The 5 best UFO/alien movies of recent times
Here is a more light-hearted post for the holidays (although on a subject that is often cause for intense debate). Listed below are five of my favorite UFO/alien movies that have come out of Hollywood in recent years.
Have any favorites of your own to recommend?
1. Contact (1997)
Contact is based on the late Carl Sagan’s novel by the same name, in which the search for life outside our solar system becomes a personal and spiritual quest for a young researcher. Ellie Arroway is a scientist who lost her faith in God after her parents died when she was a child.
However, Ellie has learned to develop a different sort of faith in the seemingly unknowable: working with a group that monitors radio waves from space, Ellie hopes that some day she will receive a coherent message from another world that will prove that there is a world beyond our own.
Ellie’s hard work is rewarded when her team picks up a signal that does not appear to be of earthly origin.
UFOEYES: The book is great, and so is the movie. It’s about so much more than extraterrestrial contact — spirituality, faith, the limitations of science and the pursuit of truth and inner peace. In fact, it’s one of my favorites movies ever. Highly recommended!
2. The Abyss (1989)
When an American nuclear submarine crashes, the U.S. government believe the Russians to be responsible. They enlist the help of a team of underwater drilling platform workers who are to help the deployed Navy SEALS locate the crash site. As they get closer to their destination, the friction between the two teams increases.
When some workers report seeing UFOs underwater, the SEALS grow increasingly suspicious and suspect a Russian mini-sub. After a series of near-fatal disasters, the workers find that they are the only people who are capable of stopping World War III.
But they are not the only inhabitants of the deep, and strange things are happening back at the surface.
UFOEYES: This might be one of James Cameron’s best movies. It’s a truly fascinating underwater adventure with an interesting twist. The special edition version is close to 3 hours long, but totally worth it!
3. Fire in the Sky (1993)
Fire in the Sky recreates the strange events which happened on November 5, 1975 in the town Snowflake, Arizona. It’s based on the true story of Travis Walton, who claims that he was abducted by aliens and put through some excruciating tests onboard their spacecraft.
A group of men who were clearing bush for the government arrive back in town, claiming that their friend was abducted by aliens.
Nobody believes them, and despite a lack of motive and no evidence of foul play, their friends’ disappearance is treated as murder.
UFOEYES: What I like about this movie is the fact that it doesn’t focus so much on the actual alien encounter, but on the social drama that unfolds in its wake. Can we rely on our social structures and relationships when we are confronted with the unknown?
4. District 9 (2009)
In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor.
In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new “Prawn” friends.
UFOEYES: District 9 is an innovative take on the alien/human encounter. It’s dripping with satire and, set in South Africa, has an underlying focus on xenophobia and segregation. The visual effects are stunning and the huge spaceship hovering over Johannesburg is reason enough to watch it.
5. War of the Worlds (2005)
Ray Ferrier is a working class man living in New Jersey. He’s estranged from his family, his life isn’t in order, and he’s too caught up with himself. But then the unthinkable and, ultimately, the unexpected happens to him in an extraordinary sense.
His small town life is shaken violently by the arrival of destructive intruders: Aliens which have come en masse to destroy Earth. As they plow through the country in a wave of mass destruction and violence, Ray must come to the defense of his children.
As the world must fend for itself by a new and very advanced enemy not of this world, its inhabitants must save humanity from a far greater force that threatens to destroy it.
UFOEYES: I know that many didn’t particularly care for this one, but I found it completely terrifying. It has this eerie atmosphere that makes you feel like a small human in a vast and malevolent universe.
(Movie descriptions from IMDB.)