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Alien Nation (1988)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 12

Alien Nation takes the interesting premise of extraterrestrials living among us and doesn't do enough with it, emphasizing a police procedural plotline over the more intriguing sci-fi elements.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1

Alien Nation takes the interesting premise of extraterrestrials living among us and doesn't do enough with it, emphasizing a police procedural plotline over the more intriguing sci-fi elements.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 15,766

My Rating

Movie Info

In this vaguely allegorical science fiction-crime film, a Los Angeles cop tries to solve the murder of his best friend with the help of his new partner -- a member of a star-faring alien race. In the near-future world of Alien Nation, the "Newcomers" are a race of formerly enslaved humanoids seeking refuge and integration into Earth society. These unusual immigrants face anger and resentment from some humans, including Matthew Sykes (James Caan), a cop whose partner, Tug (Roger Aaron Brown), was


Science Fiction & Fantasy

Rockne S. O'Bannon

Mar 27, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (12) | DVD (16)

With the sci-fi and horror aspects toned down, Alien Nation becomes little more than a cop show with a twist-and one that will satisfy only the most gullible of action fans.

February 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

Uma idéia potencialmente instigante que acaba sendo desperdiçada por um roteiro tomado pelos clichês.

December 31, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Fascinating and somewhat timely themed sci-fi flick, a minor classic.

August 10, 2006
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Smart sci-fi premise should have made a better movie

November 28, 2005
Film Journal International

Caan is good, but this is just a very standard buddy cop movie disguised as a sci-fi thriller. Plays better on TV, though.

October 10, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Patinkin in one of his best, most memorable performances

April 25, 2005

Fun gimmick cop movie with aliens

April 8, 2005
New Times

It begins focusing on the cross-cultural and human dimensions of the tale but it turns into just another police flick replete with crashing cars and endless shootouts.

August 27, 2004 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

A shallow dissertation on race relations made watchable by the sci-fi/Police thriller theme. Caan and Patankin have good chemistry, and there are some amusing culture clashes.

March 21, 2003

OK s-f that failed to capitalize on an interesting premise.

October 7, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

It's 70% cop schpiel and 30% science-fiction fun. Switch those percentages and we'd be calling it a classic.

July 25, 2002

...the premise goes nowhere. Instead, it begins and ends as an ordinary police mystery, complete with gun fights, chase scenes, and things blowing up in the night.

May 31, 2001
Movie Metropolis

takes a fascinating sci-fi idea and squanders it on a routine police procedural that is less complex and engaging than a typical one-hour TV show

April 11, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Alien Nation

I enjoyed the hell out of this. Check out this premise:
In the futuristic world of 1992, Aliens have landed and we've granted them citizenship in our society. When James Cann's partner is killed, he's teamed up with one of these Aliens to help solve the crime. That alien is played by Mandy Patinkin.
From there it's a fairly standard buddy cop film, but with some really funny gags. Well worth checking it out.
October 1, 2011

Super Reviewer

A great film. A fantastic mixture of science fiction, suspense, comedy and action. A genre-bending classic that you cant help but love. A wonderfully entertaining winner that's just a great buddy-cop movie with lots to offer. A great new twist on a familiar background. A smart, funny and action-packed thrill-ride with solid performances and great special effects. James Caan and Mandy Patinkin are excellent together with their unique and effective chemistry. One of the coolest sci-fi tales of the 80's decade with Terminator and Aliens.
December 4, 2010

Super Reviewer

A race of alien beings known as newcomers crashland on Earth and become the newest immigrants in Los Angeles. When some of them are found executed a bigoted detective and his rookie newcomer sidekick investigate. Alien Nation is a buddy cop/sci-fi hybrid that contains a lot of the usual 80s action flick cliches; the burned out, alcoholic cop, gratuitous car chases and stranger in a strange land analogies are all very familiar. The sci-fi spin does give it all a little freshness however, and although the racial metaphor is a little clumsy, Caan and Patinkin's deadpan delivery show some decent chemistry together with some amusing odd couple comedy. Unfortunately the script is purely by the numbers including a couple of major plot elements that are just sci-fi mumbo jumbo. Terence Stamp also might as well have phoned in his performance as the villain leading up to a particularly weak conclusion which drags an otherwise entertaining film back down to mediocrity.
February 24, 2009
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Not bad considering it's an 80s mash of two usually unbearable film genres, science fiction and buddy cop movies.
I don't regret seeing it, but it's not brilliant and I don't know if I will watch it again of my own volition.
May 27, 2008

Super Reviewer

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