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Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away fromMamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival. Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like straws, light switches and telephones are brand new to them. Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 20th century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that. So Carrie embarks on her own unchartered territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack (Corey Stoll). [Warner Bros.] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 16, 2014
    88
    While The Good Lie certainly doesn’t shy away from scenes designed to make us shake our heads at man’s inhumanity to man and scenes designed to make us dab at our eyes, it’s the kind of movie that earns those moments.
  2. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Sep 11, 2014
    80
    The Good Lie is a touching, generous-hearted movie, sensitively directed by Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) working with a smart, sly, long-gestated script by Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire).
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 2, 2014
    75
    A genuinely touching and occasionally powerful film, not least because the boys are so disinclined to pity themselves.
  4. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Oct 2, 2014
    70
    It works as well as it does precisely because of an intelligence, humanity and restraint we rarely see in Hollywood films.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 27, 2014
    63
    The images in The Good Lie have the power to disturb but lack the gut-punch impact necessary to give us an immediate and lasting connection to the protagonists.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Oct 2, 2014
    63
    This is a Hollywood-delivered chronicle of the immigrant experience that earns its justification through good will and tact.
  7. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Sep 11, 2014
    25
    The Good Lie is so manufactured around a particular dramatic blueprint that any sense of spontaneity, surprise and engagement are sucked right out of the picture.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Dec 21, 2014
    9
    The Good Lie is a rare movie this year that gives you characters to care about. The acting is excellent, the humor is timely and the story isThe Good Lie is a rare movie this year that gives you characters to care about. The acting is excellent, the humor is timely and the story is powerful. A film that deserves to be seen. Expand
  2. Oct 14, 2014
    8
    Very sweet, well acted drama with lots of funny fish-out-of-water moments sprinkled throughout. If there was any faults against the movie itVery sweet, well acted drama with lots of funny fish-out-of-water moments sprinkled throughout. If there was any faults against the movie it would be that the ending was a bit vague. Expand
  3. Oct 19, 2014
    7
    A capably produced, heartfelt feel-good story with fine performances by actors who personally witnessed the kinds of horrors depicted onA capably produced, heartfelt feel-good story with fine performances by actors who personally witnessed the kinds of horrors depicted on screen. Told with gentle humor and uncompromising (though not grotesque) recountings of historic events, the picture tells its story with warmth and inspiration. Some unevenness in the writing, however (especially in the film's second half), keeps this picture from being truly as great as it might have been. Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2014
    7
    A heartfelt movie that has genuine storytelling. It is also well acted with touches of nice humor. It could have been one of those clichéA heartfelt movie that has genuine storytelling. It is also well acted with touches of nice humor. It could have been one of those cliché movies that is overly sappy, but this one feels real and believable. Expand
  5. Dec 19, 2014
    6
    One of the more underrated wide release films of 2014, The Good Lie retains some of the power that lies in the true story upon which it isOne of the more underrated wide release films of 2014, The Good Lie retains some of the power that lies in the true story upon which it is based, in spite of the sometimes glossy Hollywood approach through which it is framed. The use of real actors that were once child soldiers of Sudan themselves adds an undeniable authenticity to the performances of the four central characters. While far from a starkly realistic portrait of the enduring atrocities that I'm sure still plague Sudan, The Good Lie is still competently made and gets it's point across quite well. The inclusion of noteworthy actors, like Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll, while each delivering fine performances, creates an initially jarring effect and distracts until we become used to the characters later on in the picture. Some of the conflicts during the mid-section of the film can seem more slight than others when contrasted with The Good Lie's engaging first act. The bickering between Paul and Mamere is one of the lesser aspects that the film devotes it's time to. There is also an overall feel throughout that we aren't getting a view of the whole, horrific picture. To account for this could be the accommodating tone that often usurps The Good Lie's possible heft. One of the positive aspects that arises from this light touch is how surprisingly funny the film can be. Not every gag works, but the 'Coming to America' style of culture-clash humor feels natural and prevents The Good Lie from being overbearingly solemn. One sizable flaw I had was that the final solution to the brothers' problem, from which The Good Lie derives it's title, doesn't feel manipulative, but distractingly unfeasible, or, if this was the real conclusion to the true-to-life story, framed in a rush that undercuts it's dramatic and socio-political potential. All-in-all, The Good Lie makes for some surprisingly effective Hollywood drama, featuring some relative unknowns giving impressively authentic performances. It reminds me faintly of the 2011 drama "A Better Life", a film that also left an impact and showed depths of human emotion in spite of the sometimes treacly approach to the story. Expand

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