What to know

critics consensus

As flying saucer movies go, The Thing From Another World is better than most, thanks to well-drawn characters and concise, tense plotting. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Thing Photos

Movie Info

When scientist Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) reports a UFO near his North Pole research base, the Air Force sends in a team under Capt. Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) to investigate. What they find is a wrecked spaceship and a humanoid creature (James Arness) frozen in the ice. They bring their discovery back to the base, but Carrington and Hendry disagree over what to do with it. Meanwhile, the creature is accidentally thawed and begins wreaking havoc.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Thing

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (5)

  • Set the template for a decade of alien invasions.

    September 16, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The resourcefulness shown in building the plot groundwork is lacking as the yarn gets into full swing. Cast members, headed by Margaret Sheridan and Kenneth Tobey, fail to communicate any real terror.

    June 6, 2007 | Full Review…
  • The film has more frissons than most of today's mega-budget productions, simply because it has the grace to construct a meaningful situation and coherent characters.

    June 6, 2007 | Full Review…
  • The overall message of The Thing emerges as distinctly hawkish. Reactionary or not, though, it's still a masterpiece.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
  • The conflict between Hendry and Carrington is one between Force and Reason, and represents a debate over whether America should cope with its Soviet adversaries through military confrontation or intellectual and diplomatic study.

    August 13, 2003 | Full Review…
  • ...a distressingly disappointing misfire...

    December 24, 2020 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Thing

  • Mar 11, 2021
    What the movie captures so well is how quickly chaos erupts, especially when people are terrified. No wonder this traumatized so many in their childhoods.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2019
    Classic horror - as dreamed for alien contact discovers not revelations for science, increased understanding and technological advancement but instead, in true 50s style, a thirst for human blood from a walking carrot (a comical riposte to veganism decades before the fact). Howard Hawks fingerprints are all over this, with sharp, intelligent writing, editing and direction raising this above the usual run-of-the-mill shock fest. And there's still time for some obligatory pointy sweater little romance before the ultimate showdown with fate. All the female cast, both of them, want to know if anyone wants coffee.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2014
    Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World is a fairly typical '50s sci-fi adventure film. Based on a short story, an Air Force team at an Artic research station is sent to investigate a possible UFO craft hidden beneath the ice, and end up discovering an alien creature. The writing is very broad and relies mostly on character stereotypes. Additionally, the directing does a rather poor job at bringing suspense or intensity to the UFO discovery and the ensuing standoff with the alien. Still, there's enough action and excitement in The Thing From Another World to be mildly entertaining.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2012
    The legendary director Howard Hawks was both an uncredited co-writer and co-director for this above average B-movie (which has subsequently spawned two re-makes). At the frozen north pole, scientists and the US airforce have found a genuine flying saucer. When the alien is accidentally thawed out, it turns on the people of the camp. Isolated up at the tiny base, and against a creature that can't be harmed or die by traditional means, the humans must figure out a way to survive the invasion of a plant-based creature that requires their blood to reproduce. Really, it's all a metaphor for the "red scare" brewing at the dawn of the cold war. The scientists and the air force officers are seen as being at odds, while the soldiers want to destroy the harmful creature that might doom the entire human race, the "intellectuals" want to study it, preserve it, and even welcome it as a superior life form. Of course, when the menacing creature gets ahold of them, it recognizes neither friend nor foe, but lashes out with impunity. But metaphor or not, there is a creepy vibe that runs throughout the movie. Maybe it's that theremin-heavy soundtrack or maybe it's the feature-less creature itself (played by Gunsmoke's James Arness), an indistinct frankenstein's-monster-from-space that has razor blades for fingertips and grows back limbs as quick as you can lop them off. Or maybe it's the claustrophobic atmosphere that keeps you on your toes, where on a tiny base surrounded by miles of frozen wasteland where no human could survive for very long, the victims are given no chance of escape. From a personal standpoint, John Carpenter's re-make from 1982 is still tops for one of the most frightening movies I'd ever seen as a kid, but for classic 50s sci-fi, The Thing From Another World is a lot of fun. Now, who wants some coffee?
    Devon B Super Reviewer

The Thing from Another World Quotes

Movie & TV guides