Alien (1979) score: 87%
What’s surprising about Ridley Scott’s Alien is how well the backdrops and set design stand up against today’s output. Also timeless is H. R. Giger‘s nightmarish Xenomorph design. It’s the most genuinely alien-looking alien in film history.
Without exception, it’s still visually striking from start to finish (although less so towards the finish). It’s also still terrifying, agonisingly tense, and stomach-churning.
Acting-wise, John Hurt’s short appearance steals the film. Most people think of Sigourney Weaver when they recall the Alien series, but Hurt’s death scene is the most unforgettable thing about this first Alien entry, and indeed his career.