A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lie (aka Between Earth and Sky) is a 2018 drama-thriller in which divorced parents go to great lengths to protect their teen daughter after she kills her friend. The dead body is seen in a nightmare by the teen girl, who tells her parents that she pushed her friend off of a bridge into the icy rapids below them. A man is hit and killed by a car. Attempted murder by drowning. Punches thrown in a quick skirmish between two men. Teen girl engages in cutting; scars shown on her arm. Some profanity, including "f--k." Beer drinking. This movie is based on the 2015 film Wir Monster.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE LIE, Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) is driving his teen daughter Kayla (Joey King) to a ballet retreat. On the way, Kayla spots her friend Britney waiting at a bus stop, and since she's also going to the retreat, Kayla insists that Jay stops to give her a ride. As they drive down a desolate country road in the middle of winter, Britney asks to stop so she can go into the woods to urinate. Shortly after Britney and Kayla go into the woods, Jay hears a scream. He finds Kayla at a bridge, and she tells her father that she has just pushed Britney off the bridge to her death in the icy rapids below. In a panic, Jay begins to cover up the crime and protect Kayla at all costs. Jay tells Kayla's mother Rebecca (Mireille Enos) about what happened, and despite being in the aftermath of a messy divorce, the two work together to protect Kayla, even as Britney's father begins to come around asking the whereabouts of his missing daughter and police detectives begin to grow increasingly suspicious of Jay and Rebecca.
Is it any good?
While engaging in the moment, this movie's sum doesn't equal its parts. There's plenty that's working -- the acting, the eerie, cold mood evoked by the direction, the pacing -- but the deeper the story gets into the morass of two divorced parents doing everything possible to protect their daughter, the more The Lie's twists provoke eyerolls more than surprise. These ludicrous twists and turns to the story eventually destroy any sense of suspension of disbelief that the audience may have had, to the point where one feels like they were on the receiving end of a lie almost as much as anyone in the movie.
In spite of the result, the journey is, admittedly, an enjoyable story of deception breeding more deception as the consequences only make things worse. It's almost a cliche by this point to create mood through silence and dim winter light and gray colors, but in this case, it works. The tension between the characters, where they were before the cataclysmic event (divorce, Dad in a mid-life crisis, teen girl struggling to find acceptance), and their struggles to maintain the crumbling facade is palpable, and certainly one of the best parts of the movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about thriller movies. How does The Lie compare to other thrillers you've seen?
How did the movie use color to create a certain mood? What was the mood they were going for in this movie, and how did it play into the overall story?
How did the movie address issues like teens trying to fit in, cutting, divorce, and mid-life crises?
- In theaters: September 1, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: October 6, 2020
- Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos, Joey King
- Director: Veena Sud
- Studio: Amazon Studios
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout, some violence and brief sexuality.
- Last updated: August 16, 2021
Our editors recommend
For kids who love thrills
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch