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83

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Alien returns to the big screen with a digitally remastered special edition of director Ridley Scott's science fiction/horror classic. (Fox)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt
    100
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Cole
    100
    The best thriller of 2003 was made in 1979.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    100
    Feels like a streamlined improvement on the original.
  4. 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.
  5. An old nightmare, made shiny new.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    What's most unusual about the original 24 years later, though, is its elegant minimalism.
  7. 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.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 78
  2. Negative: 2 out of 78
  1. Oct 4, 2010
    10
    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. Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2013
    10
    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.
  3. Jun 27, 2012
    10
    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. Expand
  4. Mar 29, 2012
    9
    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
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    9
    "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
  6. Aug 4, 2014
    8
    This movie carried some fine acting and a great plot. Packed with suspense and action, this movie blasted Weaver's carrier up to the top. It was a fine Ridley Scott movie too. It does lack some character development thought. Expand
  7. Timbuck2
    Aug 2, 2006
    0
    This movie can never bee made into a decent film, it will always be pathatic and nothing but fake gore, annoying script and stupid scares...awful in every way...no match for "The Descent". Expand

See all 78 User Reviews

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