, starring Amber Midthunder as a tomahawk-wielding Comanche warrior and the Predator's next quarry, is the latest entry in the iconic franchise, and probably the best Predator movie we've seen in years.
And in honor of the new release, available to watch now, we thought it would be a good time to rank every Predator movie, from worst to best. And yes, we'll be including the Alien vs. Predator movies. Sorry about that.
7. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
No surprises here. Despite raking in a bewildering $130 million at the box office, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, from 2007, is a bad movie. Not even a bad-good movie, a flat-out bad one. The plot is completely incoherent, the characters are two-dimensional and it completely misunderstands why Predator, as a series and a cultural artifact, matters so much to so many people.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is high on silly, video game violence, but low in the high-strung tension that Predator is famous for. Terrible.
6. The Predator
The stars should have been aligned for The Predator.
Shane Black, who appeared in the 1987 original (and apparently helped with some on-set rewrites) helmed this 2018 reboot. Given Black's legacy -- he's written some of the best action movies of all time, starting with Lethal Weapon, and directed recent classics like The Nice Guys and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang -- we expected more from The Predator. Sadly, he seemed to misunderstand the assignment.
Much like Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, The Predator feels incoherent, more concerned with action movie quips than building something as tightly constructed as the original classic movie.
This is the sort of movie that should never have worked, but sort of did?
Alien vs. Predator, from 2004, featured just the right amount of video game-style silliness. Given the fact it was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the man behind an incredible nine video game movie adaptations, that makes a lot of sense.
Alien vs. Predator carries a lot of the energy seen in his Resident Evil movie series. Just wild and silly -- but fun.
Predator 2 was poorly received upon release in 1990, but, as time goes by, it's become a little more appreciated for the big, albeit slightly bizarre, swings it took.
Predator 2 took the story out of the jungle and into the city, but also bogged down the narrative with a strange, Robocop-esque, drug dealing subplot. It's elevated by a pretty cool Danny Glover performance and uh... Gary Busey. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the ending, which takes Danny Glover's character onto the Predator's ship for a final battle.
People reading this list may look at this position and assume I didn't enjoy Prey. That is not the case. Prey is a very good movie with many great elements.
I love the recurring motifs, the way it plays with the relationship between predators and prey. Prey is also a beautifully shot movie, set in a landscape that feels a little different from what's come before. I am also in love with the idea of pulling an Assassin's Creed with the Predator series, setting each one in a completely different period in history.
But I have a few minor notes.
Mainly around the CGI. It will date horribly and, in some cases, already looks bad. Worse still, there seem to be CGI shots that would have been far more effective with practical effects.
Still, Prey is easily the best Predator movie in years.
I want to say up front that it was very close between Prey and Predators for the coveted No. 2 spot on this list.
Here are my reasons for putting Predators, from 2010, ahead of Prey.
- Prey has just come out and there's a certain amount of recency bias. It feels very nice to have a good, new Predator movie available to watch.
- Predators is actually very good. It features a buffed-up Adrien Brody in a really interesting, slightly different type of hero performance. In fact, the whole cast -- which features Topher Grace, Alice Braga and Laurence Fishburne -- is really compelling.
- I love the whole setting of Predators. Instead of visiting Earth, the cast is essentially a group of humans kidnapped and placed on a hunting reserve on the Predator's home planet. It's a cool idea, and it's well executed.
- The movie is dark and visceral in an understated way that reminds me of the original. Prey does something similar, but Predators comes with a suite of its own ideas and expands the universe in interesting ways.
I am a big fan of Predators. More people should watch it.
Look, this is very obvious. Predator, the 1987 original, isn't just the best Predator movie, it's arguably the best action movie ever made. It's certainly my favorite.
It's not just that Predator is a lean, incredibly tight action movie with zero fat, it's also iconic and perfectly cast. I'd argue it also features Arnold Schwarzenegger's most effective action hero performance.
Frame for frame, I'd put Predator up against any action movie ever made. It's a beautifully shot, perfectly executed exercise in taut claustrophobia. Every beat, every plot twist is perfectly timed. Watch it right now -- this hasn't aged a day.