Alien3 Movie Poster Image




Grim, nihilistic sequel in none-too-cheery series.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

What parents need to know

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.


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.


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.


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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this monster movie 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.

What's the story?

In this 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, Alien3 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 this one 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?"

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the setting: 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. You could ask kids why people would find a grim tale like this entertaining? What are their favorite sci-fi movies and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 20, 1992
DVD/Streaming release date:January 6, 2004
Cast:Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite, Sigourney Weaver
Director:David Fincher
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:monster violence, and for language.

This review of Alien3 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.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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, 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 thinking about watching this movie I dont think you should waste your time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
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, extremely violent and constantly profane. One thing that I do understand and what may very much trouble younger viewers is the fact that there is almost no characters to root for, and that it is mostly just Ripley amongst a bunch of rapists and convicts. Another thing that may bother younger audience who may have seen the previous two films, is the beginning where two likable characters from the previous film are brutally and savagely killed off. A Fairly decent third sequel, but incredibly mature and gruesomely violent.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old November 6, 2012

Alien 3 light on gore but high on language

Alien 3 is not as good as the first two but it is better than most sci-fi films. suprisingly aside from a scene in which a creature burst through a dogs stomach this film is extremely low on gore. Most of the deaths are off screen. If there was less language the film might have had a shot at a high PG-13. this film by far contains the most language in the series. Some scenes have numerous F- words. They also use phrases like "I'm gonna take a piss on her." There is one scene when men attempt to rape a woman but she is rescued. In one scene an autopsy is performed. But all you can see is blood on the surgeuns coat. Some of the language is too much for younger audiences. 14 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?