They Live

In Cinemas Now

Who are they? And what do they want?

John Carpenter’s subversive action-sci-fi follows John Nada (WWF wrestler Roddy Piper), a drifter who finds a pair of truth-revealing sunglasses. What he discovers is that Earth has been covertly taken over by ugly-looking aliens who have turned advertisements and other media into subliminal propaganda tools (injecting the word 'Obey' with massive amounts of pop-cultural relevance). Nada takes up arms against the aliens, and along the way finds time for a five-and-a-half minute fistfight with co-star Keith David that Rotten Tomatoes ranks seventh on their list of the 20th Greatest Fight Scenes Ever.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

  • John Carpenter
  • (based on the short story 'Eight O'Clock in the Morning' by Ray Nelson)

Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

94mins

Rating: R16 Violence

USA

Los Angeles Times

press

Suggests, with grim, knowing wink, the joke may be on us.

New York Times

press

Credibility isn't the problem... but execution is.

Slant Magazine (USA)

press

Behold the message as articulated by John Carpenter's sublime sci-fi opus: "I'm giving you a choice: Either put on these glasses, or start eating that trashcan."

Variety (USA)

press

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