A flaming, flashing, crashing, crackling blow-'em-up show that keeps you popping from your seat despite your better instincts and the basically conventional scare tactics.
Aliens contains a fascinating exploration of the way Western culture has traditionally aligned feminine characteristics onto nature while masculine characteristics have been aligned with civilisation.
It's interesting that the film, a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 atmospheric horror-film-in-space, is generally regarded as an action movie. Go through it, and you'll realize the character and dialogue scenes far outweigh the kablooey stuff.
If you were to only see one movie in your entire lifetime it would have to be ALIENS. James Cameron has delivered a masterpiece that will never in a million years be topped...
Some critics consider this chapter to be better than the first, but the two movies are vastly different: Ridley Scott's is a scary horror film, whereas James Cameron's is a high-tech actioner with superlative set-pieces.
Cameron's strength lies in solid storytelling in the muscular fashion that he stages the action, creating exciting thrills and intense suspense without ever descending into the mere mechanical.