Skip to main content


Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • NA
    Peter Stack San Francisco Chronicle

    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] show more

  • 38
    Mike Clark USA Today

    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] show more

  • 75
    Dave Kehr Chicago Tribune

    The looniest movie of the season and also one of the most engaging. [7 Nov 1988] show more

  • 70
    TV Guide

    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. show more

  • 80
    Michael Wilmington Los Angeles Times

    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] show more

  • 70
    Village Voice

    They Live is, to scramble its most famous line, better at chewing bubblegum than kicking ass. show more

  • 70

    A fantastically subversive film, a nifty little confection pitting us vs them, the haves vs the have-nots. show more

  • 60
    Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader

    All in all, an entertaining (if ideologically incoherent) response to the valorization of greed in our midst, with lots of Rambo-esque violence thrown in, as well as an unusually protracted slugfest between ex-wrestler Roddy Piper and costar Keith David. show more

  • 30
    Elvis Mitchell The New York Times

    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] show more

  • NA
    Washington Post

    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] show more

similar movies

  • Total Recall (1990)

  • Riddick (2013)

  • Dark City (1998)

  • Body Snatchers (1993)

  • Aliens (1986)

Stay Connected with Moviefone

Download the Free App!

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts


You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.

    Update settings