They Live

Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    0
    Typical of some of the absurd moments in this film is a long drawn-out fist fight between the hero and Frank, who almost kill each other because Frank is too proud to try on the magic dark glasses. It is completely stupid. [5 Nov 1988]
  2. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    30
    Mr. Carpenter has directed the film with B-movie bluntness, but with none of the requisite snap. And his screenplay (written under the pseudonym Frank Armitage) makes the principals sound even more tongue-tied than they have to. [4 Nov 1988, p.C8]
  3. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    38
    Live dies around the time Carpenter allows 10 minutes of gratuitous Piper-David eye-gouging, an apparent bone to wrestling fans. Forget the amusing premise; a full crate of magic glasses couldn't make this a bearable movie. [7 Nov 1988]
  4. The plot for They Live is full of black holes, the acting is wretched, the effects are second-rate. In fact, the whole thing is so preposterous it makes "V" look like "Masterpiece Theatre." [5 Nov 1988]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Dec 1, 2011
    10
    The movie was well ahead of its time if one considers contemporary affairs (2011). The premise is both satirically hilarious and compelling onThe movie was well ahead of its time if one considers contemporary affairs (2011). The premise is both satirically hilarious and compelling on its own terms. The execution is admirable. This is a must see cult-classic. Full Review »
  2. Sep 23, 2013
    10
    I love this movie. john carpenter has a way of making his actors iconic. he did it with kurt russel and he does it here with rod piper. TheI love this movie. john carpenter has a way of making his actors iconic. he did it with kurt russel and he does it here with rod piper. The premise of the movie is pure genius and makes you think and mistrust the begin to question the world around you. The violence is over the top fun and the one liners are the best ever. Full Review »
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    7
    Another 'rassler takes a try at acting on the big screen. The thing is, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper actually plays the role, rather than injectingAnother 'rassler takes a try at acting on the big screen. The thing is, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper actually plays the role, rather than injecting his wrestling persona into the character (unlike other wrestlers-turned-movie-actors). I find this movie very watchable. For one, it's science fiction (and I'm a sucker for that genre). The main objection I have about it is it's relentless 'persecution' of commercialization (not that it shouldn't be persecuted, just that the film keeps pile-driving the point home). The special effects really aren't too bad - but that's mostly limited to the makeup, which is rather cute (especially the results showing the 'special' glasses being put on and taken off). Another bone to pick is that it almost wants to lean heavily into the comedy genre, especially the closing sequences. But overall I enjoyed it. Full Review »