Friendly Alien Movies – Good Alien Movies

Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Friendly Alien Movies – Good Alien Movies

How many times have you encountered a life form from another planet only to have your face bitten off by the grouchy extra-terrestrial? It happens all the time in the movies, as visitors from outer space are typically portrayed as downright psychopathic or obsessed with stealing all our natural resources. We always manage to fend them off (humans are a scrappy lot), but not before interstellar relations have been set back another century.

While most of their space-faring brethren are trying to figure out the best way to make sandwiches out of us, the following friendly aliens are more concerned with phoning home or establishing first contact. And in some cases, they’re just downright pathetic.

All of the films listed below are available when you become a member of Netflix. The nation’s leading online rental service, Netflix will either deliver them to your door or allow you to stream them online. You don’t have to be an advanced life form to know a good deal when you hear it.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – The undisputed king of friendly alien movies, E.T. stars adorable Henry Thomas as Elliott, a lonely California resident who comes across a stranded extra-terrestrial in the woods. Along with his siblings (including Drew Barrymore), Elliott tries to help E.T. get home, all while hiding the alien’s existence from his mom and government agents. Director Steven Spielberg wrings the maximum amount of emotion out of every scene, and both kids and adults will find themselves wiping away tears by the conclusion of this gentle story.

Lilo & Stitch (2002) – A colorful animated feature from Disney about an aggressive, experimental creature from space who escapes to Earth and ends up being adopted as a pet by a kind-hearted girl named Lilo. As the pair begins to bond, they’ll have to evade attempts by an assortment of alien forces to capture Stitch. Hijinxs ensure in traditional Disney fashion, and kids will have learned a number of valuable lessons about friendship by the end credits. The success of the film led to a television series and four direct-to-DVD sequels.

Starman (1984) – After his adaptation of The Thing–an alien movie about a murderous shapeshifter–failed at the box office thanks to E.T., director John Carpenter changed gears to put a more pleasant face on life from outer space. Jeff Bridges stars as an alien who’s dispatched to Earth to make first contact after his race discovers an invitation engraved on a gold record aboard the Voyager 2 probe. But the paranoid U.S. Army shoots down his craft, forcing him to take on the physical form of a recently deceased individual, much to the surprise of the man’s widow (Karen Allen). With only three days to make it to a rendezvous point, the duo busy themselves with eluding the military and learning about one another’s cultures. Bridges received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and the combination of sci-fi, drama, and romance makes Starman a genre-bending treat.

Alien Nation (1988) – A major sci-fi hit that spawned a TV series, five made-for-television movies, comic books, and novels, Alien Nation is set in Los Angeles after a group of extra-terrestrials known as Newcomers are integrated into human society. Hardass cop Matthew Sykes (James Caan) is partnered up with the first Newcomer cop, Sam Francisco (Mandy Patinkin), and they bicker and eventually bond while investigated the Newcomer underworld and a powerful alien chemical known as Ja-bru-kha. Terence Stamp co-stars as the heavy, and the film manages to comment on a number of social issues amidst the sci-fi action.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – A classic of the science fiction movie genre, this Robert Wise film details the visit to Earth by Klaatu (Michael Rennie), a humanoid alien who has come to issue a warning to humanity about their warlike tendencies and recent development of the atomic bomb. Things fly off the rails, of course, and Klaatu must flee the military while learning more about humanity courtesy of a helpful widow (Patricia Neal). The moral themes addressed in the film are still relevant today, and the image of the robotic Gort remains one of the most iconic from 1950’s cinema.

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District 9 (2009) – When an alien ship shows up over South Africa, the creatures inside are discovered to be sickly and lacking leadership. Humanity wastes no time is showing its darker side, herding the aliens into camps and working feverishly to unlock the secrets of their technology for military applications. But when an Afrikaner bureaucrat (Sharlto Copley) comes into contact with a strange otherworldly substance, his resulting transformation leads to a number of revelations and a daring escape attempt. District 9 provides a complex lead character who‘s not always likable, lots of action in the latter stages, and one really cute alien kid, all while dealing with themes of racial segregation and xenophobia.

Superman (1978) – The most famous comic book alien of all time gets his first big-budget screen adaptation, with the late Christopher Reeve in the lead role. Having been sent to Earth as a child to avoid the impending destruction of his homeworld, Kal-El is adopted by a kindly farming family in Smallville and raised to adulthood (taking the human name of Clark Kent). When his true past is finally exposed–thanks to Marlon Brando in a brief and lucrative role–he moves to the city of Metropolis, takes a job at the Daily Planet, and begins his career as Superman. This leads to romance with feisty reporter Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and a series of showdowns with the arch-criminal Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). The sequel, shot at the same time, is also a lot of fun, but subsequent films in the franchise displayed rapidly diminishing quality (especially the one with Richard Pryor).

The Brother from Another Planet (1984) – The multi-talented John Sayles wrote and directed this thoughtful sci-fi film about an escaped alien slave who hides out on Earth and blends in ironically with the African-American population. Unable to communicate verbally, he struggles to express himself while interacting with the colorful characters one would expect to find in a film set in New York City. Sayles and David Strathairn star as Men in Black, fellow aliens responsible for tracking down and capturing escaped slaves. Joe Morton gives a fine performance despite being a mute, and the film has plenty to say about the human condition.

Cocoon (1985) – Capturing an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and one for Don Ameche in the Best Supporting Actor category, Cocoon tells the story of aliens who’ve come to Earth to retrieve members of their race who’ve been hibernating in cocoons for 10,000 years. But while their pods recharge in a swimming pool, a group of seniors from a retirement home slip in and get exposed to the alien energies. Finding that it acts like a fountain of youth, the elderly are soon having the time of their lives, but their great gift will come at a price. Director Ron Howard keeps things warm and fuzzy throughout, and the likable cast includes Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Steve Guttenberg, Jessica Tandy, and Brian Dennehy.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – Steven Spielberg once again advances the idea that not all aliens are looking to stick things up our ass. Richard Dreyfuss headlines the film as Roy Neary, an electrical lineman whose encounter with a UFO leaves him obsessed with the subject and suffering from persistent visions of a mountainous shape. But he’s not the only one, as scientists and the U.S. government scramble to make sense of the recent increase in UFO activity. Nominated for nine Oscars, it helped re-invigorate the public’s appetite for sci-fi. With all his friendly alien movies, one has to wonder if Spielberg isn’t really a forward agent for an advanced race.

The next time you find yourself surrounded in a beam of light from the sky, think back to this list of good alien movies and smile; maybe the beings who’ve just captured you are friendly. Just to be on the safe side, though, I’d clench my sphincter as tight as possible.

Join Netflix if you’d like to enjoy all of the top alien films listed above. They have over 100,000 movies to choose from, and more and more are being made available for streaming. We do get a commission when you sign up through our site, but it doesn’t add a single penny to your cost.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at 1:39 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Friendly Alien Movies – Good Alien Movies”

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March 27, 2011

Filmfreak

I liked district 9 :D … I think it’s one of the most original movies in Alien history

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