Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: July 15, 1994
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 232 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
203
Mixed:
23
Negative:
6
Watch Now
Buy On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
8
SpangleAug 5, 2017
Cheesy, stupid, and bombastic, in all of the right ways, James Cameron's True Lies is a quintessential American action from the 1980s/1990s. Loaded to the point of bursting with one-liners, cleavage, and explosions, True Lies is the type ofCheesy, stupid, and bombastic, in all of the right ways, James Cameron's True Lies is a quintessential American action from the 1980s/1990s. Loaded to the point of bursting with one-liners, cleavage, and explosions, True Lies is the type of macho insanity that keeps men lining up to watch action films to this very day. Yet, action films of today lack the same whimsical sense of stupid brilliance that films such as True Lies captured so effortlessly. Somewhere in the one-line dropping courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cameron turns True Lies into a ballet of testosterone, sexism, and penis envy, that only he can make come off so effortlessly excellent. Without the cruel restraints of telling a serious story found in Cameron's prior action work, he is allowed to fully indulge in explosions and carnage in a way that Michael Bay only wishes he could. Honestly, if Bay did not watch this film and walk home crying, I would be stunned.

As an action comedy film, True Lies never takes itself too seriously. Indulging in over-the-top explosions, rescue missions, and absurd plot turns, Cameron lets the audience know from the jump that this is really just male fantasy in film form. Dropping in Arnold Schwarzenegger as the audience surrogate, allowing men in the crowd to feel one with his overtly masculine appearance, we experience his world vicariously through him. Cool, calm, married to Jamie Lee Curtis, and spitting game with Tia Carrere, Arnold's secret agent Harry Tasker is what every man would openly admit to wanting to be. Toss in a few "cool guys don't look at explosions" moments to open this film and this becomes a proverbial wet dream for macho men everywhere or wimpy men who wish to be macho. Just watch his cool under the pressure demeanor, casual one-liners as he beats the pulp out of a man just as buff as himself ("here cool off"), and rushes to save his wife and daughter from the grasp of international terrorists, and try to deny that every man does not want to be Harry. He saves the day. Looks good doing it and gets every girl around. There is an obvious appeal and Cameron plays it to cartoony perfection, ditching reality in the name of just embracing the cheese. It is a stupid film to be sure, but scenarios where we all dream of being a hero under pressure are undoubtedly just as stupid so it is only natural the film would be the same way.

Yet, equally as obvious is how the film would line up with the theories of Yvonne Tasker regarding masculinity in these macho, testosterone-filled films. Torturing the male form from beginning to end, True Lies is loaded with explosions and pain for Arnold. With Harry Tasker getting beat up brutally at every turn, having his clothes ripped, and having to lift himself up off of the brink of certain death, he is a man who seems to have a very low life expectancy. While he may not bleed as much as some of his opponents, this is not an easy mission for him and is one that leads to him having to change his ripped shirts for a different one quite often. With the rips and the action, however, the male physique is constantly turned into spectacle here and the reason why any tickets were sold. In the most intimate action set piece - the bathroom scene - there are no explosions but lots of gunfire and fighting. Pitting Harry Tasker with a man just as big as himself, this spectacle of two men in peak physical condition is undeniable and brought to the forefront.

However, the film certainly tortures the men a bit in a different way. Men define themselves by the women they get and their ability to please them, hence male insecurity regarding their privates and jealousy. With Helen Tasker (Curtis) beginning to stray due to the lack of intimacy with Harry, he diverts resources to find out who her mystery man Simon (Bill Paxton) is and makes concerted efforts to track him down. Highlighting male insecurity regarding their spouses and inability to satisfy their urges as they expect they should be able to do, True Lies is a film that both tortures men over this area of weakness and gives great release. Upon finding Simon, beating him up, making him admit to have a "little dick", and pee on himself, Harry is able to feel like a bigger man and more secure in his position as the only man in Helen's life. Even if she had strayed with Simon, Harry's presumably better endowment and full masculine confidence in every situation ensures that he could take Simon quite easily if it came down to it. It, like the rest of the film, is a fantasy-driven representation of men's desire to possess their significant others, outperform other men, and fulfill their significant other's every need. It is a competition to the very end in both life and the film.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
Compi24Apr 6, 2014
Perhaps the most joyously violent and intensely humorous of Cameron's wide ranging filmography, "True Lies" is an uncommonly witty and brilliantly staged action-comedy with a hefty amount of enjoyable irony throughout.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
7
Meth-dudeFeb 11, 2017
It was just your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. A lot of action, cheesy dialogues, cheesy action scenes and pretty much all the cheese you could expect from a 90s action movie. Having said that, the acting was good, the action scenesIt was just your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. A lot of action, cheesy dialogues, cheesy action scenes and pretty much all the cheese you could expect from a 90s action movie. Having said that, the acting was good, the action scenes were well made and it was pretty entertaining. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
csw12Nov 26, 2015
True Lies mixes action and violence with comedy. Arnold isn't the greatest of actors but on certain roles in his career like Terminator he did a really good job. When James Cameron is on his is on
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
TokyochuchuSep 8, 2012
True Lies is an unbelievably epic action / comedy from James Cameron. The movie has an enormous quota of truly unforgettable action scenes. The laughs are also catered for with both Tom Arnorld and Bill Paxton turning in classic comicTrue Lies is an unbelievably epic action / comedy from James Cameron. The movie has an enormous quota of truly unforgettable action scenes. The laughs are also catered for with both Tom Arnorld and Bill Paxton turning in classic comic performances. True Lies is simply one of the most impressive popcorn action flicks ever made! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
8
MovieLonely94Mar 22, 2011
Of all the James Cameron movies I've watched, this was the only movie that I haven't even seen until today, I've finally watched it on video and boy did I love it. Avatar, Terminators 1 and 2 and Titanic were such great hits, so this movie isOf all the James Cameron movies I've watched, this was the only movie that I haven't even seen until today, I've finally watched it on video and boy did I love it. Avatar, Terminators 1 and 2 and Titanic were such great hits, so this movie is my favorite Cameron movie as well.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Arnold, Jamie Lee-Curtis, Tia Carrere, and Bill Paxton were amazing, The action sequences and the comedy were the best moments, and the "You're Fired!" quote was also the best moment in this movie.

James Cameron, as a huge fan of yours, you are good at everything! True Lies deserves an entertaining 8/10 in my honest opinion for its unique things.
Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
7
OfficialNov 4, 2013
None of James Cameron's films are bad, but "True Lies" might just be his weakest one yet. Nonetheless, it's funny, action-packed and pretty well-crafted. Cameron really did something unique here, you'll know what I mean if you have seen it.
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
All this user's reviews
8
pesho_oneApr 3, 2015
Hollywood budget to the roof - that is what this movie is about. Of course, two decades later, this might not be a big deal, talking about special effects... But this is not what makes the movie good anyway. It is situation after situation ofHollywood budget to the roof - that is what this movie is about. Of course, two decades later, this might not be a big deal, talking about special effects... But this is not what makes the movie good anyway. It is situation after situation of absurdity, fun and Arnold-style over the top action scenes.
Watching it today, I feel more and more that something went wrong with this type of film during the last 20 years. Today we have many well made action-packed block busters, but the entertainment level that True Lies manages to reach is still hard to beat.
Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
TickJun 12, 2015
I had to go back and rank this movie, because it's one of my favourite movies of all time. (Starship Troopers being #1)

This movie is as relevant and entertaining today as it was... my god... 21 years ago.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
9
MrMickeyRichJan 27, 2016
One of Cameron's best movies, Arnold Schwarzeneggar embracing the the cheese, hilarious and great action throughout. Tom Arnold brings his best comedic performance.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
MattHarterSep 29, 2015
True Lies is the best action movie ever made. Cameron went on to make chick flicks after this (titanic and avatar) because he had mastered a Genre. My god what a masterpiece.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
CanadianGamerJul 30, 2013
One of my personal favorite movies. I love how James Cameron made the movie into an Action/Romantic/Comedy movie that is actually good for everyone (I loved it when I was 4 in 2002 and my Grandma loves it as well). I believe the movie has aOne of my personal favorite movies. I love how James Cameron made the movie into an Action/Romantic/Comedy movie that is actually good for everyone (I loved it when I was 4 in 2002 and my Grandma loves it as well). I believe the movie has a great cast and very good writing (so what if it's not a Oscar movie). There was a lot of memorable moments in this movie that I quote often and I made all my friends watch it and they love it too. Anyhow, I don't use Netflix but if it is on there go check it out. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
All this user's reviews
8
[Anonymous]Feb 18, 2006
Two enjoyable movies in one...high-budget action and the grimmest of romatic comedy, fitting together quite nicely. Its story isn't groundbreaking or deep, but it's so entertaining, it's hard to resist, despite pacing Two enjoyable movies in one...high-budget action and the grimmest of romatic comedy, fitting together quite nicely. Its story isn't groundbreaking or deep, but it's so entertaining, it's hard to resist, despite pacing that's a tad bit uneven. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful