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Lions for Lambs (2007)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 180
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 132

Despite its powerhouse cast, Lions for Lambs feels like a disjointed series of lectures, rather than a sharp narrative, and ends up falling flat.


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 39

Despite its powerhouse cast, Lions for Lambs feels like a disjointed series of lectures, rather than a sharp narrative, and ends up falling flat.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 210,263

My Rating

Movie Info

Two determined students at a West Coast University, Arian and Ernest, follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor, Dr. Malley, and attempt to do something important with their lives. But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, Malley is both moved and distraught. Now, as Arian and Ernest fight for survival in the field, they become the string that binds together two disparate stories on opposite sides of America. In California, an anguished Dr. Malley



Matthew Michael Carnahan

Apr 8, 2008


MGM - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (188) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (132) | DVD (8)

Less a war drama than a set of dueling position papers.

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It means to use the Cruise-Redford-Streep star power to get us talking about things we ought to be talking about.

November 19, 2007 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is built not upon characters and plot but upon ideas. That would be fine if the ideas were revolutionary or interesting, but they're fairly commonplace.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's definitely flawed but I am recommending it.

November 12, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is much talk of paralysis in Robert Redford's what's-wrong-with-America movie Lions for Lambs, and there is a whole lot of the same in the movie itself.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though these dialogues are worthy, the medium doesn't seem right for the message.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pitched with utter sincerity and rigorously filmed sans complexity, energy, life

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Lions for Lambs is movie mutton.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

The film's points are made obvious the first minute and then monotonously drilled ad nauseum the remaining 87.

December 27, 2008 Full Review Source:

Slowly, you suffer the creeping realization that nothing is going to happen. Nothing.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source:

for the rest of us who think that a piece of cinema should be more than that, Lions for Lambs leaves us feeling empty rather than sparked by the zeitgeist the film attempts to capture.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

The absence of activists in the streets protesting the war in Iraq continues to confound; the empty seats at theaters showing Lions for Lambs will be somewhat easier to explain.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC

Lions for Lambs reminds us of what Hollywood does best, when it wants to.

April 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

It attempts to conquer social, political and military all in the same film, but it doesn't knock any of them out of the park.

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review | Comments (3)
The Scorecard Review

For all of its good intentions and clear-eyed idealism, Lions for Lambs is not a movie, it is a political science lecture.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

It doesn't take a genius to know who is going to be sacrificed in this weak morality tale.

January 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Redford is to be commended for making a film that dares to navigate the "theater of ideas," despite its flaws.

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Comment (1)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The interwoven narrative strategy that gradually reveals hidden connections is so old hat at this point that it feels more hackneyed than revelatory, even in such highly concentrated form.

December 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

I'm not sure why Producer-director Robert Redford and writer Matthew Carnahan thought this was cinematic, but they were wrong.

November 24, 2007 Full Review Source:

The long-winded speeches were made tolerable by the superb acting, but I got the point long before the speeches were over. I would have liked more of Luke and Pena. Still, Meryl Streep could easily grab a nomination. Meryl never whimpers - she roars.

November 19, 2007

Say this for Hollywood: At least it's trying to inject some semblance of sane debate into the Iraq War debacle ... But do its recruitment tools have to be so ineffectual?

November 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comment (1)
Creative Loafing

Una película tan bienintencionada y oportuna como demagógica y sensiblera. Plantea un atendible debate de ideas, pero carece de personajes interesantes y, en definitiva, de fuerza dramática.

November 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Carnahan and Redford show that politicians bank on public apathy, and the film ends up as a call to action for people to simply become more engaged.

November 17, 2007

It's an unironic work that demands the audience's attention and should provoke a personal, even physical, response from each individual.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for Lions for Lambs

The premise of the film is actually very interesting. It views the US war on terror from different parallel angles: a liberal reporter interviewing a republican senator (Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise), a university professor trying to get his student to become political again (Robert Redford and Andrew Spiderman Garfield) while two US soldiers, his former students, are under attack in the Afghan mountains. With names like this, you expect the acting to be top notch and the dialogs to be smart and to the point and all that's the case, especially in the excellent Washington part. The film has a lot of smart things to say about the state of America in its war on terror and demands to open up the discussion again. That's a noble thought. Sadly, the Uni office section doesn't always get to the point as sharply and the Afghan story line ends in the expected preachy way. In the end you're wondering what was actually accomplished in those 90 minutes. A lot is hinted at, nothing's resolved. But then again, at least it made you think about it all, that's gotta count for something.
December 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Separate stories connected by a common theme telling a story from different perspectives made the movie relevant to political discussions about American policies and ideas of war. The movie also does the best job showing the price of war with the great lives sacrificed often for unjust reasons.
February 7, 2011

Super Reviewer

It's frustrating me to see the critics rating this movie as if it was the worst of the year !
When I saw the theatrical trailer, I was totally waiting for the movie it actually shows: a movie where people talk... Talk about one of the most important subject of our time. I was not waiting for a thriller with conspiracies in every corner like the critics seemed to !
Okay, maybe the story was a little slow (but don't get me wrong, every lines were astonishing and the movie contains some breathtaking war scenes), but I thought each word was chosen perfectly and said by actors at their best. Ahh the actors ! Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise were completely admirable ! And well Robert Redford, without compting in his excellent direction job, acted greatly.
By forgetting what the critics said negatively about the abrupt ending, on my side, I thought it was very clever.

Finally, like it or not, it's still a movie every one should see.
July 1, 2010

Super Reviewer

I really didn't care all that much for the story, but it did have some great acting performances. Tom Cruise obviously stole the show with his corrupt politician character, but it's also some of the best acting i've seen from Robert Redford in a while. I think it mainly failed due to the fact that everyone already figures that there was/is corruption in the Iraq War so there weren't any real surprises.
January 27, 2010

Super Reviewer

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