Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A middle-aged London factory worker is shocked when the mixed-race daughter she gave up at birth decides to track her down. At first she denies she is her mother. All family members become emotional, as everyone's secrets are exposed.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jason Puskar
    100
    A masterful mix of wit and humor, sympathy and sadness.
  2. 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]
  3. 100
    Reveals itself detail by searing detail.
  4. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    90
    Breathtaking, heartbreaking.
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  6. Leigh has a gift for demonstrating character from the outside in.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    60
    Unquestionably a finely observed, deeply felt work, though with some nagging problems in pacing and structure.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Macky
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    The Best Movie I have ever seen, PERIOD! Unbelivable acting, great story, deeply moving. If you care about people more than special effects The Best Movie I have ever seen, PERIOD! Unbelivable acting, great story, deeply moving. If you care about people more than special effects see this movie. Expand
  2. ShaniceT
    Dec 2, 2006
    10
    Phenomenal film! Brilliant screenplay, direction, and acting.
  3. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    Mike Leigh reveals to us how secrets and lies can cause upset, pain, and regret in what has to be one of the best British films of all time.Mike Leigh reveals to us how secrets and lies can cause upset, pain, and regret in what has to be one of the best British films of all time. With spot-on dialogue and glorious performances it is hard to find fault with Leigh's masterpiece. Just when we thought Cynthia would live out the rest of her days as a worker in a banal factory, with her confrontational daughter Roxanne, she is thrown a life line in the form of Hortense, and we see their relationship flourish. Timothy Spall is also on top form as the glue that holds the family together. Collapse
  4. Oct 12, 2014
    10
    Secrets & Lies is my favorite film from a terrific director in Mike Leigh. It's about intricate and rocky relationships evolving around aSecrets & Lies is my favorite film from a terrific director in Mike Leigh. It's about intricate and rocky relationships evolving around a family, and at it's heart a woman finding her real mother becoming introduced into this family. It's not just another "searching for birth parent" film, but one of real emotion and complexity. It has a host of terrific performances especially, from the great Brenda Blethyn as the mother struggling in her relations with one daughter, while coming to terms with another she never knew. This is one of my favorite films from the 1990's; just terrific! Expand
  5. 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... Expand
  6. PatC.
    Jun 11, 2007
    9
    It's a struggle to follow this movie in the early going as it tracks two sets of characters who do not initially interact. Finally what It's a struggle to follow this movie in the early going as it tracks two sets of characters who do not initially interact. Finally what is going on reveals itself. From then on, one is witness to an important story exceptionally well told. Upon reflection the accomplishment of this film is exemplary. The last line of spoken dialogue, filled with peace, is as perfect a masterpiece of closure as any ever committed to film. A must see for those who differentiate the best from the rest. Despite the difficult setup I cannot recommend it highly enough. Expand
  7. Aug 24, 2010
    6
    Woman decides to trace her real mother after the death of her adoptive mother.
    Usual Mike Leigh affair with all the grit, tension & emotion
    Woman decides to trace her real mother after the death of her adoptive mother.
    Usual Mike Leigh affair with all the grit, tension & emotion you'd expect. Pretty well acted but thought it went a bit annoying towards the end. Thought the musical score was a bit lame too & didn't really fit.
    Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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