Today's "They Came from Space" theme couldn't have come at a better time. I saw the new sci-fi thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane this week, and I've been in the mood for intelligent, subversive alien flicks ever since. While you might think you know what you're getting yourself into, what with the link to 2008's Cloverfield being right there in the title and all, the new film actually has a myriad of tricks up its sleeve, helped in no small part by the ambiguous performances of the three main leads. It fumbles it a touch in the last ten minutes, but even that still doesn't stop 10 Cloverfield Lane from being the best thing you could see at the cinema right now.

And once you've come back from enjoying that movie, we've got plenty of similar flicks for you to sink your teeth into this weekend. From big budget alien invasion epics to small-scale subversive indies, we've amassed the very best extra-terrestrial movies that Netflix has to offer. Not the original Cloverfield though, we featured that film way too much on here already.


The Signal (2014)

"They're testing us, Nic. Like little rats."

An overlooked sci-fi gem from a few years ago, The Signal's paranoia-soaked plot makes for one of the most interesting and complex genre narratives of the past few years. To say too much would give away the film's greatest secrets (even putting it on a list entitled "they came from space" is probably too much information), but this gripping experiment is full of so many good ideas that it's such a shame it received no fanfare in 2014. If you're after something a bit more out the box this weekend then you don't have to look any further than The Signal.


The Mist (2007)

"You don't have much faith in humanity, do you?"

10 Cloverfield Lane isn't the only movie to delve into a plot about how people might go a bit nutso and become a little unhinged in the event of an alien invasion. Frank Darabont's The Mist deals with this same theme perfectly, as a group of survivors trapped in a convenience store attempt to stay alive while constant internal blame and misunderstandings cause a rift between them. Although the alien action is well done, it's this human element that pays off the most, creating an almost post-apocalyptic vibe as the band of survivors become more and more pessimistic about their plight. Oh and it has one of the bleakest endings you'll ever see, so it's probably worth sticking on just for that.


Men in Black 3 (2012)

"The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie."

Here come the men in black. Well, some of them. For a bit. While the film doesn't feature the dynamic duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for the entirety of the running time (due to the movie's plot detailing how Smith's J goes back in time to assist a younger K, played by Josh Brolin), the flick gets plenty of mileage out of its time-bending narrative. Considering few sequels come back after an extended break and actually reconnect with an audience, Men in Black 3 came about as close as any that tried before - which makes it such a shame that we probably won't see any more otherworldly adventures in this surprisingly good series.


War of the Worlds (2005)

"Lightning never strikes in the same place twice."

It wouldn't be a great sci-fi list without an appearance from Steven Spielberg. Directing Tom Cruise in one of the first obvious post-9/11 alien invasion flicks, Spielberg's rendition of War of the Worlds is given a gritty gravitas that's lacking in the original story. It takes the subject matter incredibly seriously, even if it often makes for a rather overbearing tale of survival. However, when it all clicks the director's dedication to a grounded tone pays off, making for some genuinely harrowing sequences of destruction. The introduction of the aliens themselves is particularly well-done, challenging the opening of Saving Private Ryan as Spielberg's most gripping action scene.


Super 8 (2011)

"Stop talking about production value, the Air Force is going to kill us."

Because I couldn't exactly put Cloverfield on here again, this other J.J Abrams produced monster movie will have to do. Not that it isn't great in its own right though, because Super 8 is actually a rather interesting Spielberg-esque flick. Chronicling a bunch of young teenagers obsessed with making movies, the film follows the group as they become embroiled in an extra-terrestrial plot. There's a whimsy to the narrative that's actually rather endearing, and even if it doesn't take its alien story to any new places, the characters are so interesting and well-drawn that the familiar plot never becomes a problem.