10 Alien Invasion Movies You Can Watch Over And Over

10 Alien Invasion Movies You Can Watch Over And Over

They come in all shapes and sizes, but their motivation remains the same: kill the humans and inhabit the planet. Fortunately, the people of the world tend to come together and stave off extinction.

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Time has shown that the film industry was very much able to branch off of some of the trend-setting 1950s sci-fi, alien-themed movies, particularly The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds. The latter is the more straightforward gold standard, but the more interesting films play off of the political turmoil seen in the former film. Whatever the inspiration, it appears audiences will continue to receive entertaining alien invasion films worthy of repeat viewings.


The Avengers (2012)

Black Widow, Thor, Captain America. Hawkeye, Iron Man, and Hulk in Avengers 2012

Available To Stream On Disney+

Along with being a superhero hit that held at the box office over time, The Avengers was a massive installment of the MCU and a trend-setter for future blockbusters.

It’s also an alien invasion film, considering Thanos sends the Chitauri directly to Earth so Loki can “rule.” Were it not for Loki’s arrogance outweighing his ability, they probably would have succeeded. With that being said, Loki wouldn’t have been the true ruler at all. The Avengers has been a successful series of films in the MCU thus far, and the original installment is arguably the best for straightforward entertainment value.

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

Tom Cruise in a Robotic Suit Running Across A Battlefield in Edge of Tomorrow

Available To Stream On FuboTV

The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman recruited Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and the late Bill Paxton for Edge of Tomorrow. It didn’t perform quite as well as it was expected to, nor as much as the Groundhog Day meets War of the Worlds movie should have.

Fortunately, it’s become somewhat of a cult item, and there’s hope for a continuation. However, even if there is never a sequel, Liman’s 2014 sci-fi actioner can be watched over and over as not just a great alien invasion film but also an incredibly cool time loop movie.

Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day Roland Emmerich Disaster Movies

Available To Rent On Amazon

Roland Emmerich’s magnum opus if ever there was one, Independence Day was a massive deal when unleashed on audiences in 1996. It was more or less Will Smith’s formal introduction to mega-stardom after the one-two punch of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Bad Boys, and he came out swinging. “Welcome to Earth” is probably the definitive line of any alien invasion film outside of another line from the very same film: “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

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There’s an energy present in Independence Day that’s lacking from most of Emmerich’s other films. He always goes for grandiose scope, but that can come at the expense of character development, and it often does. However, ID finds the balance; it realizes that the movie is just as much about the crop-dusting farmer as it is the miles-long spaceship.

Starship Troopers (1997)

The miltary fighting bugs in Starship Troopers.

Available To Stream On HBO Max

Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is effectively every action-loving teenager’s ultimate movie. While that is usually a double-edged sword, Starship Troopers gets away with it and then some.

It knows it’s ridiculous, even excessive, but it doesn’t care. With that being said, the movie never strives for purely vapid entertainment value, as there’s sneakily a lot of depth to the galactic war film. Admittedly, the bugs never invade Earth, but they also don’t have to, considering they can destroy major cities while positioned lightyears away.

Mars Attacks! (1996)

mars attacks alien

Available To Stream On Tubi

Released the same year as Independence Day, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! did not enjoy nearly the same critical or commercial response as the Emmerich movie.

But time has shown Mars to be a cult classic with arguably the most talent-filled cast ever assembled for a movie: Jack Nicholson (in a dual role), Danny DeVito, Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Christina Applegate, Jack Black, Pam Grier, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and even singer Tom Jones as himself. It’s a movie that swings for the fences, exploring Burton’s morbid sense of humor to mostly-great effect. Furthermore, the designs for the aliens were and remain creepy.

Night Of The Creeps (1986)

Available To Rent On Amazon

Part zombie movie and part alien movie, Night of the Creeps is as unique an ’80s horror flick as Return of the Living Dead, and it’s just as entertaining.

Creeps is a vastly underseen film outside of old-school horror fans, and its cheeky tone shows reverence for the sci-fi/alien films of the past while also building something new. It’s a fun, breezy movie with a light tone, all the while having its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

Men In Black (1997)

Featuring Will Smith at the height of his box office drawing power, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black was a film that captured the zeitgeist, received sterling reviews, and still manages to be an extremely entertaining blockbuster, even with 25 years of technological advancement.

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The chemistry between Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is dynamite, as is the performance of Vincent D’Onofrio as the bug-like alien invader. MiB is an interesting alien invasion film because it shows one malicious sentry of some planet serving as an example of aliens who have already been living on Earth for a while. It’s certainly one of the few alien films to have them living under the audience’s noses for decades.

The Thing (1982)

MacReady stands in front of the hollow ice block in The Thing (1982)

Available To Rent On Amazon

Released in 1982, one of the best years for sci-fi movies, John Carpenter’s The Thing is arguably his masterwork, even over Halloween. It’s also perhaps even more rewatchable than that 1978 film.

The Thing is so intricately constructed that it’s genuinely impossible to know who is the Thing. Furthermore, its concept of the invasion taking place within people is a nice contrast from the bombast of later films, such as Independence Day. Guided by expert direction from Carpenter and featuring some of the best practical effects ever committed to film, The Thing is the scariest cinematic alien invasion of all time.

They Live (1988)

Available To Rent On Vudu

One thing is certain, John Carpenter’s They Live has the best one-on-one fight scene of not just any alien invasion movie, but perhaps in all of film.

Like Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, Carpenter’s film has a satirical eye pointed at the whole world. The aliens have invaded via consumerism, and now, human drones are truly no different from the invading species. And that’s exactly what they want. But then there’s “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who just wants to “chew bubblegum and kick ass,” and he’s all out of bubble gum.

The World’s End (2013)

The Worlds End 2013 Blank Pierce Brosnan

The World’s End finished off Edgar Wright’s phenomenal Cornetto Trilogy in a satisfying fashion. While The World’s End isn’t quite as rewatchable as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, that’s only because it dives into some deep character work.

Simon Pegg told GQ in a career retrospective interview how Gary King was his favorite character he’d played up to that point, and it’s easy to see why. King is interesting; he’s utterly dissatisfied with his life but refuses to take steps towards advancement, instead content to consistently dwell on the past and what “should” have been.

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About The Author

Ben Hathaway
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Ben Hathaway is a Senior Writer (Lists) for Screen Rant. A former Therapeutic Day Treatment counselor, Ben is now a career writer. When not working, he is writing and self-publishing (on Amazon) novels under the name Scott Gray. In his spare time, he’s reading on the porch or watching every film under the sun. Ben can be contacted at scottgraywrk@gmail.com.

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