World UFO Day is actually two separate dates; the first being today (June 24th, 2021), and the second being Friday July 2nd, 2021. Today commemorates the first widely reported UFO sighting on this day in 1947, by aviator Kenneth Arnold. The second recognizes the incident that took place in Roswell, New Mexico, of that same year.

Picture Credits (l-r): 20th Century Studios, Scott Free Productions, Lucasfilm

Picture Credits (l-r): 20th Century Studios, Scott Free Productions, Lucasfilm

However many, if not all of us, are yet to see an alien up close; so why not check out these seven films about extra-terrestrials and, the unknown that is space?

Paul (2011)

This movie is a comedy classic, starring the most beloved witty duo in cinema: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Grahame Willy (Pegg) and the writer Clive Gollings (Frost) are two British sci-fi lovers on holiday in America, visiting all the alien hotspots of the USA in their RV, including the Black Mailbox, Area 51, and so on.

While on the run from two men who seem rather unfriendly, the pair drive into the night and are passed by a speeding car that proceeds to swerve off the side of the road. Who do they find inside? An alien called Paul.

Paul (Seth Rogan) needs Clive and Grahame’s help get to his home planet; hilarity ensues as the threesome get into hilarious trouble, pick up a Christian passenger, and steal a giant firework. What’s not to love?

Alien (1979)

Perhaps one of the most iconic movies from the 70s, Alien, starring Sigourney Weaver, is an absolute masterpiece to be beloved until the end of time.

Alien follows Ripley (Weaver) as she and her crew wake from hyper-sleep, just as a distress signal comes in. Upon checking the signal on the planet of origin, Ripley senses something isn’t quite right, as one of the crew members returns from exploration with something attached to his face...

An alien, known as the Xenomorph, bursts from the chest of Ripley’s friend, and grows quickly to become an unstoppable killing machine, working towards wiping out the entire team.

This film is a classic as it’s visual effects, tense atmosphere and brilliant acting all worked so well together, to create a horror unlike anything ever seen before.

War of the Worlds (2005)

Tom Cruise headlines this fantastic film about aliens that didn’t invade from space, but hid underground for years until their time to attack came around...

Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a divorced dad of two who has his kids for the weekend. As an aggressive storm approaches, Ray goes out to check why lightning is striking so close to home.

When giant machines rise up out of the ground in his hometown, Ray must move quickly to get his kids to Boston, where it’s safe. Ray, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin) go through Hell to survive; the film combines fear and horror with Cruise’s absolutely stunning performance to make this film one to remember.

The aliens are introduced and shown in such brilliant ways; they silently sweep across where the family are hiding, slowly and carefully; it’s so well done that it makes you want to hold your breath.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A new kind of film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) at the time, Guardians of the Galaxy quickly became a beloved movie about a kidnapped human living in space.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was taken at a young age from his home on Earth, and brought to live in space with his kidnappers. Years later, he has unknowingly hunted down an Infinity Stone and, after escaping prison with a group of new and unlikely friends, Quill knows he must do the right thing to save the universe from Ronan (Lee Pace), who wants to use the stone for ill.

This film is filled to the brim with love, an exceptional cast and stunning cinematography. We see different areas of space and beings/creatures that all look unique; it really is the perfect space movie!

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Star Wars franchise is well-known for being the series that led to many other film companies and producers to up their game, and try to create something just as mind-blowing.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is being trained by the one and only Master Yoda (Frank Oz), in order to turn him into the best Jedi Knight anyone has ever seen. Meanwhile, Darth Vader (David Prowse) tries to get Luke to join the dark side...

This film is considered the best Star Wars movie in the long-running franchise, and for good reason. It shows space to be rather ordinary to the characters, but still a thing of wonder and beauty; it is definitely the right film to watch if you want to celebrate UFO Day!

Independence Day (1996)

Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum star in this exceptional sci-fi movie about an alien race who have come to Earth with the means to wipe out humanity.

When a colossal-sized spaceship hovers over Earth and creates a dark shadow, pilot Steve Hiller (Smith), the US President (Bill Pullman), former satellite technician David Levinson (Goldblum), and an array of brave citizens work to find a way to destroy the creatures that came to do the same to them.

Independence Day is a brilliant film that showcases what can be done when real heart and passion goes into making a movie. The aliens are shown very little which works well to create an atmosphere of doubt and worry among both characters and audiences.

The ways in which the humans work together to save the world is rather endearing, and the space aspect is breath-taking; a great film to watch while celebrating this interesting World Day.

The Martian (2015)

Matt Damon stars in the titular role in The Martian, in which Mark (Damon) is presumed dead and left behind by his crew after a manned mission to Mars goes awry.

Mark must struggle on his own on the Red Planet, documenting his time and experiences. He goes through so much trauma as he must make sure the station remains intact and the food will last; he even manages to cultivate the planet by growing potatoes.

The Martian is a brilliant solo-movie; in which we see only Mark for most of the film as his struggles cause us to wonder if he will make it. The visuals are stunning, and create such a lonely yet hopeful atmosphere – one to watch for sure.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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Cats can make such lovely, funny companions; many people have one as a pet and adore when their furry friend gets along with their children. National Hug Your Cat Day is June 4th, so why not settle down on the couch with your little ones, your cat (if you have one), and check out these movies with felines in them?