The Good Lie 2014

Critics score:
88 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: May not be anything like Witherspoon's answer to 'The Blind Side,' but definitely worth seeing. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: A vital project that commands attention and pays off in heart and soul. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: In substance as well as style, "The Good Lie" amounts to two films joined together; the first is very good, the second good enough. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: 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? Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: Surely it's for the best that such white-girl-to-the-rescue theatrics account for just one scene in a movie that otherwise has the good sense to focus on four Sudanese refugees offered shelter in America. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: It's a sappy, but occasionally sensitive, coming-to-America story that hits all of the familiar beats. It has one very big problem, though, and she's played by Reese Witherspoon. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: This is very much a mainstream movie meant to shine a light on the plight of people who were ignored for too long. For that reason alone, it's well worth seeing. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: I never thought I'd be so happy to see so little of Reese Witherspoon in a Reese Witherspoon movie. Read more

Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter: A touching, generous-hearted movie that touches on immigrant experience with grace. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: The pieces don't always fit together as neatly as you might wish, but if you let it, "The Good Lie's" heartwarming soul will win you over. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Director Philippe Felardeau finds some extraordinary landscapes here. And his camera also lingers over his characters' faces, striking maps of their pain, their hunger, their loss. Read more

Ella Taylor, NPR: A big, eager puppy of an issue movie that plants its paws on your chest and licks away at your cheek in eager expectation of praise. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: There are lessons to be learned here. And ultimately the heart of "The Good Lie" is in the right place. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: "The Good Lie" may be a little too soft. But it largely avoids mawkish sentimentality and casts a glow that is increasingly absent nowadays from films depicting international strife. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: A compelling film - occasionally a bit too earnest, perhaps, or overly broad in its humor, but often deeply moving. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 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. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: 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, Read more

Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune: 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. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The Good Lie honestly earns its laughter and tears, even if it has to do so by way of some Hollywood window dressing. Read more

James Rocchi, TheWrap: Most of the time, Hollywood applies so much energy to warming your heart, the excess energy turns your brain to mush. The Good Lie works as well as it does precisely because of an intelligence, humanity and restraint we rarely see in Hollywood films. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The political becomes personal, eye-opening and moving in The Good Lie. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: In a bait-and-switch worthy of its title, "The Good Lie" may lure in viewers eager to see a Reese Witherspoon movie, but they'll fall in love with something else entirely. Read more