A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
A homeless drifter discovers a reason for the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor: a conspiracy by non-human aliens who have infiltrated American society in the guise of wealthy yuppies. With the help of special sunglasses that reveal the aliens' true faces and their subliminal messages (“marry and reproduce,” “submit to authority”), our hero tries to stop the invasion. This satire of Reaganomics and the “greed is good” era also has one of the funniest (and longest) fight scenes in American cinema.
- " The film was was responding to the start of the US rust belt and Reagan-era consumerism, but its themes of working-class subjugation and omnipresent media control have only become more pressing. " – Phil Hoad
- " 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.” " – Calum Marsh
- " They Live is the looniest movie of the season and also one of the most engaging. " – Dave Kehr