Best alien invasion movies of all time

They came from beyond the stars to kick our butts - these are the best alien invasion movies of all time.

Best alien invasion movies of all time
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The truth is out there, and it’s coming to get us, if the best alien invasion movies are to be believed anyway. Maybe this is one time we don’t want to believe.

The matter of extra-terrestrial life has fascinated mankind for quite some time now, and the movie industry has made sure over the decades to make some serious profits thanks to the UFO craze. However, the subgenre has also evolved with time, giving birth to refreshing takes on alien invasion movies.

Now, what’s an alien invasion movie? Well, it goes beyond simply featuring alien lifeforms visiting Earth, so that throws stories such as E.T. or Arrival out of the window. The aliens have to be hostile. Okay, what about The Thing? One could argue it’s an alien invasion movie, but at the end of the day, it’s just a deadly organism that crash-landed on Earth long ago.

By limiting ourselves to hostile conflicts with entire alien species that want to take over Earth, we’ve come up with a pretty solid list of the best alien invasion movies (in no particular order, before anyone decide to invade our comments section). 

On the matter of aliens, you might want to check our extensive articles on the entire Alien and Predator movie franchises, and maybe meet some extra-terrestrial lifeforms (good and bad) yourself with the best space exploration games and space horror games. 

Release date: June 29, 2005
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins
Based on H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, Steven Spielberg’s take on The War of the Worlds is generally regarded as one of the lesser movies in his filmography, yet it managed to crack $600 million worldwide and has gained a solid following over the years thanks to its atypical blockbuster nature.

While we’ve seen several audiovisual reinterpretations of the famous novel over the decades, and most cinephiles would look back to the 1953 movie as the best one out of the bunch, there’s something about Spielberg’s version – maybe it’s the relentless grimness – that makes it incredibly attractive despite its many failings, underwhelming original ending included.