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90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing the point?
I think most of you are missing the point of the film here, its a social commentary, the aliens were an allegory for corporate greed and capitialism at the expense of personal freedoms and human rights. It was made in the 80's, Reagan era, when these things were being pushed aside in favour of power and a money making screw everyone else culture.

Personally, I...
Published on 9 Oct 2007 by Sandman

versus
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THEY LIVE:
I enjoyed this film (mostly.) If you like Total Recall or the mini series of the late 80's "V" then you will be pleasantly surprised by this nice little flick by John Carpenter that fell under the radar & not many people picked up on. Premis is down on his luck drifter (Roddy Piper) stumbles across a resistance movement operating from a rundown church. He...
Published on 12 Mar 2006 by Mr. S. Taylor


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a body slam of a movie!, 29 Aug 2012
By 
Mr. S. Storey "eats beans" (not at work) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
It's up there with the best of them. Loads of fun. Another Carpenter classic with a great story in which the leading man discovers an alien plot to infiltrate and enslave society and sets about getting some payback. I understand the messages about the economy, government fat cats, advertising and all the rest of it, but for me, the fun is on the screen. I just sit back and enjoy, the brutal fist fights, the fire fights, the excellent one liners. Best enjoyed with beer and friends!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carpenter Film They Live, 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
Very good science fiction/social commentary film made in a low tech era. Only a modern prejudice would blind the watcher of the message of this film (where format seems to be more important than medium). This film has influenced many that followed. It handles the story in simple terms from a normal persons point of view. Very glad to see it again it's got a lot of charm and has not lost any relevance at all. It also has one of the most honest commentaries from the main actor and the director in relaxed laugh at and with and make really on the nerve points naturally. It doesn't look great but it is great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yay, i've finally found it!!, 22 Nov 2010
By 
Ms. S. L. Evans (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
Well, where do i start. I was only a kid when i first saw this film and i'd never seen it since. I never forgot it because it is so different and when i found it here on amazon, and for a really good price, i just had to get it. I know a lot of other people are mainly basing their reviews on themes which run throughout the film but i'd just like to add that aside from that, i'm just as happy to think of it as a stand out cult classic and part of my childhood, and i've had many funny drunken chats about it.
All i can say is that you have to watch it. Deffinately.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one from Mr Carpenter..., 4 April 2010
By 
J. Field "jfield139" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
This is indeed a social commentary on the 'greed culture' of the 1980s and I, for one, am glad this was made. The sad thing is that, in many ways, it is even more relevant to today's society than it was then, as while watching this, I could see how we have stumbled our way to the heap of trouble we currently find ourselves in. The whole concept of people being asleep, while the aliens get on with ravaging the earth, is the perfect metaphor for the lack of social awareness in so many people, that allows banks, credit card companies et al, to do their own brand of dirty work. Aside from this, I loved the way the magic specs allowed the world to be seen as a monochrome, clinical place, with no soul, where consumerism, mind control and subservience, are the order of the day (it reminded me of Metropolis in some ways). Okay, the special effects are not the best in the business but, for me, they do their job, as opposed to becoming the main focus of the film, which is how it should be. The telling of the story is this movie's greatest strength and it's a story well worth investing the time in. Five stars - one for the effects, the others for the all-important, social comment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wear my sunglasses at night, 19 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
Another of John Carpenter's great successes, this film turns the paranoia of the 50's science fiction film on its head. Instead of outsiders coming and attempting to disrupt the status quo, in this film the status quo is the whole problem, as aliens have taken over right to the very top. Only Roddy Piper stands between them and continued domination of American society.
Piper makes for another of Carpenter's very likeable heroes, very much in the mould of Snake Plisskin, and the supporting cast is uniformially excellent.
A little gem of a movie.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Live, 12 Feb 2005
By 
This review is from: They Live [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
Crazy black comedy sci-fi works brilliantly at times, gets a bit silly at others (the sunglasses fight). The best aspect (the brainwashing plot) is interesting and not so far fetched if you substitute the rich establishment for the aliens and advertising/media control for the hypnotic transmissions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are they from ?, 17 Jan 2002
This review is from: They Live [VHS] [1989] (VHS Tape)
"Well they ain't from Detroit".
A mad, but brilliant film, I watched this ages ago, but it sticks in my mind as a classic of the 1980s. From the very "grungy" introduction, with the slow, sardonic soundtrack to match the amost comically pessimistic attitude of the characters, to the most intentionally overdone fight scene (a real war of attrition), this film doesn't *quite* take itself seriously, which is a good thing.
However, on another level, this films is slightly disturbing; the effed up world the film is set in is just a little too close, in terms of attitude, to the world we live in. The idea that the aliens don't want to eat us, they just see us as a third world planet to be exploited, is somehow quite scary (possibly because thats how people treat each other). There are some quite neat (if a little heavy-handed) ironies in the film too; homeless people watching adverts for this season's "in" fashion collection, on a TV set in the wreckage of a destroyed shanty town.
All in all, don't settle for bubblegum films, this movie kicks ***.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Documentry on American Society, 30 April 2003
By 
Alan Olsen (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: They Live [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
This documentary shot by John Carpenter during the Reagan Administration explains just how American society works today. From its coverage of advertising, political debate and discourse, and the media in general, this movie explains the inner workings of how American government and the upper class maintain their position amongst compeating interests.
Look for the cameo by Donald Rumsfeld in the film.
This DVD is not available in America. I guess they are still upset about this information being made public.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's Chew Bubblegum & Kick Ass In Carpenter's Political Satire Sci-fi Movie, 21 Mar 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
Dvd Info.
Running time 93 minutes approx, Region 2.

Extras.
Commentary by Roddy Piper, John Carpenter, Tailer, Making of Documentary, Interviews.

Trivia.
1)Originally the fight sequence between Roddy Piper & Keith David was meant to,be 20 seconds long but Roddy Piper who also choreographed this fight sequence kept adding to it & the final fight now runs to 5 minutes 20 seconds.
2)"I've come here to chew Bubblegum & kick ass & I'm all out of Bubblegum" line was ad-libbed by Roddy Piper.
3)The voice saying sleep is that of director John Carpenter.
4)Neda true name is never revealed as Neda is Spanish for "nothing".

Synopsis.
A out of work construction worker simply named Neda is a drifter who unwittingly stumbles upon a strange pair of sunglasses enabling him to see that aliens from the planet Andromeda are living among us & are attempting to subdue the human race with subliminal messages of "Sleep" "Conform" "This is your God" & try to take over the Earth.

After fighting his reluctant friend Frank, Neda forces Frank to put on the glasses as Frank also sees the aliens as Neda & Frank build & lead a resistance to battle against the aliens & there associates.

Timelord Thoughts.
This film was topical in the Regan/Thatcher era of 1988 yet I would say the same topics are even more apparent in 2014 as this is director John Carpenter's satirical take on the world & how the class system divides us as a nation it's just that this film happens to have aliens in it.

Roddy Piper a former Wrestler gives a decent performance as Neda & finds a balance between satirical humour & kicking alien ass.

This film has a strong message dealing with consumerism, Capitalism, Conformity & poverty as the screenplay written also by director John Carpenter hints at how the class system & the social media affects everyone right across the world of both the rich & the poor & proves little has changed today in 2014 than of the Regan/Thatcher era of the 1980's

A entertaining humourous sci-fi film that's satire sneaks in a few important messages as well as kicking some alien ass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's happening now !, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
Change the Aliens to the Bankers and Elite families who control Governments and you have how things are now.
Look up who owns the US Federal Reserve bank and the Bank of England and surf from there.
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