Alien Resurrection

  • Review Date: January 27, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Grotesque carnage, vile characters; steer clear.
  • Review Date: January 27, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 108 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

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


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.


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


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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even with the built-in kid/video game appeal, this monster movie 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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?


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 scriptwriting 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 with the outsized stunt gun-battles, borrowed Buffy vibe, and comic-book heroics, this is a dark spectacle that seems to conclude that no matter how downright demonic the aliens seem, humans are inherently worse.

Families can talk 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 the movie makes people seem even worse than the hideous aliens?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 26, 1997
DVD release date:January 2, 2007
Cast:Ron Perlman, Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder
Director:Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sci-fi violence and gore, some grotesque images, and for language.

This review of Alien Resurrection was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 13 year old Written byabrahm January 31, 2011
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old May 22, 2013


good but doesn't work as a Alien movie, extremely bloody violence, and lots of language, keeps kids away.
Teen, 16 years old Written byevolinag December 20, 2012

Terrible fourth installment is ultraviolent, grizzly.

"Alien Resurrectrion" is a 1997 sequel to the 1979 science fiction movie "Alien". ------------------------------ "Oh God, what happened to the Alien saga?" is a question you are not unlikely going to hear yourself asking after watching this movie. While the first two were excellent and the third one rather good, "Alien Resurrection" has lost its soul. There are no emotions any more, no subtle, frightning athmosphere, no small girl to be prevented from harm. It doesn't take long in order to realise in which direction this movie goes: in that of a slasher flick. In its entire running time, it is about Aliens killing people. And that's it. The characters lost its depth, and the athmosphere is not subtle or something, but instead tries to show how much violence you can show in about 110 minutes. Even though they are both excellent actresses, neither Sigourney Weaver nor Winona Ryder help this movie. They have talent, but not the chance to show it. It is hard to believe that the director of this movie later will make the French masterpiece "Amelié". But quite possibly, you shouldn't blame him, but instead the writer of this movie, for focusing too much on the splatter-like violence, but lacks plot. If you liked the first three Alien movies, you shouldn't expect much. It is nothing more than a horror flick - but in the end even fails at being any scary. ----------------------------- (SPOILERS may follow:) Like the third one and unlike the first two movies, "Alien Resurrection" has a lot of violence. It is actually stronger than its preceeder, but the violence is also more over-the-top, more ridiculous. A man partly freezes and when trying to move, his arm breaks off (it is shown, but does not look too graphic). A man gets bitten in the back of his head off-screen, and then pulls a piece of his brains out of the wound - very graphic and gory. An alien bursts out of a man's chest and through the head of a man in front of him (brief, but gory). An alien hybrid bites into a man's head, and there is much, much gore and brains, with a graphic wound (this is the most graphic scene of the movie). An alien hybrid crushes a man's head on-screen, but it is really brief. We then see the bloody remainings of the alien hybrid's hands. The alien hybrid gets torn out of the spaceship, but gets disintegrated. We see blood and flesh being sucked into space. At one point, the alien hybrid's stomach bursts open and we see its guts. Many people are killed by the aliens in other, less graphic ways. Aliens are killed with acid blood spurting. The violence is strong and grizzly, but can be considered too over-the-top to be disturbing or scary. There are about 30 uses of the f-word. Brief nudity when we see nude clones in tubes. nothing strong. Mature viewers should be able to handle it. Recommended for viewers 15 and up.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide