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The Best Alien Movies On Netflix Right Now

Are we really alone in the universe? Human beings have been asking this question for thousands of years, and we still don't have a definitive answer. Maybe those mysterious photos of unidentified flying objects really are proof that aliens have visited Earth, or maybe we don't actually have any company in the cosmos. Either way, we're still curious about whether or not we might have galactic neighbors — and if they would be friends or foes. Maybe the answers are in the stars. Or perhaps they're buried in secret government files. Actually, they just might be on Netflix.

Countless directors have imagined what would happen if we ever did make contact with beings that were not of this world. On-screen, we've seen friendly and curious extraterrestrials in films like "E.T." and aliens as hostile invaders in movies like "Signs" and "War of the Worlds," and filmmakers are still exploring this genre. Wondering if there could actually be life somewhere beyond Earth? We may not have any solid evidence (yet), but you can check out all of these entertaining and thought-provoking alien films on Netflix.


Have you ever had a nightmare come true? If so, you might be intrigued by the premise of the film "Extinction." That's exactly what happens to Peter (Michael Peña), who begins having nightmares about an invading force that comes to Earth, threatening the safety of his family and everything he holds dear. Little did he know that these disturbing nightmares would actually turn out to be premonitions. When he visits a psychiatrist to get to the root of these fears, he encounters another patient who has been suffering from the same night terrors, and he begins to wonder if there is something bigger going on.

Peter's suspicions prove to be correct: at night, spaceships descend upon the city and attack. Peter and his wife manage to snag a weapon from one of the invading soldiers, and Peter utilizes the knowledge from his visions to protect them — but his understanding of what's actually happening can only get them so far. Peter is about to discover that he was receiving these visions for a reason, and when he finds out why, the knowledge turns his life upside down.

Beyond Skyline

A sequel to the 2010 film "Skyline," which follows a group of people trying to survive an alien invasion of Los Angeles, "Beyond Skyline" explores another story taking place at the same time as the original film. With an ensemble cast featuring Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Jonny Weston, Iko Uwais, Callan Mulvey, Yayan Ruhian, Pamelyn Chee, Betty Gabriel, and Antonio Fargas, 2017's "Beyond Skyline" delves further into the lore of this sci-fi franchise.

Los Angeles police detective Mark Corley helps his son Trent get out of jail just as the invasion begins. Mark and Trent are estranged, but Mark couldn't stand to leave his son behind. As most of the residents of LA are sucked up into various spaceships by a blue light descending from the sky, Mark leads a group of stray survivors through the underground subway tunnels to the marina, hoping to escape to somewhere safer. But their plan doesn't work out the way they had hoped. When they finally make it to the marina, they are captured by the alien flagship — and that's when the real adventure begins. What's really happening inside of these ships, and what do these creatures want from human beings? Mark is about to stumble on the disturbing answers.


"Annihilation" is a psychological sci-fi horror movie for genre fans who prefer their science fiction a little more cerebral and complex. Adapted from the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, the tale takes place in a strange, alien-infected stretch of wilderness inspired by the author's regular hikes through North Florida's St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. When a meteor lands near a Florida national park lighthouse, a bizarre barrier begins to emerge around it. Dubbed the Shimmer, this strange, iridescent field continues to grow and expand.

The story revolves around the post-expedition interrogation of former soldier and marine biologist Lena, who entered the Shimmer to find answers about her Green Beret husband's failing health after he alone survived a previous expedition. As Lena struggles to recall her time inside the Shimmer and how she survived for months on a two-week food ration, we learn that the Shimmer distorts and mutates time, light, magnetic forces, and biology, even duplicating life forms inside its ever-growing border like a malignant cancer gradually taking over the planet.

Led by an outstanding female ensemble cast that includes Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Gina Rodriguez, "Annihilation" delves into heady themes like identity, perception, and humanity's powerlessness in the face of nature. Add in plenty of action, dazzling visuals, and high-concept science fiction, and it's a recipe for a near-perfect alien movie.

Starship Troopers

It wasn't exactly a hit when it dropped in 1997, but "Starship Troopers" has become a favorite among science fiction fans in the years since and is now considered a cult classic. Adapted from Robert A. Heinlein's novel of the same name, this military sci-fi flick is set in the 23rd century when humanity lives under the stratocratic governance of the United Citizen Federation, having long abandoned democracy as a failed experiment. A spacefaring organization intent on colonizing the galaxy, the Federation finds itself facing off with an insectoid species that they believe poses an existential threat to humanity.

Although the film was initially criticized for its perceived anti-democratic message, with accusations of Nazi undertones leveled by some, Paul Verhoeven's film adaptation was intended to satirize fascism, emphasizing the flaws in Heinlein's right-wing utopia. Mishandling on the marketing side and the film's release during the late 1990s when the U.S. economy was positively booming meant the satire was lost on many viewers. But critics and audiences eventually got the memo and the film is now considered to be a fine example of sci-fi satire, with enough action, adventure, and cartoonish gore to make it a decent popcorn flick to boot.


Most sci-fi films picture aliens as humanoid creatures that look, act, and communicate at least a little like humans. "Arrival" goes down a different route, imagining a world where first contact leaves humanity scrambling to understand whether they've been invaded or not. When a dozen giant, pod-shaped alien vessels land across the world, humanity's efforts at communication are in the hands of linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner). On board, they encounter cephalopod-like creatures they call "heptapods," which communicate in a strange written language of circular palindromes. As Louise struggles to decipher their language — a language she learns is nonlinear — international tensions escalate, humanity goes into meltdown, and Louise is plagued by memories of her daughter's death.

The film has been praised by linguists for its realistic take on humanity's struggle to understand the alien visitors. "The portrayal of trying different hypotheses about the language, coming up with generalizations, and testing them out was spot on," David Adger, a linguist at London's Queen Mary University, told Science after seeing the movie. "It gave a good sense of the excitement of fieldwork on a new language, as well as of some of the frustrations." Mind-bending and at times disjointed, "Arrival" functions like a crash course in the relationship between language and perception as Louise's acquisition of the heptapod language begins to rewire her brain.

Star Trek

Ask any serious "Star Trek" fan and they'll tell you that new entries into the franchise are often divisive. J.J. Abrams' decision to reimagine Captain James T. Kirk's Enterprise NCC 1701 in an alternate timeline might have been polarizing among fans, but 2009's "Star Trek" won an Academy Award (for best makeup) and kicked off a generally well-received movie franchise that brought a new generation of fans to the world of Starfleet.

The 11th film in the franchise, Abrams' reboot begins when First Officer George Kirk of the USS Kelvin encounters the time-traveling Romulan ship the Narada on the eve of his son James Tiberius' birth. After ramming the Kelvin, the Narada's Commander Nero demands to see Ambassador Spock — a demand Captain Robau finds perplexing given the stardate. After taking command of the Kelvin, Kirk sacrifices his life to buy time for its escaping passengers, including his wife and soon-to-be-newborn son.

While Nero's interventions set the Kelvin timeline Enterprise crew on a much darker path, fate eventually brings them together for their purpose of exploring strange new worlds. Although laden with Abrams' notorious lens flare and a little more special effects heavy than typical "Trek" fare, the Kelvin timeline "Star Trek" still has plenty of the same character chemistry and alien-fueled shenanigans that fans love.