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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Time for another close encounter!

26. 'Starship Troopers' (1997)

(TIE) 24. 'Mars Attacks!' (1996)

(TIE) 24. 'The Fifth Element' (1997)

23. 'Men In Black III' (2012)

(TIE) 20. 'Independence Day' (1996)

(TIE) 20. 'Alien 3' (1992)

(TIE) 20. 'Signs' (2002)

(TIE) 18. 'The Abyss' (1989)

(TIE) 18. 'Contact' (1997)

17. 'Alien: Resurrection' (1997)

(TIE) 15. 'Prometheus' (2012)

(TIE) 15. 'Alien: Covenant' (2017)

14. 'Galaxy Quest' (1999)

(TIE) 12. 'Men In Black' (1997)

(TIE) 12. 'Starman' (1984)

11. 'Super 8' (2011)

10. 'War of the Worlds' (2005)

9. 'Midnight Special' (2016)

8. 'Under The Skin' (2013)

(TIE) 6. 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' (1976)

(TIE) 6. 'Arrival' (2016)

5. 'District 9' (2009)

4. 'Alien' (1979)

3. 'Aliens' (1986)

(TIE) 1. 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' (1982)

(TIE) 1. 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977)

"Alien: Covenant" is the latest alien-encounter flick to hit theaters. But its competition is (wait for it) out of this wooorrrllllld. Looking for something to stream until you peep the newest "Alien" sequel? We've got you covered.

We decided to look back at the greatest extraterrestrial visitations that have ever hit the big screen. And because all encounters are not created equal, we ranked them by Metacritic's Metascore. You're welcome.

Caption by / Photo by 20th Century Fox

Metacritic score: 51

Set in the 23rd century, "Starship Troopers" is a military satire featuring large insectoid aliens, called Arachnids, that are really not happy when humans begin encroaching on their habitat.

Caption by / Photo by TriStar Pictures

Metacritic score: 52

In one of several alien encounter films to feature the invasion of Washington, D.C. by a rush of extraterrestrial insurgents, this comedy-sci-fi flick directed by Tim Burton has a star-studded cast. Spot Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Danny DeVito and even Jack Nicholson, who plays the president.

Caption by / Photo by Tim Burton Productions

Metacritic score: 52

It would be a New York City cabbie that saves the world from absolute destruction.

Caption by / Photo by Gaumont

Metacritic score: 58

By the time "Men In Black III" hit theaters, we had already lost count of how many times Will Smith had saved the world.

Caption by / Photo by Amblin Entertainment

Metacritic score: 59

Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum teamed up in the '90s for a July 4 fireworks performance for the ages. This film also features a classic speech by President Bill Pullman.

Caption by / Photo by Centropolis Entertainment

Metacritic score: 59

Fun fact: The alien-infested mass-prison planet in this film is called Fiorina 161.

Caption by / Photo by Brandywine Productions

Metacritic score: 59

So, why would an alien species that can't deal with water even stop for gas on Earth? Also, is the humidity in Pennsylvania not serious enough to dissolve these creatures? So many questions.

Caption by / Photo by Touchstone Pictures

Metacritic score: 62

In James Cameron's first journey to the bottom of the ocean, Ed Harris plays a submarine foreman who mans the USS Montana with his estranged wife... right into the path of the submerged alien ship surrounded by benevolent aquatic forces.

Caption by / Photo by Lightstorm Entertainment

Metacritic score: 62

Jodie Foster discovers a signal of looping prime numbers that kickstarts humanity's introduction to astronomical wormholes and shape-shifting aliens.

Caption by / Photo by South Side Amusement Company

Metacritic score: 63

About 200 years have passed since the conclusion of "Alien 3," and Sigourney Weaver still looks like she's never seen a Xenomorph in her life. That, of course, is because she's been cloned by military scientists. Clone-Ripley is thrust into a conflict to, once again, save Earth from an alien invasion.

Caption by / Photo by Brandywine Productions

Metacritic score: 65

Set in 2089, this is a prequel to the Alien franchise and features a party of scientists who go on a deep space journey to uncover humanity's predecessors, the "Engineers." What could possibly go wrong?

Caption by / Photo by Scott Free Productions

Metascore: 65

Humanity, (and a robot Michael Fassbender) attempt to colonize an uncharted planet. Without giving away too much, humans already made a mess of this planet during the action of "Prometheus."

Caption by

Metacritic score: 70

This cult classic takes on the intergalactic sci-fi genre in truly meta fashion. The cast of a once-popular science fiction show is caught up in a conflict between an alien race called the Thermians and an evil Ninja Turtle-esque space villain.

Caption by / Photo by DreamWorks SKG

Metacritic score: 71

The good guys dress in black, remember that? The black suits with the black Ray-Bans on! Will Smith plays a New York City cop who is recruited for by a secret government agency to combat alien threats. Just one year earlier, Smith had saved the planet from hostile extraterrestrials in "Independence Day."

Caption by / Photo by Amblin Entertainment

Metacritic score: 71

Jeff Bridges was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the humanoid Starman, who crash-landed in rural Wisconsin.

Caption by / Photo by Columbia Pictures

Metacritic score: 72

This 2011 film is like the love child of "Stranger Things" and "Cloverfield." If you love late '70s nostalgia, impressive kid-actor performances and the drama of an enormous alien pillaging 20th century electronics to rebuild its ship, this is the movie for you.

Caption by / Photo by Amblin Entertainment

Metacritic score: 73

Tom Cruise stars as Ray Ferrier, a longshoreman who endeavors to save the world from a doomed race of aliens who can't deal with the air quality on Earth. Spoiler: There's a lot of running.

Caption by / Photo by Bad Robot Productions

Metacritic score: 76

Without giving away too much about this awesome arthouse flick, there's a boy, a dad and an extended chase that involves the FBI, the Army and a healthy fear of sunlight. If you haven't seen it, cancel your plans and watch.

Caption by / Photo by Faliro House

Metacritic score: 78

Scarlett Johansson plays a seductress-alien who lures men in Scotland into a series of doomed sexual encounters. The movie's conclusion is not for the faint of heart.

Caption by / Photo by BFI

Metacritic score: 80

David Bowie plays the otherworldly, tragic hero Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid alien who has come to Earth to retrieve water for his drought-stricken home planet.

Caption by / Photo by British Lion Films

Metacritic score: 82

"Arrival" features Amy Adams as a linguist who has to race against time to figure out why multiple alien spacecraft have touched down around the world.

Caption by / Photo by FilmNation Entertainment

Metacritic score: 81

"District 9" isn't just another alien encounter movie. This one challenges viewers to question how welcoming they would be if aliens arrived on Earth in need of our help. Events in the film were inspired by the real-life District Six, a region in Cape Town where tens of thousands of non-white residents were forcibly removed from their homes in the 1970s after the neighborhood was declared a "whites only" area.

Caption by / Photo by QED International

Metacritic score: 83

Ridley Scott's first voyage into deep space, "Alien" introduced us to the stunning visual of a human giving unnatural childbirth to an extraterrestrial spawn.

Caption by / Photo by 20th Century Fox

Metacritic score: 87

Sigourney Weaver has been floating in space in "stasis" for almost six decades when she is once again charged with saving everyone from the stomach-hitchhiking alien species.

Caption by / Photo by Brandywine Productions

Metacritic score: 91

Any alien who loves Reese's Pieces is a verified cool dude.

Caption by / Photo by Amblin Entertainment

Metacritic score: 91

From the iconic imagery of the Devils Tower to the five-note musical phrase used to communicate with the UFOs, this movie will stick with you long after you watch it.

Caption by / Photo by Columbia Pictures
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