Alien3

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Alien3 Movie Poster Image
Grim, nihilistic sequel in none-too-cheery series.
  • R
  • 1992
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 33 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ripley is pushed to inhuman limits here by duress and peril, and while she behaves with courage and resourcefulness, her final decision is pretty horrific and unthinkable for many viewers. The men who surround her are described as hardcore convicts, keeping their lust and violence in check with prayer (and that's not exactly foolproof). One who seems sympathetic confesses to being a drug addict, who caused operating-table deaths while under the influence. The noble-hearted android Bishop (what's left of him) asks for and receives a mercy killing.

Violence

Carnage, as human characters are clawed bloody by the alien; fall into rotating fan blades; get torn apart, incinerated, or have little aliens burst out of them (some of these in combination!). One victim is a dog. An autopsy is performed on the dead little girl from the last movie that viewers came to care for -- what we hear is worse than what we see, but it's pretty grisly. A macabre, dismembered android is briefly brought back to life.

Sex

Ripley is scantily clad in a few scenes, and takes a shower (but nothing is shown). Inmates talk of their vows of celibacy, and a group of them try to gang-rape the lone woman. Another has consenting, non-explicit "fraternizing" with her.

Language

"S--t," "f--k," and lots of it.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, and one character declares himself an addict whose drug use caused casualties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alien3 is not for kids. There is a heavy atmosphere of doom and hostility, even without the ravenous, clawed monster on the prowl. Ellen Ripley is surrounded by unfriendly men, who are, in fact, dangerous convicts, described as murderers, rapists, and child molesters, just barely keeping their violence under control with work and monkish religion. Authority figures, when they finally show up, are untrustworthy and evil. The only solution shown in dealing with this situation and this society is suicide.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15 year old Written byTsion January 10, 2011

Weakest part of the series...steer clear.

At its roots, ALIEN 3 is a pretty good idea. It takes the storylines of the second movie and all but discards them, instead opting to go for a completely diffe... Continue reading
Adult Written byhomealonefan123 March 6, 2015

A gory, entertaining, but very messy sequel!

The special effects are not as good, the acting is not as good, and the alien looks like garbage, but the thrills are still there, and that what makes it at lea... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byJaysnake June 27, 2011

Very bad movie. Not worth watching.

Compared to Alien and Aliens, this movie is awful. It doesn't bring anything new to the Alien series and its just blood and swearing. If you we're thi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 5, 2011

Not bad, but very depressing

Honestly, I really don't think that Alien3 is even close to as bad as many other Alien fans think, but that doesn't mean that it isn't depressing... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ALIEN3, the third installment of the series, alien-fighter Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) finds herself all alone on a dangerous planet after her escape pod crash lands. The only one to survive the crash, Ripley discovers an all-male prison/factory, staffed by murderers, rapists, and child-molesters. The men live without weapons; they control their psychotic impulses through work and prayer, living much like monks. Ripley's feminine presence alone is disruptive, but not as much as the larval alien that stowed away on board the escape pod. It infects a prisoner's pet dog and emerges a full-scale monster, on the chase for fresh human victims. Prisoners begin to turn up hideously killed, and Ripley suspects alien invasion but the few men who can tolerate her are disbelieving. Worse is to come; there's no way off the planet except by in the treacherous organization called "The Company." And worse is to come, worse even than that.

Is it any good?

Grim and uncompromising, this movie was a troubled, expensive production that burned through an assortment of directors before it finally landed on the screen courtesy of filmmaker David Fincher. His work dwells on serial killers, crime, and the darkest sides of human nature -- but if cheering sci-fi fans thought that Fincher would continue the militaristic heroics of the previous Aliens, they were badly mistaken.

The original Alien seemed gloomy and gothic, more of a haunted-house chiller than the cosmic fairy tales popular at the time and Alien3 goes even further to convey a sense of desolation and hopelessness. There's not an ounce of humor here, but if there were, it would have to be someone saying to Ripley at some point, "It sure sucks to be you!" Weaver does a commendable job, in a very grueling physical performance that takes the beleaguered heroine to the outer limits of despair and ultimate sacrifice. But if science-fiction is meant to convey a "sense of wonder," the question here is "wonder who would find this entertaining?"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the setting of Alien3: a prison-planet of life-sentence criminals who use prayer to stay docile and disciplined, so much so that no weapons are needed. But they are all men, living more like monks than convicts, and not to be trusted around women. Is this a real solution?

  • The finale poses a real what-would-you-do question, when there probably isn't any comfortable answer. Why do some people find a grim tale like this entertaining?

  • What are your favorite sci-fi movies and why?

Movie details

For kids who love aliens

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