Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27

Critic Reviews

  1. Secrets & Lies, despite my dwelling on its problems, is a really solid and enjoyable movie. It's just not what I would call "best of the fest."
  2. 75
    Crammed, cheek to jowl, with bleak moments, high hopes, sweetness and naked emotion.
  3. The acting is so strong--with Spall a particular standout--that you're carried along as by a tidal wave.
  4. 100
    It moves us on a human level, it keeps us guessing during scenes as unpredictable as life, and it shows us how ordinary people have a chance of somehow coping with their problems, which are rather ordinary, too.
  5. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    100
    Leigh is an artist not at all blind to the world's darkness and pain. But the generosity and togetherness he and his company show in Secrets and Lies is something the movies -- and the world -- truly need. [25 October 1996, Friday, p.A]
  6. Secrets & Lies is all about wounds and our tendency to embrace placebos rather than the harder courses of treatment.
  7. A crowd-pleaser, all right, but, for all its appeal, a naggingly sanctimonious one.
  8. Film.com
    Reviewed by: Sean Means
    90
    Breathtaking, heartbreaking.
  9. Film.com
    Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    90
    By creating characters from emotional wellsprings rather than concepts, Leigh thrills us with the possibilities that emerge when people are merely in the same room.
  10. Film.com
    Reviewed by: John Hartl
    80
    So meticulously acted that you feel you're reading the characters' minds.
  11. 100
    If film means anything to you, if emotional truth is a quality you care about, this is an event that ought not be missed.
  12. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  13. 100
    Represents the director at his best -- unsentimental yet powerful, funny and poignant, and, in the end, undeniably satisfying.
  14. Leigh goes right to the core of his character's lives and mines the place where we're weakest, most alone and sometimes the cruelest.
  15. Leigh has a gift for demonstrating character from the outside in.
  16. Reviewed by: Sarah Kett
    70
    Leigh at his best is a renderer of moments--the wisest and deepest observer, probably, among living directors.
  17. 90
    There's not a weak performance in Secrets And Lies, a fact made more notable by the seeming ease with which the cast performs as an ensemble.
  18. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    100
    Leigh, the writer, ties up things somewhat neatly and is a touch homiletic. Leigh, the director of cast and camera, is masterly. [Sept. 30, 1996]
  19. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    90
    Unfolds beautifully, with a rueful, knowing intelligence that rises above easy assumptions. [27 September 1996, p.C1]
  20. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Rich in humor, pained or frolicking.
  21. 100
    A masterful mix of wit and humor, sympathy and sadness.
  22. A radiant, heartbreaking film.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    Blethyn is so astonishing that you forget you're seeing a performance.
  24. 60
    Unquestionably a finely observed, deeply felt work, though with some nagging problems in pacing and structure.
  25. 100
    Reveals itself detail by searing detail.
  26. 100
    A magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. ShaniceT
    Dec 2, 2006
    10
    Phenomenal film! Brilliant screenplay, direction, and acting.
  2. May 4, 2016
    9
    Secrets & Lies will reveal the truth and get rid of the lies. By how exactly? That's where watching it will give you a clue. I mean, who wouldSecrets & Lies will reveal the truth and get rid of the lies. By how exactly? That's where watching it will give you a clue. I mean, who would rather prefer speaking the truth? I do. Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2015
    10
    awesome but predictable from the beginning if it is the wife... a true twist would it being the friend... the wife was fishy from theawesome but predictable from the beginning if it is the wife... a true twist would it being the friend... the wife was fishy from the beginning , why is she pointing the murder weapon out to the cops and why is she always letting conelle in when the husband is the suspect...hmmm cuz she did it and she wants all evidence found before the truth comes out that, that was the night she found out he cheated on her with the mother of the murdered child... Full Review »