The Puppet Masters (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Puppet Masters (1994)

The Puppet Masters (1994)

The Puppet Masters



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Puppet Masters Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Robert A. Heinlein's 1951 novel The Puppet Masters comes to the screen 43 years later. Sharp-eyed viewers will recognize similarities to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Heinlein's book came first. Parasitic space aliens invade the Midwest, taking over the bodies of humans and manipulating these unfortunates to do their bidding. US security agent Donald Sutherland and his team of troubleshooters attempt to squash the extraterrestrial scheme before everyone in the world is turned into Howdy Doody. Adding an extra layer to this familiar scenario is the fact that Sutherland doesn't get along with everyone on his side-in particular, he has a lot of trouble relating with his son Eric Thal. Stuart Ormes' perfunctory direction is not up to the standard set by the actors and special effects.more
Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: David S. Goyer, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 3, 2002
Hollywood Pictures


Donald Sutherland
as Andrew Nivens
Eric Thal
as Sam Nivens
Julie Warner
as Mary Sefton
Keith David
as Holland
Yaphet Kotto
as Ressler
Tom Mason
as President Douglas
Gerry Bamman
as Viscott
Sam Anderson
as Culbertson
Marshall Bell
as General Morgan
Andrew Robinson
as Hawthorne
Dale Dye
as Brande
Bruce Jarchow
as Mr. Barnes
Donna Garrett
as Miss Haines
Benjamin Mouton
as Mr. Higgins
Elizabeth Sung
as Technician #1
Dinah Lenney
as Technician #2
Tom Dugan
as Operator #1
John C. Cooke
as Lt. Abbey
Fabio Urena
as Infantryman
Michael Shamus Wiles
as Captain Earley
Todd Bryant
as Soldier
Don James
as Soldier
K.T. Vogt
as Slugged Woman
Dale Harimoto
as Anchorwoman
Eric Briant Wells
as Vince Hayward
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Puppet Masters

Critic Reviews for The Puppet Masters

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7)

Only the most undiscriminating monster-pic buff will come away satisfied.

Full Review… | December 6, 2009
Top Critic

There's no suspense (ETs rampage from the word go); no frissons (loud hailers telegraph the shocks); and it's insufficiently bright to be an hommage.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A choppy, unsuspenseful succession of chases, melodramatic showdowns and routine special effects.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

The Puppet Masters occasionally lives up to its reputation, but the delay between story conception and celluloid conversion has clearly wilted its power and potential.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Attempts at detailed characterization don't work particularly well, and there's a love story that feels as forced as it is superfluous - although even that isn't as unnecessary as the film's final ten minutes.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Puppet Masters


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.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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.

Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

Standard-issue alien-invasion thriller.

William Goss

Super Reviewer

The Puppet Masters Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Puppet Masters on our Movie forum!