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

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  • 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.

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Learning ratings

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

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byabrahm January 31, 2011
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byMavrah333 May 3, 2015

Unneccesary yet watchable finale needed more action.

Of the four main Alien movies, this is definitely my least favourite. The action is bland, the horror elements few and far between and I couldn't care less who lived or died. This isn't as bad as some say it is, but it needed to be either scary or fun, not the weird blend of the two that it tries to be. Violence is pretty much constant, as is language (not as constant as Alien3). Overall, an underwhelming conclusion to a series that should have finished with Alien3. Nice acting and effects can't save it. Final score: 3/10: Bad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byfonzieg April 3, 2015

A gory, sloppy mess of a sequel, not worth your time and money!

Terrible characters, terrible dialogue, and so-so special effects! Wow, there is almost nothing good in this atrocity! At least Alien3 was actually good (in my opinion), but not great! This movie is the complete opposite of good! The best part of this movie is Ripley and Brad Dourif's character, and some of the action sequences, but that's it! Skip this sequel, watch the first 3 movies, they are much better than this one!


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