Critics Consensus

Alien3 takes admirable risks with franchise mythology, but far too few pay off in a thinly scripted sequel whose stylish visuals aren't enough to enliven a lack of genuine thrills.



Total Count: 53


Audience Score

User Ratings: 338,836
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Movie Info

Crash landing on a barren penal-colony planet with an unwelcomed visitor in tow, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) contends with a group of hardened convicts while using nothing but her wits to battle a terrifying new breed of alien. The sole survivor of her crashed escape pod, Ripley is rescued from the craft by the remaining inhabitants of Fiorina 161, a group of rapists and murders who chose to repent for their sins in deep space after the penal colony was officially decommissioned. When remaining warden Andrews (Brian Glover) announces Ripley's presence to the inmates, their spiritual leader, Dillon (Charles S. Dutton), begins to fear that her presence will stir up trouble. As a result, Ripley is placed in the care of prison doctor Clemens (Charles Dance), and restricted to the infirmary until a rescue ship arrives. But Ripley isn't the only new visitor on Fiorina 161; an alien stowaway survived the crash as well, and it has planted its seed in a feral dog. Before long, a new breed of alien has burst from the dog's chest, a stealthy hunter that moves on all fours and can navigate the darkened prison corridors virtually undetected. When the inmates start to disappear, the remaining survivors must fight for their lives without weapons to defend themselves. The only person who knows the alien well enough to beat it is Ripley, and while her plan to corner and kill the creature just might work, a horrifying discovery reveals that her fight is far from over. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


News & Interviews for Alien3

Critic Reviews for Alien3

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (31)

  • Just at the point when Alien 3 should kick into high terror gear, it becomes clear that this hushed, somber sequel doesn't know how to deliver the goods.

    Feb 8, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Good acting has salvaged many a poor script in the past, but not here.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Alien 3 belongs to that branch of fantasy comics, best exemplified by the Road Warrior movies, in which the iron and space ages meet for dizzy results.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Bold and haunting

    May 12, 2001
  • Barely watchable and not especially enjoyable.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • May satisfy fans of the earlier films ... but it won't win any new converts.

    Jan 1, 2000

    John Hartl
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Alien3

  • May 18, 2017
    (Special Edition - Assembly Cut 2003) Alien 3 is one of those situations where the quality of the film we got is no one and everyone's fault. With a young and inexperienced David Fincher, an actress making demands, a script that was being written on the fly, and a less than compromising studio, Alien 3 is about as disappointing of an end to a trilogy as I can remember. Alien and Aliens are two entirely different films that provide tension in different ways. Alien relies on our fear of the unknown, while Aliens is a relentless action film that never lets down its guard. Alien 3 once again changes up the formula, but is inferior in every way. Slow, brooding, and lacking any excitement or tension provided from the first two makes this film only watchable because of Ellen Ripley. But even that feels tarnished due to Sigourney Weaver demanding Ripley to not hold any guns, which in turn meant the entire prison she's trapped in seem illogical. Let me get this straight, we're on a prison filled with murderers and rapists, and the guards don't have any weapons to use if things go bad? But really the problem with Alien 3 is just that there were way too many cooks in the kitchen. It seems like everyone involved had their own agenda and vision for how the story should pan out. What we got was a messy script, an uneven tone, and unfinished CGI/visual effects. Not to mention the fact that some of our favorite characters from Aliens were swept away to either glorified cameos or killed off unceremoniously. The entire production of this film was an absolute disaster. Sadly, it's hard not to think of how this film impacts some people's viewings of the first two masterpieces. There's always something to be said for taking a film series in a new direction, and Alien 3 attempts to do that with Ripley's unique relationship to the Xenomorph. But if you're going to do that, don't compromise the story or tarnish the spirit of the films that came before just to get what you want out of a threequel. In my mind, this series ends after Alien and Aliens, and begins with Prometheus. Including Alien 3 and Resurrection in the discussion is off the table. Heck, David Fincher himself has disowned the film that he directed. +The attempt at changing the feel of the third film -Messy -Poorly written -Too many cooks in the kitchen 5.0/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    Interesting idea for this film. Pretty much takes place right after the events of "Aliens." The plot of this film goes from action based to a more character based feel. Story/script is interesting though. How do you protect yourself/fight aliens with little to no weapons? Worth a look if you are an Aliens fan or are just trying to finish off the franchise but it's nowhere near how good "Aliens" was.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2014
    [Assembly Cut] 3.5-4.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2013
    Being one of the rare few that can stomach "Alien 3's" annoying ignorance of it's predecessor, this is an entertaining film in it's own right due to it's grim atmosphere and low-key characters.
    Joshua H Super Reviewer

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