The Good Lie (2014)



Critic Consensus: The Good Lie sacrifices real-life nuance in order to turn its true story into a Hollywood production, but the results still add up to a compelling, well-acted, and deeply moving drama.

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They were known simply as "The Lost Boys." Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America. In "The Good Lie," Philippe Falardeau, (writer and director of the Oscar(R)- nominated Foreign Language film "Monsieur Lazhar") brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war, star alongside Academy Award(R) winner Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll. -- (C) Warner Bros.
PG-13 (for thematic elements, some violence, brief strong language and drug use)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Written By:
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Arnold Oceng
as Mamere
Ger Duany
as Jeremiah
Kuoth Wiel
as Abital
Femi Oguns
as Theo
Sarah Baker
as Pamela
Peterdeng Mongok
as Young Mamere
Okwar Jale
as Young Theo
Thon Kueth
as Young Jeremiah
Deng Ajuet
as Young Paul
Keji Jale
as Young Abital
David Madingi
as Young Gabriel
Kon Akoue Auok
as Young Daniel
Sibusisu Moyo
as Young Simon
Antoine Wonder Kalambay
as Boy (River of Children)
Afemo Omilami
as Dr. Monyang
Michael Cole
as Reverend Trutner
Vince Pisani
as INS Boston
Kim Banta
as INS Kansas City
Sharon Conley
as Erin Sullivan
Raj Kala
as Man In English Class
Parisa Johnston
as Sari Woman In English Class
Heather Lyda
as Homeless Woman
Maria Howell
as INS Agent
Clifton Cluterman
as INS Clerk
Clifton Guterman
as INS Clerk
Kenny Alfonso
as Police Officer
Jacob Kuol Alier
as Fargo Boy
Berglind Jonsdottir
as Swedish Official
Dhan Kueth
as Majok
Israel Makoe
as Bracelet Soldier
Keith Woulard
as Soldier
Tiffany Jones
as Refugee Worker
Nat Ramabulana
as U.N. Worker
Lavine Dimo
as Guinea Worm Girl
Julia Ayiol
as Village Mother
Sope Aluko
as Processing Office Woman
Suehyla El-Attar
as Immigration Official
Abena Ayivor
as Immigration Official #2
Levi Burdick
as INS Official
Lele Ledwaba
as Food Worker
Mari Malek
as Party Guest
Flora Peter Deng
as Abital's Mother
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News & Interviews for The Good Lie

Critic Reviews for The Good Lie

All Critics (83) | Top Critics (25)

There's a sense that The Good Lie wants to say something profound but the message is as muddled as its delineation of history is.

Full Review… | October 26, 2014
Top Critic

The main characters are played by actual refugees-two of whom were child soldiers-and their uninflected, authoritative performances compensate for the feel-good simplifications of Margaret Nagle's script.

Full Review… | October 23, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A well-told tale that illuminates the experiences of the 20,000 "lost boys" (and girls) of Sudan, with such grace, insight and humor, it can be forgiven a few simplifying liberties taken in the name of moving the narrative along.

Full Review… | October 16, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

If a moviegoer can't cry for the great tragedy of these Sudanese children, and be touched by their small victories, then who on earth deserves our tears and cheers?

Full Review… | October 16, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

If a measure of tasteful restraint is detectable, it serves at least to allow for the depiction of human emotion instead of the market-driven blandification of history.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

It's often earnest to a fault and fearful of its deeper, darker implications. Still, you won't leave The Good Lie unmoved. Its heart really is in the right place,

Full Review… | October 3, 2014
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Good Lie

A pleasing film that pulls at the heart strings.

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Mediocre Falardeau. This tale is very paint by numbers. A good morality tale that should have been told with more unique angles. Reese Witherspoon evidently saved her best for other Quebec directors.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

The Good Lie may go a little off the deep end with the fish out of water humor, but it succeeds at being a emotional and effective drama with great performances from the entire cast. It follows a group of child African refugees called who had to walk a thousand miles after their homes were destroyed, and 13 years later were brought to America. I thought the beginning of this film was a brilliant tale of survival, and the story that followed was them adjusting to life in America and it worked well because we see the differences between these two worlds and what we take for granted. Some will argue the film got too Hollywood, trying to make these men look like idiots who weren't even taught how to use a telephone before coming here, but if you ignore little things like this you actually have a solid and well directed drama. I very much enjoyed this movie, and I highly recommend it.

Bradley Wright
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

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