Alien Resurrection Movie Poster Image

Alien Resurrection

(i)

 

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.

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
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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

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

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

Quality

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; OK 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 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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

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

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 two main issues. The first, and probably the biggest, is the fact that they had to bring back Ripley. While that's not a bad thing in and of itself, and it could have been handled much worse, the cloning idea still seems contrived and unoriginal, and it reeks of studio execs trying to make a quick buck. Seriously, why can't people (studios included) learn to let go? The other issue I have with Alien: Resurrection is the fact that it doesn't seem to fit in with the other Alien movies. The first three all had horror elements, and this one doesn't go that direction, instead going for all action and, surprisingly, comedy. One might argue that it's a good thing this movie tried to do something new with the franchise, but it just doesn't work as an Alien film. With that said, Alien: Resurrection still does quite a few things right, and, as previously mentioned, I actually quite like it. Sigourney Weaver gives her usual strong performance, and her DNA being spliced with that of the Aliens (the best thing to come out of the cloning concept) allows her character to explore a bit of a darker side of her personality, which I thought was interesting. Another highlight was the character of Call. While not Wynona Ryder's strongest performance, the character herself was actually quite interesting, continuing the theme of androids in the Alien movies while also bringing something new to the table by way of making her a theist. This was certainly an interesting dynamic that was explored in one of my favorite scenes, in which Call and Ripley discuss God. This brings me to my next point. I have heard several people say that Resurrection has no memorable scenes, but I must disagree. The aforementioned discussion between Call and Ripley is one of the highlights of the movie. The underwater scene is also well-executed, if drawn out, and it successfully showcases the aliens' ability to swim, while also managing to be one of the most tension filled scenes of the movie (which really isn't saying much, but I meant it as a complement). However, the greatest scene of the movie is unquestionably when Ripley discovers the first seven failed clones. She is visibly horrified by the grotesque abominations before her, and disgusted at the scientists who left one of them behind, still alive and suffering terribly. As she torches the lab with a flamethrower, we can't help but think that scene was very poignant and is definitely the best of the movie. Unfortunately, a poorly timed joke, while funny, kind of kills the mood. One final thing that I liked about the movie was Jean Pierre-Jeunet's direction. While it is far from being his finest work, Resurrection still has that distinct visual flair that Jeunet is known for, and it works well. I also think I should mention the design of the Newborn alien. I think it looks pretty good, being capable of making facial expressions and simultaneously endearing itself to us and disgusting us. All in all, Alien: Resurrection may be the weakest of the series, but it still makes for some campy fun, and there are certainly much worse ways to kill an hour and forty-five minutes. Sex and Nudity- 3/10: Several deformed clones are seen naked. It is non-sexual in nature, and they are so deformed that no sensitive areas are recognizable. A woman receives a sensual foot massage from a man. The area is dimly lit by candles, and the woman is in a thong, revealing part of her buttocks. Violence- 8/10: Several people are killed by aliens. The aliens kill one of their own and use their acid blood to escape from their pen. A part of a man's brain is seen. An alien creature bites off the top of a man's head. It is seen completely bitten in half. A man's head is crushed. An alien creature is sucked into space through a tiny hole in a window. Gallons of blood shoot out into space. Its intestines fall out before being sucked out too. Its skin is then ripped off and its skull crumbles to pieces and shoots out the window. The entire sequence is very disturbing. A woman stabs herself in the hand. Language- 6/10: Around 20 uses of f*ck, several uses of sh*t, and a couple uses of G*ddamn, damn, and misuses of Jesus' name. Hell and ass are also used numerous times.
Adult Written byJustinC 1 February 2, 2016

Very violent, gross, and disgusting. Age 18+

I saw this in the theater when I was 17, and afterwards I wished I hadn't seen it because it was very violent, very disgusting, and disturbing. I had already seen the first 3 "Alien" movies before I saw this, and this is by far the worst "Alien" movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old December 6, 2015

Terrible Movie, Not Even Worth Watching(Not Even the TRAILER)

TERRIBLE movie, not worth watching, so awful I can even put the horribleness into words. Should be rated NC-17. Has absolutely no plot line at all, just random s~x, drug use, lots of profanity, and loads and loads of pointless scarring blood and gore.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

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