Predator Movies, Ranked

Predator Movies, Ranked

From Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 original to Hulu's 2022 prequel, we break them all down.

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The leads of four Predator movies in side-by-side images.
The Predator has had quite the set of adversaries.
Image: Fox

Prey is one of the best Predator sequels ever. But is it the best? Find out in our ranking of all the Predator films.

Few sci-fi franchises in film history have gotten the shaft quite like Predator. After an exciting, innovative, original film, 35 years have passed with sequel after sequel at best being passable, at worst being damn near unwatchable. And yet, we continue to watch because that title character—with its cloaking camouflage, incredible gadgets, and terrifying visage—remains compelling all on its own.

Finally, the original Predator gets the sequel it deserves this weekend, Prey— one that embraces what was great about the original film, but with a whole new twist. But this isn’t a film on an ancient planet featuring humans with high-tech weaponry; it’s a prequel, set 300 years before the original, starring a young Comanche woman with nothing but an ax on a string. How does it rank? Keep reading.

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2 / 9

7. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

7. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

Official Trailer: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem (2007)

The idea should have worked. Aliens exist in a small town in America and a Predator comes down to try and destroy them all. Aliens fight Predator in your hometown. And yet the movie can’t come close to living up to that potential with flat characters, a stale story, and action and gore meant to cover all of it. There are moments of glee, but they’re few and far between.

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3 / 9

6. The Predator (2018)

6. The Predator (2018)

The Predator | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

This movie was supposed to reinvigorate the franchise. Shane Black, a co-writer and star of the original film, a talent unmatched in the series, returns with a new vision and scope for the Predator, and yet, the movie is just a mess. There’s no real narrative cohesion, no care for the characters or action, and while the creatures are cool, they don’t really work. It’s as if (and it might be so) it wasn’t made by one person, but several.

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4 / 9

5. Alien vs. Predator (2004)

5. Alien vs. Predator (2004)

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) Official Trailer #1 - Alien Movie HD

If we’re being honest, the bottom three here are all kind of interchangeable. None of them are good, but none of them are truly godawful either—they’re all just slightly different layers of bad. And so the fact this original showdown of Alien and Predator comes from director Paul W.S. Anderson and has a solid cast list (Lance Henriksen, Sanaa Lathan, Tommy Flanagan) elevates it slightly above the other two. It’s almost watchable... almost.

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5 / 9

4. Predator 2 (1990)

4. Predator 2 (1990)

Predator 2 (1990) Theatrical Trailer #2

Where the idea of bringing Predators into recognizable places didn’t quite work for Requiem, it works much better in Predator 2. A Predator comes to Los Angeles? Awesome. He fights Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, and Gary Busey? Awesome. We never quite know why he’s there or what he’s doing, exactly? Not as awesome. Predator 2 is filled with good ideas but only a few great executions (film-wise, there are great executions by the Predator itself) and so it feels like a sequel that’s okay but certainly less so than its original

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6 / 9

3. Predators (2010)

3. Predators (2010)

Predators | Official Trailer HD | 20th Century FOX

Predators is... kind of good, actually! The cast is super solid (Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne), director Robert Rodriguez came up with the story, and the idea of humans stuck on the Predator planet makes for great tension and action. Are there maybe too many characters? Does the plot sometimes fall apart? Sure, but it’s a fun film nonetheless.

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7 / 9

2. Prey (2022)

2. Prey (2022)

Prey | Official Trailer | Hulu

To answer the question from the first page of this slideshow: yes, Prey is the best Predator sequel. And frankly, it’s pretty close to the obvious number one entry. The story is just so simple and character-driven, the action and gore so over the top, and the escalation of human vs. Predator so good that it captures exactly what makes the first one so great, but in a slightly smaller package.

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8 / 9

1. Predator (1987)

1. Predator (1987)

Predator (1987) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Of course the original Predator is the best Predator. It has the best cast of characters played by the best actors with the best directing, music, action, gore, and more. Sure, other movies have upped it in terms of visual effects and such, but Predator works because it does everything so right. It’s just a hugely entertaining, rewarding film that deserved more sequels like Prey, and less like The Predator.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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9 / 9