Parents' Guide to

Lions for Lambs

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Intense war thriller offers food for thought.

Movie R 2007 88 minutes
Lions for Lambs Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 7+

Crap movie

crap movie
age 17+

A movie that really makes us think

As you see, I'm not an American, though I liked this movie very much. I don't think it's against Bush or against the war in Iraq in particular. It's against unfairness, lies and indifference, so the message is really complex. I don't even see it as an average political drama -- it does touch the problems of politics, but the range of problems is much wider. I believe that the movie wouldn't be a good one without good actors. I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise, although he did his job quite well - the problem is that marvelous Meryl Streep outshone him. I found the performance of Robert Redford quite good, although I still think that he's a better director than an actor. As you see, this movie does have some weak sides, but the message it carries makes an outstanding piece.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

Watching Lions for Lambs feels a lot like taking your medicine: It may be good for you, but it doesn't go down smoothly. In this case, the ailment is the malaise that sets in when a country -- here, the United States -- sends its young men and women to fight a war that goes on indefinitely. The storylines seem like the recipe for a thoughtful, provoking piece of cinema. Which it is, on some levels. The push-pull dynamic between the journalist and the senator is fascinating and, it seems, fairly on the money. But Lions for Lambs is also didactic and dogmatic. Viewers are often told what to think instead of being given the chance to discover the truths the movie aims to convey. Actually, it all feels a lot like a poli-sci lecture, albeit one with great actors.

Cruise is brilliant here, subduing his usual manic tendencies and exhibiting an almost menacing penchant for control that serves his character very well. He goes toe to toe with Streep, who's superb as usual. Of the movie's three sections, Redford's storyline suffers most from inertia. Yes, he holds the camera's gaze, but the conversation between him and his "student" feels curiously dispassionate -- ironic, considering that he's trying to light a fire under the kid. And while it's certainly moving, the soldiers' section is predictable. Too bad you can't say the same thing about resolving war and other conflicts.

Movie Details

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