My favorite movie of all time is returning to theaters — and I can’t wait to see it on the biggest screen possible

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien
(Image credit: FlixPix / Alamy Stock Photo / 20th Century Studios)

Ranking my favorite movies of all time is a tough task. My own personal list regularly shuffles around as my mood changes, but one pick always right at the top is “Alien”. The 1979 sci-fi horror movie is among the most influential movies ever made and is unquestionably a masterpiece (and it’s better than its sequel “Aliens”, fight me).  

I’ve watched “Alien” more times than I can count, and back in 2019, I was fortunate enough to see it in theaters when it was re-released to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Getting to experience such a remarkable movie on a massive cinema screen was a genuine treat, which is why I’m utterly delighted that “Alien” is making its way back to theaters once again in just a matter of weeks. 

To mark Alien Day (an annual celebration of the franchise held every April), “Alien” will return to theaters for a “limited time” starting April 26, the official Alien account on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, confirms. The use of the phrase “limited time” is particularly noteworthy as it suggests it may stick around for longer than just Alien Day. Perhaps I'll even have time to see it in theaters twice?   

“Alien” returning to theaters this year is further well timed, as the next movie in the franchise, “Alien: Romulus” is set to arrive in August. Directed by Fede Álvarez, “Romulus” is hoping to get the sci-fi series back on track after the underperforming “Alien: Covenant” (for the record, I liked "Covenant"), and its first teaser trailer suggests it’s taking cues from the 1979 original — which is a very smart move. 

'Alien' belongs on the big screen

If you’ve (somehow) never seen “Alien” before, this theatrical re-release is the perfect excuse to fill in that egregious cinematic blind spot. Heck, even if you have watched the movie before, trust me, it’s an even more frightening experience on the big screen. 

Set within the claustrophobic corridors of the deep-space mining vessel Nostromo, “Alien” is an intense thrill ride that sees the ship’s entirely unprepared crew attempt to survive an encounter with an extra terrestrial being that is perfectly crafted for killing. 

It’s notable for a star-making performance from Sigourney Weaver as the ship’s warrant officer, Ellen Ripley, and the cast list also includes Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright and John Hurt. Plus, Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton need a special shout out for their roles as engineering duo, Parker and Brett. 

The Ridley Scott-directed movie would go on to spawn one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time, but its numerous sequels have never managed to top the original. Yes, 1986’s “Aliens” is also excellent, but for very different reasons. It trades the horror of the original for a more action-focused approach. 

Whatever you do, don’t pass up the chance to see this stunning sci-fi horror the way it was always intended, on the biggest screen possible. I can promise you that "Alien" is even better in theaters.    

More from Tom's Guide

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.