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Alien Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    83

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Pay attention to the enhanced detail audible in a new six-track sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and Jerry Goldsmith's score have never twined so hauntingly.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The most important features of this "new" version are the digital cleaning of the print and the re-mastering of the sound. There are a few added scenes, but they are mostly insignificant and have been previously seen (at least by fans of the movie) on the laserdisc or DVD releases.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Dated but still extremely scary. Not for younger kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alien is a classic of sci-fi horror, and while not as gory as most horror films, it's too intense for younger viewers. In its most iconic scene, a character is killed after an alien burrows out of his chest, shooting blood everywhere. Unrelenting suspense permeates every scene after the first 15 minutes. While the deaths of the characters aren't always shown, gruesome killing at the hands (actually, tentacles) of the alien is strongly implied. One of the characters smokes, and all of them in their panicked states use profanity.

  • Families can talk about why the movie was so effective in evoking fear.
  • How do you think Alien compares with other futuristic outer space movies featuring aliens? 
  • How do you think the alien in Alien compares with other movie aliens? Do you imagine aliens as friendly or deadly-scary?  

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: A bloodthirsty alien, devoid of remorse or conscience, kills off crew members of a deep-space mining ship. But Ripley conveys the strong message to never give up and to do eveything you can to try to save your friends and co-workers.  

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Courageous female crew member Ripley shows tremendous resolve and presence of mind during a traumatic event. She even takes the time to rescue the ship's cat as surviving crew members attempt to escape the ship.  

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: A character sitting down to dinner with fellow crew members falls into convulsions, then dies a bloody death as an alien burrows out of his chest. One by one, characters are killed by the alien. While their deaths aren't always shown, gruesome deaths are strongly implied. Characters shoot a flamethrower and fire a cattle prod while trying to defend themselves against the alien. Horror movie suspense of the "What's that around the corner?" variety abounds.  

  • sex false1

    Sex: Toward the end, a character takes off her space uniform, stripping down to a half-shirt and panties. In one of the pods, there are pictures of naked women, breasts shown.   

  • language false3

    Language: Expletives when faced with alien outbreak: "f--k off," "son of a bitch," "horses--t," "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Early in the film, a character is never shown without a cigarette in his mouth. At a celebratory dinner, a character is shown drinking from a can of beer, but does not act intoxicated. 

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