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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:

Cult classic or just plain classic?

9/10
Author: drystyx from United States
30 April 2007

That is the question. Or is just both a cult classic and a classic? Whatever, this is a fun, thrilling, and yet remarkably intelligent film. And who can ever put on a pair of sunglasses again without expecting to see....? The characters hit the viewer hard, and none of them wimp out. All of them have a lot of integrity. Oh, yes, the plot? A drifter slowly ambles onto a plot of aliens who are here among us, and only by wearing special sunglasses can you not only see them, but you can see the propaganda they have been spreading. All this is done with a surreal attitude, but an all too realistic approach. You could swear it was really happening. Is it just a movie? The great fight scene between the two main male characters excels because it doesn't look choreographed. It begins as a real fight, with both parties not sure at first they want to fight, but then things get out of hand, and bam! Fight! They stumble, they miss, they fall, they get up. It is a real fight! Not some comical bit from action pictures that leave you shaking your head. But this is just one part of a great movie. There are so many parts you can pick, which is one sign of a cult classic, along with making characters out of what most movies would make stereotypes. The filming is not as surreal as a cult movie, so maybe it is just a classic. No matter what, there is gutsy action, and something for everyone. Pretty typical Carpenter work, but this is probably his best.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Piper's Best Role

Author: Big Movie Fan from England
21 September 2002

I've always liked Roddy Piper and have followed his wrestling and movie career since 1983. In the wrestling rings, Piper was a charismatic loner who had considerable presence. He was magic on the microphone and when he started acting I was very pleased indeed.

Piper's character in this film was not unlike his wrestling character-mean, brooding and marching to a different drummer. He is an unemployed labourer who stumbles into town where aliens are subtly controlling the population. Only he and a few others can stop them. The aliens are being very subtle in their takeover.

It's a great film and not unlike The Invaders TV series from the 1960's. In both cases, the hero is alone against the invaders and he's having a hard time convincing people of the threat. And he can't trust anyone (although he does get his hands on some special glasses that help him see the aliens true form).

It's a very hard hitting film and some of the fight scenes are very realistic. There's plenty of violence and guns for fans of those.

Check the movie out if you can. I believe it is Piper's best film role.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Really Fun Sci-Fi

8/10
Author: ebert_jr from b'ville nj
22 January 2002

Still stands the test of time; still looks fresh, and still has me laughing at the "put on the damn glasses!!" line. Some really funny moments here when Rodney first sees what "they" look like while wearing the special glasses.

"They Live" really has a nice pace and a certain balance that set it apart as a unique piece of work. I'd say it probably resembles "The Hidden", in that both were sleeper hits and both have a definite quirky likability to them, a certain charm that is irresistible. It's a shame that "They Live" had to end in way that was less original that its beginning and middle but overall, a very very enjoyable flick that really gets you laughing. Definitely an unexpected, surprisingly good film. Not to mention strong acting from Rodney.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

surprisingly good

7/10
Author: al_phillips2000 from Cornwall, Ontario
20 December 2001

John Carpenter seems bent on lowering his standards with each passing film, but this one's quite good. It starts slow, but when the fun starts, it never lets up. And remember this classic line : "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum". Meg Foster shines with her acting and weird eyes, but Roddy Piper can't act. This ranks among the best political, social commentaries ever with action and comedy to boot.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

THEY LIVE AND THEY ARE HERE!

10/10
Author: (SILVERBEUWULF@aol.com) from BIRMINGHAM.UK
9 November 2001

One of my all time favourite films,its a low budget movie but John Carpenter's direction is never boring.I think this movie deserves more credit than it gets,most people have never heard of it.Id recommend this to anyone who loves sci-fi themed movies.I wish they would do a sequal to this as I think there is quite a lot more they can do with this film now as special effects have moved on dramaticaly since this film was made.The ending just leaves you wanting more. An excellent underrated clasic sci-fi movie from the master John Carpenter.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

See this film!!

8/10
Author: Andy-125 from Bolton - England
18 April 2001

I loved this film. I first saw it a long time ago, renting it out simply because it was on the 60p shelf at my local video store and thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was superb (reminding me heavily of a 60's sci-fi film I saw but could never remember the title of where warring aliens had come to Earth to fight, assumed human guises and could only be seen through particular glasses). My biggest regret is that I never bought a copy of this before it hit the deleted list. Carpenter has produced (IMHO) some rubbish, but he has also produced some true gems, and this is one of them, along with Prince of Darkness, Vampires, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York and Into the Mouth of Madness. If you like Carpenter's slightly twisted take on reality, then this is a great film to see, with a surprisingly good performance from Roddy Piper.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorite films, and definitely my favorite by Carpenter

10/10
Author: Tubular from Pittsburgh, PA
22 September 2000

First off, I have to admit, I'm a real Carpenter fan. But, whereas most people know him for his Horror movies, the first movies I think of when I think of John Carpenter is this one and ones like it. Like all of his early movies, the plot is very slow-moving and unfolds at a realistic pace. No shiny explosions or million-dollar special effects here. Only exactly what's needed to get the point across and no more. And to match the movies pace, the soundtrack is in the same repetitive, slow-moving, ambient mood as that from Precinct 13 or Dark Star. The plot is pretty clever. The idea being that we are all slaves of the aliens that have taken over the planet, and all the rich and the powerful either are aliens or have sold out to them. The thing that intrigues me most about this movie is the contrast between its slow moving plot and its genre, combatting an alien invasion. Often the subject of action computer games, this treatment of that plot idea actually only has a few fight scenes, and even they don't seem to rank up there with your standard action movies. Sure, there's guns blazing, but there's not much running around, dodging bullets. Most of the gun-fights look like something you'd see on the streets of LA more than an action movie. And I think that's the point. A paranoid-schizophrenic's view of the world. Taking the violence and hatred in the world and blaming it on, not just the aliens, but human nature's own tendency to follow them. Of course, this movie also has some of the best one-liners in movie history.

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4 out of 6 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.

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4 out of 6 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.

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4 out of 6 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**

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