Lorenzo's Oil


Lorenzo's Oil

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,242
User image

Lorenzo's Oil Photos

Movie Info

Director George Miller's fact-based drama stars Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon as Augusto and Michaela Odone, the parents of a boy (Zack O'Malley Greenburg) diagnosed with ALD (adrenolenkodystrophy), a rare degenerative disease with fatal results. Refusing to accept the death sentence the doctors have handed young Lorenzo, the Odones devote every ounce of their being to finding a breakthrough to battle the disease.

Watch it now


Nick Nolte
as Augusto Odone
Susan Sarandon
as Michaela Odone
Peter Ustinov
as Prof. Gus Nikolais
Kathleen Wilhoite
as Deirdre Murphy
Gerry Bamman
as Dr. Judalon
Margo Martindale
as Wendy Gimble
James Rebhorn
as Ellard Muscatine
Ann Hearn
as Loretta Muscatine
Mary Wakio
as Comorian Teacher
Don Suddaby
as Don Suddaby
Colin Ward
as Jack Gimble
Jennifer Dundas
as Nurse Nancy Jo
William Cameron
as Pellerman
Becky Ann Baker
as Pellerman's Secretary
Mary Pat Gleason
as The Librarian
Ann Dowd
as Pediatrician
Peter Mackenzie
as Immunosuppression Doctor
Paul Lazar
as Professor Duncan
Laura Linney
as Young Teacher
Helena Ruoti
as Judalon's Nurse
Luis Ruiz
as Judalon's Resident
Joyce Reehling
as Columnist
Barbara Poitier
as Nikolais Secretary
Michael O'Neill
as School Psycologist
Ann McDonough
as Dietician
Lianne Kressin
as Smiling Nurse
Nicolas Petrov
as World Bank Executive
Richard Cordery
as Suddaby's Senior Manager
Angus Barnett
as Suddaby's Junior Manager
Keiko McDonald
as Japanese Translator
Vladimir Padunov
as Russian Translator
David McFadden
as Father Killian
Carmen Piccini
as Cristina Odone
Aaron Jackson
as Francesco Odone
William Thunhurst Jr.
as Ear Specialist
Noah Banks
as Lorenzo
Billy Amman
as Lorenzo
E.G. Daily
as Lorenzo
Sandy Gore
as Murphy Family
Rocco Sisto
as Murphy Family
April Merscher
as Murphy Family
Neri Kyle Tannenbaum
as Female Lab Voice
Nora Dunfee
as Murphy Family
Brad Einhorn
as Male Lab Voice
Amelia Campbell
as Murphy Family
Keith Reddin
as Murphy Family
Eliot Brinton
as Symposium Doctor
Ayub Ommaya
as Symposium Doctor
Ryonosuke Shiono
as Symposium Doctor
James Merrill
as Symposium Doctor
Marie Nugent-Head
as Symposium Doctor
Zahra Ilkanipour
as Symposium Doctor
Nancy Chesney
as Conference Parent
John Mowod
as Conference Parent
Berta Van Zuiden
as Conference Parent
Susan Chapek
as Conference Parent
Shirley Tannenbaum
as Conference Parent
Charles R. Altman
as Conference Parent
Anthony DiLeo Jr.
as Conference Parent
Nona Gerard
as Conference Parent
David Doepken
as Conference Parent
Kathryn Aronson
as Conference Parent
Lamont Arnold
as Conference Parent
Julie Marie Remele
as Conference Parent
Anthony di Leo Jr.
as Conference Parent
Annie Loeffler
as Conference Parent
Lisa Montgomery
as Conference Parent
Raina Clifford
as Special Child
Todd Bella
as Special Child
Rachel Jones
as Special Child
Matthew Pyeritz
as Special Child
Daniel W. D'Arcy
as Special Child
Justin Isfeld
as Special Child
Jeremy Beyer
as Special Child
Christine Merriman
as Special Child
Nicholas Wiese
as Special Child
Tia Delaney
as Special Child
Lamar Olivis
as Special Child
Ryan Thomas
as Special Child
Connie Cranden
as Special Child
C. Alex Roberts
as Special Child
Mack Hegyes
as Special Child
Eric Kunkle
as Special Child
View All

Critic Reviews for Lorenzo's Oil

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (3)

  • The questions this movie raises about the medical establishment, drug testing and the clash between science and compassion cannot fail to evoke the battles raging over AIDS. Lorenzo's Oil is strong medicine indeed.

    Feb 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • If any movie of recent years deserves to be called "inspirational"--a much-abused term that one hesitates to revive apart from exceptional circumstances--this one certainly does.

    Oct 7, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Sarandon ... convincingly conveys a fierceness and tenacity that is almost frightening. The character never lets up, and neither does the film.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • The film comes over as a tour de force version of the disease-of-the-week TV movie: half scientific detective story, half domestic drama, replete with scenes of suffering.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This film has an appealingly brisk, unsentimental style and a rare ability to compress and convey detailed medical data.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Don't go to it for a Hollywood happy ending. Go to it to learn what it can take to be alive.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lorenzo's Oil

  • Aug 23, 2011
    An emotionally draining examination of possibly the most relentless and heartless disease I've ever heard of, Lorenzo's Oil is well wrought, and most definitely worth watching, due largely in part to the fine performances and educatory stance the film takes. It may frustrate you, but it will undoubtedly affect you.
    Cody H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2011
    A true story about two determined parents who fight to find a cure for their son Lorenzo who has been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness. I found the movie quite boring sometimes when talking about the technical scientific parts of the disease but other times I found myself filled with tears during emotional and heartwarming moments. This movie was very inspiring. However, it could have been a lot better. For one thing, I felt like I was listening to Tommy Pickles' baby gurgling the whole time which was very annoying and distracted me. (This is because Elizabeth Daily played Lorzenzo's heavy breathing. She is also the voice of Tommy Pickles on the Nickelodeon TV show "Rugrats.") Also, sometimes the movie was so technical, it would appeal to someone with a scientific mind and lose people who have less interest in the science and more in the relationships. The acting was really good in this movie and I was very impressed with Zack O'Malley Greenburg's acting. He must have been QUITE a child actor or maybe he really did have a disease. He also spoke different languages! Wow. There was also a slightly heavy-handed scene where the father falls down the stairs and starts tearing at his shirt. This was bizarre and concerning but maybe a parent really would act like that if he knew his son would probably die and there wasn't much he could do about it. The best part of this movie was seeing the love that Lorenzo's parents had for him, and watching his mother Michaela reading to him and talking to him as a human being, not a vegetable, even though he was incapacitated and couldn't respond without blinking his eyes and moving his pinky finger.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2010
    Like cod liver oil, this is a film to watch because it is good for you. You get to see the love of parents for their ailing child and how they find the cure on their own. Yee haw! Yes it is good but haven't we all seen these things before?
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A great true story, but it's so boring as a film. I had to watch this in a class I had once, and I just couldn't get into it, it was dull. I'd only recommend this to real die hard drama fans who love real life stories played realistically. Overall, it's pretty good, but could have been more exciting.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

Lorenzo's Oil Quotes

News & Features