A Lion in the House

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 8


Audience Score

User Ratings: 462
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A Lion in the House Photos

Movie Info

Five young people battle incurable disease as their families deal with their physical and emotional struggles in this powerful documentary from filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. A Lion in the House was largely filmed on Ward 5A of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, a wing devoted to children with cancer and related illnesses. The film focuses on five youngsters undergoing treatment there -- Justin Ashcraft, an 18-year-old who has been living with leukemia since age eight; Al Fields, an 11-year-old non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patient; seven-year-old Alex Lougheed, also with leukemia; a third leukemia patient, nine-year-old Jen Moore; and Tim Woods, a 15-year-old boy with Hodgkin's lymphoma. As the children deal with the rigors and treatment and the toll their illnesses take on their bodies, they also wrestle with their need to be kids and navigate the tricky roads of growing up, while their families and physicians sometimes have to confront the fact that the children may not survive their treatment. Produced for broadcast on public television, A Lion in the House was screened as part of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.


Tim Woods
as Child Patient
as Tim's Sister
as Tim's Adopted Brother
Debbie Ashcraft
as Justin's Mom/Marietha's Aunt
Connie Koons
as Tim's Primary Nurse
Justin Ashcraft
as Child Patient
Angela Judy
as Alex's Mom
Dr. Claire Mazewski
as Justin's Oncologist
Alex Lougheed
as Child Patient
Adam Dale
as Justin's Dad
as Justin's Stepmom
Dr. Hui
as Pediatric Resident
Dr. Fred Huang
as Oncology Fellow
as Alex's Dad
Dr. Victor Balasa
as Tim's Oncologist
Maria Rita
as Justin's Grandma
Adam 12
as Justin's Older Brother
Linda Pollman
as Justin's Primary Nurse
Bob Heidt
as Tim's Social Worker
Marietha Woods
as Tim's Mom
Shelly Abble II
as Adam's Wife
Dr. Laura White
as Pediatric Fellow
Dr. Joe Palumbo
as Oncology Fellow
Dr. Daniels
as I.C.U. Doctor
Jim Moone
as Child Patient
Mary Beth
as Jen's Mother
Al Fields
as Child Patient
as Al's Mom
as Tim's Aunt
Diane Heery Casting
as Marietha's Neighbour
as Jen's Dad
as Marietha's Sister
Dr. Cyndi DeLaat
as Jen's Oncologist
Lynn Palzollo
as Alex's Hospice Nurse
Jackie Lougheed
as Alex's Younger Sister
as Alex And Jackie's Grandma
Dr. Bob Noll
as Alex's Psychologist
Beth Stevenson
as Tim's Teacher
Pamela Delany
as Tim's Principal
Black Rob
as Connie's Husband
Linda Crosby
as Al's Nurse Practitioner
Sue Sealock
as Tim's Clinic Nurse
Dr. Tasha Scott
as Pediatric Resident
Diana Bailey
as Director Of Nursing
as Marietha's Brother-In-Law
View All

Critic Reviews for A Lion in the House

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (8)

  • Even after four hours, we're left wanting to know a lot more--and with the sense that this desire may itself be one of those human strategies to cope with the overwhelming power of a most enigmatic and undiscriminating villain.

    Aug 27, 2009 | Full Review…
  • I'm recommending the movie because it must be regarded as an extraordinary expression of will, endurance and fortitude.

    Jun 2, 2006 | Rating: A-
  • How often do life's epic dimensions really get their due in documentary, let alone feature film?

    Jun 2, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • A heart-render and a hankie-drencher, it's a film of quiet, almost incalculable power.

    Jun 2, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • An astonishing four-hour documentary that takes on a very difficult subject -- children with cancer -- and renders it with unflinching intimacy, uncommon compassion and, above all, a profound respect for the eternal enigma that is the human body.

    Feb 22, 2006 | Full Review…

    Scott Foundas

    Top Critic
  • real and raw

    Mar 21, 2009 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for A Lion in the House

  • Aug 17, 2007
    full of the stuff you'd rather sweep under the carpet than entertain having to think about it's horrible to watch and scary but at the same time it makes you think about how lucky you are. what else can i say about it? i think the doctors in this documentry were so efficient you couldn't ask for more. the problem seems to lye with the pharmacutical companies that make all the new treatments for cancer that arent readily available yet. whether someone lives or dies is to do with business and company shares. awful really, but true. those children must've been so scared. poor fuckers
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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