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. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    75
    The looniest movie of the season and also one of the most engaging. [7 Nov 1988]
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    80
    Has its share of underthought or overwrought moments. The tone keeps shifting radically. It has some silly lines, plot lapses and goofball action scenes. But you can forgive the movie everything because of the sheer nasty pizazz of its central concept. [4 Nov 1988]
  3. Carpenter is trying for a satire of advertising and consumerism under late capitalism, and although the film is great fun at first--especially when depicting the world through Nada's glasses--it rarely rises above the intellectual level of a comic book.
  4. 70
    A fantastically subversive film, a nifty little confection pitting us vs them, the haves vs the have-nots.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Klimek
    Dec 3, 2013
    70
    They Live is, to scramble its most famous line, better at chewing bubblegum than kicking ass.
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 »