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91 of 94 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
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
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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
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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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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 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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 Nobody kicks a$$ (and chews bubblegum) better, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: They Live [DVD] (DVD)
‘They Live’ is a masterpiece. No, not a masterpiece of acting, nor storytelling or even originality. It’s basically a masterpiece of a B-movie. In B-movie terms... this is the ‘Godfather’ Parts 1, 2 and 3.

We join a vagrant (played by a wrestler no less!) who stumbles onto an alien plot to take over the world. He decides that ain’t gonna’ happen! And he does it in style.

I could mention the numerous classic (yet completely cheesy) lines. I could also mention the truly ridiculous fight scene that transpires about half way through the film (and was so brilliantly parodied in ‘South Park’). And I could mention that They Live was directed by the master of horror in the seventies/eighties John Carpenter. However, you don’t need to know any of that. All you need to have in order to enjoy this film is an appreciation for the slightly dumb, the slightly daft, the slightly over-the-top and the ability to suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half so that you can really cheer the good guys on in their quest to rid the world of this corporate alien menace.

No brain cells required. Just sit back, crack open the popcorn (chewing bubblegum is optional) and watch the aliens get their collective a$$ kicked by ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper!
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible,amazing movie, 18 Sep 2010
By 
Massimo Santilli "kinowelt" (La Spezia - Liguria Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: They Live [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
"They Live" is a very beautiful film of Carpenter. The director signed his most political film, a sort of political satire, irony, made with few resources, much like the science fiction films of the 50s. The main difference is that in that case it was almost always anti-parables, the aliens were the Communists, in Carpenter instead aliens are all hypocrites businessmen Reagan era, and instead the savior is a laborer. Overall, this is not the best director, but the realization is that discreet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal economics, 15 July 2003
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: They Live [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
Turns out that some economic entrepreneurs are in the process of exploiting people. (All people. O.K. the world.) They seem to have a different physical appearance than you or I and for the sake of keeping the exploration covert, have electronically masked themselves to appear normal.

All is going well until the presents of this drifter come to LA looking for work. He finds himself in an unbelievable situation. Evidently malcontents have devised a way to spot these interlopers and are threatening exposure. He is skeptical at first then after a bout of fisticuffs will be forced to see the truth. Subsequently he becomes the most radical in a plot to blowup the masking devise and expose this cabal to the world. Will he succeed or are they clever enough to catch him at the last moment? A more sinister thought is will anyone care?

In a world where you can not tell the good buys from the bad without your glasses there is also a quasi love interest between the vigilante and a worker (Meg Foster) at a local TV studio.
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