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Dave Kehr…Lethem pulls apart the threads of John Carpenter's 1988 science fiction film…to entertaining and illuminating effect…Lethem may deconstruct "They Live," but he does not destroy it. Instead, by uncovering its inner confusions and undigested appropriations, he rescues the film from its own perilous preachiness and detachment. Carpenter's film emerges from Lethem's inspection a more human and mysterious work, less coherent perhaps but fully immersed in the noisy, ceaseless traffic of cultural exchange.
—The New York Times