The Last Lions - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Lions Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 3, 2012
Interesting documentary which focuses on a lioness named Ma di Tau ("Mother of Lions") as she battles to protect her cubs against the daunting onslaught of enemies to ensure their survival. The film is narrated by (not very inspiring) Jeremy Irons and the underlying message of the film is on the low population of large cats in the world and whether or not Ma di Tau and her cubs are among the last lions... of course if you put $10 out of your pocket somehow you can save them...

My problem with this documentary is that not everything seemed real... yes, I know that the nature could be amazing but some of the events depicted in this story just did not match or made sense, and when you see that final result is very impressive and exiting dramatic effect - you start wondering what else in the story was "touched up".
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2012
A national geographic documentary follows a lioness into her desperate journey for survival for her and her 3 cubs. Magnificently told/directed by award winning film maker Dereck and Beverly Joubert and magistically narrated by Oscar winner, Jeremy Irons.

Its a must see for a number of reasons, how the law of jungle works and most importantly how human beings are destroying the ecology of these incredible animals.
April 13, 2012
An often heart wrenching nature program full of intense moments of lions struggle to survive a strong appeal for people to take the declining population of lions seriously
½ April 18, 2011
It seemed that the storyline was contrived to fit their footage. Lots of repeats of shots as well. The narration was repetitious, as well, and this was VERY irritating towards the end. On the upside, great to see some African wildlife, with cute lion cubs, on the downside, it just shouldn't call itself a "documentary" if they so clumsily force-fit their storyline.
March 27, 2011
Incredible cinematography. 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. Very impressive footage and very sad to think how our lion population has dropped so much. The Jouberts did such a great job of editing that it's not as disturbing in places as it could be.
March 20, 2011
It's an unforgiving place. The merciless and powerful rule without pity, and the weak are pounced on and eaten alive -- sometimes for sport and sometimes for the survival of those who outrank them. There is no code here, no justice.

But, enough about the corporate workplace.

This documentary takes place in Africa, an equally unforgiving landscape. And, if you can forgive the filmmakers for anthropomorphizing the family of lions (made up of a fearless, devoted single mother and her three cubs), you'll be enthralled, engaged and have your heart ripped out. Not to give anything away, but you will despise the water buffalo, alligators and hyenas. "This is supposed to be LION turf," I wanted to yell each time one of those interlopers showed up.

The cinematography and haunting music are as awesome as the family of lions this documentary follows. The only nit, and it's a small one, is Jeremy Irons's at times over-the-top narration. Both his voice -- which sounds like Alistair Cooke introducing Masterpiece Theater -- and the script could be a bit much.

Did Jeremy just say that "Silver Eye" (the wild animals have names in this movie, which only makes them seem more like pets that just haven't been housebroken yet) recalled the scent of her former nemesis and was now back for "revenge"? Do animals recall past grievances and later plot revenge against their foes? I don't know; I'm just an unpaid movie critic. It may not be accepted zoological theory, but it sure does make for a powerful story.

While I feel Randall would have provided superior narration, honey badger style, for The Last Lions, I suppose the Oscar-winning Irons lends some gravitas to what could've been dismissed as just another nature movie. And, it's more than that.

It's an urgent tale about a drastically shrinking lion population. Not surprisingly, we learn that those interloping, marauding buffalo and hyenas are nothing compared to the humans mucking everything up for nature. See it.
½ March 8, 2011
Another great documentary by National Geographic. I've seen several on TV for not sure why I paid $12 to see it on the big screen! It had both lovely and graphic elements as it followed a story of a mother lioness to protect her 3 cubs from countless danger. Perhaps the most incredible thing learned is that it is estimated that only 20,000 lions exist, down from 450,000 estimated less than 50 years ago. Lions face extinction!
~Movie seen March 5, 2011
April 28, 2013
A realistic look at the difficult life of one lion trying to keep her cubs alive through fire, a threat of other predators in the area, and starvation. A bit too sad and graphic for very young kids, but good. It's kind of boring, but if you like lions, it has some nice footage. You've got to remember that lions aren't actors and that this is a very sneaky documentary with accurate and perceptive (read as: not Disney) narration and explanations, so this was probably a huge amount of editing work, combined with incredibly good luck to get the footage/shots in the first place. Buuuuut its still just rather bland.

Not recommended (Unless you love lions, but are also fine with watching lions die).
½ February 18, 2014
How fitting for Jeremy Irons (Scar from Lion King) to narrate majestically a magnificent, violent and tear jerking story of Ma di Tau "Mother of all lions"
½ December 10, 2013
I am amazed by the mother!
July 9, 2013
Amazing cinematography gripping in every way. Loved it want all my friends to watch it
June 29, 2013
Tends to get a bit preachy towards the end but it doesn't lessen what comes before it.
May 7, 2013
it makes a great mother's day story
April 29, 2013
I was fully engaged in the film until I noticed that a good portion of it is not raw, untampered footage as shot in the wild. For example, the lioness fight where Silver Eye lost her eye, was computer graphics. This particular fight scene, I've seen in other documentaries, like on Animal Planet. I'm not criticizing this too negatively because it's hard to get an animal to do as a script says unlike human actors so it makes sense that they'd have to alter it somehow in order to get it to make it presentable by making it conform to a format with a particular emotional progression form that's formulaic of this genre. Eitherway, the movie is good and well worth watching and the message is definitely one of many that humanity needs to set aside their own greed and act on in order to ensure that we can still inhabit this planet for at least a good portion of the 500 million years left before this planet's expiration date.
March 19, 2013
The Last Lions is a gorgeous documentary that emotionally tells the story of the love a mother has for her children.
February 2, 2013
As good as any N.Geographic film/tv special I've seen. Amazing footage.
December 10, 2011
Intense action movie with a compelling story. The most amazing heartfelt storyline and footage I've seen in this type of thing.
January 8, 2013
A marvel achievement of not only documentary film making but capturing these animals in such remarkable and unpredictable circumstances. It's not generic by any means and often hard to take but ultimately thrilling.
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