Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: Norma Khouri is a thief, a saint, a seductress or a sociopath, depending on who you talk to. Men want to marry her, Islamic extremists want to kill her, and the global publishing industry wishes she would just disappear. Khouri won fame and fortune with her 'true story' Forbidden Love, about a shocking honor killing in Jordan. The book was a runaway bestseller, translated into multiple languages and Khouri became the toast of the literary world. That was until July 2004, when esteemed Sydney Morning Herald journalist Malcolm Knox exposed her book as a work of fiction. Weaving between the literary salons of London, the mosque-lined vistas of Jordan, the beach side suburbs of Queensland and the seamy Chicago back streets of Norma's dubious past, Forbidden Lie$ pits Norma's tale against the stories of the those who believe she duped them: the publishers, the FBI, her next door neighbor...even her husband. But the most compelling character of all is Norma who, encouraged by director Anna Broinowski, journeys through every shade of gray that separates fact from fiction. Dir. Anna Broinowski. (Roxie Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    It must be fun to make a film about a con artist when the con artist is a full and willing participant, literally going to the ends of the Earth to prove she is the real deal.
  2. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    100
    One of the year's best films. It is an extraordinary triumph of nonfiction filmmaking, presenting a wild mind game that leaves the viewer invigorated by its sheer audacity and complexity.
  3. Reviewed by: Sura Wood
    90
    Riveting, near flawless documentary.
  4. Even after you've seen Forbidden Lie$, the dizzying, drop-dead fascinating documentary on Norma Khouri, you won't be absolutely sure if she's on the level or a con artist ranked as "one of the best ever." That's how good she is.
  5. 80
    Fascinating quasi-documentary about Norma Khouri.
  6. Reviewed by: Elena Oumano
    80
    This entertaining, provocative film raises pointed issues about con artists and their sometimes-culpable "victims," and also speaks to the elusive pursuit of documentary truth.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Kuipers
    70
    Broinowski commits the crucial error of hanging around way too long once all key questions have been answered.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. BillB
    Apr 10, 2009
    10
    This film will have you talking for hours after you see it. I've seen it 3 times and I'm still baffled and fascinated by the protagonist Norma Khouri. It is easily the best documentary (along with MAN ON WIRE) of the past 2 years. It's a shame it wasn't eligible for an Academy Award nomination (showed on Aussie TV before U.S. theatrical release). Don't miss this film!! Expand
  2. RachelH
    Apr 10, 2009
    10
    The story unfolded in such a surprising manner, I found myself talking about it (and dumbfounded by it) long after having seen it. It is unusual for a documentary to posses such strong elements of mystery. Perhaps this is because the subject matter is mysterious to us as well as the Director herself. Expand
  3. SunnyA
    Apr 10, 2009
    10
    Roxie releasing continues to jam out some in-depth films that tackle things that are important to the most overlooked populations in our society. Yay, baby. Expand
  4. JamesM.
    Apr 8, 2009
    9
    A fascinating film that demonstrates in both form and substance almost as many ways to twist the truth as there are sands in the desert. What's best about this film is the film makers ability to keep audiences guessing even after the film is over what is lie and what is truth. Watching this woman speak for nearly two hours, filmgoers might be forgiven for checking their wallets on the way out of the theater. Expand
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    The film represents a wild mind game of the female writer who was accused for being a con-writer who made up all the story and successfully fool thousands of people. It is outrageously entertaining due to such complexity the writer offered for the viewers to judge. This woman could probably be the the pitiest writer or the most transparent con-"artist" we've ever seen. Expand

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