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Aliens Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100


    For this movie stands to be something its predecessor was not, a megahit. And it deserves to be, for it is a remarkable accomplishment: a sequel that exceeds its predecessor in the reach of its appeal while giving Weaver new emotional dimensions to explore.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Tautly paced and expertly directed, this roller coaster ride of a motion picture offers a little bit of everything, all wrapped up in a tidy science fiction/action package.

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  • 80

    out of 100


    James Cameron's vault into the big time after scoring with the exploitation actioner The Terminator makes up for lack of surprise with sheer volume of thrills and chills - emphasis is decidedly on the plural aspect of the title.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    Under the direction of James (''The Terminator'') Cameron, [the special effects team has] put together a flaming, flashing, crashing, crackling blow-'em-up show that keeps you popping from your seat despite your better instincts and the basically conventional scare tactics.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I'm giving the movie a high rating for its skill and professionalism and because it does the job it says it will do. I am also advising you not to eat before you go to see it.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Alien sequel is bigger, faster, scarier.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the relentless, ravenous clawed monsters iin Aliens, the sequel to Alien, are likely to give small kids (and others) nightmares. It's even more violent than the original. Besides the rerun of the grisly moment when embryonic aliens burst out of people (in reality and in dream scenes), we also see quick cuts of victims seared with acid, getting set on fire, and blowing themselves up with a grenade. Gunfire, bombs, and flamethrowers are directed at the aliens. Most disturbing of all -- or, at least, the most nakedly manipulative -- is the perpetual threat of ghastly violence/death/contamination directed at a frightened, screaming little girl. There's also a plethora of swearing and lots of adoring fondling of guns and high-powered weapons.

  • Families can talk about the military metaphor in the film; it's said James Cameron had Vietnam on his mind when he depicted a group of gung-ho Marines charging into tunnels only to get shredded to pieces by hordes of an enemy that keeps on coming. What could the characters have done differently?

  • What do you think of the showdown between the bereaved mother Ripley and the monstrous mother alien queen?

  • How do think this sequel compares with the original Alien?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: A mothering instinct/motherly love drives both Ripley and the queen alien. Technology doesn't always guarantee sueriority in combat, as shown by gung-ho Marines charging into tunnels with high-powered guns only to get shredded to pieces by hordes of an enemy that keeps on coming -- director James Cameron's metaphor for the Vietnam War.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Ripley turns from the fear-paralyzed victim of the original Alien film into a tough, idealized action-heroine. She even forssakes body armor and takes a combination gun-flame thrower and charges alone into the alien nest. A corporate executive character who claims to be "an OK guy" is really murderous and treacherous in his greed. What little we see of the world of the future seems dominated by evil businessmen and bullying soldiers. The multiracial Colonial Marines are overconfident, swaggering braggarts.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Mostly in quick flashes, but still severe, as human characters are splashed with acid, torched with fire, or have little aliens bursting out of them. One man is literally torn in half, with the qualifier that "he" is an android, not human, with beige-colored blood and viscera. Gunfire, bombs, and flamethrowers are directed at the aliens. Much of the violence and lethal danger is threatened against a small child.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Indistinct glimpses of pin-up pictures in a locker room. Some mildly suggestive banter between co-ed Marines.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" and "a--hole" in soldierly banter and anger.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking by the adults.