Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
Although these friends have some fun horsing around in the water, their conflicts and rivalries make for a tense, joyless holiday that is anything but relaxing.
A sprawling, initially engaging French comedy-drama that became a hit in France but ultimately underwhelms.
Little White Lies' fundamental problem is that it's hard to empathize with characters who have so little empathy themselves.
There's a fly-on-the-wall quality to it that adds a voyeuristic zing to the proceedings and gives this French take on "The Big Chill" its particular warmth.
The overall tone of "Little White Lies" feels off, or maybe it just doesn't translate to American audiences.
The trouble with Guillaume Canet's French gloss on The Big Chill is that it has no underlying chill.
Canet has difficulty maintaining the film's finely calibrated tragic-comedic balance in the heavily maudlin third act, much to its detriment.
Los Angeles Times:
With an ensemble led by Marion Cotillard and Francois Cluzet, the French hit has personality to burn, and squanders most of it.
Pretty easy to take, and not just because of the lovely photography of the French coast, all oyster farms and pink wine and long dinners under the trees. Because there are also these wonderful performers.
Little White Lies simply tries too hard.
New York Daily News:
Can tout a gorgeous setting, a group of appealing actors and a mastery of the art of wine-fueled conversation.
New York Post:
A film this long should end with the audience feeling it knows the characters like old friends. Instead it ends with an outside observer delivering an insight that isn't really an insight.
Little White Lies wants to capture something momentous and meaningful in these people's lives. But ultimately it's hard to care.
At times, it's amusing. At times, it's tragic. At times, it's romantic. But, like many vacations, it's way, way too long.
The movie is 154 minutes long. It probably doesn't need to be that long, but there's an advantage to sinking into this milieu, growing familiar with the characters and learning their stories.
More than two hours and thirty minutes of bland images and platitude-heavy breakthroughs.
Globe and Mail:
In what's meant to be a French take on The Big Chill -- comedy meets pathos as friends gather at a country house in the wake of a tragedy -- writer-director Guillaume Canet has wrought a meandering script that exercises everything except restraint.
It's slightly glib, very glossy and over-extended at 154 minutes. But there's an overriding sense that Canet knows this territory, and gets the best out of an excellent cast.
Canet's melodrama has earned the snarky sobriquet "the Gallic Big Chill" on the festival circuit, but that's giving this mush way too much credit.
At 154 minutes, Little White Lies goes on 30 minutes longer than necessary and, with the exception of Cotillard, is heavily weighted toward the men's stories.
With a meandering 2 1/2-hour edit that could easily lose a reel or two, the fun gives way to several longueurs midway through.
The din of this crew's constant caviling and passive-aggressive insulting is further intensified by the puzzling, nonstop boomer soundtrack
As the movie wears on ... the melodrama amps up to a final scene capable of draining any remaining pathos.