Lion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lion Reviews

December 27, 2016
Lion represents a commitment from those involved and, flaws aside, it's an amazing tale of resilience and determination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 23, 2016
Lion is a beautifully told, uplifting story of courage and determination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 23, 2016
"Lion" is a complex movie, with its profound themes of home and identity, and its tonally disparate halves. A smartly understated approach to Brierley's story holds it all together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 23, 2016
Its themes are universal. Everyone has a home, and everyone feels connected to it, no matter how far they travel.
Full Review | Original Score: A
December 22, 2016
Garth Davis uses close-ups sparingly and hits no false notes; cinematographer Greig Fraser creates a child's perspective by setting the camera at the hero's eye level and conveys the grandeur of India through sweeping panoramic and overhead shots.
December 22, 2016
"Lion" has one of those plot lines that feels like a Hollywood screenplay - except it actually happened.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 22, 2016
While the film is neither novel nor revolutionary, it's the kind of cinematic warm blanket that feels very comforting and satisfying right now...That it's a true story...makes it all the more affecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 22, 2016
If you don't cry at the conclusion you need to retrieve your heart out of cold storage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 22, 2016
A heart-wrenching true story, with what could be one of the great child-actor performances of all time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 22, 2016
"Lion" is shameless and heartfelt and you'll probably have a good, happy cry at the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 21, 2016
"Lion" is a family film in the best sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2016
Lion celebrates the human will and the human need to find meaning and connection in life. If the final scenes don't have you blubbering, your humanity may need some fine-tuning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 9, 2016
Davis offers sweeping cinematic shots, with a soundtrack that is pleasingly epic, but the second act is a bit skimpy, script-wise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 8, 2016
Unless you are an utterly immovable cynic, the Australian melodrama Lion will coax out tears of sadness and of pure joy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 8, 2016
Rarely does a film plotting the Internet amount to much more than a series of glowing screens. Lion, a fact-based story and auspicious feature debut by Garth Davis, makes for a captivating exception.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2016
Because of Patel's electrifying and deeply nuanced performance, Lion ultimately delivers the emotional punch it has promised all along.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2016
Patel easily grows to fill the needs of this complex and conflicted character, a man caught between two worlds, two cultures and two families.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 30, 2016
See it and I promise your own heart will skip a beat with happiness and joy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 30, 2016
Lion is really two beautifully shot films -- the tenacious story of young Saroo Brierley, lost far from home, and the less dramatic, slightly forced, story of him all grown up and looking for his past.
November 29, 2016
Lion is ultimately an excellent example of its type-a resonant true story told, not with manipulative cliches, but with refreshing confidence.
November 25, 2016
The trite tropes are thick but Saroo's drama remains undramatized and we remain mostly unmoved.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 25, 2016
Kudos to Kidman, whose unglam, unguarded take on the role is emotionally powerful and true; her scenes with Patel provide just the right blend of grit and grace. Lion is one from the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 25, 2016
Lion ... becomes ordinary, even as it moves toward a climax that's moving for all the predictable reasons.
November 24, 2016
The finale is manipulative in every way, squeezing out the emotions of the audience. But Lion's well-plotted narrative and thoughtful characters suck you in so much that the journey there is totally worth it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 24, 2016
Let's just say if you are human, there is no way that Lion won't move you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 24, 2016
"Lion" is blessed with a Ripley's Believe It or Not story line that would warm the heart of a stone.
November 24, 2016
If you have ever been a child, raised a child, lost a child or met a child - or a mother - this movie will wreck you.
Top Critic
November 23, 2016
The movie could have examined the limitations of white liberalism, the damage that well-meaning people can do if they don't educate themselves along the way. Instead, it embodies that well-meaning approach, and all the harm it can do.
November 23, 2016
Mr. Patel's commanding presence is complemented by many others... Kidman has done fine work in her career, but nothing that quite matches the hypnotic story Sue tells of a vision she had when she was 12.
November 23, 2016
Lion goes again and again where you expect it to, delivering little more than the awards-season equivalent of Homeward Bound.
November 23, 2016
We've watched this young man struggle and fight for answers, only to have them drop into his lap at precisely the right moment. It's a drastic misstep that ruins whatever chance Lion had of doing justice to a fascinating true story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 23, 2016
By splitting up the story into different eras of the hero's life, Davis seems to be striving to avoid some of the conventions of melodrama. But coloring within the lines might have done a couple of favors to his actors and the flow of his film.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 22, 2016
Here's a globe-trotting boy-on-his-own adventure, a narrative of scrappy survival and familial love and many teary reconciliations, tracing the outlines of Brierley's life in a busy two hours.
November 21, 2016
This is a true story, and at times a gut-wrenching one, even if it necessarily sugarcoats some aspects of the plight of lost children.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 21, 2016
Where Saroo goes and what he finds there left me in tears, but you feel that a complicated true story has been airbrushed into a postmodern legend.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 21, 2016
Davis's film is based on a true story; though wrenching, there is barely enough of it to fill the dramatic space, and the second half is a slow and muted affair after the Dickensian punch of the first.
September 14, 2016
Even as it drags through a pedestrian middle section, Lion remains a cut above the kind of sturdy middlebrow drama its premise calls to mind by doubling down on Patel's performance.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 11, 2016
As enthralling as it is emotional.
September 11, 2016
While unique, Saroo's story is somewhere between the-guy-who-found-a-lottery-scratcher-worth-fifty-bucks and the-farmer-who-prayed-for-rain-and-got-it.