The Good Lie

Theatrical Release: November 14, 2014
The Good Lie


After their village is destroyed and their parents killed by a northern militia, Sudanese orphans Theo, his siblings and other survivors make a difficult journey to a refugee camp in Kenya. Thirteen years later, the group gets the chance to settle in the U.S. They are met in Kansas by Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon), who has been charged with finding them jobs. However, seeing how adrift they are in 20th-century America, Carrie endeavors to help them rebuild their shattered lives.

Dove Review

“The Good Lie” is based on the true story of civil war breaking out in Sudan in 1983, between the North and South, over religion and resources. This led to many people, including many children, leaving after their villages were destroyed by the Northern government armies and the militia. This story focuses on a few of them who were able to flee to America.

Mamere (excellently portrayed by Arnold Oceng), Jeremiah (Ger Duany), Paul (Emmanuel Jal), and Abital (Kuoth Wiel) are able to get to America but the three are separated from Abital, Mamere’s sister, when no host family is found for her in Kansas City. She has to travel on to Boston, but Mamere and the others promise to find her. The story, although beginning with the heartbreak of losing many family members and friends, hits some comical points as the three men get a place together, find jobs, and adjust to life in America. The first time they go to McDonalds is funny, as is their reaction to the first time their telephone rings. One great scene has one of the guys telling the other two the joke about why the chicken crossed the road; their responses are priceless. Reese Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis, who is associated with the employment agency, and both she and a supervisor named Jack (Corey Stoll) go the extra mile to help the young men and reunite them with Abital.

There is also a plot line featuring Mamere’s desire to get Theo (Femi Oguns), his brother and former chief of the group, to America. The movie features both dramatic and comedic moments, as well as excellent performances from everyone. And the refugees have a strong faith in God: reading their Bible, praying, and going to church. Unfortunately, three categories in our content ratings are outside of our family-friendly perimeters, including the use of one strong profanity in addition to a few other words, and we therefore are unable to present our “Faith-Based” Seal to “The Good Lie.”

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Kissing and implied sex between couple in a motel; man finds his girlfriend's bra in the bed and hands it to her; couple is seen kissing at the airport.
Language: GD-1; M/G-3; BS-1; H-2; Holy Crap-1; A-1; PO-1; woman asks who she has to s*ew in order to get some help at a business.
Violence: There are several scenes of soldiers shooting at adults and children; a few corpses seen on ground; little blood in comparison to the shooting scenes; blood seen on a few characters including on a man's legs and a man's chest but these scenes are not gratuitous; men on horses burn huts and we see the blazing fires; body is seen floating upside down in the water; boys fight and later two adult men get into a skirmish.
Drugs: Man is given a marijuana cigarette and smokes it, and does so with two men in another scene as well; two women drink tequila and one at least seems drunk; empty wine glass; man with a flask puts alcohol in punch.
Nudity: Shirtless men in several scenes; men and boys in shorts; man in bathtub taking a bath but we see just his upper body;
Other: Belching; Sudanese refugees must adjust to life in America; scars are seen on a man's arms from having been bitten by a lion; tension between characters; man is seen vomiting.


Company: Warner Home entertainment
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 110 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter