72 user 97 critic

The Good Lie (2014)

PG-13 | | Drama | 14 November 2014 (Kenya)
2:33 | Trailer

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A group of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.



2,684 ( 391)
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Femi Oguns ...
Peterdeng Mongok ...
Young Mamere
Okwar Jale ...
Young Theo
Thon Kueth ...
Young Jeremiah
Deng Ajuet ...
Young Paul
Keji Jale ...
Young Abital
David Madingi ...
Young Gabriel


Four Sudanese children are orphaned after their village is massacred in the Second Sudanese Civil War. Consequently, they make an arduous and dangerous trek through the plains, enduring hardship, death and sacrifice all the way until they reach safety in a refugee camp in Kenya. Years later, these youths are among 3600 selected for resettlement in America, only to have the one girl among them sent to Boston, while the three boys must to make a new life in Kansas City. Together, these young men must adjust to an alien culture even as the emotional baggage of their past haunts them. However, these newcomers, and their new friends like employment counselor Carrie Davis, strive to understand each other in this new home, as they make peace with their histories in a challenge that will change all their lives. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence, brief strong language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 November 2014 (Kenya)  »

Also Known As:

A Boa Mentira  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$841,422 (USA) (3 October 2014)


$2,716,989 (USA) (2 January 2015)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Although billed as a Reese Witherspoon film, the truth is this largely a supporting role for the actress. Indeed, she doesn't make an appearance until 35 minutes into the film. See more »


When the refugees first arrive in Kansas City and mention needing to meet an escort by the baggage claim, they descend an escalator. MCI (Kansas City's primary airport) does not have a lower level baggage claim. The airport is three, single-level terminals all with various baggage claims on the same level. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: In 1983, a brutal civil war broke out in Sudan between the North and the South over religion and resources, leaving villages destroyed by northern government armies and militia.
Title Card: By 1987, thousands of orphaned children began to flee on foot across sub-Saharan Africa, walking as many as thousands of miles to Ethiopia and then Kenya. Thirteen years later, 3600 refugees would be relocated to the U.S.A. They were known simply as "The Lost Boys of Sudan."
Title Card: This film is inspired by their ...
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Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Can't Stop the Music (2014) See more »


Secret Affair
Written and Performed by Hans Hammerschmid
Courtesy of Extreme Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

Great film, trailer misguiding
8 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Good Lie, it's a great movie about humanity and values. It's not a documentary about the civil war in Sudan. The trailer is very misguiding, letting the viewer thinking of a cliché' comedy which is not. Nor it's an informative guide about the who and why of a civil war. What I've found interesting, listening to the Q&A at the Tiff, is that the writer took ten years to build this story mixing the life real event of few Sudanese refugees. During the first part of the movie, I was expecting more blood, more extreme violence. But then, the more the movie was going, the more I understood that skipping graphic brutality was a choice, and the whole product was becoming more poetic at moments without losing that neorealism characteristic of Philippe Falardeau's work. At times, I felt like when I was watching for the first time Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" or the work of a modern De Sica. Acting wise, Whiterspoon's work is great in this movie, realistic and never overwhelming and so Corey Stoll does a great job.

But I was greatly pleased with the excellent performance of Arnold Oceng, all the Sudanese actors in the movie, all former refugees, and the stunning newbie Kuoth Wiel.

Overall, I'd suggest to bring your preteens to watch this movie: it would set an example on how family and value should never be forgotten no matter how hard life gets.

Thank you.

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