Alien Resurrection

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Alien Resurrection Movie Poster Image
Grotesque carnage, vile characters; steer clear.
  • R
  • 1997
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 29 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The aliens are starting to look good by comparison -- which might be the movie's point. Cast is multicultural, and there's one tough paraplegic with survival skills.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While Sigourney Weaver has been an audience anchor through this series, her cloned heroine is more threatening and violent. Other characters are punkish, profane space criminals, inhumane scientists, or despotic and evil military men.

Violence

Human characters are clawed bloody by the savage aliens, get torn apart, shot, cremated, or have embryo aliens burst out of them. Much gunfire and explosions, and the aliens themselves are dismembered.

Sex

Brief shots of nude Ripley clones, in undeveloped or mutated states, with bare breasts, no genitalia visible. Lascivious remarks by crew members.

Language

Overwhelming use of "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that even with the built-in kid/video game appeal, Alien Resurrection has very harsh elements of bloody killing and cynical inhumanity, as well as explicit swearing and sex talk. Even Ellen Ripley, moral anchor of this series, has here turned into a violent bad-girl parahuman mutant. Human beings in general are vile and treacherous, and when one refers to the Earth of tomorrow as a "s--thole" you don't disbelieve that people like this have made it that way. When one especially monstrous alien mutation dies in a slow, ghastly way, Ripley (and you) feel sorry for it -- rather more so than for the people.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byabrahm January 31, 2011
Adult Written bycheeser July 10, 2009

Good

A bit violent.
Teen, 14 years old Written byDillpickle37 October 31, 2015

Alien: Resurrection

While I can't deny that Alien: Resurrection has no good reason for existing, I don't hate it nearly as much as most people do. To me, Resurrection has... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySam Morris May 15, 2017

Alien is for 12 year olds and obviously

I think alien is a great horror suitable for 12 year olds and above It is scary and gruesome because of baby a... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the nightmarish Alien3, the story seemed over, but ALIEN RESURRECTION opens with the test-tube-rebirth of career alien-fighter Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Military scientists still hoping to exploit the aliens as weapons surgically remove an infant alien and -- rather half-heartedly -- let the clone Ripley live on. She's a different Ripley now, with super strength and a psychic bond with the vicious aliens. When aliens escape and overwhelm the soldiers, Ripley and a ragtag bunch of smugglers try to escape the alien bloodbath. But one of the civilians, a girl called Call (Winona Ryder), belongs to an anti-alien underground, and questions which side Ripley is really on.

Is it any good?

This is a dark spectacle that seems to conclude that no matter how downright demonic the aliens seem, humans are inherently worse. Critics and viewers who mostly disliked this movie upon its release probably would have changed their tunes if it had come along a few years later, when the script-writing credit of Joss Whedon would have stood out more. Whedon, a hotshot scriptwriter for comics, movies, and TV, became a brand name by making Buffy the Vampire Slayer a small-screen classic. His works lean toward strong, super-powered female characters fighting the forces of overwhelming darkness. Buffy fans might find this juicy territory indeed, if they can stomach Alien Resurrection's grotesque visuals, carnage, toilet talk, and pessimistic themes. That's a big "if."

Weaver has fun exploring the newfound dark side of her character, and overall the Alien series wouldn't have been half as good without her (check out Alien Vs. Predator, for example). But even the outsized stunt gun-battles, borrowed Buffy vibe, and comic-book heroics can't quite save this movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different tones of the various Alien movies, and which ones work for kid viewers, and why.

  • Do you think this clone Ripley makes an effective and complex heroine, on the level of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

  • Do you think Alien Resurrection makes people seem even worse than the hideous aliens?

Movie details

For kids who love science fiction

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate