User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 92
  2. Negative: 36 out of 92
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  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 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.
  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 after having seen the movie.
  4. ChrisR.
    Jun 1, 2008
    7
    I'm surprised by how many people think that this movie is bad. You have to realize that except for the flashback all of the events were supposed to be happening in the time of the actual movie length, jumping between storylines. These stories are supposed to be happening at the same time. The "politically savvy" like to say this movie is contrived and the politically apathetic like I'm surprised by how many people think that this movie is bad. You have to realize that except for the flashback all of the events were supposed to be happening in the time of the actual movie length, jumping between storylines. These stories are supposed to be happening at the same time. The "politically savvy" like to say this movie is contrived and the politically apathetic like to say this movie was a lecture. I think it was a good bit of politics movie put together in a fairly captivating dramatic fashion. Not the best political movie I've ever seen but worth at least a single viewing. Expand
  5. Abubrad
    May 10, 2008
    8
    This movie accomplished just what it set out to accomplish despite all the criticism from mindless critics who just want to be entertained. I showed it to my 18-year old who is as apathetic as they come and like his peers look to be entertained by movies. He was riveted to it and his response at the end? - "It was thought-provoking".
  6. RichR.
    Apr 30, 2008
    0
    Are you kidding me? Seeing Meryl Streep struggling, and I mean STRUGGLING to act like she is taking Tom Cruise seriously is most painful. She is one of our greatest actors; he is one of the worst. Why are they in the same movie??? And Robert Redford? Poor guy looks like an old woman. This is pure bilge.
  7. LindaW.
    Apr 26, 2008
    8
    This is an analysis of life's decisions and how they affect you forever. And in a political format, makes you realize what apathy = just not caring one way or another - can do to our society. Well played, directed and written. I thought it was a breath of fresh air in the movie industry, without trying to put mud on either political party. Truly thought-provoking.
  8. AndrewP.
    Apr 24, 2008
    8
    Although the message of this movie, to take action, isn't original, it is important enough that hearing it more than once is just fine in my opinion. So many of us still aren't doing enough to help fix things that we all realize are wrong, so it's clear to me that this type of film still has its place.
  9. movieprophet
    Apr 17, 2008
    7
    Interesting thought provoking flick. not absolutely Tom Cruise's best....awaiting valkyrie.
  10. JayH.
    Apr 4, 2008
    6
    Unfortunate misfire, but still has some strong moments. Meryl Streep is magnificent as always, Tom Cruise stinks as always. The film lacks the power it intended. The script isn't believable, people don't really talk like that. It seems like it was written by people who didn't bother to research real people who are directly involved in the subject matter.
  11. Jonathan
    Mar 28, 2008
    1
    This was surely the worst movie I have seen in a very long time. Actually, it isn't a movie, it is a long winded political advertisement. Long highblown speeches and every cliche in the book. Pure bollocks.
  12. AmselJ.
    Feb 27, 2008
    3
    This movie is good for a laugh, especially for a non-American. regards from Spain (but I am not Spanish!)
  13. DeLaBlanc
    Feb 24, 2008
    6
    Somewhat cerebral...at times dynamic...but with a must do ending
  14. ChadS.
    Jan 31, 2008
    5
    If N.W.A. co-founder Eazy-E was still alienating poor, black people in 2008, how would the Republican-come-lately address the Iraqi War? Prior to his untimely death, the gangsta rapper from Compton paid $2500 for a plate at the 1991 Republican Senators Inner Circle luncheon. This piece of gallows trivia occupied my mind as Ernest(Michael Pena) and Arian(Derek Luke) argue in the If N.W.A. co-founder Eazy-E was still alienating poor, black people in 2008, how would the Republican-come-lately address the Iraqi War? Prior to his untimely death, the gangsta rapper from Compton paid $2500 for a plate at the 1991 Republican Senators Inner Circle luncheon. This piece of gallows trivia occupied my mind as Ernest(Michael Pena) and Arian(Derek Luke) argue in the affirmitive for a millitary conscription revival during a political science seminar. Statistics back up their assertion that high school seniors are wasting taxpayer's money by going to college. If you're eighteen and can't locate Canada on a geographical map, the two Army volunteers assert that you should stop being a burden on the American public(by killing time at community college), and be of use to your country(and die). Arian is black; purposely so, since it's no accident that his homonymic name when spoken, denotes that his skin color should be white. That's Arian with an "i", which could be interpreted as a critique of black people who affiliate themselves with the Republican party. Arian argues that the poor and disadvantaged people(who hail from neighborhoods with subpar educational institutions) should do our fighting for us. To make the role-reversal complete, the students who argue against Ernest(as in "earnest"; "earnestly wrong-headed", an "earnestly wrong-headed Hispanic student") and Arian's designs on the impoverished class is predominantly white. "Lions for Lambs" may treat these two students as if they were heroes; as men of valor; men who fought bravely for Uncle Sam, but in actuality, they're punished for insidiously advancing of the conservative agenda. These two men are used to recruit their own kind into combat; the kind of people who don't live in houses with green lawns and white picket fences. The "i" in Arian's name refers to himself; as in "i" instead of "I". If only the rest of "Lions for Lambs" was this thought-provoking. You'll either be bored, or bored to tears, whenever the movie cuts back to Meryl Streep(she's a reporter) and Tom Cruise(he's a congressman), whose dialogue about the Bush administration's mishandling of the ongoing war has a tell-me-something-I-don't know monotony to it. Collapse
  15. LouD.
    Dec 2, 2007
    3
    A film has to have a story in addition to a good cast, good production, etc. There is no story here, but is really a vanity-type production for Robert Redford, who is didactic throughout the film. Skip this.
  16. O'Dowd
    Nov 30, 2007
    8
    The variation in the scores here say it all. Just about the most polarising movie of the last 5 years. Did I enjoy it? Not particularly. Is it well made ? Not especially. But it is certainly something different, and that alone makes it worthwhile. And it is damn well acted, especially by the big names. Refreshing and thought provoking. And guess what? It is not actually about the war, The variation in the scores here say it all. Just about the most polarising movie of the last 5 years. Did I enjoy it? Not particularly. Is it well made ? Not especially. But it is certainly something different, and that alone makes it worthwhile. And it is damn well acted, especially by the big names. Refreshing and thought provoking. And guess what? It is not actually about the war, even if it is the only movie I have come across so far that actually deigns to mention the fact that there is a real war on in Afghanistan, right now. So what is the film actually about? See it for yourself. Just do not expect to sit back and be "entertained". It is designed to prick your conscience, not to make you feel good. And that is no bad thing. Expand
  17. ParksterW.
    Nov 29, 2007
    2
    Aside from the "Do Something" message of Dr. Malley, I found this to be nothing more than an anti-war movie. I pay for entertainment and I get angry when I get someone else's personal messages regarding politics, government, and foreign policy.
  18. RichardL
    Nov 28, 2007
    9
    This intelligent, passionate film eloquently lays out elements of the political conversation that the United States desperately needs to have with itself, and continually refuses. I think its long-term role will be more to provoke thought and debate among young people than to change any already-fixed minds. Everyone involved in this project has taken a brave risk, and the style of This intelligent, passionate film eloquently lays out elements of the political conversation that the United States desperately needs to have with itself, and continually refuses. I think its long-term role will be more to provoke thought and debate among young people than to change any already-fixed minds. Everyone involved in this project has taken a brave risk, and the style of film-making (low budget, expertly crafted and passionately felt) feels like one of the many 'new waves' that reinvigorated the medium over the last fifty years. Gets a nine for relevance and importance. Expand
  19. MarkC.
    Nov 17, 2007
    0
    This was so boring a real waste of time, I want my 2 hours back...and Billy S. I don't give a rats behind what Robert Redford thoughts on this war are... I wanted to be entertained not lectured too.
  20. BenB.
    Nov 15, 2007
    7
    Look, in no way is this a perfect film. Way too often does Robert Redford descend into his now-infamous political preach-i-ness, and as a result, the film suffers. HOWEVER, I do think that the film has enough wit and bite to go along with the endless talking, especially in the scenes between Cruise and Streep, who vehemently attack one another with words and arguments that far outdo any Look, in no way is this a perfect film. Way too often does Robert Redford descend into his now-infamous political preach-i-ness, and as a result, the film suffers. HOWEVER, I do think that the film has enough wit and bite to go along with the endless talking, especially in the scenes between Cruise and Streep, who vehemently attack one another with words and arguments that far outdo any Presidential Debate in history. The story involving soldiers isn't half bad either, generating genuine suspense for whether or not these characters will ever get off of the mountaintop that has become their prison. But if there is a genuinely yawn inducing plot thread in Lions for Lambs, it's the (mercifully short) one-on-one between professor Redford and a flaky student. For one thing, it has very little to do with the rest of the film, and forgive me if you disagree, but I just don't find a 30 minute inspirational speech on why you should attend class all that interesting. But as mentioned, these scenes do go quick, as if Redford himself knew that they were little more than an excuse to get him in front of the camera, and it's not long before we're back with Cruise and Streep or Luke and Pena. All in all, it's a good film- I just wish it was a great one. Expand
  21. JonathanI.
    Nov 15, 2007
    8
    Provocative in the fact that the meaning of the film is up to the interpretation of the viewer. Clear oratories ensure that sublte facts and rhetoric are present for those wishing to extend their minds and challenge their beliefs. A classic piece of erudite entertainment, yet captivating in its messages. (History repeating itself perhaps,but how hard is it to understand the lessons to be Provocative in the fact that the meaning of the film is up to the interpretation of the viewer. Clear oratories ensure that sublte facts and rhetoric are present for those wishing to extend their minds and challenge their beliefs. A classic piece of erudite entertainment, yet captivating in its messages. (History repeating itself perhaps,but how hard is it to understand the lessons to be learnt, and yet not be able to succeed in motivating others and nations despite marked natural talent and ability, towards the reconciliation of modern life and the barbarism of centuries past). I enjoyed this film immensely for those facts. An inspiring film, yet not in the overdone American tradition of heroic war movies or political expose where over ambitious or coorupt politicians receive their come-uppance! Elegance in the final moments.Well done Mr Redford. Expand
  22. DennisHolloway
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    Redford gives us a film that shows what has gone wrong with this Nation. He is one of our bravest film makers. The film may have flaws, but it is a new genre of films which deserves to be seen.
  23. Enrique
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    Certainly not for everybody. An important, intelligent movie about a political subject that average people don't want to hear: alienation is more comfortable. Some of the comments I have read here are excellent examples of what the movie is exposing. Excellent acting, even by Tom Cruise. If you want cheap thrills, mall theatres or plenty of trash movies that you can enjoy.
  24. ScottM.
    Nov 14, 2007
    1
    I didn't know Tom Cruise went by "Charles H". This movie was pure ccrrapp
  25. MarcMarc
    Nov 14, 2007
    0
    Easily worst film I have seen in several years. All talk, sounding like a 3rd grade debate. Awful arguments from the far right and awful arguments from the far left about Iraq- made me feel both sides were dumb, overbearing and selfrighteous to the extreme. Just awful. A root canal in a theater.
  26. MichelleW.
    Nov 13, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie! I'm glad I ignored all the negative reviews or else I would have missed out on a movie as engaging as listening to music like Fugazi and Bob Dylan. Art and politics go great together --this is America after all!
  27. CharlesH.
    Nov 12, 2007
    10
    Certainly by far the best movie of the year. Spot on with mood and mindset of the country toward the war in Iraq, our broken political process and the indeifferent general public at large. Streep is breathtaking as is Cruise, Redford and the two guys that play Arian and Ernest. Dialogue was outstanding. Message calls for dramatic change in our actions and those of peple in government.
  28. YevgenS.v
    Nov 12, 2007
    0
    Is the choir from Hollywood going to make a movie that is out of tune with the Hollywood/Entertainment elite? Of course not! This film was so predictable: Republicans have evil agendas, they do not care if innocents are hurt, etc. I hate to think what would have happened if Hollywood types like Mr. Redford had been in charge in the 1940s. Hitler would have been seeking only to secure his Is the choir from Hollywood going to make a movie that is out of tune with the Hollywood/Entertainment elite? Of course not! This film was so predictable: Republicans have evil agendas, they do not care if innocents are hurt, etc. I hate to think what would have happened if Hollywood types like Mr. Redford had been in charge in the 1940s. Hitler would have been seeking only to secure his own borders and the French Resistance would've been terrorists. Expand
  29. Finbarr
    Nov 12, 2007
    7
    Perhaps it doesn't have enough escapist content for a lot of viewers. But it should be seen - and heard - especially by the reality-averse.
  30. Lefim
    Nov 12, 2007
    0
    Isn't there supposed to be a difference between a movie and a classroom lecture? If a movie is going to have actors and "dialogue," shouldn't it also have a story? Shouldn't it be at least as much fun as a visit to a dentitst?
  31. BetsyM
    Nov 12, 2007
    1
    I would have given this movie a zero, but it was so bad that it was almost entertaining. The preachiness was terrible, and directed at a 3 year old child. In the war scenes, the effects were so awful that I couldn't decide whether the helicopter was real or animated. And wasn't it cute that the rich kid being lectured (stupidly) by Redford was white while the poor kids who I would have given this movie a zero, but it was so bad that it was almost entertaining. The preachiness was terrible, and directed at a 3 year old child. In the war scenes, the effects were so awful that I couldn't decide whether the helicopter was real or animated. And wasn't it cute that the rich kid being lectured (stupidly) by Redford was white while the poor kids who joined the Army were Hispanic and African-American. I really felt bad for Meryl Streep, she is such a good actress but overplayed her part trying to get something, anything, out of it. The close-ups showing her facial expressions (like in acting class - act shocked here) were sad. I don't particularly like Tom Cruise, but in this sorry excuse for a movie, he was better than the others. Expand
  32. TimM.
    Nov 12, 2007
    1
    Devoid of plot of characterization, but full to brimming with baby boomers getting old and crotchety and wagging their fingers at everyone under 60. Barely a film at all; more like a weekly column in the newsletter of a Santa Barbara retirement home.
  33. jeffb.
    Nov 11, 2007
    1
    It ended for no reason just when it should have started getting good, I feel as if I have just been robbed, they all should be ashamed of themselves for making such a film. I have seen some bad movies before but never left the theatre feeling like I did. It had all the elements to be one of the geat ones and then they just rolled the credits. No wonder it opened everywhere on the same day It ended for no reason just when it should have started getting good, I feel as if I have just been robbed, they all should be ashamed of themselves for making such a film. I have seen some bad movies before but never left the theatre feeling like I did. It had all the elements to be one of the geat ones and then they just rolled the credits. No wonder it opened everywhere on the same day because as word of mouth spread it would have been a dead duck in a week. This feels like a money grab, big names promising story line, and that is all you get. What a Rip Off. a waste of time and money. A first class sham. Expand
  34. JohnA
    Nov 10, 2007
    9
    I wouldn't have thought so beforehand, but I was in need of a good lecture. It sortof said everything I mostly knew, but it felt good to get it out there with a big name cast for posterity.
  35. [Anonymous]
    Nov 10, 2007
    0
    A lot of talk about nothing in particular. Worthless.
  36. ConstanceC.
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    I thought it was thought provoking and an excellent message to most Americans.
  37. GuyM.
    Nov 10, 2007
    4
    I thought it ended too soon. The scenes with Robert Redford were the most appealing to me. Tom Cruises' debut was one scene cut many times and felt like it was filmed just over two days. Was it?
  38. ToosinB.
    Nov 10, 2007
    8
    The screenplay needed an editor but if you can keep up with the pace of the arguments, there's some good stuff. Unfortunately, it's a little too conventional.
  39. ChrisC.
    Nov 10, 2007
    0
    This movie was a preachy suckfest.
  40. MichaelM
    Nov 9, 2007
    0
    It's worse than simple leftist Hollyweird propaganda... It's enormously brain dead and boring leftist Hollyweird propaganda. This box office disaster couldn't happen to more deserving, self important jerks.
  41. BillyS.
    Nov 9, 2007
    5
    I was hoping for Lions to Lambs to be Robert Redford's take on the Iraq war and all out indictment of President Bush and his policies, instead I got a 3-part lecture on how really indifferent the public is and by looking the other way, we've all become the lambs to the lions of the government think tank. What a waste of time.
  42. MarkS
    Nov 9, 2007
    2
    There are much better movies out there. Save your money and enjoy them, instead.
  43. BobW.
    Nov 9, 2007
    1
    The worst thing a movie can do when trying to get people involved is be BORING. The media is by nature exciting. What happened to Redford on the way to making a movie. What a waste of talent
  44. JoshuaR.
    Nov 9, 2007
    0
    Not only is this movie boring but it seems to think that most of its viewers are idiots who can't follow the simpliest of plot lines. If this did not had Robert Redford directing it never would have been made.
  45. RobertR
    Nov 8, 2007
    7
    Not certain what critics would prefer, as Lions for Lambs is soberly intelligent. There's credence to the perpetual argument that Lions for Lambs doesn't feel like a movie. It does feel like a series of solemn lectures closely attached by rigor and drama. This is political drama at its zenith, as the dialogue and action absorbs your attention. Tom Cruise is overtly effective as Not certain what critics would prefer, as Lions for Lambs is soberly intelligent. There's credence to the perpetual argument that Lions for Lambs doesn't feel like a movie. It does feel like a series of solemn lectures closely attached by rigor and drama. This is political drama at its zenith, as the dialogue and action absorbs your attention. Tom Cruise is overtly effective as a politician. One critic wrote why need Thomson when you have Cruise. Well stated. That must signify that there's irony in this movie too. Expand
  46. FrankS.
    Nov 8, 2007
    1
    Thisis the first time this has every happened to me while in the theatre...I FEEL ASLEEP 40 MINS IN!!!
  47. SebastianB
    Nov 8, 2007
    9
    Great dialoge flows effortlessly through the first 2/3, spoiled only by a bad scene or two in the last 15 minutes. The best movie i have seen in years, no exaggeration.
  48. astina.
    Nov 7, 2007
    8
    Sooo.. damn smart dialogues between Senator Jasper Irving and TV journalist Janine Roth!
  49. JimM.
    Oct 30, 2007
    0
    Boring!
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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.