Secrets & Lies (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Secrets & Lies (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Secrets & Lies Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Mike Leigh's Oscar-nominated domestic drama centers on a black optometrist who meets her white biological mother -- and helps to unravel her new family's fragile fabric of secrecy.more
Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Mike Leigh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 1, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Ron Cook
as Stuart
Lesley Manville
as Social Worker
Brian Bovell
as Hortense's Brother
Emma Amos
as Girl with Scar
Brian Boyell
as Hortense's Brother
Trevor Laird
as Hortense's Brother
Clare Perkins
as Hortense's Sister-in...
Elias Perkins McCook
as Hortense's Nephew
June Mitchell
as Senior Optometrist
Janice Acquah
as Junior Optician
Keeley Flanders
as Girl in Optician's
Hannah Davis
as First Bride
Terence Harvey
as First Bride's Father
Kate O'Malley
as Second Bride
Grant Master
as Best Man
Annie Hayes
as Mother in Family Gro...
Jean Ainslie
as Grandmother
Daniel Smith
as Teenage Son
Frances Ruffelle
as Young Mother
Nitin Chandra Ganatr...
as Potential Husband
Metin Marlow
as Conjuror
Amanda Crossley
as Raunchy Woman
Su Eliot
as Raunchy Woman
Di Sherlock
as Raunchy Woman
Alex Squires
as Triplet
Sade Squires
as Triplet
Dominic Curran
as Little Boy
Stephen Churchett
as Man in Suit
David Neilson
as Man in Suit
Peter Stockbridge
as Man in Suit
Peter Waddington
as Man in Suit
Rachel Lewis
as Graduate
Paul Trussell
as Grinning Husband
Denise Orita
as Uneasy Woman
Margery Withers
as Elderly Lady
Gordon Winter
as Laughing Man
Peter Wight
as Father in Family Gro...
Alison Steadman
as Dog Owner
Liz Smith
as Cat owner
Sheila Kelley
as Fertile Mother
Angela Curran
as Little Boy's Mother
Linda Beckett
as Pinup Housewife
Philip Davis
as Man in Suit
Ruth Sheen
as Laughing Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Secrets & Lies

Critic Reviews for Secrets & Lies

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (16)

Leigh's best work yet is indisputably screen art, but it's a flesh-and-blood 'people' movie, too.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

In the hands of another director, it would have been a sentimental melodrama, a soap opera, but with nuanced writing and sharp helming, Mike Leigh mixes humor and pathos in equal measure.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011

Much more than just a touching story of the ties that bind humanity and the way we reveal ourselves, "Secrets and Lies" (1996) is a staggering work of cinematic genius. It is truly a perfect film.

Full Review… | September 2, 2009

It's hard to argue against it being a sharply observant and deeply felt melodrama, one that is accessible, contemporary and frightingly realistic.

Full Review… | May 7, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Secrets & Lies


Working-class meats lower-class. Funny and heart warming.

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer


What do you do when the baby you put up for adoption 25 years ago suddenly calls you out of the blue and wants to meet -- especially if you are not all that happy with your life at the moment. This movie takes us through that. What I found amazing is that I read that most of the lines were improv. The actors were given their roles, but no actual script.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

It's been quite a while since something provoked me tears and laughter at the same time. A film with incredible humanity. Zany, tender and quite funny.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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