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They Live
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Reviews & Ratings for
They Live More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One Of Carpenters Best

10/10
Author: d-maxsted from new zealand
19 December 2010

Director John Carpenter has often proved more than any other director that you need little dialog to make a suggestion and "They Live" is a classic example. Slow with its beginning Carpenter introduces us to his characters until the almost point that we start to wonder if anything such the premise is going to happen...its then he hits us with the bombshell,and quite a bombshell it is...its classic Carpenter. "They Live" also boasts one of the best if not the best all out fight scene between two guys ever filmed and one would have to see that Roddy Piper gave a few tips as to some of the moves used...when listening to the commentary Carpenter states it took an entire week to film the scene however it is edited together so perfectly its such a joy to watch you may end up howling for more. John Carpenter is nothing less than a legend in the horror genre however "They Live" leans more to the suggestion of 'What If" and deserves all the stars I can give it.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I bet David Icke has this one on heavy rotation.

9/10
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
14 November 2012

I'm a sucker for a spot of good old-fashioned sci-fi paranoia, and They Live, from director John Carpenter, is one of the finest examples the genre has to offer, a pitch-perfect blend of cutting social commentary, unashamed B-movie silliness, and hard-hitting action.

Pre-dating the similarly themed The Matrix by over a decade, and made on a fraction of that film's budget, They Live stars Rowdy Roddy Piper as blue collar construction worker John Nada, who, with the help of a special pair of sunglasses, discovers to his amazement that the world is in fact ruled by ugly aliens who keep the human population under their control through the use of subliminal messages and mind-altering broadcasts. Like The Matrix's Neo, Nada opts to fight his oppressors, joining a group of freedom fighters dedicated to revealing the terrible truth to the unsuspecting public.

Full of ingenious ideas, cool visuals, eminently quotable snippets of dialogue, and great fight action, including one of the best prolonged street brawls ever captured on film, They Live is creepy, exciting and funny in equal measures, perfect viewing for anyone who has ever had the sneaking suspicion that all is not as it seems on the surface.

8.5 out of 10, rounded up to 9 for IMDb.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

This movie is reality with a twist

Author: Bob Saget from United States
14 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie... wow... it is so deep yet so simple. I love movies that challenge your thoughts and make you feel and this movie does just that. When I watched this it immediately made me think of how Satan and demons control our world and how evil human beings are. Just replace alien with demon and you got reality. People are asleep and chase vain things, they kill one another at the first sight of profit, they selfishly pursue only their own needs while unknowingly destroying themselves. This movie is not about consumerism or anti-republicanism, its about human nature. The aliens look demonic so to me this is a picture of reality. When Nada said "The middle of the road is the worst place to drive" that immediately struck me as Biblical, aka being lukewarm. Im not saying Carpenter meant this as a religious film but it matches very closely with scripture as anyone familiar with the Bible would recognize immediately.

On a sci-fi and strategic note this movie was downright awful. The music wasn't very good. It was cheesy and now I know where the Duke Nuke 'Em quotes come from. But ignoring all of that the message and general idea were good. Please stop reading if you don't care about tactics and strategy.

A) one central vulnerable transmitter (hello star wars) B) drone devices unaware or unable to avoid gunfire, unable to tranq or stop Nada, etc C) teleport into central command unmonitored D) allowing humans into vulnerable areas; general low security E) guards in vulnerable areas weak and vulnerable to human ammunition

This movie is about the idea, and thats why its a 10, a movie does not need anything except a good plot/idea to be good. Putting Jessica Alba and a million special effects can polish a turd, but its still a turd. Ironically enough this simple low budget but epic movie is anti-polished turd that the movie industry churns out regularly.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great fantasy depiction of the scum at the top!

8/10
Author: peterlonglongplong from United States
10 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love those sunglasses. If only it were that easy in real life to see the low-life people who circle money & wealth as if that is God. This fantasy movie quickly starts revealing the truth once the cops start assaulting the poor people & then Nada gets the glasses. I'm impressed by how, in this totally fictional world of film, so many sociological realities are exposed. Yes, money & power can completely destroy the moral compass in lots of people. And, the number of chickens & 'tow the line' morons out there is disgusting. I'm already quite familiar with advertising, since I worked in the field for almost a decade. This movie does a great job, though, in giving those who don't really understand marketing, a clear picture of the objective of all mass media, especially television. OBEY THOSE WHO SAY THEY ARE IN POWER! YOU MUST BUY, BUY, BUY ALL THAT YOU CAN IF YOU DON'T WANT OUR ECONOMY TO FAIL! Corporations are the true aliens & if you are not one with them, you are the mere surfs & cattle they feed on. --- I would really like to get a pair of those sunglasses if anybody knows where they're available..... Before I make love with a women..."I gotta wear shades".:)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Classic

10/10
Author: David Mahoney from Australia
1 November 2008

A Turkish Muslim friend recommended this to me and I thoroughly recommend this movie as a must see for both it's entertainment value and social commentary. Interestingly everyone that I have shown it to have adopted the movie as their own piece of 'Propaganda', My cousin who is a Jehovah Witness loves it and no doubt sees the aliens as non-believers. Rowdy Roddy Piper does a great job and I must admit I was surprised by his performance. Meg Foster with those beautiful evil eyes is stunning. Yes we are being controlled by the rich and powerful but the question is, if we were fortunate enough to be in the same position would we be any different?

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

They Live=Great Movie

Author: kick4gwar from United States
2 January 2006

This movie is extremely under rated and often forgotten. If not for some television appearances, I think people would totally forget about it.

The movie is great in 2 ways. 1, It gives us an in depth story line that is no doubt a point of view of the writer/director, John Carpenter. I think that this man has an excellent grasp on what is really going on in the world. Sublimital messages through marketing, a secret control over the world right under our noses. I think that this movie is a message for us to wake up, and I think that this is exactly what Carpenter was trying to convey. We have characters like the bum who becomes rich by joining the bad guys. People selling themselves out for opportunity. This movie has an amazing message. Many people will take this movie as a simple B-movie, with Sci-Fi value, and never look at it any deeper. I don't know about you guys, but other than being literal and giving you a decoded message as captured through the eyes of the main character, this totally resembles the world I live in. Minus the Sci-Fi aspect, you basically have the real world, compelling us to consume, preying on our animalistic instincts.

and 2, this is a fun movie to watch.

Guys, stop focusing on the actors and the Sci-Fi sugar coating. This movie makes an amazing statement.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Its scary because it could be true

10/10
Author: mdonahoe from memphis
26 October 2004

Well, let me start out by saying that this is one of the best sci-fi flicks of the past 20 years. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper(in his super big time debut) is a distraught construction worker who finds a mysterious pair of glasses. You might ask what do these glasses do, well I will tell you and Piper what they do, they can see aliens disguised as humans, thats what they do, ohhhhh. Well piper is very scared and confused when he finds this out, so he turns to his friend kieth David(his African-American co-worker)for some assistance, but he refuses to try the glasses on, even just for style. So this is where the best part of the movie happens, Piper doesn't like that he won't try them on, so a 62 minute fight scene ensues(keep in mind the movie is only 90 minutes long). You would think this would get boring but the fight is so good, you will be in awe the whole time and if you are a woman you will have to change undies. Finally Kieth tries on the glasses after much convincing and its up to Piper and a new crew of vagabonds to stop the treacherous aliens and find out their sinister plan before its too late.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest B Sci-Fi movies ever (mild spoilers)

10/10
Author: modelo
9 December 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a low budget production with an absurd premise staring an ex-pro wrestler....and it is fantastic. Both Carpenter and Piper have made some awful movies, but this isn't one of them. I love the way the movie manages to combine great characters with lots of fun-filled violence.

This movie contains two terrific scene's that it a must-see. The first is the movie's best line, "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick...". You'll probably recognize it because it has been ripped off by certain video games and cartoon characters (and probably a few hundred others I don't know about). But nobody can deliver that line like Roddy Piper. A little later on, the viewer is treated to the fight scene between Piper and David. This is an absolute gem. From what I understand, the two actors decided to really kick the crap out of each other and just let the camera roll. Carpenter added his trademark dark humor and the result the most incredibly brutal yet hilarious street fight to ever be put on film.

If you like your movies to be enlightening, go somewhere else. If your looking for entertainment, you can't go wrong with `They Live'.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Modern Classic

10/10
Author: reverendtom from Santa Cruz, CA
26 November 2006

This is an extremely clever, relevant movie. Beyond the B Movie charm and incredible fight scene, it definitely contains some very astute social commentary. This is also a film that I don't think could be made today, at least by a major studio, what with its anti-government and anti-establishment themes. Any film where shooting police is shown as a heroic act would not fly today! (even if they are really aliens.) Although Rowdy Roddy Piper is not the most gifted actor who ever lived, he is perfect as a working man who has been screwed over by a corrupt system. And of course, this film contains the greatest fight scene ever captured on film. A paranoid science fiction/action masterpiece for the thinking person. Highest recommendation possible!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Ahead of it's time Carpenter classic.Just amazing!

10/10
Author: deckard_78 from Turkey
15 July 2006

From John Carpenter,here comes one of the greatest sci-fi/action movies ever made that you'll never forget.They Live is a cult classic and without no doubt,one of the best movies of Carpenter.The movie's about a drifter named Nada accidentally makes a horrible discovery while looking for a job;the earth is ruled by aliens and the only way to see their origins hidden behind fake human faces is to wear a special pair of sunglasses.Seems that they deliver hidden messages like 'obey','no independent thought' and 'watch t.v.'to control human's minds and to keep them away from a possible mutiny against them.Soon,Nada finds out there is a small group aware of the danger on humanity and make those special sunglasses.He joins that small group with his new sidekick Frank and they begin trying to find a way for a worldwide wake up call for humans.However,they don't fight only against the aliens,they also fight against humans who are aware of the alien invasion but seduced by money,status,a much better life standard and now cooperate with the aliens.While using his unique way of storytelling to keep the tension high,Carpenter also reminds us human beings are far from perfection.He says we;humans are selfish creatures and we could do anything for our unlimited desires;whatever it takes!

Besides the message it's carrying,They Live is a typical Carpenter movie.It's a low budget masterpiece with humor,great one liners,a classic Carpenter score with Roddy Piper in the lead.He's just outstanding as the lone drifter Nada.The cast includes Keith David,very underrated Meg Foster with some Carpenter regulars like Peter Jason and George 'Buck' Flower and they all give solid performances.Also there is an unforgettable fight sequence between Piper and David that lasts nearly ten minutes which is almost as famous as the movie itself.

A unique movie from a master.

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