7.4/10
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The Good Lie (2014)

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2:33 | Trailer
A group of Sudanese refugees, given the chance to resettle in the U.S., arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.

Director:

Philippe Falardeau

Writer:

Margaret Nagle
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reese Witherspoon ... Carrie
Arnold Oceng ... Mamere
Ger Duany ... Jeremiah
Emmanuel Jal ... Paul
Corey Stoll ... Jack
Kuoth Wiel ... Abital
Femi Oguns Femi Oguns ... Theo
Sarah Baker ... Pamela
Lindsey Garrett ... Jenny
Peterdeng Mongok Peterdeng Mongok ... Young Mamere
Okwar Jale Okwar Jale ... Young Theo
Thon Kueth Thon Kueth ... Young Jeremiah
Deng Ajuet Deng Ajuet ... Young Paul
Keji Jale Keji Jale ... Young Abital
David Madingi David Madingi ... Young Gabriel
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Kenya | India | USA | Canada | South Africa

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 2014 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good Lie See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$841,422, 5 October 2014

Gross USA:

$2,722,209

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,396,345
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emmanuel Jal (Paul) described his real child-soldier atrocities in BBC's Horizon (1964), season forty-five, episode eighteen, "How Violent Are You?" See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Protests in Sudan (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Obiero
Written and Performed by Ayub Ogada
Courtesy of Real World Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Touching & Humorous
4 January 2015 | by larrys3See all my reviews

This can be a touching and humorous movie, which has the rare ability to transfer thematic elements from the harrowing and horrific to sugary sweet humor, all in one film. It centers around a group of young Sudanese refugees living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, in Kenya, who are selected after 13 years at the camp to participate in a relocation program to America, which became known at the time as the "Lost Boys of Sudan". Actually, they will be sponsored and under the auspices of the Faith Based Charities organization once they arrive in the U.S.A..

The first part of the movie can be difficult to watch, as it depicts the horrors of the Sudanese Civil War, and how these surviving children saw their families killed by invading troops. Also, how they trekked nearly 900 miles across the sub-Sahara, under the most dangerous and difficult conditions to reach the Kakuma Camp. The remainder of the film depicts the culture shock awaiting them in Kansas City as they relocate to America.

Reese Witherspoon is superb, as usual, as Carrie Davis, an employment counselor assigned to help the new arrivals find local jobs as soon as possible, but who will also become more involved in their well being. Corey Stoll and Sarah Baker also add well to the mix in supporting roles.

The group of young Sudanese that the film focuses on, are all either actual refugees from the camp, some being child soldiers at one point, or direct descendants of refugees in the camp. Their performances are terrific and there's lots of deadpan humor that emerges from their characters. The group includes Arnold Oceng, as Mamere, Ger Duany, as Jeremiah, Emmanuel Jal, as Paul, and Kuoth Weil, as Abital.

The film was directed by Canadian filmmaker Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar), and written by Margaret Nagle.

By the way, there is a well presented documentary on this exact subject called "Lost Boys of Sudan", which I viewed in the last year or so, that you may want to check out.

In summary, I thought this movie had heart and was able to illustrate the ravages of war, but then show what can happen when people are given a second chance in life.


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