Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36
Watch On
  1. 50
    The problem with Lions for Lambs isn't its political engagement but its cinematic disengagement. Robert Redford directs and stars in this ambitious talkathon, which would have been more effective as a radio play.
  2. 50
    It does not feel good to report that a movie with Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise makes the eyelids droop. But that's what Lions for Lambs does.
  3. 50
    The movie is compelling now but unlikely to survive its moment.
  4. This is the sort of film where a character says “Here we are, having a high-minded debate ...” and you wonder if countless moviegoers will be rolling their eyes in unison.
  5. Like many a Hollywood political drama, Lions for Lambs carries a full head of steam that is indistinguishable from a lot of hot air.
  6. 50
    Fortunately for Redford, Lions for Lambs is a less ham-handed effort than Sayles’ “Silver City,” but it’s a near thing.
  7. Redford and Carnahan would like us to ponder our role in their fate. And maybe we would, if the lecture weren't so dull and self-satisfied.
  8. This tactic, and the film's valid but familiar arguments, might have been fleshed out with better results onstage.
  9. Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs is the clunkiest, windiest, and roughest of the lot. Most of it is dead on the screen. But its earnestness is so naked that it exerts a strange pull. You have to admire a director who works so diligently to help us rise above all the bad karma.
  10. 42
    Talky, didactic and essentially free of any real narrative, it views Iraq through the lens of Vietnam, which is fair enough, but ends up making the whole polemic seem like a condescending effort from aging baby boomers to get the younger generation to step up to the plate.
  11. Reviewed by: Matt Mueller
    50
    Lambs feels five years too late.
  12. 50
    One of those movies in which the principals talk a lot but don't say much.
  13. Lions for Lambs appears to have taken its inspiration from Al Gore's stolid "An Inconvenient Truth," using the stage lecture and Power Point presentation in lieu of dramatic momentum.
  14. Politicians, the media, educators, military commanders and a docile public all come under fire in a well-made movie that offers no answers but raises many important questions.
  15. It tells us everything most of us know already, including the fact that politicians lie, journalists fail and youth flounders. Mostly it tells us that Mr. Redford feels really bad about the state of things. Welcome to the club.
  16. 40
    It winces with liberal self-chastisement: Redford is surely smart enough to realize, as the professor turns his ire on those who merely chatter while Rome burns, that his movie is itself no better, or more morally effective, than high-concept Hollywood fiddling.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    In the end, it all remains a dramatically inert set of talking points, and not even the high-caliber cast can make much more out of it.
  18. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    40
    Amounts to a giant cry of "Americans, get engaged!" wrapped in a star-heavy discourse that uses a lot of words to say nothing new.
  19. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    50
    The movie is awful--and also oddly touching, even adorable in its dogged sense of responsibility, its stubborn refusal of style.
  20. 40
    But for all its passion and topical currency, the movie plays too often like a college colloquium. And it ends on an unsatisfying note, with each character's choice, whether fateful or fatal, hanging in a confounding limbo of indeterminacy.
User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 49
  2. Negative: 21 out of 49
  1. Sep 7, 2011
    5
    "Lions for Lambs" is very smart considering the words it carefully chooses with a strong cast, but in the end it fails to give its disjointed"Lions for Lambs" is very smart considering the words it carefully chooses with a strong cast, but in the end it fails to give its disjointed lecture and confuses us whether we should fight for the US and die in a cold mountain shot with AK-47s by the Taliban or live our daily life. Full Review »
  2. Paul
    Jun 11, 2009
    10
    A truly intelligent film, will have you thinking long after the film has finished.
  3. BillH.
    Sep 7, 2008
    10
    Much better than the reviews I had seen, I don't think it's for everyone, though, which is particularly funny in an ironic way Much better than the reviews I had seen, I don't think it's for everyone, though, which is particularly funny in an ironic way after having seen the movie. Full Review »