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3.7
3,831 Ratings

They Live

Directed by John Carpenter
United States, 1988
Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

Synopsis

A streetwise drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses which allow him to see subliminal messages hidden behind every billboard, newspaper, and TV commercial in America, as well as the true faces of the masked aliens walking among us, intent to dominate our world in secret.

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They Live Directed by John Carpenter
One of Carpenter’s oddest and most distinctive works, not just because of its overt political messages or the fact that it’s basically a comedy, but because it simultaneously invokes a tradition of more realistic social problem-driven fable movies, like “Sullivan’s Travels” and John Ford’s big screen version of “The Grapes of Wrath.”
July 03, 2016
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Blatant in its defiance of Reagan’s proto-fascism, THEY LIVE is also an affectionate view of working-class Los Angeles that mirrors a sincere appreciation of disreputable pop culture. Casting pro wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the leader of a working-class insurgency is one of the most audacious choices of John Carpenter’s long career, and it may be the most crystallized expression of the director’s politics.
November 30, 2012
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This, of course, was 1988, a year after Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop had proven that an intelligent film could both be an action film and a critique of action films. Carpenter was in many ways picking up where Verhoeven had left off, taking his flair for pyrotechnics to its logical extension and pushing his film’s pointed social critique right down to the level of sly auto-critique as well.
November 06, 2012
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