“The Good Lie” is a film that highlights the stories of the boys and girls who were part of the “The Lost Boys” program.  What this program did was it took refugees in war stricken areas of Africa and relocated them to areas within the United States so they could be safe and start their lives over.  Based on the stories of men and women who were apart of this program, The Good Lie is a moving and powerful piece of work that will have a major impact on whoever decides to watch it.


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The film starts off with a group of children living in war torn Sudan whose village and families have been desecrated by the militia who have been terrorizing this country.  They decide to walk hundreds of miles to try and find safety and refuge in some of the neighboring countries, but unfortunately, many of them are also undergoing a period of internal turmoil.  This group of children has to face both the harshness of nature and man in order to survive, and along the way, some of these kids weren’t able to survive.  The remaining children include Mamere, his sister Abital, Jeremiah, and Paul. Eventually they are able to find a refugee camp and live there for many years until the fateful day where they were selected to relocate to America thanks to a special program.  The story then follows the four remaining children, now young adults, in their efforts to make a life for themselves in America, with the help of Carie Davis (Reese Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to find the group jobs with her boss Jack (Corey Stoll).

While the characters that Witherspoon and Stoll play are important to the story, they were not the stars of the film. The real stars were the actors playing the roles of the four refugees coming to America, Arnold Oceng (Mamere), Ger Duany (Jeremiah), Emmanuel Jal (Paul), and Kouth Wiel (Abital). We were so impressed by their performances.  The level of depth that they put into their characters was phenomenal.  These four characters were so humble and grateful to be in America, having the opportunity to be safe and the only thing they had to worry about was keeping their jobs.  But at the same time, they faced a tremendous internal stuggle from the hardships they faced in Sudan, having many of their family members ripped away from them. It was haunting.

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One of the goals of this film was to show people what life is really like for refugees, and you better believe that “The Good Lie” accomplishes that and more.  Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll also were great in this film. At first they were not really concerned with the group of refugees, but soon they became invested in helping them, and wanting to do everything in their powers to make sure that this group is afforded all the opportunities they can get.  They have both played a variety of different roles throughout their careers, but this film may feature their best performances to date.  Reese Witherspoon is the face of the movie, but the four actors who play the refugees are truly the heart and soul of the movie.

It is very rare when you see a movie that touches every single emotion.  This is a movie that helps you understand the privilege that you have.  A movie that makes you want to go home and tell every single person you care about that you love them.  This is a heartwarming and inspirational story that really makes you take a step back and examine all the things you should be grateful for.  This isn’t a movie about family, love, or even about tragedy.  This is a movie about life.  It shows that no matter what happens in life, there will be a happy ending, so long as you wish and work for it hard enough, and believe that you can achieve that happiness. It goes to show, you don’t always need the typical glitz and glam that most movies have nowadays to make a great film.  What this film did was portray a beautiful story that really redefines what movie magic is all about.

This film hits theaters Friday October 3, 2014

-Vinesh Vora