TOP 15 MOVIES OF THE YEAR...#10 WILL SHOCK YOU

5. Alien: Covenant

Blending the body horror of his 1979 Alien, the gung-ho combat of James Cameron's 1986 sequel Aliens, and the philosophical grandiosity of his 2012 prequel Prometheus—not to mention the man-and-machine musings of his 1982 Blade Runner—Ridley Scott delivers a biblically scaled interstellar nightmare with Alien: Covenant. Scott's latest spends its first hour setting up a familiar battle between human colonists and angry xenomorphs, after the former decide to investigate a mysterious distress signal from a nearby planet. Yet after expertly going through the tried-and-true monster-movie motions, the director then shifts gears by turning his prime attention to Michael Fassbender's android David, who, it turns out, is an inhabitant of this ancient world. Face-huggers, back-bursters, mecha-doppelgängers and the most narcissistic-homoerotic sequence in sci-fi history soon follow, with the action immaculately designed for suspense, scares and sly sinister humor. At once a thrilling blockbuster spectacle and an inventive expansion of the franchise's core themes, it's the rare prequel to truly justify its existence.

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