Aliens (1986) Poster

(1986)

User Reviews

Review this title
1,193 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
A masterpiece - one of the best epic-action films of all time my personal favorite
ivo-cobra813 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Aliens (1986) is the best Epic Sci-Fi Classic Action Movie of all time and one of my personal favorite best action sci-fi flicks that I love to death. Just like I love The Terminator and T2, I love this movie to death. James Cameron's classic masterpiece. The now classic science fiction film was only the third feature directed by James Cameron (following Piranha Part Two, The Terminator). It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and Alien is a masterpiece I love that film, but I love this movie more sorry this is my personal opinion this is my movie. I am not saying it is better than the original movie but it is right up there with Alien a real classic.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor from the original "Alien", returns to Earth after drifting trough space in hyper sleep for 57 years. Although her story about the Alien encounter is met with skepticism, she agrees to accompany a team of high-tech marines back to LV-426 and this time it's war! It has great cast I love the marines fighting aliens in this movie. The movie stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston , Ricco Ross, Colette Hiller, Daniel Kash ,Cynthia Dale Scott and Tip Tipping and they are all believable enough.

I love the characters beside Ellen Ripley, Newt, Corporal Hicks, Bishop, Private Hudson, Private Vasquez, Sergeant Apone, Private Drake, Private Frost, Corporal Ferro, Private Spunkmeyer, Corporal Dietrich, Private Crowe I love those platoon of US Colonial Marines I know I haven't mentioned Burke because he was the bad guy and I don't like him. But most of the characters in this movie I love.

I know it is a sci-fi action film but it also does a have a horror mixed together people just don't see that. There's plenty of horror in it. The nightmare sequence in the beginning, the creepy atmosphere of the LV-426 colony, and the heart pounding face hugger on the loose scene in the medical bay. You see mother of those aliens who cocooned all the humans and killed them you see Ripley finding the nest and fight the Alien queen on the end. Ripley faces her fear and gets over her PTSD by going in by herself to rescue the Girl/Fight the Aliens/and Destroy the Entire Nest...Battles One on One with an Alien Queen and Whips its' Ass...and, by the end, now both her and Newt can dream without the worry of any more Nightmares (which plagued Ripley at the beginning of the film).

This is the finest action movie of all time. And, yet, believe it or not, it's not the action in the film itself that makes this be the case. This is especially odd in a movie with a $100 million budget (in 1986!), with multiple huge explosions, with thousands of bullets fired, and scores from James Horner of stuntmen used.

10/10 I have the Blu-ray disc which it also have a special edition version on it I used to had this film on DVD but I throw it away because I bought the Blu-ray which I am very happy about it. I love this film to death it is my personal favorite sci-fi action film even Lance Henriksen from Hard Target and The Terminator is in here and he is the good guy.
128 out of 144 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A Guide To Making A Classic: Sci-Fi Edition
Aaron_Kyle21 September 2018
Aliens is as good as its predecessor but not quite the same as its more action and less horror. Director James Cameron does an eminent job as well making Aliens a exhilarating, quotable and ultimately unforgettable.

The plot is simple, Ripley wakes up after 57 years of hyper sleep and find out that the moon she previously visited is colonised but by whom... The eeriness and fear is replaced with intense action and larger than life marines. Replaced for good? Yes and no, What made Alien great is its eerie music tone and sound design with the alien being more feared. However what makes Aliens great is the exact opposite, more aliens result in more action and more intensity as if its a new lease on life.

We're introduced into a brand new Ripley, she's a survivor now and Sigourney Weaver does a nearly flawless job utilising her character. The technicalities are kept and the sound design is overhauled in an impressive way.

Like all movie Aliens isn't flawless and it does have one slightly major plot hole: Hicks knew the aliens were going to breach their perimeter sooner or later yet no one suggested going to the other dropship until they learned about the nuclear disaster. Meaning they were going to sit in that same room for seventeen days with barely any ammo and 100+ aliens breaking in only if the reactors didn't go critical.

Aliens knows what it wants to be and makes a genre defying attempt doing it.

Final Grade: 9/10
107 out of 121 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
One of the most thrilling films ever- special edition highly recommended
Derek23731 August 2005
James Cameron is an extremely talented action director because not only does he know great action, but he always backs the action up with a great story and interesting characters. Aliens is his finest achievement, as far as I'm concerned. Of course, I should specify: Aliens Special Edition is his finest achievement.

In 1986 several scenes were cut to keep the movie's run-time reasonable but there was one scene that was incredibly foolish to leave out. The scene I refer to is near the beginning where Ripley learns that her daughter has died while she was away in 'hypersleep' for 57 years. "I promised her I'd be home for her 11th birthday," cries Ripley. This is a very moving scene that adds a great deal the character's depth and makes more sense to why she cares for a little girl named Newt later in the film. She's seeking penance through Newt with her love and determination to keep her alive at all costs. The theatrical edition obviously doesn't elude to any of this, and even cheapens the relationship between Ripley and Newt- just a little bit. James Cameron has said that all of his movies are love stories, and Aliens is a story of parental love. He has also said that the special edition is his intended (if not definitive) version of the film. For about five years or so the Special Edition was the only version of Aliens you could get on DVD. It should have stayed that way.

Aliens is a unique film experience: it's genuinely thrilling and exciting, unlike a lot of movies where people shoot the evil monsters and there's disgusting blood and rapid gunfire, and it's really meaningless. In Aliens' case, the aliens are very threatening and more than just target practice. We don't see any aliens for over an hour, but once we do, it's a huge payoff. By that time, we get to know some interesting characters: Hicks (Michael Beihn), a take-charge marine who also turns out to be sweet and sincere, Hudson (Bill Paxton), a braggart who turns out to be a coward and complains most of the time, Vasquez (Jeanette Goldstein), the iron-willed woman soldier who proves to be one of the bravest characters in the film, Bishop (Lance Henrikson), a robot that is very helpful for everyone's survival, Burke (Paul Rieser), the slimy company man who the audience loves to hate, and of course, the adorable little Newt (Carrie Henn), a girl who has survived unspeakable horror. Holding the whole film together is Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver in her surprise-Oscar-nominated performance. I think the only reason why the audience cared for her in the first film is because she was the only person left and we wanted her to live. But for this film, James Cameron added so much to her. With all this investment in characters, we're really concerned for their well-being. We don't want those aliens to get them. Some die, and I'm always truly bummed out when it happens.

Filled with amazing performances and an abundance of thrills, Aliens is one of the greatest of any genre it attempts: whether it's action, sci-fi, horror, or even drama. I personally liked it better than the first film, but it's really like comparing apples and oranges. I prefer the special edition and don't see why anyone should view the other version instead.

My rating: 10/10
201 out of 235 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Outstanding blend of sci-fi, action, and humour.
ruth.boaz23 February 2000
I rate Aliens a perfect 10. This second installment in the Alien series evolves the original movie's horror/sci-fi genre into action-adventure/sci-fi, setting a standard which has not yet been matched. I like this movie because it paints a picture of the future which is realistic enough to suck you in during the beginning of the film and then quickly introduces you to interesting characters who you become concerned with; some you love and others you hate.....but none of them bore you. By the time the action starts it's possible to forget you're watching a movie (at least the first couple of times). The plot is filled with tension that is occasionally broken by some of the most memorable one-liners in history (especially by Private Hudson). The special effects are remarkable, considering the fact that they were accomplished the "old fashioned way" prior to digital manipulation. I can report that I now own the Director's Cut and rate this version a 10 also. The extra footage will be extremely interesting to fans of the 1986 release. Either version gives you great characters, suspense, action, firepower, sarcasm, and wit. Aliens is an outstanding show!
348 out of 413 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Gets better every time I see it
carflo8 December 2004
I am just going to add my voice to the chorus of praise for this movie. It is as near to being perfect as any I have ever seen. I will not say that it is much better than Alien - which is just about near to being perfect also. But I do love all the characters in this movie. I have rarely seen a movie where all the characters were so well developed. Even most serious dramas seldom develops each character so completely. None of these characters are stereotypes even Paul Reiser as Burke, although the slimy company/government man villain is a prerequisite in disaster type movies. I would almost say that my favorite is Michael Beihn as Hicks, just because I like his work & consider him to be underrated. But I also like Lance Henriksen as Bishop, William Hope as Lt. Gorman, Bill Paxton as Hudson, and of course, Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez. I liked all of these characters. I cared about their lives & deaths. The final scene for Gorman & Vasquez still chokes me up after seeing it many times.

I am not ignoring Sigourney Weaver or Carrie Henn. Ripley is the template for the modern action heroine. In the 24 years since Alien, few have been able to measure up to Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. Even in Alien 3 & 4, Ripley was still powerful, despite the 3ed rate quality of the movies. As for Carrie Henn as Newt, she was the emotional heart of Aliens. Cameron's ability to develop well rounded characters does not detract from his ability to create great action scenes or to scare the audience out of a several years of growth.
361 out of 434 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
This ain't a film.
Pluto-314 August 1998
THE sci-fi movie. It's nearly perfect in every way: storyline, characters, menacing threat, suspense, action, direction, music, emotion, etc... It's always been a favorite of mine and still is. To me this is not just a film, it is an experience. The adrenaline pumps like in no other film and rarely have we had the chance to see a heroine as compelling as Sigourney Weaver. She can kick anyone's ass and still keep a heart and soul. (Why she didn't win the Oscar back in 1986 is beyond me.) When the action starts, you're in for the ride of your life. Truly a milestone in movie making. Now if they could only release it on DVD...
589 out of 720 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Excellent sequel--matches the brilliance of the first film
BrandtSponseller7 February 2005
Series note: It is strongly advised that you watch this film only after seeing Alien (1979). This is a direct continuation of that story.

57 years after the events of the first film, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is found and awakened from hyper sleep to discover that a terraforming colony has been set up on LV-426, the planet wherein she and her fellow crew of the mining cargo spaceship Nostromo first encountered the titular aliens. When Earth-based communications loses contact with LV-426, a band of marines are sent to investigate, taking Ripley and a representative from the company that financed the colony, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) along for the ride.

For the difficult job of following up Ridley Scott's excellent Alien, director James Cameron decided to go a completely different route--to make a fast moving, slightly tongue-in-cheek, boisterous action extravaganza. Remarkably, he was able to do that while still maintaining a stylistic and literary continuity that melds Aliens seamlessly with the first film.

Ripley is much more fully developed in this film, although unfortunately, some of the most significant scenes were deleted from the theatrical release (if at all possible, watch the 2-hour and 37-minute director's cut instead). Cameron fashioned Aliens into a grand arc where Ripley's actions at the end of the film have much more meaning as she's not only fighting monsters, but also fighting to retain a semblance of something she lost due to her 57-year hyper sleep. As in the first film, she is still the most intelligent, courageous and resourceful member of the crew, but she has much more colorful company.

The marines accompanying Ripley back to LV-426 may be too cartoonish for some tastes (as for viewers of that opinion, most of the action and the film overall is likely to be too cartoonish), but for anyone more agreeable to that kind of caricatured exaggeration, it's a joy to watch. I'm a big fan of both Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen, and both turn in wonderfully over-the-top performances, at their diametrically opposed ends of the emotional spectrum--Paxton as the spastic surfer/redneck and Henriksen as the intense, moody sage, with a surprising reality and an even more surprising conscience to go along with it. We also get a cigar-chomping Sergeant, a crazy, butch Private, and a complex, pensive Corporal as main characters, and a mysterious, bright young girl (played in a terrific performance by Carrie Henn). Much of the center section of the film hinges on the interrelationships of these characters, despite the action trappings going on around them.

Cameron carries over the crypt/labyrinth motif of the first film, and adds a metaphorical descent into the bowels of hell in the climax. The action throughout is suspenseful. Aliens contains one of my favorite "cat fights" in any film. It's also worth noting the influence this film may have had on Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997)--although admittedly, we could say that Cameron was influenced a bit by the Robert A. Heinlein book, as well. Throughout all of the varied action sequences, as well as the important early scenes of colonists on LV-426, Cameron is able to clearly convey the logistics of very complex sets, so that viewers remain on the edges of their seats.

Part of what makes the monsters so effective is that we're not told too much about them. We only get glimpses into their physiology's, their behavioral patterns and their intelligence. Cameron gives us just enough to become wrapped up in the film, but not so much that we become overly familiar with the aliens, or start to question the logic behind the film. He also smartly carries over some devices from the first film that were abandoned to an extent, such as the acidic blood of the aliens, and he supplies answers to the few questions that the first film raised, such as why the blood doesn't corrode instruments and objects when a dead alien is examined.

Aliens is yet another example of a sequel that is just as good as an original film in a series. Just make sure you watch both in order, and try to watch the director's cuts.
271 out of 327 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
James Cameron and Bill Paxton at their finest
baumer15 June 1999
There are really good movies and then there's that select few that change your life. For me movies like Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, JFK, Titanic and Star Wars did that. By viewing a movie you see life in a different light. Aliens also did that to me. I didn't think a movie could scare me as much as Halloween did but this one certainly did that and more. The atmosphere in this movie, and the lighting and cinematography and of course the direction are top notch, and some of the scenes are some of the scariest I've seen in my life time. But what puts this movie over the top as one of the all time greatest films ever made is the casting.

Sigourney Weaver is terrific but it is her supporting cast that shines and makes you feel like you know the crew that is heading to that desolate planet.

Paul Reiser is perfect as Burke,the slimy corporate kiss ass that cares about profit before human lives. Lance Henriksen shines as Bishop, the cyborg with a heart. Jeanette Goldstein is the rough around the edges female marine that more than holds her own with all the testosterone floating around and Michael Biehn ( another Cameron favourite )is the perfect quiet leader that leads by example and not so much a loud demonstrative voice. But the show stopper in this flick ( just as he always is in any movie that he is in ) is Bill Paxton.

Paxton and Cameron have worked on Terminator 1, True Lies, Titanic and Aliens and Bill is one of those actors that steals scenes from every actor and was always a recognizable face even before Titanic. Here, his Hudson character is the comic relief but he is also perhaps one of the true characters that we can all identify with. His tough exterior is nothing more than camouflage for his frightened fragile interior. He realizes the dire situation that they are all in and he can't hide his fear. When he finds out that they won't be rescued for at least seventeen days, his response is " Hey man, we're not going to survive 17 hours man! Those things are going to come in here and they're going to get us and..... " ( Ripley ) This little girl survived longer than that with no weapons and no military training. " ( Hudson ) " Why don't ya put her in charge!!! "

Paxton is a gift to any and every movie that he is in and this is his finest work. He should have won a best supporting actor that year. And if you haven't seen this movie, rush to see it if only for Bill Paxton. He steals the show. But if a tightly wound, brilliantly technical and unbelievably scary movie is your thing, then you can't go wrong here. This is easily a ten out of ten, and one of the best ever made. If Spielberg is the king is Hollywood, then Cameron is his heir apparent. Oh, and one more thing, Paxton will win an Oscar one day.
217 out of 279 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
ALIENS IS THE SCI-FI GENRE
Collins6 December 1998
Warning: Spoilers
"Aliens" is the best trapped-with-a-monster-right-behind-you movie of all time. The weird part is that it's not the first of its kind. Usually, the first of a genre is always the best but these kinds of movies were made decades-and-decades before 1986's "Aliens." Still, through its strong story and characters, it elbows its way to the head of the class.

Ripley is a heroine like no other. She thrills you. Her powerful presence and unstoppable soul will always live on in the minds of movie-goers. She and Newt form a surrogate mother-daughter relationship that is more touching than anything I've seen before in this kind of a movie. In this movie more than any other in the "Alien" series, Ripley's a woman who does what she can (and then some) to protect herself and the ones around her. She's the perfect action hero.

On top of that, the pulsing music that plays while Bishop is speeding them away from the exploding compound and while Ripley is booting the Queen Alien out into space is beyond comparison.

Note: If you LOVED this movie, it's probably best you don't see Alien 3. It, for some reason, turns the triumph of this film's conclusion into a depression deeper than the vastness of a hundred black holes.
166 out of 214 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
"I knew you'd come..."
subarctic6 February 2003
ALIENS really does have it all. Perfect direction. Beautiful cinematography. Intense characters. Big guns. Action. Heroism. Courage. Battles. Friendship. Bravery. It is certainly the BEST sequel ever made in movie history, and one of the GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE.

At its core is Lt. Ellen Ripley (played by the badass Sigourney Weaver), a warrant officer, and tough as nails. Her character is one of the greatest heroines of all time. Sigourney really does pull it off. No one else could have done it like her. Ripley's maternal connection with the young girl Newt is amazing to watch...but the ultimate scene is her final battle with the galaxy's most deadly creature - set to a pulsing military score (James Horner delivers in a big way!). Quite possibly my favorite fight scene of all time.

There's not really much else to say - just go watch the movie on DVD, and you will not be let down. You're in for a wild ride!!!

ALIENS: THIS TIME, IT'S WAR
239 out of 319 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A milestone in movie making....
WoBiE17 June 1999
Just recently, I have purchased the new Alien Legacy box set on DVD, and each one is excellent. Aliens is the second chapter in the Alien saga and is probably the most remembered by today's generation. Let's face it; it changed the way sci-fi movies were made forever,and it hasn't been for the best(I'm not saying Aliens is a bad film). Aliens set such a high standard in action sci-fi(basically the new genre the James Cameron has created) that none of the copycats can compete. Take the recent movies Soldier and Event Horizon(both directed by Paul Anderson). They both try to be Alien movies but do not succeed. My advice to Mr. Anderson is to stop trying to copy what has already been done. Enough said.

As for Aliens, it is a perfect sci-fi action movie. Great casting(although ALL are stereotypes), great music(James Horner is the man), great use of technology and a well written script are all present. Weaver's performance is outstanding; one of the best action heroes of all time just happens to be a woman. If you have a chance to watch the director' cut of Aliens, I suggest you take it(it's available in the new Alien Legacy box set or alone on DVD and VHS as well as on laserdisc). It expands on Ripley's maternal persona which makes Weaver's performance all the better.

James Cameron came off making The Terminator and made Aliens. He used his expertise in the sci-fi genre and created an engrossing story that does not let up until the final reel of the film. For all the young folk out there that have not seen this film, watch it and see perfection in action movie making. A must see.
45 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Aliens..My all time favourite Sci-Fi movies. It rocks!
jimfly_200329 January 2003
I have watched this movie when I was a pre-teen at the cinema, and MY! It completely blew me away. It has got my adrenalin pumping so hard that I almost wanted to slip back to my seat and take a breather! Although during that time I didn't quite understand most parts of it (too young to understand), I was deeply immersed into such rich story-telling and the fantastic alien creatures. The tensely build-up atmosphere and the space-ships, grips you so tightly it seems never to let go.

This movie rocks, scares you right on to your face, very mysterious, have tons of special effects (not quite CGI though, but the mechanical aliens looks just so threatening and scary). James Cameron is such a fabulous story-teller in this Sci-Fi stellar! The movie ran at more than 2 hours but I didn't feel that at all. Actually James has cut out a lot of scenes for this theatrical release back then, but you can still get those scenes back on the DVD (extra 17 minutes footage).

The acting is good especially from Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser and Lance Henriksen (as the robot). Sigourney's Ripley is such a strong-willed woman, that even put shame to men (somehow I feel this is quite unbelievable, because she has got so much energy, especially the scene where she gets back to the Queen's hatch to save Newt). I have watched other alien series (Alien legacy - All four parts), but I can say this part 2 of the series is my favourite, followed by Alien, then Alien:Resurrection, and lastly Alien3)

I am quite happy to see this film stays high at one of the top Sci-Fi movies in IMDB)

Till now as an adult, I still go back to watch this DVD occasionally and every time I watch it again, it brings in a completely new scare, and new thoughts, also the new meaning of what is a horror movie all about!

Highly recommended if you haven't watched this yet. I give it an 8 out of 10! (Truly deserves the high IMDB rating at 8.2 to-date)
163 out of 218 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The best Sci Fi action flick ever made
sqeaston92 February 2008
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Every aspect of this movie is spot on, which I can only put down to James Cameron's obsessive attention to detail. The characters are distinct, memorable and believable. The plot builds slowly into the most tense, suspenseful roller-coaster ride I've ever experienced in the cinema. The special effects are good even by today's standards, and the sets are simply second to none. This is one of my top 10 favourite movies of all time.

If you like this kind of movie and haven't seen this yet, what are you waiting for? Twenty years on and the only other Sci Fi action movie in the same league is James Cameron's Terminator 2. I can only hope he returns to this genre in the future, he is the master.

Oh, and try to see the special extended edition if possible, the extra scenes make an amazing movie even better.
96 out of 128 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Hands down one of the best sequels ever!
MaxBorg8915 May 2007
Back in 1986, sequels had become very common (Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones), yet people were suspicious when they heard of a follow-up to Alien, Ridley Scott's acclaimed sci-fi horror from 1979. Most of the criticism was aimed at the fact that Scott had nothing to do with the new movie, which had been entrusted to an unknown (at the time) named James Cameron. Fortunately, Cameron had shown he knew the genre two years earlier with The Terminator, and by perfecting the skills he had developed on that film he delivered Aliens, which still stands out as one of the greatest science fiction flicks of all time.

Given how the first film ended (all characters but one died), Cameron wisely decided to radically separate his movie from the original, and he does so from the very beginning by having Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) wake up from her cryogenic sleep and make a shocking discovery: although she hasn't aged at all, 57 years have passed since she left the Nostromo, meaning everyone she knew is either dead or very old (in a particularly heartbreaking scene, she talks on the phone with her grown-up daughter, who is full of resentment for her "unjustified" absence). In addition, no one believes her story regarding the alien since, as she's told by scientist Carter Burke (Paul Reiser), the planet where these creatures allegedly lived has been successfully colonized. Suddenly, though, all communications with LV-426 are inexplicably interrupted. Thinking there might be some truth to Ripley's tale, Burke asks her to join him and a group of soldiers on a mission to uncover the mystery. And while most of the participants are in it just for the money, our heroine realizes this is her only chance of confronting her worst nightmare and overcoming it for good.

The main problem with Alien, some have said, was that, as great as it can be, the characterizations were reduced to the minimum (not that it really mattered, with Ridley Scott ensuring the film retained the right pace and suspense throughout). With Aliens, character development is the last thing fans should worry about, Cameron being fully aware of each individual's potential and exploiting it as much as he can. Ripley, who was just part of an ensemble in the original, is now allowed to carry the whole film, and boy, does she carry it: rarely has there been a more solid, compelling female role in a genre movie like this (the fact that Sigourney Weaver is the only actress, thus far, to have received an Oscar nomination for a science-fiction film is further testament to Aliens' immortality). The supporting cast is equally good, with a multitude of different characters ranging from funny (regular Cameron collaborators Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton) to weird (Lance Henriksen's android Bishop) and bringing something extra to the movie's unique atmosphere.

Ah, the film's mood: that's the other aspect Cameron deserves all the credit in the world for. On a superficial level, it could be said Alien was a horror movie, while the follow-up is more action-oriented; that may be true, but one should also notice that every single spectacular battle scene actually oozes tension, never leaving the audience with a pause to breathe or relax. In fact, Cameron has succeeded where many other directors would have failed: he stayed faithful to the original's tone, but managed nonetheless to make the film undeniably his own.

Relentlessly creepy, occasionally very violent and consistently compelling, Aliens is a pitch-perfect piece of adult science-fiction. Watch it on a double bill with Scott's version and you will get four hours of genre film-making at its finest.
36 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Best of Sci-Fi Action
dorotka2414 January 2008
Aliens is one of many movies from my adolescent years that is just as good today as it was back then. It is an adrenaline filled ride filled with creepy locations, intense action, thrills, much circumstantial humor and one-liners that will never grow old (mostly thanks to Bill Paxton). It is, unapologetically, a man's movie, filled with everything except nudity (which it did not need).

All movies in the Alien series have a claustrophobic feel to them, and involve a relatively small cast of players. Aliens is no exception and really capitalizes on the fear potential of the locale. Cameron is not exactly known for injecting horror into his films, but provides enough here to satisfy.

The characters are very well cast and the actors have great chemistry. I especially grooved to the fact that, even though the soldiers are supposed to be tough marines, not all of them were completely gung-ho about their adventures. In fact, a few were downright cowardly and indecisive in the face of combat - something I'm certain would happen to many in such a situation. Bill Paxton stole the show as the wisecracking space marine. With all the likable characters involved, the stakes were very high. When they start dropping, we feel the loss.

Movies like this just don't come around very often. The pacing is very tight, even when the action is absent. The characters and situations are interesting enough - when the action hits, it just serves to suck us in deeper. I have nothing bad to say about Aliens. It is simply an awesome movie with a well deserved reputation for being such. See for yourself.
28 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Alien vs Aliens
Moby-1321 January 2001
Having been a fan of the Alien films for many years, I have recently been finding myself drawing comparisons between the first two films in the series, and not liking what I was thinking. I like both films a great deal, but find Alien a superior film in my books.

The overall plot of Alien is about a small group of people in isolated conditions. A dangerous alien gets loose amongst them. Everyone bar one person and a cat is killed. The lead goes back to rescue the cat. The survivors manage to barely escape at the last moment from a large mining ship going thermonuclear. Unbeknownst to the survivors, the alien sneaks on board, and after a brief struggle, it is blown out of an airlock into space, courtesy of Ripley. The survivors go into hypersleep, and the credits roll.

Aliens is about a larger group of people in isolated conditions. Many dangerous aliens gets loose amongst them. Everyone bar three plus an andriod are killed. The lead goes back to rescue a child. The survivors manage to barely escape at the last moment from a large mining colony going thermonuclear. Unbeknownst to the survivors, the big alien sneaks on board, and after a struggle, it is blown out of an airlock into space, courtesy of Ripley. The survivors go into hypersleep, and the credits roll.

More than just a few similarities here. The second one is basically a rehash of the first, on a larger scale (more people, more aliens, more noise, more explosions). The basic plot is not only the same, there are specific point of plot detail that are the same.

I also find the story for Alien a lot more edgy, a true psychological horror / drama, where the alien was secondary in the story to the interaction between the crew of the Nostromo. Aliens is more of an action / horror film. This is of course a personal preference. However, I am finding myself getting increasingly annoyed with modern movies concentrating on loud noise, fast action, and great effects, while neglecting the story. And from what I can see, Cameron took the original story, and added loud noise and fast action. I feel the effects on the first were actually superior. Bigger is not necessarily better.

Set / decoration / costume wise, both movies have aged very well. I do however get a little annoyed in Aliens when I continually see the video screens in the movie being standard 4:3 tv's, actually blackened down to 1.85:1 to make them look like a futuristic widescreen sets I guess. Pretty ironic, when I think about it, given how Cameron makes films (matted 1.66:1 Super 35). If he made Aliens now, he'd probably matt the tubes down to 2.35:1...

And on a light-hearted note, I like cats. Anyone who'd risk their life to save their cat is true hero in my books. Add to this the fact that I don't like children, and Alien definitely gets my vote in this area too...
66 out of 110 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A Superior Sequel
nbfcblog25 January 2018
One of those rare sequels that is better than the first movie in every way.

James Cameron manages to take everything that was great about Ridley Scott's original 1979 film and builds on top of it to make a superior sequel.

It not only maintains the claustrophobic atmosphere of the first, but I found the characters more endearing and memorable (Ex. Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez) this time around.

The action is great, the creature designs are better, and the visuals are simply awesome. The Queen Alien is one of the greatest monsters ever put on screen and it's amazing that the effects were all done in camera.

Aliens also feels more textured from a character and writing perspective. I love the Vietnam War/Starship Trooper aesthetic (I personally like this movie better than the actual Starship Trooper movie) and the underlying themes of motherhood that is further accented in the extended cut.

I also liked how Ripley is upgraded to be an action heroine and Cameron showcases this transition perfectly. It all felt perfectly natural and in keeping with the logic of the story (I'M LOOKING AT YOU FORCE AWAKENS!!).

James Cameron back in his heyday really understood that in order for all this action and spectacle to matter, you need to have compelling relatable characters to anchor it.

It kinda bothers me that there is this growing trend of stereotyping the film as a "dumber action shoot-em up" version of Alien, which baffles me to no end.

Seriously, it's nearly a full hour before any gun is fired and there is literally zero moments in this story where the marines have the upper hand.
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Could Hardly Be Improved.
screenman3 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Rarely does a sequel do greater justice to an idea than the original. But 'Aliens' manages it in spades.

The music and sound score alone are absolutely mesmerising. If you haven't got a good system, you're missing-out big time. Here's a simple thing; just listen to the 3 latches locking into place when Ripley's 'lifeboat' is recovered by the deep-space explorer. You can't see them, but you can hear them, ker-k-link, each in succession, right around your sound stage. The noise tells you that they haven't just latched, but latched and locked. Listen with you eyes shut, if you don't believe me. It's that meticulous attention to detail both aural and visual that makes this movie a true work of art. There really is no need for the sounds to be there at all. But they are, and they convey complete fidelity to a scene that lasts just seconds.

Here's another. When the marines are crossing the rain-swept depot to the airlock, its windy and wild. When they get inside, the ambiance completely changes. it's still noisy, the wind continues, faint but audible and there is lots of dripping water, but now there's also a strange, claustrophobic intimacy, and I'm quite at a loss as to how that has been accomplished. Yet the mood-change is hair-raisingly palpable.

These set pieces are completely seamless throughout the movie. Strange, gloomy, suggestive, broken; the ghost of dead technology appears to haunt them as much as any alien demons. A thin, whining, electronic note does the work of tense music, it suits the circumstances perfectly, as well as providing a foil to any ambient sounds that the engineers and director thought appropriate.  

The sound and sets earned it two well-deserved Oscars.

Tension builds and builds again. It's a fairly well-worn formula of gradual attrition. Ripley's valliant rescue of the ambushed and trapped space-marines must have any viewer at the edge of their seat. And on it goes, tighter and tighter, until finally we are squeezing through air-ducts.

Acting is pretty formulaic but entirely believable. People we've quickly grown to like get killed suddenly and nastily, smug Apone, and macho Drake. The alien queen brings the movie to a perfect climax. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there was absolutely no CGI in this. Proof enough that it isn't actually needed, and is never as good as the real McCoy.

And the script, by the way, is excellent.

As a comment upon sexuality and survival it is a very telling one. The female is deadlier than the male. It draws from a simple Darwinian premise, that she makes a greater investment in the production of the young, and will therefore go to more determined and ruthless lengths to ensure their survival. She knows her genes are in the offspring: momma's baby, poppa's maybe. Males are simply expendable seed-carriers of convenience.

I've docked a point for what strikes me as technological incongruity. The continued use of old-fashioned 'querty' keyboards for example, and CRT/VDU. The latter have all but gone to the scrap-heap now, never mind hundreds of years hence. Check-out the roll-up screens in 'Red Planet'; now that's more like it. Also, a sophisticated android like 'Bishop' surely suggests the probability of 'mechanised' marines. Or at least, a self-propelled remote for entering the alien hive. Bomb disposal squads already have those today. Bishop himself should have been able to simply plug-in and interface with the uplink. Or even communicate by WiFi. Though these things would compromise drama, their absence compromises its science-fiction credentials. And I am certainly no purist.

But, golly-gosh! - nit-picking aside; this is an absolute crackerjack of entertainment.

I believe it has only one other challenger for the crown of greatest sci-fi horror movie - Carpenter's 'The Thing'.

You split 'em; I can't. 

It's 22 and 26 years since their creation, and no-one has managed to raise the bar. What does that tell you?
16 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Unbelievable action
factualnatural1 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In space no one can hear you scream. Officially, Aliens should be called an action movie, not a horror like the first, because it is not stop and the special effects are top of the line. Acid for blood, and humans for hosts, the aliens of the film are THE image for aliens you will think of from now on. I've seen this movie countless times, and have never picked out a real flaw. It has so many great characters.. Hudson, Bishop, newt, Hicks, all the marines, and ofcoarse Ripley and the aliens themselves. I loved Bishop as the android, and Hudson's panic and foul mouthed presence earned him a lot of fans. The story is a colony establishing an atmosphere on a planet loose communication with 'the company' running the show. USMC marines are sent in to see what's going on and Ripley the survivor of the 1st film reluctantly agrees to go along. The director even lets you get to know each marines personality, each one is a little unique and I thought the cast was really a timeless one. There's some amazing combination of puppets, animatronics, and miniatures used in the film from the drop ships to the amazing face huggers to the new queen alien from. There's enough beeps on motion trackers, futuristic weapons, and ice cold metal cooridors to fill 3 movies. Not to mention this time 'it's war' with literally crowds of aliens coming at us full speed. The most memorable moments are of the crew preparing for the mission at the meal table and bishop the android doing the knife trick at 100 miles an hour between the fingers of a marine who laid his hand on the table (Hudson). But the mega scene is when Ripley has to find the young character (only survivor colonist) named newt, which leads her directly into the alien breeding chamber. The alien queen is simply amazingly done, and the director Jim Cameran really convinced the effects guys to go all the way with it. Well it worked. The result was amazing and pricless. What really made Aliens an absolute action and horror gem was the writing and the amount that was there was just so richly done I was so very impressed. It's by far the best of the series of movies and the best alien film of all time.
17 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Compelling, far superior sequel to sci-fi classic (8/10)
Paul Kydd17 February 2001
Seven years after barely surviving events on board the Nostromo in Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi horror ALIEN, Sigourney Weaver reprised her role as Warrant Officer Ripley for one of the most compelling and critically-acclaimed sequels of all time. Canadian director James Cameron had already struck gold with the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring vehicle THE TERMINATOR (1984), after his somewhat inauspicious feature film directorial debut with the long-forgotten, Dutch-backed PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING 3 years earlier. ALIENS would further cement Cameron's growing reputation as a first-rate director of high-tech, fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping action thrillers, from which there would normally be no let-up once they got going.

When Ripley is rescued from drifting aimlessly through deep space, she is horrified to learn that not only has she been asleep for 57 years, but the planet on which she had encountered the original alien all that time ago has since been colonized. At first no-one will heed her warnings or completely believe the story she gives at an official enquiry as to what happened to her and her fellow Nostromo crew members. But then contact is lost with LV-426, and despite initially throwing Ripley "to the wolves" (as she herself puts in), The Company, through representative Carter J. Burke (Paul Reiser), suddenly finds itself in a position of having to ask Ripley for help, finally persuading her to return to the planet that still consumes her every nightmare, as an advisor to a motley group of very tough colonial marines expecting this to be just another run-of-the-mill "bug-hunt". But how wrong that assumption turns out to be!

I would argue that ALIENS far surpasses its celebrated predecessor in almost every aspect. Obviously the sheer spectacle of what is basically a Vietnam war movie in space is particularly awe-inspiring - the impressive sets, the many excitingly-staged combat sequences, the aliens themselves (interestingly enough, although through fast cutting and appropriate camera placement it seems as though there are hundreds of aliens being blasted to kingdom come - or else picking off the gung-ho marines one by one - in reality no more than 6 aliens are ever seen in any one shot). But the human drama element of this sequel is also greatly heightened, primarily by the introduction of "Newt" (wonderful little Carrie Henn, in her only film role), who turns out to be the sole survivor of recent events on LV-426, becoming a kind-of surrogate daughter to Ripley, which leads to several touching moments and gives the story a surprisingly effective emotional core in the midst of all the otherwise pre-eminent carnage.

Amongst the talented supporting players are Cameron regulars Michael Biehn (THE TERMINATOR, THE ABYSS) and Bill Paxton (bit part in THE TERMINATOR, TRUE LIES, TITANIC), and Cameron's punchy dialogue includes such suitably macho wisecracks as - Hudson (Paxton): "Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?" Vasquez (a pumped-up Jenette Goldstein): "No, have you?" Nominated for 7 Oscars, including Weaver as Best Actress (again this confirms the general class on display, as it is fairly rare for the Academy to recognize the acting qualities inherent in this type of predominantly action-driven movie), the film went on to win for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Effects Editing. Further, almost inevitable sequels followed in 1992 and 1997, but I prefer to think of the terrifying perils of Ellen Ripley as ending on this high note.
149 out of 277 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
There will never be the same "ALIENS" again...
85122213 March 2008
Greetings from Lithuania.

What can i say about this movie that wasn't told hundreds time before. Excellent. This is the only word that can describe this movie. Excellent direction. Excellent acting. Excellent camera work, editing. Breathtaking (still!) special visual, sound effects. Unforgettable hero! The best of the decade. The best in its genre. Every time you watch it gets better and better. The atmosphere and suspension will never be the same again. EVERYTHING in this movie works brilliant! My favorite director J. Cameron created the timeless masterpiece. Bill Paxton really deserved an Oscar nomination that year. One of my favorite five motion pictures ever. And it will stay there forever...

Overwhelming masterpiece.
16 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
When you put your heart into doing something memorable, people will remember your name
Reiko_952 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
You know back in 1987 when i first watched this movie on VHS - later i watched the uncut version - i was at first reluctant at giving it a shot but then i said what the hell might as well go for it and let me tell you i was more than impressed i was awed this movie was THAT good. I thought of it as the best sci-fi flick ever at the time and still do 20 years later. I mean you gotta look at this movie not only from the crew's perspective but also from the audience's. And that perspective scores very high all across the board mainly because from the very beginning the crew was set on making a sci-fi futuristic movie that continued the story from "ALIEN" but added new unique elements to the story. Everything is great about "ALIENS" the plot the storyline fine continuity and not only it follows where Riddley Scott left off but adds something unique to the gender. And the way the story unfolds gradually building up the tension while at the same time treading on that fine line between dark and light, good and evil, is just amazing how that was done in terms of sentimentality Ripley ,missed her daughter's birthday because fate was cruel to her given the circumstances of her floating out into space for 57 years, after she escaped from the Nostramo, and now she sees in Newt the one and only child who could possibly make up for the hole left in her soul once she found out her daughter was gone only 2 years prior to her rescue and here is her chance to make up for it. The way this chemistry between Newt and Ripley develops can clearly be seen throughout the movie little at first but as the movie advances, their relationship grows ever stronger and culminates at the end when Newt calls Ripley "mommy". It's clear that James Cameron and all his crew had their hearts set on making a movie not just for the money but also for providing high quality action to the viewer blended with that feeling that despite all the evil around us, despite all the risks we take all the compromises we might make, love conquers all in the end from start to finish while at the same time making us relate in some way to anyone of the characters..I mean you gotta understand that love, sentimentality and aliens, the story of the movie don't quite mix generally speaking, but by bringing Newt into the picture as the orphan child, the way the chemistry between the main character and the little kid develops, is just amazing..is something unique and you don't get to see this a lot in movies of this gender at least not a lot. I just watched not long ago "ALIENS, THE MAKING OF - BONUS DVD ONLY and i was just amazed with all the hard work and soul James Cameron and his entire crew put in, in order to give the audience a final product that i'm sure will be remembered for generations to come. And to sum it up that's what this movie is all about...something that revolutionized the sci-fi gender. Of course Riddley Scott did a fine job to with "ALIEN" only James did better. Way to go James! A masterpiece! And one other thing...you gotta keep in mind they used 80's technology as far as the equipment used is concerned - the spaceship just to name one, the atmosphere processor, etc- but looking at this movie 20 years later you still cant tell the technology is outdated..is just amazing how they've accomplished something like this and only with an 18-million dollar budget at the time. This just goes to show that if you as a director and crew as well have your heart set on making something memorable, everyone will remember your name. And last but not least, the soundtrack rocked, man, especially given that James Horner had little time to implement it into the movie. Good work James! My vote 10/10
22 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Easily the best of all the aliens
l_cobern198924 February 2008
When I first watched Alien i was really impressed and had to get Aliens. I wasn't sure if this could be as good because most sequels hardly ever surpass the first. But I thought this was a lot better. Don't get me wrong the first was brilliant but this was amazing. Everything was right. They had a brilliant cast, brilliant story, brilliant effects and brilliant acting.

The thing i was most impressed about was the design of it all. It looked amazing. They Made things look realistic and the aliens looked really good as well. The aliens home was put together brilliantly. For a 1986 film they made the effects look really good and the set. The king alien looked very good and the set of it's home was very good as well. Yet again Sigourney Weaver puts on a brilliant performance as like she did in the first one and Jennette Goldstien as Pvt Vaquez gave a great performance and is one of the best movie heroes ever.

With the first film it had a lot of parts that made you jump and had you on the edge of your seat. It was exactly the same with this one. There were lots of parts that made you jump and nearly the whole film had you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what was going to happened next and they had a lot more gore in this than the first which was good to see because i thought in the first it would be fairly gory but it weren't that much.

If you thought the first was good you must watch this. You will be blown away by the effects and design and the great action sequences they have with the aliens. It is one of the best films made and it will keep you entertained from start to finish.
25 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The Exciting Continuation
LordBlacklist8 February 2006
Review 2 of 4

As the middle part of the Alien trilogy this film accomplishes exactly what any good second chapter must do, it builds on the world established in the first film and takes the story in new and interesting places. The emotional canvas of this story is broader than the original Alien, and the film as a whole is less subtle. I really like the theme's of family and the parallel character arcs of Ripley and Newt. They are both characters who have lost everything they ever cared about and through finding each other they attempt to fill the holes in their hearts that their respective losses have left behind. Cameron takes great time in setting up his characters from the start, something that was lacking in the original. The beginning of the film may be a little slow but like Cameron's next film, The Abyss, the payoff in the end would not be nearly as satisfying without all this time to get to know the characters and become emotionally invested. The setup is massively important to the rest of the film. Aside from the abundance of action this film benefits greatly from a larger emphasis on character. Hudson, Hicks, Vasquez, Burke, and Bishop are all very memorable characters, perhaps more memorable than those in the original film. It is the relationships between these characters that make it more than just an action film. Cameron has such a way with dialog and Aliens is a prime example. I have built entire friendships on mutual love of this movie. So many lines are so easily quotable. From a technical level this film is flawless, and like the original it has not aged much at all since its release twenty years ago.

If in the first film Ripley was discovering her inner strength, Aliens is where she learns to master her fear. In this film we also learn the depths of her humanity that was scarcely present in the original film (the scene where she goes back to save her cat comes to mind.) Ripley is a character that continues to change and grow, and this film does a fine job of fleshing out her interesting (in under developed) character from the first film. Aliens is definitely a film to watch more than a few times, but for different reasons than the first. The mystery and ambiance of the original film makes it fascinating to watch multiple times, but Aliens is more like spending time with old friends, you want to spend two and a half hours with these characters. Aliens is quite possibly the perfect sequel because it gives you everything you got in the first film and much, much more.
14 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Quite Good, but not of the caliber of the original.
bilahn9 April 2001
I have been long a fan of the orignal "Alien", but somehow I never saw this sequel until now. If this were in fact the first or only "alien" movie, I would undoubtedly rate it higher than I do. It's edge of your set, exciting, and much better than most movies of this type. The special effects are great, and there are some real scary moments.

But to say this is "as good" or "beter" than the original--that I cannot agree with.

First of all, there is very litte original in this sequel. Indeed, it is more of a remake of the first Alien than a progression. The plot if very similar, and indeed, the ending is basically the same idea, right down to Sigourney Weaver in her underwear. So the mere fact that is not original is to be considered. What Aliens offers over Alien, is faster pacing, more and bigger aliens, and a generally higher adrenaline level. This is probably why a lot of people prefer it. And it is all very well done.

But Aliens is basically a military shoot-em-up. The original, for all its comparative simplicity, is a much more subtle, deftly constructed, and very atmpospheric movie. The spareness creates a feeling of claustrophobia and terror which is very effective and memorable. I found Alien truly psychologically frightening, while Aliens is more of an in your face adrenaline rush. Alien also has a more interesting cast, more human and subtle. The military posturing of the Aliens cast was pretty standard stuff. Sigourney Weaver, of course, is possibly even better than in the first movie. I also like the music in the first movie better.

I find Leonard Maltin's comment on the Alien inexplicable. What he seems not to like about the first movie is there in spades in the second movie.

Aliens is a darn good movie, but Alien is a sci-fi classic.
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed