Alien (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes


Alien (1979)



Critic Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.

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"In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when an alien invades a spacecraft in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror classic. On the way home from a mission for the Company, the Nostromo's crew is woken up from hibernation by the ship's Mother computer to answer a distress signal from a nearby planet. Capt. Dallas's (Tom Skerritt) rescue team discovers a bizarre pod field, but things get even stranger when a face-hugging creature bursts out of a pod and attaches itself to Kane (John Hurt). Over the objections of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), science officer Ash (Ian Holm) lets Kane back on the ship. The acid-blooded incubus detaches itself from an apparently recovered Kane, but an alien erupts from Kane's stomach and escapes. The alien starts stalking the humans, pitting Dallas and his crew (and cat) against a malevolent killing machine that also has a protector in the nefarious Company. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Alien

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (35)

The filmmakers have come up with some images that are sheerest nightmare. The film earns its shudders honestly: Scott is too talented to need gratuitousness as a aid.

August 13, 2019 | Full Review…

This gorgeous, leisurely horror film expresses a spectacularly British xenophobia, a parenthetical nightmare of invasion envisioned between an awakening (at the start of the film) and a return to sleep (at its close).

March 4, 2019 | Full Review…

After 40 years, this sci-fi horror masterpiece still feels lethally contemporary.

March 1, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Everything shrieks fit to burst, ignoring the poster tagline ("In space no one can hear you scream").

February 20, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

I adore this movie. It's a movie that has engaging characters, an incredible creature, and its incredibly scary. It's one of Ridley Scott's best films.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

This is a screamingly spooky sci-fi tale with more than a few echoes of "The Thing" but echoes which enhance rather than detract.

May 25, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Alien


A fantastic combination of sci-fi and horror, incredibly suspenseful and carefully structured with excellent pacing. Scott knows very well how to slowly build a disquieting tension and elevate it to the point of nerve-wracking, making this film a genuinely scary modern classic.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


It is a slasher flick...IN SPACE! The visuals are gorgeous, the ship has a slight Kubrick design but with an extra gritty edge. The alien creature is one of the most iconic movie monsters for its unusual buggish look and sliminess. The creature is constantly in the shadows, giving a paranoid sense as to when it will come out and strike. The cast is very strong, Sigourney Weaver makes her character Ripley tough, sympathetic, and believable. This is the definitive sci-fi horror classic.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

A classic.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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