Helmed by Chris McKay of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ fame, ‘The Tomorrow War’ is a military action sci-fi alien invasion film, topped with time-traversing intrigue. Told in broad brushstrokes, the quasi-mythical story kickstarts when a group of future soldiers descends on earth to make the humans aware of their imminent fate. As it turns out, a battle between humans and aliens erupts in the future, and humankind faces the threat of complete annihilation. When the future and the present army fail, the global governments of today decide to send conscripted civilians to the battleground of tomorrow.
While the sprawling narrative packs a lot of sci-fi jargon and disastrous spectacles into its 138 minutes duration, its heart lies in the idea of a tight-knit middle-class American family. Chris Pratt delivers a standout performance in the lead role. Brooding, spectacular, and replete with frightening aliens, the film is quite a roller-coaster ride. If you liked it, fasten your seatbelts since we may have a few recommendations that you must check out. You can find most of the films similar to ‘The Tomorrow War’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Apollo 18 (2011)
Suppose you are on a space mission, and you encounter an abandoned spaceship. Do you have the guts to look at what’s inside? Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, ‘Apollo 18’ is a sci-fi horror that will throw you off balance. Told in a refreshing found footage format, the nightmarish and nauseating story revolves around a group of astronauts whose journey back from the Moon is jeopardized when they encounter a diabolical alien trapped inside an abandoned moon lander. While the film lacks in originality, it more than compensates for the lack with eerie visuals, outrageous jump scares, and dreadful aliens. Now, ‘The Tomorrow War’ conjures a pretty scary alien species, and if you are afraid of horrific aliens, you can trust this film to make you frightened. Although, if you are asking how the footage was recovered and made into a movie, we cannot be of much help.
6. Signs (2002)
M. Night Shyamalan, who previously bedazzled the world with ‘The Sixth Sense,’ takes the helm of this family-oriented sci-fi thriller. Unfolding in rural Americana, the intense story centers itself on the Hess family, who relocate to a tranquil farmhouse literally in the middle of nowhere. Taking inspiration from the unexplained phenomena of crop circles, the slow-burning story erupts into a sinister climax. In a refreshing take, the director moves the story inward, concentrating on the brooding fear of the family. With Mel Gibson, Abigail Breslin, and Joaquin Phoenix in the central roles, and containing some great camera work, the film may make or break your day. If you have liked the familial theme of ‘The Tomorrow War,’ ‘Signs’ may be a perfect match for you. But consider yourself warned – this movie is not for the faint-hearted.
5. District 9 (2009)
Most alien invasion films think of aliens as immensely powerful and relentlessly diabolical, but what if humans are crueler? Helmed by Neill Blomkamp, ‘District 9’ is as much a tale of political intrigue as it is an alien flick. At a future time, prawn-like aliens descend on earth looking for a refuge, but thanks to the bureaucratic and skeptic world leaders, they are ghettoed into a concentration camp outside Johannesburg. In a world marred by racial segregation and imperial dominance, the film feels all too real. A brooding score and a dark-tinted visual approach add to the increasing disturbance of the movie, creating a jarring effect in the mind of the viewer. If you want to see an offbeat oddball alien invasion that still rotates around the theme of family and our shared humanity, ‘District 9’ is a film that will linger in your mind forever.
4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Future soldiers traveling in time to make the world aware of impending doom is not exactly a new idea now, but it surely was in the 80s. The second film of James Cameron’s original ‘Terminator’ franchise packs sci-fi intrigue and hair-raising chase sequences, and when coupled with a familial theme, the combination proves to be deadly. The story of the second installment brings back the muscular charisma of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of T-800, who must save an adolescent John Connor, the boy who is fated for greatness, from a virtually indestructible robot. John and his mother team up with the robot to stop the apocalypse from happening. ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day,’ much like ‘The Tomorrow War’ toys with the idea of fatality and free will, and if you are up for another family evening of wall-to-wall action, this cult classic film is the one you’ve been looking for.
3. Interstellar (2014)
Although there are no aliens here, unpredictable ice-cold planets do the job pretty well. If you do not know yet, ‘Interstellar’ is an immersive and mind-bending cinematic experience of its own accord. Arguably Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, the epic sci-fi time travel adventure takes the viewer to a time in the future when repeated monoculture has left humans without a lot of options on the restaurant menu. At this juncture, Matthew McConaughey’s Joseph Cooper and Anne Hathaway’s Amelia Brand embark upon a mission to chart new frontiers of the universe to find a home for humankind. Atmospheric, cerebral, and complete with a loopy story, the film is eye-candy to every sci-fi enthusiast, its plot holes notwithstanding. Especially if you have loved the father-daughter dynamic of ‘The Tomorrow War,’ this masterpiece of a movie warrants a second watch.
2. War of The Worlds (2005)
When it comes to sci-fi movies, the lasting legacy of Tom Cruise starred sci-fi horror ‘War of The Worlds’ can seldom be surpassed. Steven Spielberg uses the source material of H. G. Wells with a degree of creative liberty, bringing some innovative ideas to the plate. The 1953 film is a decent enough adaptation, but Spielberg ups the ante with tight-knit action sequences and an ambiance of brooding horror. Ray Ferrier is a blue-collar American middle-class parent who only hopes to spend the weekend with his children. But the weekend turns into a nightmare when extraterrestrial creatures called “tripods” (mostly because of how they look) unleash hell on earth. Ray must protect his children from the evil unearthly forces. ‘The Tomorrow War’ seemingly borrows the idea of dormant aliens from this twenty-first-century classic, and if you have a thing for family-friendly sci-fi movies, you must check this one out.
1. Alien (1979)
If we speak of alien invasion movies, we cannot simply do without British filmmaker Ridley Scott’s landmark sci-fi horror movie ‘Alien,’ which paved the way for countless extraterrestrial sci-fi that came after it. Set in a distant future, the story centers on the crew of spaceship Nostromo as they attend a distress call from a far-off corner of the universe. However, things do not go exactly according to the plan, and the heroes find themselves in the middle of a suicide mission. Packed with bated-breath suspense, a spine-chilling cinematic score, and some chest-bursting spectacle, the film is considered one of the greatest films ever made. If you wonder to know why you must revisit the holy grail of the genre.
Read More: Best Alien Movies of All Time