Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 110 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 14+. The film isn’t a true story, but is inspired by the real “Lost Boys” of Sudan, children whose lives were torn apart during the genocide and war there, so there is some fighting, gunfire, corpses, and dangerous adult soldiers and rebels, as well as dead relatives and friends. Also some cursing, some kissing, some discussions and jokes about sex and sexual situations, and some drug use by a troubled adult.
‘The Good Lie’ tells the tale of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, displayed by the genocide there and offered a chance to start anew in the United States. By keeping the boys front and center, the film does justice to their story, albeit in a typically crowd-pleasing way.
By Roxana Hadadi
“The Good Lie” isn’t based on one specific true story from the Sudanese civil war from 1983 to the mid-2000s, but director Philippe Falardeau and screenwriter Margaret Nagle have done their research. Falardeau spent time in Sudan; Nagle conducted countless interviews on the effect of the Sudanese civil war on the 20,000 children displaced by the fighting (the “Lost Boys”); and the film is cast with actors who have ties to the country or were personally affected by the violence. “The Good Lie” has respect for its subject, and that comes through quite well—even when the film takes storytelling shortcuts that seem manufactured for maximum heartwarming.