour to introduce us to the characters and after that it is a ride of pure thrilling fright.

    All the
    characters are sufficiently drawn and explored, but none more than the action-girl Ripley, the like of whom I have not seen elsewhere. She is a force of nature. The movie works because the characters that populate the environment are engaging and their fear feels real. What fascinated me was the fact that the major decisions taken by the crew are what probably I would have agreed to myself. What I mean is the plot did not come into being because of someone's idiocy, as it tends to in lesser films. Their main concern was survival and all other things were secondary.

    The art direction and visual effects were jaw-dropping. Given that this movie was made in 1979, that's a huge achievement. On the contrary, I feel like modern space films tend to look cartoonish. The set design was very convincing and the feeling I got was that this actually happened somewhere in the universe but was only shot in the past. Weird but true. The only part where I felt the movie was really old was when the Mother computer comes to life, otherwise the interior of the ship was fascinating and I certainly believed Ridley Scott's vision of a future mega spaceship. The director's cut looked and sounded better than ever.

    The creature alien is a parasitic organism that is at once frightening and intriguing, and has more than one trick up its sleeve. Just when you think you've got it figured out, Scott throws something more sinister at you than before. The suspense was palpable, and that is where he does best. The movie builds up from scene to scene, the previous one being out-shined by the new one constantly, until the climax when everything goes wrong at the worst possible moment. Scott proves himself a master of not only how a film should look and feel but also the narrative, which is where most modern science fiction films fail even though their effects get better and better.

    There is not much to discuss about the plot without ruining the effect. The source of the alien species is not discovered, which I hoped in vain would be revealed in the sequel. And an explanation about the other alien is perhaps asking for too much. These were answers that I sought from the film before I was zapped from all logic and reason and forced to witness the horror these beings were capable of inflicting. Scott included absolutely everything that was needed to make the film work. I feel like he should have taken reins to make the sequel as well. Maybe we could have learnt something new about the aliens but who knows.

    Ridley Scott may disagree, but I feel like this is his best work. It's a true masterpiece deserving of all the praise it receives. It could easily have been caught up in the trappings of the haunted house genre, but Scott skilfully manoeuvres it around to where he felt like a sense of awe and mystery would be evoked along-with the thrills associated with the genre. I have always felt like there is at least one great movie to be made in each genre, which awaits the right director, and Scott was perfect for this.
  8. Jun 5, 2013
    As far as horror movies go, this is as good as they get. With an amazing atmosphere, one of the best creatures ever brought to film, and perhaps Scott's best direction to date, this is without a doubt a classic. The tension builds slowly, and it is smartly written, unlike most of today's scary movies, (if you can even call them scary). It's sublimely detailed settings, acting, camerawork, and monster still hold up well to this day, and that's no small feat for a movie made in 1979. Hitting points as high as its genre can possibly allow, it will likely stay an entertaining, and masterful film forever. Expand
  9. Jan 11, 2014
    The first time I saw this was when I was 12 and I was extremely disappointed in how slow it was compared to the visual smorgasbord of 'Aliens'. As I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate the subtleties and suspense in this horror classic.
  10. Sep 2, 2014
    "Alien" is truly one of the scariest films of all time. It moves at a very slow pace which works extremely well. The tension is constantly building until you almost can't take it anymore, and there is never a dull moment in this film. Even when something not particularly scary is going on, the dialogue is engrossing, and the cinematography is beautiful.
  11. Nov 1, 2010
    Awesome movie. The suspense was great and the acting was very well done. The alien itself was very scary, and the plot had me always guessing about what would happen next. Overall I absolutely loved this movie.
  12. Aug 23, 2010
    Space Freighter stops to check out a distress signal, finds crashed unknown craft, strange things inside, crew member gets attacked, survives, or does he?
    Still a brilliant film after all these years. Very intense & a good mixture of personalities within the crew. Forgot how good Ian Holm is as Ash & still probably Sigourney Weaver's best film.
    The effects are fine but the Alien does look
    like a man in a suit at times. Expand
  13. Dec 13, 2010
    Aliens is a cult film and rightly so, great plot awesome character interaction and awesome settings back before good CGI so had to make good models which they did. The aliens themselves are a class type of beast more like a Wasp or Ants with one queen propagating the whole species and then they eradicate anything that could cause a problem to their existence. Also not killing enough of their prey to ensure they can multiply great horror film worth a watch without a doubt Expand
  14. Jan 29, 2012
    Alien isn't just an answer to the two year's previous Star Wars, it's a complete rewrite of the monster movie. The 1950s and '60s saw B-movie shlock create an almost unshakable perception that monster movies were about men in rubber suits chasing screaming blonds around in front of cardboard sets while a square-jawed scientist followed closely behind with a ray gun. In 1979, Alien took that perception and took a massive dump on it. In 1977, Star Wars convinced everyone that after Vietnam (and the endless string of disaster movies) it was okay to go to the movies and have fun again. Alien convinced them that science fiction didn't always have to be about fun. It's a movie that's just as revolutionary as Star Wars, but in different ways. Here we have a group of characters on a space ship who aren't all straight laced scientists and explorers. Some of them are dirty mechanics. The ship's captain is pissed at the world; the navigator seems bored and can't get ahold of herself when things go south. Honestly, when closely examined, Alien's main protagonist is a complete **** lost in her role as the Nostromo's third in command. Are these characters likable when viewed this way? You're damn right they're likable because we know all of them; we are all of them. Alien is about actual real people encountering the scariest monster ever conceived. Part of the fear comes from H.R. Giger's nightmarish design but I think most of it comes from an audience being able to so easily get into the shoes of these "truckers in space" and imagine how they themselves would react. If Star Wars was created to have people cheering for the good guys beating the bad guys, Alien was created for audiences to stare at the screen and not blink for two hours as the good guys are eaten. In 2003, Ridley Scott was more or less forced to create a new version of the film to premiere during Halloween. He trimmed some things and added a few things, and the film actually runs a minute shorter. It may feel a little tighter, but it's slightly inferior to the original. If you haven't seen the film that many times you probably won't notice much, so it's not all that big of a deal.

    "Director's Cut" or just regular 1979 version, Alien is the greatest monster movie of all time and will probably remain so forever.
  15. Nov 25, 2012
    So I went to the park the other day. There were some cool dogs there. I rode around on my bike for a while. It got boring. I went home and played some videogames. Skyward Sword sucks by the way. It was a good day I guess. Oh, was I supposed to wright something about Alien? It doesn't matter. It speaks for itself.
  16. May 13, 2012
    Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror debut 'Alien' is an enduring, legendary masterpiece. It's one of my favorite films of all time and has been for many, many years. The art direction and attention to detail is exquisite. Alien is a movie that never ages and still feels as fresh as the day it was wrapped (despite eventually turning into a listless franchise). If you haven't seen this movie then you really are missing out on one of cinema's eternal classics. Expand
  17. Sep 20, 2011
    One of the finest films ever made! Alien is horrifically atmospheric! All performances are strong. Weaver and Holm are particularly spectacular! This film has been the guiding light for so many other projects and it is one of Ridley Scott's best. It never gets old. The effects are still very convincing and this alien is easily one of the most horrifying creatures of sci-fi perfection. An ultimate sci-fi horror classic! Expand
  18. Mar 29, 2012
    Alien is Ridley Scott at his very best. Intelligent, atmospheric and scary, it has quite rightly become an icon of both science-fiction and horror cinema. Like all of his films, it's visually flawless, and thematically complex, but this never detracts from what matters - character and story. There will never be another female action hero like Ellen Ripley (the sublime Sigourney Weaver) and it is in this film you see her as she was meant to be - strong, level-headed and independent, before James Cameron sunk his over-sentimental, popularity-clamoring, profiteering claws in with Aliens, which softened and some would say ruined the character of Ripley with unnecessary trivialities like a maternal instinct. The rest of the crew of the Nostromo all play their part, with John Hurt's Kane, Ian Holm's Ash and Harry Dean Stanton's Brett in particular making their mark. Alien maintains its tension throughout, and plays cleverly into the viewer's (and by extension humanity's) fear of the unknown, and Scott imbues the whole film with an intense feeling of claustrophobia, which the director himself suffers from.. It doesn't suffer from the problem that plagues so many modern horror films, that of predictability as it wrote much of the rule book. You'd be hard pressed to guess the order of the crew's grisly ends, and who'll make it out alive, as you often can in contemporary horror (something the Scream series lampoons extremely effectively). It is also highly influential in the realms of sci-fi (as it should be - it's mostly set on a frickin' spaceship) - only Scott can communicate the evil of big corporations as well, and the dark and manipulative force that pulls the strings behind the scenes of the narrative is in many ways more frightening than the alien itself. Don't get me wrong, the alien is fantastic, and H. R. Giger's mecha-organic dream case study for psychoanalysts makes an extremely effective symbol for the film's horrific themes, and its appearance has now deservedly become embedded in popular culture. In 1979, Alien was a film the likes of which the world had never seen before. Even today it leaves an impression - it's an uncompromising and provocative sci-fi/horror hybrid that is a feast for the eyes and the mind, and gives you a fair amount of heart-jolting scares for good measure. Here's hoping Ridley Scott delivers with Prometheus, and does justice to his own film legacy when he revisits it. Expand
  19. Oct 7, 2011
    Amazing ambiance, visual and sound effects. A amazing film, who completely deserves its legend and still scary 31 years later. Sigourney Weaver is simply awesome.
  20. Jun 8, 2012
    Is ALIEN Ridley Scott's crowning achievement? Yes it is. It's shadow eclipse his other efforts, including his latest, PROMETHEUS. It's not ALIEN, the fanboys crowd says. Yeah..because ALIEN is one of the best film of all time. A game changer that resulted in countless imitations and influences in many it video games, films and books. It's perfect because it's simple and effective, with one of the best monster design of all time. See this side by side with ALIENS... Expand
  21. Dec 17, 2011
    The geniuses that created this masterpiece should be given control of the world for this gift they have given us. This living, breathing visual motion masterpiece will unlikely ever be toppled as King of all sci-fi.
  22. Sep 3, 2012
    This has to be the best sci-fi/Horror film of all time. Ridley Scotts 'Alien' really sets up a genuine mood to the film that makes you wanna keep watching. It keeps you interested throughout and entertains me every second.
  23. Jan 16, 2013
    Alien is sci-fi horror in its prime. A small group of scientists on a mining ship, the Nostromo, pick up a distress beacon on a nearby planet. After stopping to investigate the crew are hunted down one by one by the aggressive and deadly creature they find on the planet. The film is very slow to start off with and even when it gets going its still pretty slow but a great and enjoyable film. Lack of character development and story is a little irritating though. Expand
  24. Jun 5, 2012
    Easily one of sci-fi's greatest moments, the films structure is pure perfection, constantly keeping the tension, its hard to desribe how unbelievable the film is. The beginning section builds up a sense of tension, the aight of an abandoned ship, unsure of a distress or warning signal, and the most provocative is the eerie moment as the ships crew uncover the remains of a giant body. You suddenly realize that this film is throwing you in at the deep end, with this shot making you realize something dark is yet to come and leaves the question of what was here before them, and what caused this distress signal, are they all gone? Obviously this is all explained in Prometheus, but on initial viewing you feel a sense of dread and this worls out as one of the films creepiest moments.
    After the infamous face hugger scene we realize that something bad is on its way, and even in the slow, steady moments of trying to find what this creature is and what are its motives there still is thrills there still remains tension, excitement and some intruiging speeches. But then comes one of cinemas most famous moments, the chest burster. The scene is so shocking that your are literally pulled from your seat while watching, this Leads again into the middle of the film, the team pulling together to find the alien. This works out very well, with us realizing the simplistic formaula of the films is excellent. As the team begin to search for answers and ehat they belive at the moment is a small alien, builds up to the climax of the unveiling of the giant alien that will gie people nightmares for years to come. The rest of film, in fairness, is simple, but as mentioned this make it even better, each member bands together for the search and we feel we are there with them, hoping and realizing the fear of being completely alone, in space. As more people are hunted down there are ingenoius waysof them going, there is no rung out violent deaths all are off screen and quickly over, but helps, as more of the crew describe the danger of the alien, we wonder what it did to them crew members next, again building more fear.
    Finally the film comes to its head with sole survivor Ripley realizing she needs to get out of the ship, but knowing the alien is still aboard. The lingering silences in this finale, put you in Rileys place, her fear of the uknown and the realiziation that in the silence more can be heard. The films ending with the reveal of the alien being aboad with Ripley is still shcoking even though you kinda knew something else was coming. But the suprising point of this finale was that usually the alien on board would spell death for our protagonist, but we see Ripley, getting her courage and bravery to send the alien into space, a final realiziation for the film, Ripley is alnd always was going to be the surivior like anyone she is in fear, but that powers her bravery. I fins this scene a first in showing the power of women in film, with usually a film holding a woman who fights back but seems to always have some help; Ripley does not. She is literally completely alone apart from her menace the alien, showing she is cinemas first heroine to fight her own battle.
    To conclude, there is not a single shot in Alien that does not leave one in awe and wonder, all of them make you think and stay with you. The acting is top notch too, with Sigourney Weaver playing the part perfectly. This turly is one of the greatest Sci Fi movies of all time. Ill say it again, perfection.
  25. Apr 11, 2012
    Meticulous, absorbing set design by genius visual artist H.R. Giger, the best sci fi acting performances yet, terrifying, this masterpiece works on numerous levels.
  26. Jun 1, 2012
    Classic. Masterpiece. Revolutionary.
  27. Jun 11, 2012
    This is still my favorite movie out of all the other Alien films combined. It still scares me to this day and I have seen this movie so many times no matter if it is the original from 1979 or the director's cut in 2003. I don't believe anyone can recreating the original feel of this movie without copying it.
  28. Jun 30, 2012
    Alien, by newcomer director Ridley Scott, is without a doubt the greatest monster movie of all time and is exemplary of the much used "haunted house" format. Nearly every facet of this film is flawless including sublime art and creature design, with amazing levels of detail perhaps only seen before in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a fantastic script with a mind blowing premise and creature life cycle, an understated and eerie score and the list could go on Expand
  29. Jul 3, 2012
    The definiton of Sci-Fiction is this movie. It is scary, or should i say claustrophobical, suspensful, with extraordinary themes and explorations. The character's interaction with one another works to cool it down a bit of the claustrophobical ambient, especially if you're watching it alone or in a dark theater room.
  30. Mar 9, 2013
    It feels like a horror but suceeds as a thriller, Ridley Scott provides an outstanding terror in which In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.
  31. Dec 24, 2013
    A true classic. It almost created a new genre and perfectly showed us that less is better most of the times. It´s the first and also the best Alien film. The second was a really good sequel, but loses some of the appeal. This one is perfect, the pace, the acting and the tension. Incredibly tense I would say. The final scenes (last 10 minutes or so) are iconic. The leading character Ripley is one of the best woman characters ever made, and is brilliantly brought to life by Sigourney Weaver. Original and strong film. Expand
  32. Aug 18, 2013
    This has to be one of my favourite sci-fi of all time. I am a huge fan of this film and you'll find out soon. I love how this film brings suspense into scenes which generally leaves the audience staring at the screen....wanting to be told that everything is ok and that the character is in good condition, and if the character is not....then they will find themselves shocked, excited and scared for what is to come. I love how the xenomorph tracks it's prey. It is like a silent assassin that swoops from tree to tree looking for something to devour and kill. It is by far my favourite alien in any film it stars in ever. Ridley has developed a complete anatomy and a life cycle around this creature which is extraordinary. He has invented this being which has it's own species and adaptations and that to me is just pure genius. So, alien is a great watch for ages 10 and up and I do hope we see the xenomorph hit cinemas again soon! Expand
  33. Apr 18, 2013
    Scott's severe dedication to suspense occasionally caused my eyes to drift away from the screen but not for long. This film is very much in control of itself and doesn't stray from the gloom it creates except for the few minutes when it is appropriate to do so. Markedly better on second viewing.
  34. Nov 9, 2013
    Entertaining, thrilling, a legend!!! Weaver rocks!!! My all-time favourite movie!!!! The best franchise ever made!!! Not to be missed!!! Stunning, dazzling, excellent!!!! Perfection!!!
  35. Jan 3, 2014
    Suspenseful storytelling at its Best!

    After watching 'Prometheus' the prequel to 'Alien' first thing to notice was that Prometheus has many plot elements similar to Alien and that may have some slight effect on my experience with Alien. But leaving that thing aside 'Alien' is a fine blend of horror and science-fiction which leaves lasting impression even after so many years of its
    release. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every bit of it. The slow pacing and build and lack of kick-alien action may make some people not like this but that's the region where Alien scores, the suspenseful buildup to discovering the unknown with the eerie music and silence of being in the space by Jerry Goldsmith is still fresh in my mind even after hours of watching the film and the Horror of the Alien not revealed much leaving it open for imagination delivers unexpectedly. I can imagine what this would have been experience watching this epic movie on big screen or alone at night would have been back in 1979. This 'Alien' is a timeless classic. Expand
  36. Jun 16, 2014
    A classic horror film set in modern time about an expendable crew desperately fighting against a dreadful, unfamiliar human-eater species inside a spaceship getting lost in space and without support, Ridley Scott's Alien is a marvel of atmospheric tension successfully combined with slow-paced direction (it is easily noticeable that during the whole film, the camera barely moved) that portrays human natural fear of the unknown. Expand
  37. Jan 22, 2014
    I had wanted to see it at the theatres, but I was only 9 or 10 at the time, but the posters and TV commercials were so uniquely stylized and scary. Saw it for the first time on VHS, along with Aliens, before Alien3 came out, and loved it, but now being a father of a ten year-old son, we watched it together and it's by far the best of the series. As talented as Sir Ridley Scott is at directing films in general, he really shines when approaching the sci-fi genre. You can just tell it's very special for him. Expand
  38. May 11, 2014
    A great classic movie. Heard lots of great things about it, and of course since I am such a big movie fan I would obviously have to check it out. Really enjoyed it thought it would be scarier then it was but it didn't scare me. If I watched it when it first came out I would have been horrified probably. Good action and great acting a job well done by Ridley Scott
  39. Jul 2, 2014
    Master stroke of science fiction brilliance. The creature is something of a violent sexual nightmare and it haunts you to the core. This is a perfect science fiction movie. You will watch, then again, then again , and you will always cone back to it. It's perfect.
  40. Sep 5, 2014
    Alien is a Sci-Fi Horror movie that dazzles you with wonder. Ridley Scott manages to create a true classic that's suspenseful and amazing.Highly recommended.

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Twenty-four years later -- digitally spruced up, with some scenes shaved and others padded with previously cut material -- Scott's film still shreds nerves.