They Live
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John Carpenter wrote and directed this science fiction thriller about a group of aliens who try to take over the world by disguising themselves as Young Republicans. Wrestler Roddy Piper stars as John Nada, a drifted who makes his way into an immense encampment for the homeless. There he stumbles upon a conspiracy concerning aliens who have hypnotized the populace through subliminal messages transmitted through television, magazines, posters, and movies. When Nada looks through special Ray-Bans developed by the resistance leaders, the aliens lose their clean-cut "Dan Quayle" looks… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As a movie, They Live is lethargic. As election propaganda, it's terrific."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The joke is in the material; the idea itself is funny and daring. And some time soon, They Live suggests, with grim, knowing wink, the joke may be on us."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times
"Carpenter should stick to what he's good at-scaring folks-and leave the political satire to Spitting Image."
‑ Steve Newton, Georgia Straight
"Too bad director John Carpenter doesn't match this tantalizing premise with snappy, thoughtful filmmaking; long stretches of the movie are trite and silly."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"They Live is a paranoid thriller that stretches a paper-thin budget with inventive special effects that serve the story and a message that still holds water today."
‑ Eric Melin,
"John Carpenter's They Live has cult favorite written all over it, and part of the reason is the way it regenerates the cheap, juicy, surprisingly potent sci-fi of the 1950s."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"A fantastically subversive film, a nifty little confection pitting us vs them, the haves vs the have-nots."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Behold the message as articulated by John Carpenter's sublime sci-fi opus: "I'm giving you a choice: Either put on these glasses, or start eating that trashcan.""
‑ Calum Marsh, Slant Magazine
"It's a little bit V and a little bit Lethal Weapon. A little bit "1984" and a little bit Rambo. It's got sledgehammer political satire, humor, goofiness and little bit of Wrestlemania thrown in to boot."
‑ Renee Lucas Wayne, Philadelphia Daily News
"Carpenter sweeps aside political preaching to allow the film to finish on a note of humour when the aliens are finally revealed for what they are."
‑ Lisa Williams, Electric Sheep
"They Live is the looniest movie of the season and also one of the most engaging."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"All in all, an entertaining (if ideologically incoherent) response to the valorization of greed in our midst."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Director John Carpenter's They Live is an undistinguished sci-fi thriller."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Arguably John Carpenter's most underrated film, They Live combines kick-ass action, clever allegory and eerie, they're-among-us sci-fi paranoia to hugely enjoyable effect."
‑ Stephen Carty, Flix Capacitor
"A loopy movie that got its messages right."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for They Live on Rotten Tomatoes

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