It’s difficult to overstate the profound impact of Ridley Scott on modern-day visual media. His style and techniques permeate genres and mediums past quantification. They’re backed into the identification of famous culture. In his close to 60 year tenure directing cinema, he’s created standards including Bladerunner, Thelma and Louise, G.I. Jane, Gladiator, black color Hawk Down, and many, plenty of more. Probably most significant of them all—in contention v Bladerunner—is his 1979 sci-fi film, Alien. Everything around the movie is iconic consisting of the title card. Despite art direction in component by Leslie Dilley, among the arts directors who functioned on Star Wars just a few years before, it was the antithesis that the melodramatic an are opera. The modern-day cinematic presentation, motivated special effects, and stellar actors made a movie in a class of its own. H.R. Geiger’s xenomorph withstood alongside the film itself against the development of visual results thanks to its eerie, chitinous body and excellent face animatronics. Sigourney Weaver’s duty of Ripley, a miner plank a corporate interstellar shipping vessel, would unlock a franchise she’d lead for practically 20 years.

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The six mainline Alien movies in enhancement to the two Alien vs Predator entries have raked in a chuck $1.6 exchange rate at the box office—not bad for a science fiction horror franchise. It’s grew for much more than 40 years and also still has a brand-new TV series and new co-op videogame on the way. An announced and axed Alien 5 sequel by District-9 auteur Neil Blomkamp would’ve seen the franchise return to Ripley’s story, however the success the Prometheus and also Alien: Covenant excited Scott enough to wrestle earlier control of the series. With sequels, prequels, sequels come prequels, and also announced sequels to sequels to prequels, the Alien movies can acquire slightly complicated. Here’s a look in ~ the movies in production and in chronological order.

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Alien movies in order of Release

sigourney-weaver-aliens image via 20th Century Fox
Alien - June 22, 1979

A cabin fever-style horror film board a spaceship, Alien supersedes good genre movies as a standard-setting technological masterpiece. Stellar production design and also Oscar-winning special results flesh out the corporate-dominated world and also create a functional setting for the cast to pat in. Creepy creatures and eclectic orchestration heighten anxiety in the cramped halls the the Nostromo mining vessel as the crew is picked off one by one. It’s the series introduction the Ripley, face-huggers, and the xenomorph and the very first look at the delivery and varieties featured in the prequel installments released over 30 years later.

Aliens - July 18, 1986

seven years after ~ Alien to be released, a sequel was carried to life by young total James Cameron. Fresh off his success v The Terminator, Cameron rebooted Alien as an activity film centered approximately the exact same protagonist. Comparable story to win unfold under various circumstances adhering to Ripley’s awakening decades after the occasions aboard the Nostromo. The adaptable xenomorphs discover themselves up against colonial marines armed to the teeth including Bill Paxton (Apollo 13), Michael Biehn (The Terminator), and also Al Matthews. Manufacturing design and also special results are again at the head of the film’s strengths, and also it winner Academy Awards for ideal visual effects and also best sound editing. It to be nominated for 7 awards in full including ideal performance by one actress in a leading function thanks to Signourney’s versatile and also cunning performance together Ripley. It’s a standard Empire Strikes Back vs Return that the Jedi—or Infinity War vs Endgame, to upgrade that reference—debate regarding whether or not Aliens surpasses the progenitor, however Aliens is in ~ the very least a worthy sequel to its predecessor.

Alien 3 - might 22, 1992

After year of endure directing music videos, young director David Fincher was gifted an opportunity to direct the 3rd installment the the Oscar-winning Alien franchise. The movie kills off everyone yet Ripley native Aliens, and strands she in a prison. Fincher’s entry ongoing the heritage of win the Academy award for best special effects but failed to capture the praise of audiences favor Alien or Aliens prior to it. Tumultuous manufacturing saw Fincher departure the project close to its completion, leading to an clearly mixed final product. The cultivation chorus of support for Fincher’s film has swelled progressively over the decades due to the fact that its release, in part thanks come the relax of the Alien 3: The Assembly Cut—a version of the film an ext in line v David Fincher’s vision for the story.

alien-covenant picture via 20th Century Fox
Alien: Resurrection - November 26, 1997

an additional five years later and Alien reverted with the final entry in Weaver’s saga, Alien: Resurrection. Composed by Joss Whedon (The Avengers), and also directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), Alien: Resurrection resurrects Ripley after her fiery sacrifice in ~ the end of Alien 3 in the type of a clone numerous years after her death. The same scientists the made her have been agriculture xenomorphs, which transforms out to be a bad idea—no way—when they all break free. It’s end the top and also packed to the gills through action, however lacks the intensity or dramatic weight that made the franchise a family members name.

AVP: extraterrestrial vs Predator - august 13, 2004

complying with years that discussion, allusion in films, and also comic publication meetups, Alien vs Predator to be finally lugged to the big screen through Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Event Horizon). A team of scientists travels under the ice of Antarctica to explore a newly uncovered archeological site. There, they awaken a xenomorph queen who begins producing xenomorphs and, soon after, predator aliens show up to clean house. The PG-13 adaptation merging 2 R-rated franchises struggled to catch the thrilling action of the Predator franchise or the chilling soot of the Alien franchise leading to an underwhelming flagship entry.


Aliens vs Predator - Requiem - December 25, 2007

regardless of a lackluster very first installment, Fox recommitted come AVP through its sequel, AVPR. Castle tapped visual results artists and directing duo the Strause brothers, Colin Strause and Greg Strause, to follow up Anderson’s entry. The story the a town beset by xenomorphs and face-huggers turn off of a crashed predator ship lacks the all-star cast or sci-fi setup that made the Alien franchise visually captivating. Further, the picture is marred by darkness—-possibly in an effort to compensate for the lessened budget—making most of the film a battle to observe. The faithful depictions the the performance of the predator up against the vicious scourge that xenomorphs, and a manuscript with referrals to both franchises aid make this a movie fans deserve to appreciate, but general audiences may struggle to appreciate.

prometheus-michael-fassbender photo via 20th Century Fox
Prometheus - June 8, 2012

Ridley Scott went back to the Alien franchise 33 years later on with a prequel, Prometheus. The movie around a group of scientists trying to find humanity’s creators is depicted with wonder and horror. It’s a story that exploration and also identity that’s in ~ its ideal when it’s exploring those concepts. Thematics feel sacrificed in favor of large-scale set pieces in the latter half, but the one-of-a-kind effects, script, and also characters space captivating till the credits. That may lack the technical creation of Alien prior to it, however there's a magical high quality to watching Ridley Scott occupational with modern tools in the world he established during a various era that filmmaking.

Alien: Covenant - might 19, 2017

A customary five years later, Ridley Scott went back with a sequel come Prometheus that was a solid merging the the events from Prometheus v the human being of Alien. Focused about Micahel Fassbender’s David, one automaton akin to Ash or Bishop from the previous extraterrestrial installments, Alien: Covenant furthers the questions surrounding humanity and identity presented in ahead entries while transporting plenty the heart-pounding xenomorph action. It’s CGI-heavy, but the sights and also story create a worthy follow-up that strengthens and also dwarfs its prompt predecessor. The opts for much more philosophical and also metaphorical thematic expedition than that company criticism, and—like Prometheus—it's in ~ its ideal when the escapes the limits the franchise was established inside of.


Alien movies in Chronological Order

alien-ressurection image via 20th Century Fox

AVP: alien vs Predator

21st century humanity encounters the xenomorph because that the very first time when experimenting an unearthed old ziggurat miles under the Antarctic ice. Predator aliens arrive to clean up the outbreak before they lose their hunting grounds come the rapidly farming horde.

AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem

immediately following the events of AVP, a predator extraterrestrial ship delivering face-huggers crash lands external a small, wooded town. As the xenomorphs multiply, a single predator alien is dispatched come stem the farming tide of xenomorphs crashing over the town.


nearly 90 year after the occasions of both AVP films, Prometheus adheres to a team of scientists on your journey across room to uncover an alien gyeongju they think to be responsible for the creation of the human being race. This film is the visual depiction of being too busy asking if you might that you never ever stopped to ask if friend should.

Alien: Covenant

A colony ship transporting 2000 sleeping homesteaders is sail from food by an emergency infection from one Earth-like planet. It takes place a te after the occasions of Prometheus, yet flashbacks and also dialogue fill the gaps and further the themes introduced in the prequel.


In 2122, the crew of the Nostromo, a corporate-owned hauling and also mining vessel, is awoken indigenous cryo-sleep and also diverted from their course home to a repeating radio signal on a far planet. They encounter an unknown life form that invades the ship via a parasitic connection with one of the crew members.


decades after the occasions of Alien, Ripley’s life pod is discovered adrift in space, and also she’s reintroduced come a galaxy, not unlike the one she knew. Corporate greed leader to the alien intrusion of a swarm on LV. 426, the very same rocky moon the crew the the Nostromo encountered the face-hugger top top in Alien.

Alien 3

following a crash landing ~ above a mysterious planet, Ripley is imprisoned complying with the occasions of Aliens ~ above a prison planet Fiora 161. The just other survivor that the crash is a stow-away xenomorph the finds captive food in the kind of prisoners.

Alien: Resurrection

thousands of years after ~ the end of Alien 3, Ripley is resurrected via a clone in a research study center. Aliens, bred for experimentation, break free and customary carnage ensues.

because that fans looking for an ext xenomorph action, yet that can’t wait because that the brand-new movie, show, or video game, Alien: Isolation is accessible to download for cost-free with an Xbox game Pass membership, available for $1 to sign up and $9.99 a month after the on computer or console. Both Alien vs Predator movies space streaming ~ above HBOMax this month, and Alien is obtainable for streaming in HD and in 4K UHD on Amazon Prime.

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