You don’t want to come down too hard on a movie that tries so hard at being noble, but that’s really the signature feature of “The Good Lie.” It’s a movie that means so well and is so interested in a larger good, that its bland, entirely moderate tone might go unnoticed. It documents the journey of Sudanese refugees being transplanted to Kansas, where they’re put under the watchful eye of Reese Witherspoon. She’s fine—like most of her films, Witherspoon is no better or worse than the material — but the film is neither a hard enough look at the problem in Sudan nor any of the official obstacles of what life is like as a refugee. It’s really a fish-out-of-water culture clash, which, again, is fine. But there’s definitely more to tell, and plenty of reason to try.
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Producer: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela Sherwood, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Kim Roth, Ellen H. Schwartz, Deepak Nayar and Deb Newmyer
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll, Thad Luckinbill, Nyakuoth Wiel, Femi Oguns, Sarah Baker and Lindsey Garrett