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Parents' Guide to

The Invention of Lying

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gervais' irreverent fable isn't meant for kids.

Movie PG-13 2009 100 minutes
The Invention of Lying Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 9+

Reality Enlightens

Honestly, this movie was very well written. Some call it satire. I believe it has a much deeper message. In fact, it really should become high school curriculum. Gervais, to many, hit the nail on the head when it comes to the origin of the bible and the mythology of ‘God’. Theology and evidence are leading more and more to understand that common stories with the bible, Quran, and other religious writings can be traced back to the very few educated persons who were tasked with writing stories that could satiate the common person’s answers for ‘why’. The need to have an explanation when only science exists as an answer - and for which the ability to explain and comprehend were lacking for most - caused these unwieldy tales, which became the religious writings. My 10-year old and 15-year olds, at the time, got that without me uttering a word. They debated it amongst themselves. Not odd that they came to the same outcome that I did 40 years ago. Society wants and answer for everything, and many will accept any reasoning if they believe the delivery person. Just look at Trump’s grasp on a certain segment of America. Overall, this was really good movie. It was thought provoking in a time when so few movies are.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 18+

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (20 ):

This is a movie that may turn out to be richer and more fun with each viewing. Amid the clever, witty dialogue, funny situations, and sneakily amusing riffs on some of our most treasured icons (moviemaking, advertising, the good-looking guy), it's surprising to realize that The Invention of Lying isn't just another "one joke" comedy. Gervais and Robinson had more in mind: They tackled some pretty heady concepts (death, faith, religion, and more) while using a very gentle hand -- along with the humor -- to make their points ... or at least to get the audience to think about what they've seen.

The movie includes many delightful, unexpected cameo appearances (watch for Ed Norton behind aviator sunglasses), and the supporting actors (including Jonah Hill, Jeffrey Tambor, Tina Fey, and Rob Lowe) are all very funny, though not much is demanded of them beyond playing one-dimensional caricatures that serve the leads. Gervais, as expected, is terrific as the Everyman, and Garner is very impressive as a comedienne. Their scenes together are wonderful examples of good timing, good chemistry, and two people having great fun.

Movie Details

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