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Overall Rating
4.68

Awesome80%
Worth A Look: 11.28%
Average: 6.67%
Pretty Bad: 1.03%
Total Crap: 1.03%

5 reviews, 165 user ratings


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Alien
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by Slyder

"Primal scream in space"
5 stars

After the success of The Duellists, English director Ridley Scott decided to tackle the science fiction genre and who would’ve thought that by doing so, he would create two of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. The latter is Blade Runner, but the former is this little movie. Working on a tight 8 million dollar budget, Scott finds more ways than one to blend horror with science fiction in order to create a landmark classic. Right in the aftermath of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this movie could have not arrived at a better time.

Couple hundred years ahead, the Commercial ship “Nostromo” is diverted from its heading towards Earth in order for its crew to investigate a supposed SOS signal from another planet. In charge of the ship is Commander Dallas (Tom Skerritt) along with his XO, Lieutenant Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), and after a couple of tussles in the crew regarding monetary and contract issues, they decide to investigate the signal after all. After docking in the unknown planet with unfortunate results since the ship gets damaged in the process, Commander Dallas, along with crewmembers Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) and Kane (John Hurt) head off to trace the beacon, and in the process find a mysterious ship, unlike anything they had seen before. Ripley and Medical Officer Ash (Ian Holm) stay behind to track the team and decipher the mysterious signal as mechanics Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) and Parker (Yaphet Kotto) try and repair the ship. The rescue team encounters in the ship a colony of eggs unbeknownst to them, and when one of the eggs is disturbed, an organism jumps out of the egg and attacks Kane. As they head back to try and help him, they take off back towards the Nostromo in order to get out of the planet as soon as possible and head back to Earth. What they don’t know is that the organism has planted something on Kane’s body from which it would later pry itself out and transform itself into a horrifying alien beast, with acid for blood, and from which no one can escape from.

The film is unquestionably a technical standout right from the start. Director Ridley Scott constructs a dark, moody environment thanks to rich, detailed sets ranging from the complex mechanical components and alleys of the Nostromo ship to the eerie, desolate landscapes of the Alien planet. These settings, along with the film’s deliberate pacing create a tense, suspenseful atmosphere full of primal fear that gets into your skin and doesn’t let go. The catalyst of course, is the alien creature itself, designed by HR Giger, and a horrific animal beast in the purest sense. It’s quite an awe to watch as well as horrifying, and whenever it appears it just scares the living shit out of you. In order to enhance the primal fear that the Alien creature irradiates, Scott brilliantly uses shadows and light in order to “hide” the Alien from full view, with impressive results. Equally horrifying are the “face-hugger” and the “chest-burster” creatures whom precede the alien, and their respective appearances are just as scary and will stick in your memory for ages. All in all an impressive technical achievement from Giger, Carlo Rambaldi in the FX department and Scott himself.

The ensemble cast is virtually flawless with the highlight being Sigourney Weaver in her star-making role as Ripley, the woman who would become a prototypical female heroine thanks to this movie and on the following sequels. Tom Skerritt is also faultless as the ill-fated Dallas, and Ian Holm is perfect in the chilling role of Ash, who possesses a pair of secrets unbeknownst to the equally ill-fated crew; secrets which will also bring out splashes of social conscience into the mix as well.

Ultimately, this flick is a certified classic in the science fiction and horror genres. Alien still looks fresh and hypnotic after all these years and it’s a film that is guaranteed to scare the lights out of you and keep you on your toes every minute that passes as you watch it. It was Ridley Scott’s first full-fledged masterpiece which cemented his reputation once and for all as a director with a singular artistic vision. A must-see no matter what. 5-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=583&reviewer=235
originally posted: 12/27/05 19:31:22
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

10/02/16 morris campbell great sci-fi horror coolest movie monster of all time 5 stars
4/27/16 Ken Amazing sci-fi/horror film by Ridley Scott. 5 stars
2/08/16 Anne Some of it disgusting, technically superb 3 stars
6/05/15 stanley welles a skilful roller coaster blend of horror and science fiction 5 stars
3/01/15 manalone923 PATHETIC 1 stars
10/10/12 austin one of the scariest movies of all-time 5 stars
1/22/12 Predator Muhhhaaaah - Terrific 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/19/11 Ark So scary I still can't watch the scene where it gets Dallas! And I am a big athletic guy! 5 stars
8/24/10 Joseph It just doesn't get much better than this 5 stars
5/04/10 Jeff Wilder If Aliens is the greatest sci-fi action movie ever, this is greatest sci-fi horror. 5 stars
4/17/10 PAUL SHORTT EFFECTIVELY HANDLED AND BRILLIANTLY SUSPENSEFUL 5 stars
11/02/09 art HORRIBLE! 1 stars
8/29/09 Julian There have been so many copycat versions but .... say no more 5 stars
8/19/09 Jon B This film didn't scare me, but the pacing and atmosphere is top notch scifi 5 stars
8/04/09 Steve Hock Klaxons flashing, Mothers calm voice, a running cursing Ripley. Super scene! 5 stars
7/12/09 then came bronson THE scariest movie since Jaws and Texas Chainsaw 5 stars
4/12/09 K. Sear The ultimate in gothic sci-fi horror. A true classic. 5 stars
5/25/08 ben dover amazing movie with an incredible atmosphere 5 stars
1/05/08 Mo An awesome, spellbinding movie; but did Ripley really need to go after that fucking cat?! 5 stars
9/25/07 Rogue Gallart Classic! What film should be! Ridley Scott is a Master! 5 stars
7/28/07 Wee Todd Didd The first is still the best. 5 stars
5/03/07 john I think it's overrated. It's unique but it didn't really scare me at all. 3 stars
3/26/07 Ken Scary and amazing 5 stars
2/21/07 action movie fan great sets and special effects make this a powerful shocker 4 stars
2/15/07 R.W.Welch Great suspense. One of the top five sci-fi operas. 5 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega One not to be forgotten. 4 stars
10/02/06 Jeremy Davies Great movie, but far outclassed by aliens 4 stars
9/22/06 Booksworm Made the mistake of seeing it on cable;not scary at all,but still a damn good movie!! 5 stars
9/04/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still great. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist A great science fiction classic.Simply legendary!! 5 stars
7/12/06 David Cohen Forget the rapidly degenrative sequels, this is the real deal 5 stars
5/05/06 dionwr Superbly made B-movie 4 stars
5/05/06 Uri Lessing Intense and scary 5 stars
5/03/06 MP Bartley A brilliantly oiled, edited and designed film. Pure horror. 5 stars
5/03/06 Matt Seaver It doesn't quite hit me as I think it should, but I certainly don't dislike it. 3 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A Not a horror guy, but I do love this one... 5 stars
5/02/06 PaulBryant Sigourney just doesn't do it for me. 3 stars
5/02/06 David Cornelius My tummy's not feeling too good 5 stars
5/02/06 William Goss Wow. A landmark horror movie, and a personal all-time fave. 5 stars
5/02/06 EricDSnider Truly suspenseful 5 stars
5/02/06 Alex Paquin Haven't seen it -- I'm not much into sci-fi / horror 3 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH Only movie directed by Coppola's favorite editor. 5 stars
4/18/06 Dave A great science fiction horror masterpiece. 5 stars
3/04/06 omar best sci fi movie ever...except for the sequel 5 stars
2/11/06 movie_buff Gritty, chlostrophic, scary & they keep it real - a watermark for the genre. 5 stars
1/13/06 Perry Mason Brilliant sci-fi horror. 5 stars
1/11/06 Tamara D.Leonard Such a classic SciFi thriller. So many memories on the opening night in the theater. 5 stars
1/04/06 cody This movie has bad ass sexy sigourney weaver, cool effects and scary but not good as it 2 4 stars
11/21/05 chris great stuff!! 5 stars
10/31/05 Quigley slightly overrated and not very scary, but I can see why it's a classic. it's gross, too 4 stars
9/06/05 Zack wayyyy better then the others 5 stars
8/24/05 Eden A b-movie dressed up as an a-movie. Very well made 5 stars
8/16/05 ES Slow to the point of ponderous, paved the way for aliens 4 stars
7/18/05 Brandy Harrington Great movie 5 stars
7/03/05 Eddie Great Movie 5 stars
6/22/05 Manu Ginobli Great movie 5 stars
4/27/05 lio bloody brilliant film 5 stars
4/17/05 Russell Hobbs psychology dominate force in pic,for those wove seenit manytimes, watch it witn sund off 5 stars
4/17/05 Cary Gordon The ultimate, genre defining SF suspense picture. 5 stars
4/01/05 Richard Box The Best Alien creature ever is born FANTASTIC 5 stars
3/23/05 indrid cold More horror than sci-fi, and not a particularly good horror movie. 4 stars
12/15/04 Etheridge Hoogendijk OD-ing on creepy sound effects while story gets spread way too thin. 2 stars
11/14/04 X $ % & ! I wish I had acid blood. 5 stars
11/13/04 Samuel Very scary film. Alot of people don't agree, but I think its better than the sequel. 5 stars
11/04/04 Lord Durvok 2 Four words guys: Best. Fvcking. Movie. Ever. 5 stars
9/01/04 A upton Love those panties,,mmmm 5 stars
8/26/04 Aaron Smith the alien is just a monster, no depth to him whatsoever 3 stars
8/02/04 magaafi not bad........ 5 stars
7/21/04 Patjng the 1st and the best' 5 stars
6/21/04 Stab Wounds Yay. 5 stars
6/16/04 franknutz great film i think the original is better than directors cut but see them both 5 stars
3/20/04 Jack-pyschO-Lantern Sorry, but this is isnt as good as the others... Even the last one was better. 3 stars
2/23/04 Kyle A pace and mood-setting that rivals "The Shining". GREAT stuff! 5 stars
12/24/03 Joel W. De Sario An invincible,leathal, haunting creature with digusting eating habits results in desparate 5 stars
12/08/03 john the sfx are still great! a sensational sci fi thriller! 5 stars
12/08/03 bz The re-release still holds up after all these years. 5 stars
11/28/03 alien assassin still has the ability to shock. 5 stars
11/21/03 Shelby Sherman Horror films should scare you....Alien does! 5 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess A Sci-Fi gem. 5 stars
10/07/03 jawsboy24 Pretty much a masterpiece! GREAT SFX, acting, cinematography, directing, music, etc. ****'s 5 stars
10/02/03 Spiderfan729 Loved it! Better than Terminator by a loooonnnngggg shot! 5 stars
9/01/03 Lord Durvok II Not only best of the four, but one of the best Sci-Fi/Horror films ever. I love it! 5 stars
8/07/03 Alice Best science Fiction ever. 5 stars
8/06/03 Double G alien rules 5 stars
6/21/03 Sammy jason should watch it again because this movie rocks!! 5 stars
4/16/03 Andrew Carden Weaver Is Great, The Effects Is Fantastic...but Goes On Far Too Long!!! 4 stars
3/04/03 Aceman True masterpiece! 5 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby The best sci-fi/horror film ever made! 5 stars
12/18/02 C.reeves A good sc-fi movie 3 stars
10/30/02 mallory i love it 5 stars
10/29/02 José in my opinion, the very scariest film ever 5 stars
10/26/02 Charles Tatum Still scary after all these years 5 stars
9/30/02 sdfr the original deep space shocker, and still the best ever. 5 stars
9/26/02 Morally Sound This is the on;y "Alien" flick in the series I didn't like. 3 stars
8/23/02 Bluto So Scary because it was belivable technology, not sanitized like Star Trek 5 stars
7/25/02 CVJ Excellent in every way 5 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar Creepy and tense. The monster is probably the scariest I have ever seen 5 stars
5/29/02 Kyle Fuck you, Andrew. Being a critic doesn't mean criticizing everything. 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Freaky. The ending is great, and it's scary because it's unseen. 5 stars
4/09/02 lauren mccreight the best of the four alien movies.....period. 5 stars
3/23/02 Steve Mackey After seeing "The Relic", "Alien" looks more and more like the best scifi ever made. 5 stars
3/23/02 lowenklee dreamlike, very disturbing 5 stars
3/20/02 Steve Mackey Probably the best quality sci-fi movie ever made. 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Fun to watch Weaver kick alien ass. 4 stars
1/11/02 tc sigourney's crack now thats scary 5 stars
12/21/01 Andrew Carden Watchable Movie Overall, but No Momentum, and The 2nd Was Better. 3 stars
12/21/01 OSVALDO pepin 5 stars
11/27/01 Monday Morning Needs less talk, more tit. 3 stars
10/29/01 Jake This movie doesn't look, sound or seem outdated! Best Sci-Fi movie forever. No contest. 5 stars
10/16/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its O.K. but not much horror ike the other seqeuls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
10/07/01 jawsboy Ridley's finest work along with Gladiator. quite a bit better than Blade Runner 4 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix Good acting and frightening moments save this from being a typical monster-in-space movie. 4 stars
9/06/01 spaceworm (boo!) 5 stars
9/05/01 Crunchy Frog In space, no one can hear you stick your finger up a dog's ass 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) This movie kicks ass. It's definitely a cult classic, too. 5 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg One of the best si-fis ever made . 5 stars
7/16/01 Nazi dad Ruined some new jeans first time I ever saw it. 5 stars
7/01/01 Rampage brilliant and freaky 5 stars
6/30/01 King Jackass Classic. 5 stars
6/28/01 Stewart The chest-bursting scene is the highlight of this movie. The acting is pretty good, too. 4 stars
5/09/01 Jake This will be the best sic-fi movie, forever!!!! Doesn't matter what anyone else says. 5 stars
5/07/01 Gracy Lionheart Loved It. It is a great film to add to one's movie collection. 5 stars
4/23/01 Skip Young Aliens was much better. 3 stars
3/13/01 Sthenno Best sci-fi horror film ever!Perfect cast,acting,directing,set design,and Alien! 5 stars
2/25/01 Schpydah One of the best horror films ever. The horror is gorgeous and perfect: somebody slap me. 5 stars
2/25/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Ah, yeah.... 5 stars
2/13/01 CJ O' Callaghan Horror film with tension thats hard to take at times. ridly scott - direct alien 5, please! 5 stars
2/01/01 jordan best scifi movie of all time? 5 stars
1/19/01 fifu worth look a very cool movie 4 stars
1/14/01 Invader The movie is slow mostly,but its the real terror when it occurs. 5 stars
12/28/00 Destruction Worker The DVD has one kick@$$ menu! 5 stars
11/14/00 Corporal Dodgson A bevy of thematic motifs, outlined by a hybrid horror-scifi haunted house tale. Amazing 5 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin a classic 5 stars
10/24/00 Viking How about a Director's cut to commemorate it's twentieth anniversary 5 stars
9/28/00 Jmpsnoopy This movie was scary as hell! 5 stars
7/11/00 Matthew Bartley A MILESTONE FOR A VERY GOOD REASON 5 stars
6/16/00 XXX Ridley Scott's best, and the best of the four Alien movies. 5 stars
6/13/00 danilo much more exciting than overrated Aliens! Awesome! 5 stars
6/08/00 TERRIE SMITH Some good jolts in this first entry in the series but ALIENS was even better 4 stars
6/03/00 perverted pixie My favourite of the series- the stomach poping scene cannot be beat! 5 stars
4/16/00 JDC Great feeling of loneliness and isolation. In space, no one can hear you scream... 5 stars
4/16/00 BB-15 Still the best of the series. 5 stars
2/11/00 Kyle Broflovski Great, but..."Aliens" is better. And that's the bottom line, cuz Kyle B. said so!!!! 4 stars
11/22/99 Jedi15 A gripping and terrifying film! Wonderful performances. Also, check out Aliens and Alien 3. 5 stars
8/20/99 Dante Possibly the best film ever made - it is PERFECT! 5 stars
7/25/99 Krishna Manohar A Classic. A great first chapter to a great series. 5 stars
6/21/99 Ed Wood Top 5 of all time 5 stars
6/14/99 Dylan mmm...great. 5 stars
6/04/99 Ah Dooey Scary as hell, better than I Know What You... and Urban Legend! 5 stars
4/30/99 Rob Mckechnie I was lucky enough to see this in the cinema a few weeks ago, and its still scary! 5 stars
4/20/99 Lucas jackson a great sci fi they do not get much better than this 5 stars
3/30/99 little jerry The eerie mood Scott creates is superior to Cameron's Rambo approach.Best sequel-Alien 4. 5 stars
2/20/99 chuck-d How can anyone not like this? Suspense, aliens, cool sets, full of grit 5 stars
1/27/99 Goofaloo Any movie that can spark three sequels (and counting) is a classic. 5 stars
1/25/99 YellerDog Groovy. 5 stars
1/23/99 C Dub One bad ass flick! 5 stars
11/29/98 Mike F It was boring. I didn't like it. 2 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Nailbiting suspenser! 5 stars
11/24/98 Ray Russ We are not worthy! The video sits atop my alter. 5 stars
11/24/98 Lord Of The Dunce It never could get better. 5 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob A classic in 2 veins. What more could you want? 5 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee Giger created a masterpiece here. Compare it to the latest and puke. 5 stars
8/28/98 Chuck-D like empire and star wars, the second was higher quality, but the first is BETTER! 5 stars
8/24/98 {{{OZ}}} The original and best. A classic. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-May-1979 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Nov-2003 (R)




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