Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Portland Oregonian
While the whole film is well-made, it has surprisingly few surprises. There are some small ones, but the plot and many details are predictable down to small details. [7 Oct 1988, p.F13]
Eventually, though it happens later rather than sooner, the conventional aspects of Alien Nation overwhelm the novelty.
Solid performances by leads James Caan and his humanoid buddy-cop partner Mandy Patinkin move this production beyond special effects, clever alien makeup and car chases.
The movie is simply a failure of imagination. Nobody looked at the screenplay and observed that it didn’t try hard enough, that it had no surprises, that it didn’t attempt to delight its audiences with twists and turns on the phoned-in plotline.
Alien Nation is a sluggish, forced and hopelessly derivative action thriller, sporadically redeemed by the wit of its stars and the velvety sheen of Greenberg's night photography.
There are, thankfully, a few humorous and imaginative touches here and there, but Alien Nation is hardly inspired.
Miami Herald
Though there's some wit on the fringes (including splendid use of a Reagan stump-speech line), the whole thing plays a lot like a Miami Vice via Star Trek. [7 Oct 1988, p.E10]
Alien Nation wants to be "In the Heat of the Night" as science fiction, but it's neither morally instructive nor prophetic. It proves a lumbering marriage of action and sci-fi that alienates both audiences. It's too dull for one and too dumb for the other.
Boston Globe
Alien Nation quickly abandons any possibility of an equivalently fascinating world for the formulas of a routine cop movie. [7 Oct 1988, p.40]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Alien Nation lives out precisely the fate of the alien nation it depicts - both full of potential, both hoping to please, and both immediately co-opted, enslaved by the same commercial forces that granted their release. [12 Oct 1988]

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