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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 121 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Invention of Lying takes place in an alternate reality where lying--even the concept of a lie--does not exist. Everyone--from politicians to advertisers to the man and woman on the street--speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards. In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and Mark begins to realize that things are getting a little out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as, well, gospel. With the entire world now hanging on his every word, there is only one thing Mark has not been able to lie his way into: the heart of the woman he loves. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. 88
    In its amiable, quiet, PG-13 way, The Invention of Lying is a remarkably radical comedy.
  2. However cheeky and blasphemous, this is, at heart, a rather sweet little fable. Which of course would mean nothing if it weren’t explosively funny.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    By adhering to the romantic-comedy formula, The Invention of Lying stops short of being truly inventive. But enough sequences are fresh and inspired to make this a comedy honestly worth catching.
  4. Invention - a mash-up of two Jim Carrey comedies, "Liar Liar" and "Bruce Almighty" - flirts with being a one-gag pony. Shocking sincerity loses its comic impact after a while.
  5. Once it's high-concept plot kicks in, Gervais' hilariously self-deprecating persona is really all that keeps it grounded.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    With The Invention of Lying, the British comic actor Ricky Gervais has come up with a wickedly funny idea for a movie - and then purged the wickedness right out of it.
  7. 20
    Proof that when you aim for the stars, sometimes you find a black hole. Hopefully just an anomaly for the usually wonderful Gervais.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 49
  2. Negative: 19 out of 49
  1. BobS
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    Fabulous. Funny. Well done. Yes, it might have been executed in a better cinematic way, but who cares. The story, the plot, the acting, and most importantly the message was outstanding. In a nice delicate way it explained how religion -- while it might do very nice things to make people happy and lead nice lives -- is based on fables and stories. As people take those stories and make them absolute truths, they inhibit their ability to have original thought and sometimes do bad things. They can even use the religion as the excuse or rationale to do things that aren't good for others. They claim they can do things because god talks to them. That's why religious extremists can inspire so many illiterate and hopeless people and turn them into terrorists. That's why religions can get people to hate people - like gays, people of other religions, or non-believers. That's why religions can get people not to use birth control even thought population expansion is really bad for the planet. That's why Popes jailed Galileo in the 17th century for having scientific thought that contradicted church teachings. And that's why the religious right today can get all upset about movies like this -- because they see it as blasphemy that challenges their thinking rather than just seeing it as a someone with original thought questioning beliefs that have gotten out of hand. Expand
  2. Michael
    Dec 29, 2009
    10
    A remarkable movie. It accomplishes both a sweet romantic comedy with a sharp existential critique of religion underneath. Beautiful and moving approach to dealing with mortality. Expand
  3. BradA
    Jan 11, 2010
    8
    I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. The story is unique and the brutal honesty is hilarious. Gervais is absolutely perfect like others have said. The surprising thing about this film was the touching story. From the previews you would not have guessed that is has a serious side found through humor. The bet part is still "the man in the sky" parts. Expand
  4. JacobC
    Oct 2, 2009
    5
    The Invention of Lying is half a good movie, which is why it get's half a good score. The first half of the movie is a smartly written and genuinely hillarious comedy, with some moments of pure brilliance you'd expect from Ricky Gervais. However, the second half of the movie is exacly the opposite. Gervais' staunch atheism makes the story take an unexpected, unfortunate and, quite frankly, completely unneccessary turn for the worse. The rest of the movie isn't only boring, it's also a bit preachy and pretentious. It goes from being one of the best comedies of the year to an excuse for Mr. Gervais to express his atheistic views. Religion jokes can be funny if they're done right. Unfortunatly, in the Invention of Lying, they're not. Not only is the second act of the film slightly offensive, it's also annoying and pretty extreme, even for Ricky Gervais. If you're an atheist you'll probably enjoy this movie a lot more than I did. But as someone who wasn't expecting atheist propaganda snuck into a funny romantic comedy, I found the movie pretty darn dissapointing. I'm a huge Ricky Gervais fan, and while I don't share his beliefs, I respect them. However with this film he took it way too far, as they simply had no place in the movie. Expand
  5. Mar 16, 2012
    3
    A film that starts out in an intelligent and entertaining way but utterly collapses into a sluggish, head-scratching albatross in the third act. Although it apparently attempts to lampoon religion and its origins (which can't be done enough, in my opinion!), the last 40 minutes felt an awful lot of preachy bullcrap to me. Expand
  6. BrandonZ
    Oct 5, 2009
    2
    This was the worst movie I've seen so far this year, which is horrible because I really like Ricky Gervais' style of humor. The whole movie relied too heavily on the gimmick of a universe without lying. I still however had a few laughs for the first half hour. The second half of the movie however was horrible, with stupid romantic comedy along with long and boring religious plot twists. The entire premise just doesn't work, if no one could lie, and mankind never had any religions, the world would be completely different. They try to get you to think about the possibilities, while the world in the movie is the same as this one except no one lies. Fact is, without religion, America probably would have never been settled, and even if they did come over, after being unable to lie to the Indians, they would have been killed. The premise just doesn't work. The movie itself just wasn't very funny, instead it was groan inducing. Horribly disappointing movie. Expand
  7. sgjdfsofisjgs
    Oct 3, 2009
    0
    This movie pisses me off, why is it ok for atheists and jews to make fun of us Christians but not the other way around. This movie was not funny at all and it was a dry plot throughout. Catholics and Christians need to wake up and realize that Hollywood hate us and trying to slowly brainwash and change our beliefs. I hope the ones that make fun of us burn in hell. Expand

See all 49 User Reviews