Ranking the Alien/Predator Franchise
The Alien franchise is one of the best horror series ever whereas the Predator one is an action classic. I love both of these series and because they eventually crossed their paths, I am here going to rank all 11 films from both Alien and Predator franchises as well as the AVP franchise. There are some great films here, but also some stinkers. Without further ado, here is my ranking.
11. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
This easily takes the last spot on my list as the only film here that I thoroughly disliked. I did not expect to see a strong plot and characterization in an AVP film, but at least I wanted good action and I even did not get that. The action is bad here and the visuals here are dark and simply horrendous leading to such a frustrating cinematic experience.
10. Alien 3
Alien 3 gets this low a spot mostly because it is so incredibly boring with only a couple of entertaining and memorable sequences. It is certainly well acted and it was a good idea on paper, but in execution it is absolutely mediocre and such a giant mediocre affair that ranks as the worst in both the Alien franchise and in Fincher’s filmography.
9. Alien vs. Predator
AVP is definitely silly and even ridiculous in its many ludicrous plot points and scenarios, but it’s a movie which benefits from strong sets and atmosphere in the first act and such an immensely entertaining action ride in the second half. It is such a fun movie and infinitely better than its successor.
8. Alien Resurrection
This movie is frankly a bit underrated and a big improvement over its predecessor. Per usual the characters are quite disposable and the film is at first pretty tedious, but afterwards it becomes more engaging with a couple of memorable sequences. Add to that a very good performance from Winona Ryder and interesting hybrid Xenomorphs and you’ve got one pretty solid flick.
7. Predator 2
Yes, Predator 2 is the weakest of its trilogy owing to a very boring first half with some racist overtones. However, the third act is so good that it ultimately succeeds as a pretty solid sequel in its own right. I loved that mysterious ending with great Easter Eggs and Danny Glover is a competent substitution for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This is one of the most underrated movies on this list. Certainly it needed more Predators in it and I’m not a fan of Adrien Brody, but the character development is surprisingly strong here and actually the best of the trilogy, the action is fun and the storyline is so authentic and such a different take on the franchise that even its unanswered questions did not bother me all that much.
5. Alien: Covenant
Covenant may not be a favorite as evidenced by a pretty polarized reception from fans but I personally really enjoyed it despite its uneven tone and many illogical sequences. I liked some of its characters, the action was overwhelming but so fun and the visuals are excellent, especially of the planet itself. I also liked its dark ending and I am sad that it won’t get a sequel.
Aliens features another incredible performance from Sigourney Weaver in her most iconic role. It also has Newt and they share a great relationship. Some lines of dialogue are undeniably funny and some scenes are so memorable. However, this is still a hugely overrated film which favors action over horror and style. It’s a typical James Cameron movie for better and for worse.
I really like Prometheus as evidenced by this very high third place on the list. It’s a shamefully underappreciated film that has some silly and unbelievable scenes, but such a deep, fascinating mythology and it’s such a different, more sci-fi oriented take on an old franchise that it paid off significantly with many great themes and interesting dialogue. It’s a shame that Ridley Scott was not allowed to continue this intriguing story.
I am honestly not a fan of 80s action and thus this took some time getting used to. I eventually ended up loving Predator as it’s an undeniably hugely entertaining take on an action film with a killer premise and execution. The characterization is weak, but the action is brilliant, its video game structure is a lot of fun and this movie gave us so many instantly memorable moments. It surely is an action classic.
As the only true, unprecedented classic on this list, Alien easily takes the first spot as it’s one of the finest horror films of all time. Its original and hugely influential premise is given such a fine, restrained execution, it gave us one of the strongest action heroines in Ripley and it gave us the Xenomorph who here looks fantastic owing to some groundbreaking practical effects. It’s a visually stunning, meditative and powerful film that is superbly made across the board and an undisputed genre masterpiece.