Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Feb 16, 2011
    The footage, by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, is stunning.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 3, 2011
    The film is an astonishing visual experience and at times almost profoundly suspenseful.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 17, 2011
    Mightily impressive to look at. What it's like to listen to is somewhat different.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Feb 17, 2011
    One's confidence in factuality is weakened by a cliché-ridden narrative that reads Ma di Tau's mind during her buffalo hunt, and by incessant manipulation of the imagery-not only the use and abuse of slo-mo, but digital enhancement of colors in concert with an almost obsessive concentration on stalking and killing.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 26, 2011
    A great way to go on a safari without ever leaving the multiplex.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 17, 2011
    This nature documentary about the vanishing lions of Africa is not your children's "Lion King."
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 18, 2011
    Riveting, especially since these animals' population has horrifyingly dropped from 450,000 to 20,000 in a half-century.
  8. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Feb 17, 2011
    A worthy, intensive labor of love that took years to shoot and edit, and it's also more gripping than a lot of recent Hollywood thrillers.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 11, 2011
    Director Dereck Joubert gleans a valuable thread that connects us to these endangered creatures.
  10. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 30, 2011
    It's a vivid, blunt and candid look at their kill-or-be-killed existence, which Joubert writes and Irons narrates is "the eternal dance of Africa."
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Mar 3, 2011
    It's all very melodramatic, but the Jouberts accompany this story with incredible visuals, with an exceptional level of access. Considering how close they get to the animals, it's a wonder none of the filmmakers got mauled.
  12. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Feb 18, 2011
    While the anthropomorphism Joubert employs to tell the lions' story may strike some as cloying, ultimately that doesn't distract from this tale of survival in an inhospitable environment.
  13. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 15, 2011
    Overflowing with super-slow motion, color filters and the clunkiest of flashbacks, The Last Lions frequently amplifies the melodrama to borderline-excessive proportions.
  14. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Feb 15, 2011
    Though floridly written and relentlessly scored, the film's dramas are more persuasively framed than many human ones, going so far as to include multiple flashbacks.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Feb 17, 2011
    The result is a movie that may be geared to a nature film fan base but will also appeal to admirers of good storytelling.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 20, 2011
    "The Last Lions" has a PG rating for a reason! The narration is cloying & childish but the images are extremely graphic. We went with an 8 year old who had to leave the theater she was so disturbed by the events depicted in this story. It's very accurate & moving, but shocking, too much so for kids. A day later I can't get some of the images out or my mind. Not sorry I went. It's stunningly photographed. It's a movie that anyone who cares deeply about species survival ought to see. Full Review »
  2. Mar 27, 2011
    Words to describe "The Last Lions" are amazing, stunning, incredible, sad and real. Beverley and Dereck Joubert's experiences with the lions after living with them for so many years makes "The Last Lions" a leader in wildlife documentaries. The cinematography and editing were amazing. The movie is not showing where we live, so we drove 90 minutes to go see it and it was certainly worth the drive. The way the Jouberts tell the story of a lioness named Ma di Tau (â Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2012
    Well shot documentary that actually has a story. The animals have personalities and Mr Irons projects perhaps their "thinking". It is too long, as many of the same situations are played over again. Still it is a thought provoking insight to what may be happening to the king of beasts. Solid above average effort. Full Review »