You know you're in the hands of a born filmmaker when he floods a scene with danger and excitement and, at the same time, tempers it with something more delicate.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
At its best, L.I.E. ... offers a rich, dark, bitter slice of contemporary life. But the film's arty embellishments undermine its bleak vision, making it, in the end, a little too easy to take.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
- Guardian [UK]
Gripping, troubling, and deftly acted.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Difficult and flawed feature debut.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
Superior and original filmmaking. You won't be able to take your eyes off it.
Jay Carr - Boston Globe
Confused and disjointed.
Jessica Winter - Village Voice
It is the work of a young director with something to say.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
A bold, distinctly independent film.
Gary Dowell - Dallas Morning News
Its director, Michael Cuesta, has the stubborn curiosity of an artist who won't settle for formulas but is intrigued by the secrets and mysteries of his characters.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A disturbing and provocative study of adolescence and isolation.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
This is a very unsettling film that left me shaking long after I left the theater.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
David Rooney - Variety
A well-acted, provocative coming-of-age story.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Recoiling from L.I.E. is a very human, and frankly a very responsible, reaction.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Cuesta never gives us the satisfaction of fulfilling our expectations; instead he gives us a movie that we can ponder long the road takes its final turn.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
- Globe and Mail
A penetrating look at a 14-year-old boy's relationship with a pederast.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
A powerful and provocative achievement.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
A boldly imaginative yet subtle exploration of male sexuality.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
David Ansen - Newsweek
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
- Empire Magazine
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
- Film Threat
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
...worth checking out for Cox's amazing performance...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Nik Huggins - Future Movies UK
Cuesta has succeeded in making a clear and captivating narrative involving the issues of trust, loss and deceit, all of which take place within the space of a week.
Moira Sullivan - FilmFestivals.com
Raises the bar on the coming-of-age story with a tightly focused portrait of a 15-year-old who looks for a father figure and finds his kindly neighborhood sexual predator.
Joshua Tanzer - Offoffoff
Marrit Ingman - Austin Chronicle
A story which never resorts to sensationalism in its troubling study of people wanting to find a way out.
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
Cheryl DeWolfe - Apollo Guide
Ultimately offers little satisfaction outside of the strong performances.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Alexander Walker - This is London
Tom Dawson - BBC
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Guylaine Cadorette - Hollywood.com
It's a fiercely compelling tale, the acting is among the year's best, so I wish Cuesta had been content to leave it at that.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
There were no breakthroughs.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
Cox plays the boy-fancier, orange muscle car and all, with a brilliance you have to see to believe.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
- Boston Phoenix
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
in the end, this is more deservedly bad press for NAMBLA.
Brandon Judell - PopcornQ
... the characters are so well-drawn and well-acted and the ideas raised are provocative without being overly exploitive.
Ted Murphy - Baseline.Hollywood.com
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
What makes L.I.E. so compelling and disturbing is that in Cox's capable hands, we discover a human being inside the beast.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
A mature, insightful and extremely well-acted study.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
It seems brave, in its restrained fashion, and when Cox is on-screen you feel it's getting close to some uncomfortable truth.
Richard C. Walls - Orlando Weekly
... deserves to be seen for the incredibly subtle performances of the two male leads
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
This strangely compelling story shows us that we can never write off any human being as worthless or abominable.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
One of the most provocative independent films of the year.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
An achievement of accomplished filmmaking and superb acting, L.I.E. puts you in the tough spot of unraveling how you feel about what you've viewed.
Kim Morgan - Oregonian
Granted, these desires can be conflicted and perplexing, but the representation here reads as a failure of nerve, a refusal to take on an uncomfortable topic.
Lucas Hilderbrand - PopMatters
If you're open-minded and adventurous in your moviegoing, and if you can handle a disturbing but major performance, then by all means see it.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Strong story telling, character development and acting, off-putting subject matter.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Sluggish, lurching, and unevenly paced, with some crucial improbabilities in the script.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
There's nothing about Cox's poised yet poignant playing that's unconvincing.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
An original, well-crafted plea that uses restraint instead of titillation to make a cautionary tale that aches with pathos and power.
Paula Nechak - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A wonderfully acted film and a courageous one.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Cox is a wonder as Big John.
Arthur Salm - San Diego Union-Tribune
You Should Pay Nine Bucks for This: Because it's really about teenage loneliness, and it hits all those marks perfectly.
Dave White - IFilm
One of the more insightful and affecting teen-trauma films of recent years.
Bill Gallo - New Times
It's disturbing, to say the least, but it also has a curious appeal.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
I kept wondering why I was watching these people, and an answer was never forthcoming.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Right in the center, it explodes with a powerful life force in actor Brian Cox, who saves the film and makes it worth seeing.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
A relentlessly glum, distasteful and moralistic coming-of-age story.
Dave Kehr - Citysearch
A provocative, upsetting film.
Edward Guthmann - San Francisco Chronicle
The suspense -- and, indeed, the art -- comes from not knowing which road Howie will take.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
Brian Cox would be up for Oscar consideration for his acting in this role, except there is probably zero chance of the Academy nominating an actor playing a pedophile.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
This is scary but great
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
Arresting and unsettling.
- E! Online
An intelligent, honest, and non-prurient work about today's youth.
Rod Armstrong - Reel.com
Cuesta's film never succumbs to Larry Clark-esque seediness. The film's take on Oliver Twist is utterly dispassionate and all the more creepy and compelling for offering us no clues as to what will happen between Big John and Howie.
Kevin Maynard - Mr. Showbiz
The performances are pretty good, Cox especially, but all in all we don't really care all that much about the characters or what happens to them, and the ending, while unexpected is really lame.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and refreshingly free of the dim-witted pandering that is endemic to coming-of-age films.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Those of you brave and lucky enough to see L.I.E. will be treated to Cox's terrific performance.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
a film that looks at current social realities with edgy and convincing perceptivity ...a moral film in the best sense of the word
Arthur Lazere - culturevulture.net
Almost a model of what's best in American independent cinema... provocative but not exploitative, moving but not maudlin.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
What makes L.I.E an especially arresting indie film is that it keeps pulling the rug out from under you in terms of where it's heading.
Jason Clark - Matinee Magazine
like a suburban, humanistic "Kids" without the sensationalism
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A thoughtful, compassionate portrait of characters trapped in appalling interior circumstances.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
This dystopic suburban teen's eye view of that journey to difficult adulthood, redefines the notion of road movie as inner road rage in enormous, chilling ways.
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
Would have worked best as a half-hour short film about Howie's ill-advised foray into Big John's haven.
Jeremiah Kipp - Filmcritic.com
An incisive portrait of people traveling east and west and straight to hell.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
L.I.E.'s best moments represent the kind of bold artistic vision too frequently lacking in today's independent cinema.
Michael Tunison - Boxoffice Magazine
Prepubescent homoeroticism and loveable pederasty highlight this preposterous and pointless provocation.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Both unnervingly frank and disarmingly human.
John Anderson - Newsday
A low-budget, deceptively minimalist drama that delivers big.
Erica Abeel - Film Journal International
Greg Muskewitz - eFilmCritic.com
Anyone with an eye for well-made, well-acted, emotionally powerful films will certainly find it worth watching.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com