The Puppet Masters - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Puppet Masters Reviews

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garyX
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2007
Conspiracy sci-fi in which the human race is being infiltrated by aliens who can control the bodies of their human victims. On their trail are two FBI agents, one male, one female. One is a believer, the other a sceptic. Any of this sound familiar...? Yes, it's a total rip off of the X-Files, but it's adequately done, and Donald Sutherland is always worth watching.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2010
A captivating paraniod sci-fi thriller well directed by Stuart Orme, that features a outstanding lead star performance by Donald Sutherland, as Andrew Nivens the shrewd, sardonic head of a secret top-level U.S. Security Agency who leads his team consisting of agent Sam Nivens his disaffected son, Dr. Mary Sefton a specialist on alien biology from NASA, both roles are well played by Eric Thai & Julie Warner and agent Jarvis, nicely played by comedian and character actor Richard Beizer into an investigation of a alleged UFO landing in a small midwestern town, they quickly discover that small parasite-like extraterrestrials creatures have indeed landed and are taking control of the town residents and manipulating their bodies and minds like they were puppets, now Sutherland and his team face an escalating crisis as the creatures multiply and keep spreading to the point the the U.S. Army has to be brought in to stop the seemingly unstoppable alien menace. Solid supporting performances by Keith David, Will, Patton, Yaphet Kotto, Sam Anderson, Gerry Bamman and Marshall Bell, but its Sutherland superlative turn in itself that makes this motion picture worth watching. The film has several superbly staged action sequences, and an intelligent screenplay by Ted Elliott, Teau Russio, and David S. Goyer, which is based on Robert Heiniein's original story. Excellent visual effects with remarkable animatronic slug-like alien parasites creatures by Gred Cannorm, A solid piece of science fiction that has some genuinely creepy moments. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2007
Standard-issue alien-invasion thriller.
½ July 3, 2011
Interesting premise...And yes it is eerily similiar to the popular "B" movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers...In of itself it too is a "B" movie worth watching once and only if you have nothing better to watch."
½ January 29, 2010
The novel by Heinlein was a natural for a movie. How they failed to make a good movie out of it amazes me.
½ March 3, 2008
Fairly standard sci-fi, not bringing too much to the table, but still a fun little time waster. Could have been better with tighter direction and some added visual flourish.
January 14, 2014
Interesting premise, silly execution. The film quickly takes off into the action and doesn't really slow down, but it gets dumb and quirky quickly. Decent characters, great creature effects, lackluster ending, but ultimately a watchable goof.
March 17, 2013
Feels longer than it is and has the urgency and suspense of a made for TV movie, but paranoid alien thrillers of this type are always at least kinda fun.
January 20, 2013
Why , Why can't there be more great Heinlein adaptations like this. I can watch this movie everyday and not be tired of it.
January 20, 2013
Very fine in the technical world, but the poor dialogue and the fact that it is devoid of suspense overshadows this.
January 8, 2013
Creepy and entertaining.
½ October 13, 2011
Do you think you're capable of killing your father?

In Ambrose, Iowa a strange space craft lands from outer space filled with strange creatures. Initially, the residents do not take the space craft seriously; however, when the aliens start latching onto humans and using them as puppets the government arrives and tries to contain the outbreak. Can the government with the aid of several locals contain the outbreak?

"So if the two of you are getting shot at which bullet do I take?"
"Both."

Stuart Orme, director of Ghostboat, The Lost World, Sleeper, Heaven on Earth, and The Heist, delivers The Puppet Masters. The storyline for this picture was standard for the alien invasion genre and was a direct rip-off of the body snatcher movies. The special effects were solid for the time period and the acting was average. The cast includes Donald Sutherland, Eric Thal, Julie Warner, Will Patton, Keith David, and Yaphet Kotto.

"If you don't get too close they'll think you're one of them."

I found the Puppet Master while looking at Donald Sutherland pictures and decided to give it a shot since we are so close to Halloween. Overall, there are some cool special effects and kill scenes scattered throughout this picture but there is not enough original content to give this a higher score than a five.

"He sounds like he wants to fuck the thing."

Grade: C
½ July 5, 2011
Wow -- you can tell there is nothing on demand - and I have no netflix... This was bad...
½ July 1, 2011
The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein was a novel that has influenced such films as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Faculty, but also this adaptation of it, which I enjoyed quite thoroughly. It was intense and thrilling, and any scene that wasn't action oriented was carried by by good acting from cast members such as Donald Sutherland, Erik Thal, Julie Warner and Keith David. I have never read the original novel, so I have no basis for comparison, but I do know that this film was very well-written for an action/thriller. It did have a couple of problems, though. There was one scen I found a bit dull and easy to tune out, and some of the special effects are kind of bad, especially by today's standards. On the other hand, I did really enjoy the alien parasite itself, and watching it lasso onto objects and swing around rooms and helicopters Indiana Jones-style brought me no end of amusement. I ultimately enjoyed this film a lot, despite a particularly frustrating scene that actually made me angrily shoud orders at the character on screen - something I normally go out of my way to avoid doing - it was a pretty good piece of alien invasion entertainment.
April 13, 2011
I thought this movie was just fine.
½ March 1, 2011
This alien First Encounter film is pretty weird, but thanks to Donald Sutherland, I stuck with it. Of course, the CIA is invoked as they are authorized, apparently, to kill anyone they choose in the name of anything weird. Nice to see we have a mult-ethnic cast on board to conquer this alien menace.


The Puppet Masters is a 1951 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein in which American secret agents battle parasitic invaders from outer space.

After that:

This, The Puppet Masters, is a 1994 science fiction film, adapted by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and David S. Goyer from Robert A. Heinlein's novel of the same title, in which a trio of American government agents attempts to thwart a covert invasion of Earth by mind-controlling alien parasites. The film was directed by Stuart Orme and stars Donald Sutherland, Andrew Robinson, Keith David, Julie Warner, and Eric Thal.


A water seeking alien comes to Earth to suck us dry. From the beginning, we sense only with our eyes that we know whats going on before it has to be revealed. Dead givaways are everywhere.

Will most likely engross kids and some naive adults. Nevertheless, this film has its moments. The laugher of course, is when an official displays everything that is known about aliens since the fifties.....on a floppy disk!

Well, it doesn't take but 30 minutes into the film when everyone is attacking everyone. But Donald Sutherland keeps going with his cane. The whole movie is progressively about this alien being that works through just about everyone.

The film ultimately SINKS about the 40 minute mark. We then discover our best defense agent is an alien and then approaches the President.


Not my type of genre, but will leave it to you to decide. My suggestion is to watch instead Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss in a very real encounter, not this.


Directed by Stuart Orme
Written by Robert A. Heinlein (novel)
Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
David S. Goyer
Narrated by Christopher Britton
Starring Donald Sutherland
Andrew Robinson
Julie Warner
Keith David
Eric Thal
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) 1994
Running time 109 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English
May 16, 2010
Good movie to go to sleep to......Very disappointing, only appeared like a science fiction movie for the first 2 minutes. After the opening credits, lapsed into a "chase" film with a storyline that had no direction.
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