The Puppet Masters
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Robert A. Heinlein's 1951 novel The Puppet Masters comes to the screen 43 years later. Sharp-eyed viewers will recognize similarities to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Heinlein's book came first. Parasitic space aliens invade the Midwest, taking over the bodies of humans and manipulating these unfortunates to do their bidding. US security agent Donald Sutherland and his team of troubleshooters attempt to squash the extraterrestrial scheme before everyone in the world is turned into Howdy Doody. Adding an extra layer to this familiar scenario is the fact that Sutherland doesn't… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Only the most undiscriminating monster-pic buff will come away satisfied."
‑ , Variety
"The Puppet Masters occasionally lives up to its reputation, but the delay between story conception and celluloid conversion has clearly wilted its power and potential."
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"...generally as far-fetched and overwrought as its 1950s sci-fi brethren."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Not bad if you can get past the "Invasion of the Plot Snatchers" set-up."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"The special effects are low-budget, but effective. The creatures are disgustingly realistic."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"There's no suspense (ETs rampage from the word go); no frissons (loud hailers telegraph the shocks); and it's insufficiently bright to be an hommage."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Attempts at detailed characterization don't work particularly well, and there's a love story that feels as forced as it is superfluous - although even that isn't as unnecessary as the film's final ten minutes."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Lacked suspense."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"its story logic is solid, its science is satisfying and its thrills are nerve-wracking"
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"Undiscriminating fans of the genre will probably not be terribly disappointed, but this is certainly familiar territory."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"A choppy, unsuspenseful succession of chases, melodramatic showdowns and routine special effects."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Despite accomplished special effects and a coolly intelligent script, this paranoid thriller never follows through on its eerie promise."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"About as nerve-wracking as a warm bath."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Some movies with great potential can be ruined or denied their greatness by a single detail."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
"Ends up as listless and bloated as one of its dead alien visitors."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for The Puppet Masters on Rotten Tomatoes