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True Lies (1994)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 13

If it doesn't reach the heights of director James Cameron's and star Arnold Schwarzenegger's previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain.

60

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 4

If it doesn't reach the heights of director James Cameron's and star Arnold Schwarzenegger's previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 263,632

My Rating

Movie Info

Borrowing liberally from the French film La Totale, this is an action picture, domestic comedy, and political thriller rolled into a crowd-pleasing ball of entertainment. Producer James Cameron wrote and directed the film. Henry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic computer salesman neglecting his mousy wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis), a legal secretary. Simon (Bill Paxton) seduces Helen with the lie that he is a secret agent; he's really a used car salesman. Harry suspects that Helen is

R,

Action & Adventure, Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

James Cameron

May 25, 1999

20th Century Fox

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Cast

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (13) | DVD (18)

If the Gulf War gave you an insatiable taste for burning oil and burning Arabs, this extravaganza will tide you over for at least a couple of days.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Providing its share of fun in stretches, pic ultimately overstays its welcome with a level of mayhem that will simply feel like too much for any marginal fan of the genre.

January 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Half the time, this hi-tech action movie delivers, in a mindless kind of way: it's fast, crude and has enough explosions and cartoon-style violence to satisfy our baser instincts.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As this comedy of manners unfolds, it is played for all-out action as well as satiric humor.

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

However high your ranking on the culture scale, I defy you to watch this and leave the theatre without a whistled 'Wow' followed by a grudging 'That's entertainment.'

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An old-fashioned, high-tech, fun time at the movies.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (2)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Proves that throwing everything at the camera sometimes works a treat.

May 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Far be it from me to say that True Lies isn't a fun lark of an action-comedy, but it could stand to be a lot more fun and a lot more larking.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

James Cameron is able to present his usual high-impact action, pushing the film out of the realm of simple Bond spoofing.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

An affectionate homage to James Bond movies, ratcheted up to meet the action/adventure expectations of today's audiences.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

See website for more details.

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

I've said it before, and I'll go on saying it unless he flips out and does an Edith Wharton adaptation: Nobody does action like James Cameron.

August 5, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Though not as irksome and irritating as Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero, this James Cameron actioner is more of a big technical machine than a story which is senseless.

January 9, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comments (6)
EmanuelLevy.Com

One of the best mega-budgeted summer blockbusters of the modern era. A deft blend of thrilling action and edgy comedy.

March 4, 2006 | Comment (1)
FulvueDrive-in.com

The comedic bits fall flat - but the action sequences are quite outlandish.

April 17, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

Awnode's best balanced film...fun spy games.

October 14, 2004

Could stand to have about 30 minutes excised -- but the final one-liner is classic.

June 24, 2004
New Times

Good action sequences marred by a mean-spirited, misanthropic tone.

February 26, 2004 | Comment (1)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A thrilling adventure with many laughs along the way.

January 5, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Although it's Cameron's weakest feature, it's still pretty good.

December 5, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Cameron's otherwise enjoyable romp is ruined by the appalling treatment of its leading lady. I don't use the word 'misogynist' lightly, but...

February 6, 2003 | Comments (3)
Flipside Movie Emporium

This is an excellent picture.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Audience Reviews for True Lies

For an Arnold Schwarzenegger action-comedy film, this feels much more like the French thriller it's based on and less like a cheesy, over-the-top slaughter. James Cameron wrote and directed this film, and he makes another blockbuster action film feel like legitimate entertainment. There's a satiric intelligence and thoughtful touch to this film, and though filled with terrorism and political themes, it's less about a secret agent and more about a marriage. The gimmick of the film is that mild mannered salesman Harry Tasker is secretly an agent for the United States' government and hides it well from his wife and daughter. Most of the film follows this husband and wife around, as a series of misfortunate choices and misguided attempts at being truthful and/or provocative, keep the pair at odds. In a series of events that one would call morally questionable, Harry follows his wife as she tries to find a sense of danger in her life. This lends to the narrative of the terrorist leader launching an attack on the US for senseless violence overseas. Even though much of this revolves around some very farfetched ideas, and the antagonist is outrageous, it's Cameron at his most divisive and calculated. He knows what feels right in an action film, and even tries his hand at comedy, and that isn't always easy. Much of what makes this enjoyable solely lies in the performance of Jamie Lee Curtis, who is both right as the suburban mother and surveyor of action, and as the seductress. While Schwarzenegger does the job of action hero to credit as always that's all that can be said. As always there isn't much difference between this and any other Schwarzenegger performance, though he is perfect for this film, even if the role certainly calls for an American. Mostly it's a film to watch and go agog at the timeless special effects and fight scenes, and even for a chuckle once in a while.
July 8, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

James Cameron imagines "what if James Bond was married and didn't tell his wife what his job was?" Ah-nold and Jamie Lee supply oodles of chemistry. See how many times you can spot the stunt doubles! Tom Arnold's great as the sidekick.
April 5, 2013
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

From what I remember of this movie many years ago is that is falls short in the comedy department, but makes up for it in the action department. For its time, it is a good movie that will keep you entertained; although not Cameron's best, it is definitely worth watching.
September 3, 2012
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a government super spy posing as a computer salesman whose secret identity is unknown even to his wife and family. James Cameron's spoof of Hollywood action blockbusters has all the ingredients of the summer hit; humour, romance and big budget special effects, all served with a healthy dose of irony. Arnie will never win any prizes for his thespian skills, but he is perfectly comfortable in the familiar surroundings of stereotypical terrorists, uzis, explosions and cheesy one-liners, with Art Malik slumming it as the usual Islamic nut job and an unrecognisable Eliza Dushku is the rebellious teen daughter. I must admit that the sight of Jamie Lee Curtis being "sexy" made me slightly queasy and the film drags in the middle because of a flabby sub plot involving a potential rival for Arnie's affections. Cameron is a master of the action set piece however, the opening sequence out-Bonding the contemporary 007 films and the set pieces involving Harrier Jump Jets are spectacular. The jokes could've been funnier but it's a nice idea efficiently executed. Solid mainstream entertainment; no more, no less.
April 17, 2012
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

    1. Albert 'Gib' Gibson: What kind of sick bitch even takes the ice cube trays?
    – Submitted by Karen K (15 months ago)
    1. Simon: I have to lie to women to get laid. Even then I don't score much. I got a little dick, it pathetic!
    – Submitted by Andrew C (19 months ago)
    1. Simon: Men want this car for only one reason: pussy!
    – Submitted by Andrew C (19 months ago)
    1. Simon: Let's face it. The 'Vette... get's 'em wet!
    – Submitted by Andrew C (19 months ago)
    1. Simon: Take her, take her, oh god don't dont hurt me.
    – Submitted by James B (19 months ago)
    1. Helen Tasker: Did you ever kill someone?
    2. Harry Tasker: Yes, but they were all bad!
    – Submitted by Danny S (23 months ago)
View all quotes (7)

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