IMDb > They Live (1988) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
They Live
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
They Live More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 7 of 35: [Prev][2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [Next]
Index 345 reviews in total 

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Either you get it, or you don't

8/10
Author: super marauder from United States
12 June 2013

This came to my theater when I was a theater manager back in the 80's. Of course being a John Carpenter movie I had to see it right after I put it together.

Roddy Piper is a drifter coming to California looking for work. He lands a job on a construction sight and stays at an encampment full of other homeless people. Be befriends Frank and he discovers the people in the church across the street are hiding something.

First of all, I struggled through the 80's so I got this right away. The rich were were getting richer and tho poor were getting poorer. And the idea of being manipulated by unseen forces seemed plausible. There were many angry people out there and maybe they saw this movie as someone standing up and saying WAKE UP! YOU'RE GETTING SCREWED OVER BIG TIME! I read a review in Box Office Magizine and they commented that the film was a mess and John Carpenter forgot everything he knew about directing. Apparently, they didn't get it. But if you were living hand to mouth like I was at that time you got it right away. I can forgive the movie's shortcomings because the story was that powerful for me. And if you were to watch it today for the first time I think that you would find out the more things change the more they stay the same.

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Life's a bitch and she's back on heat!

8/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
12 June 2013

They Live is directed by John Carpenter who also adapts the screenplay form the short story Eight O'Clock in the Morning written by Ray Nelson. It stars Roddy Piper, Keith David and Meg Foster. Music is by Alan Howarth (and Carpenter) and cinematography by Gary B. Kibbe.

Unemployed drifter Nada (Piper) wanders into the city looking to find work, but upon finding a unique pair of sunglasses he sees a different world to everyone else. It's a world frequented by an alien race who are using the Earth for their own nefarious means.

See The Truth!

Carpenter does subversive sci-fi and it's a whole bunch of fun. Stripped back it's evident that They Live is Carpenter's wry observation on the politico posers who endorse the rich getting richer and everybody else sliding down the pole; to where they stop nobody knows! It's also a blatant paean to the glorious years of the 1950s when paranoia based sci-fi schlockers and creaky creature features ruled the air waves. It's also a wonderfully macho driven action movie, laced with comedy as well. You can rest assured there will be plenty of shooting, punching, dodging and spoken lines to make you smile.

Piper is no Kurt Russell, but we shouldn't hold that against him because he fills the role nicely. With muscular frame, 80s hair and a quip on the tongue, he is most assuredly a Carpenter leading man for the 80s. Alongside him is the reassuring presence of Keith David, himself a beefcake and also one of the coolest muthas on the planet. It's easy to believe that these two can save the planet, even after nearly beating each other to a pulp during a prolonged side-alley fight sequence, where Carpenter doesn't miss a chance to parody professional wrestling. While away from the beef, Meg Foster gets the lead lady role, with those amazing eyes nestling in perfectly with the world Carpenter has created.

Carpenter does political? Yes, but it's not the be all and end all of his intentions. He wanted to make an action sci-fi schlocker with sly politico undertones as motives. And that's exactly what he did. Joyously so. 8/10

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

my new favorite movie

10/10
Author: lea-rezic from Zagreb, Croatia
8 July 2012

I went to see this movie the other day on a big screen, special projection on a festival at my town, I've heard of the movie (and seen other Carpenter movies before), so I had high expectations and the movie surpassed them all! Simply, it's bad ass awesome. AWESOME. Hail Carpenter, hail Roddy Piper. I was afraid it would be less interesting than I expected, but everything's perfect, the trash, the humor, the plot, the turn, the way all the characters pose all the time, beautiful. I could watch this movie a bunch of times. My new favorite movie.

I guess I don't care he made some not-so-great movies lately, Carpenter rules.

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A movie from which ideas are in life and even in computer games

10/10
Author: Roarke from Romania
12 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers ahead... The movie They Live, brings foreword the human condition and how it unfolds. The plot is simple, but effective, about a simple man, Nada. We do not know anything about his past, he meets some people who introduce him, rather abruptly, in the world controlled by aliens. They are seen only with special glasses. The film is worth seeing, even if the idea is simple and i will not tell the end of the movie here. I will make a parallel of words and I will say the link between this film and computer games. It seems that, according to director John Carpenter, Rowdy Roddy Piper invented the words ''I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass ... and I'm all out of bubblegum. These words you will find in Duke Nukem 3D : 'It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum ... and I'm All Outta Gum." Of course Rowdy Roddy Piper has said it a little different. I do not know if anyone has said this two ideas and this contains spoilers from the movie but is related to computer games, is the fact that aliens are using a clock teleporter thingy, is like what they use in Duke Nukem 3D or some sort of a device. And the second idea i have is that the fact that, when Nada and his friend are fighting the aliens and the clock that teleports is damaged, something will happen like in the game Portal, a blue -red portal will appear Some would say that the film is based on a real idea, others not. It's up to us to believe or not what is actually referring or at least the idea of the director John Carpenter.

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

great classic movie?? it is!!!

10/10
Author: Majid-Hamid from Malaysia
10 October 2008

this is undoubtedly one of the greatest and best movie from john carpenter...i have seen most of john carpenter's movie, and i have decided to give this as one of the best carpenter's movie in history! this one stands as good as the fog, assault on precinct 13, escape from new york, and the thing.

here i would really say this is the last good film by john carpenter.. and nothing come out as good as this movie in the 90's... it doesn't mean that the movies from carpenter in the 90's are not good...it is good..but still incomparable to the 70's and the 80's movie from carpenter..

they live is a sci fi movie..not only sci fi,but about political too.. the idea about the glass is really great..come on..who's gonna think about this idea??? only a great director can think about it!! it is something which is quite different than other movies i have seen in my whole life!!

at the beginning of this movie, i was thinking what was the story is mainly about..people in some sort of place attack by the police, people hiding something n the church...i can't predict what it is going on! only then when Roddy piper discovers about the glass,then only i started to understand the story! it is really a great story!!!

the acting are superb..perhaps,this is the best Roddy pipers movie! Keith David is amazing,and also meg foster who plays as villain in this movie...

i think that this movie is less rated...it should be given in top 250 movie in the world..give this movie a chance...because this movie is truly a great classic movie!!!

Bravo for John Carpenter !!!!

10/10**

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It resembles me novel of Stephen King "The Ten O'Clock People" (1993).

10/10
Author: dpakoha from Russian Federation
21 June 2005

It resembles me novel of Stephen King "The Ten O'Clock People" (1993). I think he should have seen that film before. Some details are changed. Hourglasses vs. smoking cigarettes. Woman vs. colleague. Conspiracy. Other details... May be they have common roots in American literature. If they're not real, you could always induce the best line of the film.."I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And, I'm all outta bubblegum". And I'm not holding out too much hope. Indeed, consider all of the members today who fought through sickness and chemotherapy to make their democratic contribution. Also I found it an excellent, amusing, and entertaining film. Dixi!

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

illuminati: in full affect, ya'll!

10/10
Author: megaChron from ny
7 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great sci-fi movie, great story decent action. Rowdy rowdy piper is surprisingly good. I saw this in the theaters when I was a kid and loved it, to this day it doesn't lose any of it's charm. A classic in the vein of other greats like The running man and westworld. And if you don't know now you know! P.S. Do not read any spoilers if there are any. If you have no clue what its about then your in for a treat. enjoy.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Hollywood, Hollywood...

8/10
Author: hfkraken from United Kingdom
11 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, this is one of my favourite Carpenter films. I really like the story, even for its simplicity and unexplored arcs. I love its cheesiness, its in-your-face posture, tongue-in-cheek immaturity. I love the characters, paper-thin and two dimensional as they come. But it's a classic, an 80's gem. It's a film that brings entertainment in spades and this is what makes me watch films.

As for political and social commentary, there's a lot to say about that. But once again Hollywood is not the honest player. This came out in an era when America was doing quite well, economically and militarily. Hollywood pretends to serve revolution, but instead serves us "Revolution(TM)". The film is largely a class struggle metaphor, taking the inhumanity of the rich to the extreme that they are actually not human. This in an era during which there was more political stability than the US has known in quite a few years. But if this was an attempt at moral and cultural outrage... I just wish they would show their indignation without resorting to the corporate products. Seriously, "consume", "this is your god", "sleep", these ARE boilerplate Hollywood rhetorical at its core. Corporations using the products of corporations to attack corporations? Beware of consumerism? Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe it. Quite the rebels you guys are! I wonder if the producers really aimed at that level of "social commentary".

It's a sickening cliché when films depict corporations as "evil": Weyland-Yutani, Tyrrel Corp, Umbrella, UAC, etc. Their purpose is to play gods and enslave mankind... I thought corporations depended on a good service to be profitable, so they can survive and not "Oh my god, the corporations are coming, run for the hills!" If anybody wants to protest against the corporate world, please don't do it writing on your PC or Apple Mac, while sitting in a Starbucks sipping a latte, and sending your posts through AT&T lines, onto YouTube or Google Servers, using Hitachi hard drives... the moral outrage gets lost somewhere along the corporate chain, don't you think?

So, if like me you enjoyed this film, it's probably because you didn't take it very seriously. The kind of film that elicits this reaction from people: "Wow, that was great fun! OK, what are we having for dinner?"

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 7 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.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 7 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".:)

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 7 of 35: [Prev][2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Plot keywords Main details Your user reviews
Your vote history