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Alien Nation (1988)

 -  Action | Crime | Sci-Fi  -  7 October 1988 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 9,807 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 46 user | 38 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilization. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine.

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Title: Alien Nation (1988)

Alien Nation (1988) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
William Harcourt
...
Leslie Bevis ...
Cassandra
...
Fedorchuk
...
Quint (as George Jenesky)
...
Joshua Strader
...
Det. Bill Tuggle
Tony Simotes ...
Wiltey
Michael David Simms ...
Human Dealer
Ed Krieger ...
Alien Dealer
...
Alterez
...
Trent Porter
...
Capt. Warner (as Frank McCarthy)
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Storyline

A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilisation. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination. When the first Newcomer police officer, Sam Francisco is assigned his new partner, he is given Matthew Sykes , a mildly racist veteran, the animosity between them soon gives way to respect as they investigate the Newcomer underworld, and especially Newcomer leader William Harcourt. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Los Angeles, 1991. They have come to Earth to live among us. They've learned the language, taken jobs, and tried to fit in. But there's something about them we don't know. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Future Tense  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$25,216,243 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Harcourt's transformation, he is no longer played by Terence Stamp, who refused to wear the more elaborate make-up. See more »

Goofs

During the chase scene with the police car the tail lights on Sykes and Francisco's car change from broken to intact to broken again. See more »

Quotes

[Matt and George are showing each other pictures of their respective children]
Det. Samuel 'George' Francisco: This is my son, Richard. He's four years old. We named him after your former president, Richard Nixon.
Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes: [beat] George, from now on, tell people that you named him after the director Richard Burton. Just trust me on this.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nip/Tuck: Willow Banks (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

SURFIN' SAFARI
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Performed by The Beach Boys
Courtesy of Deck Records
By Arrangement with Original Sound Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made Sci-Fi
19 October 2005 | by (Portsmouth, England) – See all my reviews

Alien Nation is a cross over between Sci-Fi and the 'buddy cop' genre. What separates this from the usual buddy film is that instead of the difference being ethnic/class/gender, it is human (James Caan) and alien (Mandy Patinkin).

The clichéd beginning with the main character's partner being killed is done very well with stylish gunplay and set pieces. Caan really shines in the action scenes and it is great to see him in such a tough guy role. Caan is a great actor and can do more than macho as he shows in the scenes involving his daughter when Caan displays remorse, making the audience feel more sympathetic towards him. Caan aside, the cast is fairly mediocre, full of average actors except Terrence Stamp who puts on a good show as the bad guy.

Something I loved about this film is how similar everything is to The Terminator. This is due to the film being produced by Gale Ann Hurd and there being other members of the Terminator crew present. Like Terminator, Alien Nation greatly benefits from the dark, murky feel of the environment, giving it an edge over a lot of Sci-Fi films which suffer from being too 'shiny'.

The film does a great job at exploring racism, giving the impression of time repeating itself regarding the Western civilisations treatment of blacks when they were forced in to the country. Caan's conversion from despising the "Newcomers" to accepting them is admirable and convincing. It is not an overnight change and it is done discretely, very convincing.

As with a lot of escapism films, you can not take Alien Nation too seriously so it is best to approach this film with an open mind and desire to be entertained rather than wishing to be introspective. A very well made, enjoyable film.


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