Ack Ack: Netflix’s ‘Encounters’ Success Brings Aliens Back Into Spotlight
The Netflix docuseries Encounters, which chronicles various stories of potential UFO sightings, is already a huge success, proving that viewers have never lost interest in onscreen accounts of extraterrestrial happenings. Here’s just a short list of some of the best shows and movies featuring various iterations of alien existence.
Roswell is synonymous with aliens at this point, ever since a 1947 recovery of mysterious debris by Roswell Army Airfield personnel. In the late 1990s, this supernatural teen drama, featuring a trio of high school students who were secretly aliens with superpowers, premiered on what is now The CW. It launched several careers, most notably Shiri Appleby and Katherine Heigl. It was rebooted in 2019 as Roswell, New Mexico, also on The CW.
The trio of comedic sci-fi films that began with this one starred Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as secret agents who are part of a government organization monitoring and managing all alien encounters on Earth (then deleting the memories of those who encounter them).
Will Smith was all about the alien invasion theme in the 1990s. Here, he plays another lead character — this time a fighter pilot — who helps to save the world from space invaders. Who can forget that epic speech by the president (played by Bill Pullman)?
Drew Barrymore became one of the most famous six-year-olds in the world after appearing in this iconic 1982 Steven Spielberg classic about a friendly alien who wants to “phone home.” Also starred the ever sweet Dee Wallace and Henry Thomas.
Spawning several sequels, this classic sci-fi film follows a spaceship crew led by Sigourney Weaver that finds some unwelcome, unfriendly creatures when answering a distress call that turns out to be a warning.
Kurt Russell plays an Antarctica researcher whose team is hunted by a shapeshifting alien that takes on the appearance of its victims.
This 2014 action thriller starring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise is like Groundhog Day set in a hyper-intelligent alien takeover, as the soldier Cage must relive the same day over and over again until he’s able to figure out how to defeat these dastardly invaders.
In this 1956 & 1978 horror film, a doctor learns that the population of his small town is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.
Based on the classic H.G. Wells novel, this 1953 sci-fi thriller follows an alien invasion that begins in a small California town and spreads worldwide. It has been remade several times since, including a 2005 adaptation with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.
An intergalactic ambassador named Klaatu (Michael Rennie) emerges from a mysterious ship in D.C. to tell the people of earth to live peacefully or be destroyed in this 1951 sci-fi film. Like everything else, it was also remade later, this time in 2008.