The Lie

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Lie Movie Poster Image
Some violence, language in compelling thriller-drama.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Movie centered on the actions two divorced parents take to protect their teenage daughter after she tells them she killed her friend by accident. 

Positive Role Models

 Parents go to great lengths to cover up a crime perpetrated by their teen daughter. 

Violence

During an impromptu stop on a trip to a ballet retreat, two teen girls go off into the woods, where one of the teen girls tells her father that she pushed her friend off of a bridge into the icy rapids below. A man gets run over by a car and dies. A dead body seen in a nightmare. Strongly implied child abuse -- bruises on a teen girl's face. Teen girl engages in cutting her arms; scars shown. Attempted murder by drowning. Brief fist fight. 

Sex

Teen girl flirts with her friend's dad. 

Language

"F--k" used a few times. Also: "a--hole," "bulls--t," "s--t," "bitch," "hell." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer drinking. 

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

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLionQueen August 3, 2021
Adult Written byYolkCaptain31 August 3, 2021

Yall should watch this

It was a great movie and I don't think it should be rated R. I honestly think it is good for 14+. There was just a bit of swearing but other than that it i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byScarlet witch January 10, 2021

The confusing story

It's a very twisted and confusing story but it's a nice movie. Joey king's acting is nice and the story has many twists that will shock you. It... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bypillowduck May 10, 2021

Nice twist, slow burn, a tad boring

Very much an adult movie. It can be handled by kids, but they might not appreciate it as much like I didn't. It is heavily law founded and psychological, n... Continue reading

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? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate