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Lorenzo's Oil (1992)



Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 14,951

My Rating

Movie Info

Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte give brilliant performances as parents trying to save the life of their son in George Miller's harrowing and heartbreaking Lorenzo's Oil. Based on a true story, the film begins as bright young Lorenzo (Zack O'Malley Greenburg) is leading a pleasant life on the Comoro Islands. But things start to go wrong with him -- he collapses, he raves, and he loses his hearing -- so his concerned parents, Augusto (Nick Nolte) and Michaela Odone (Susan Sarandon), take him to a



George Miller

Apr 6, 2004

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (2) | DVD (3)

If any movie of recent years deserves to be called "inspirational"--a much-abused term that one hesitates to revive apart from exceptional circumstances--this one certainly does.

October 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sarandon ... convincingly conveys a fierceness and tenacity that is almost frightening. The character never lets up, and neither does the film.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film comes over as a tour de force version of the disease-of-the-week TV movie: half scientific detective story, half domestic drama, replete with scenes of suffering.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film has an appealingly brisk, unsentimental style and a rare ability to compress and convey detailed medical data.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It takes a heartbreaking story and pushes it to the limit, showing us the lengths of courage and imagination that people can summon when they must.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don't go to it for a Hollywood happy ending. Go to it to learn what it can take to be alive.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lumbers along worthily.

October 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4

Exhausting, intelligent and undeniably moving.

October 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

[Sarandon gives] a brave, complex performance, and the centerpiece of an emotionally searing film.

October 7, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

perhaps the most melodramatic movie ever

July 5, 2008

It takes time to get over Nick Nolte's "wrong" accent, but Susan Sarandon gives a marvelous performance in the George Miller-directed, fact-based drama about a family torn by the degenerative disease of their young boy. Tough but rewarding film to watch

February 14, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Filmdom's most powerful movie about parental concern carried to the max.

June 6, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Okay weeper.

December 29, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The true story of two loving parents who fashion a miracle to save the life of their son afflicted with an orphan disease.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Slightly heavy-handed, but mostly effective.

August 14, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

The real knockout here, however, is Sarandon, who is absolutely riveting. She's every bit as wrenching, touching and fulfilling as the film itself.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Lorenzo's Oil

There's nothing more horrible than watching an innocent young child suffer in agony. In this heart-gripping drama, we follow two desperate parents (Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon) as they struggle to find a cure for their son, who has fallen victim to a rare disease known as ALD. Fine performances by everyone in the cast, and in particular by Zack O'Malley, who does some of the best acting I've ever seen by someone of his age. You're truly enveloped by the pain that he goes through, which often makes it an uncomfortable watch. Seldom have I felt so engaged as to the outcome of a character's fate. And I can imagine it must be even more compelling to those who are parents themselves. A powerful story altogether, that despite some tendencies to drag, will leave you affected in one way or another.
August 17, 2011
Mike S

Super Reviewer

A great true story, but it's so boring as a film. I had to watch this in a class I had once, and I just couldn't get into it, it was dull. I'd only recommend this to real die hard drama fans who love real life stories played realistically. Overall, it's pretty good, but could have been more exciting.
May 11, 2011

Super Reviewer

Emotionally harrowing film of a dedicated and persistent couple's struggle to find help for their son when he falls victim to a terminal illness. Intensely real performance by Susan Sarandon and a strong one from Nick Nolte although his accent while accurate for the character makes it difficult to understand him occasionally. Beautifully true supporting performances but it is hard to watch what Lorenzo has to go through. A shattering experience at times but worthwhile.
May 18, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

    1. Lorenzo: Shoot the juice to me Bruce.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (15 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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