The Good Lie (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 110 minutes

The Good Lie (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Very good plot, great acting, emotional rollercoaster
Bad: Reese Witherspoon's character feels a bit out of place
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Sometimes, when choosing a movie to see in the evening, you just want to watch something emotional, realistic and stirring and preferable a movie which tells us a story based on true events. The Good Lie is one those movies and it’ll certainly keep you pondering over the plot while the end credits roll over the screen as to say to the viewers: now it’s time to think about what you’ve just witnessed.

The Good Lie logo

The Good Lie sets of in Sudan where a group of friends must flee from the civil war that’s destroying everything in its path. People are killed in cold blood, children taken away by men with rifles and knifes and anywhere you go, you might end up as another sacrifice of the horrific fighting. As they make their journey to Ethiopia (where it’s supposedly safe enough to live) the children have to endure a lot of suffering like the lack of any water and food, the heat burning on their skin and meanwhile, they have to stay hidden from the enemy soldiers who linger around.

Theo (young Theo is played by Okwar Jale, old Theo is played by Femi Oguns) and his little brother Mamere (young Mamere is played by Peterdeng Mongok, old Mamere by Arnold Oceng) are part of the group and as Theo is the oldest and strongest of the pack, he’s soon promoted to the rank of chief. The others follow him blindly in everything that he does while Theo himself tries to keep up the spirits and makes sure no one gets left behind on his watch. Unfortunately, the journey costs the lives of several children and one morning, when Mamere wakes up and tries to stand up in a field, hostile soldiers spot him and eventually it’s Theo who decides to take the fall. Luckily, the soldiers don’t shoot him on sight but instead, take him with them. That’s the last of Theo you’ll see for a while.

The Good lie2

Eventually, the group finds a refugee camp in Kenya and many years later, they get the chance to leave Sudan and build a life in the States. Here, they meet social worker Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon) who’s assigned to find jobs for our friendly pack of friends. Eventually, you’ll see them struggling with adapting in a whole new culture and some other great developments follow but if I say much more, you’ll probably know the whole movie already and that’s certainly not the point of this review. Overall though, the story proves to be a very strong one with lovely characters a viewer will really care about. Keep in mind that all the things you see in the movie are based on true events. Knowing this makes the story that much more engaging and emotional.

As you might’ve noticed, you’ll see a lot of young and old(er) versions of cast members as the story progresses. There’s a huge leap in time at one point and of course, it’d be rather weird not to see the main characters grow up, wouldn’t it? First of all, I want to give a shout-out to the actors and actresses who took up the roles as children fleeing from a gruesome battlefield. Their performances are really top-notch and that’s a great thing to see at such a young age. Especially Okwar Jale who plays Theo in the very beginning of the movie knows how to put down a believe performance. The older versions of the personages are also portrayed by very skilled actors and actresses. We’ve already mentioned Femi Ogens and Arnold Oceng but Ger Duany (Jeremiah), Emmanuel Jal (Paul) and Kuoth Wiel (Abital) make this movie a very pleasant one to watch.

The good lie

The only one who felt a bit ‘off’ in the movie was Reese Witherspoon. In her defense, her acting was very good and she’s a great actress in general but her character just felt a bit too disconnected with the main cast. This is probably ‘caused’ by the vision of the director who wanted her to look like a superficial and not that friendly person in the beginning of the movie but it felt quite annoying at times. If that’s really how social workers react to people who just fled one of the bloodiest battlefields in that time, then sure, the choice of character suits the movie but otherwise, she could’ve been a little bit more ‘human’ in her interactions.

Extras wise, The Good Lie offers some deleted scenes and in the featurette The Good Lie Journey the cast and crew tell us a bit more about the movie, the different characters and the whole meaning behind the events.


The Good Lie is an emotional rollercoaster with a very strong story and characters you’ll care about deeply. Young actors/actresses and the old(er) ones alike bring about an incredibly convincing acting performance which raises the quality of the movie with another few notches. Reese Witherspoon’s character felt a bit out of place at times and could’ve been better worked out but in general, The Good Lie is an incredible experience to witness.

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