The Invention of Lying 2009 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(345) IMDb 6.4/10
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In an alternate reality where even the concept of a lie doesn't exist, a loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie and finds that dishonesty has its rewards.

Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner
1 hour, 40 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Comedy
Director Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
Starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner
Supporting actors Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor, Fionnula Flanagan, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey, Donna Sorbello, Stephanie March, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Hodgman, Nate Corddry, Jimmi Simpson, Martin Starr, Jason Bateman, Christopher Guest, Alton Fitzgerald White, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

In the world of this film, there is no such thing as "lying."
Thomas Glebe
It feels like just as the narrator was going to really get into just how much people lie everyday, to themselves and to each other, that the movie changed gears.
Some are offended by this film but I was too confused to muster much outrage.
David Baldwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 81 people found the following review helpful By austin_Larry TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Wow. I was totally blown away. The last thing I actually expect Hollywood to do nowadays is make a movie that is thought provoking, tackles some truly profound issues about the human condition, and is funny to boot.

Ricky Gervais has won instant respect for me. I bet a friend before coming to Amazon (I rented the Blu-ray on Netflix) that there would be a bunch of 1 star reviews. And that none of them would actually be about the film per se or its quality but would be religious peoplem who, get offended when someone asks them to think about what they say they believe and why.

Gervais ends up examining 2 aspects of the human condition, lying and religion. What would a world be like where people simply not only did not but could not lie. You get a number of humorous situations from this. It makes you think about the role of 'social lying' in particular. Manners, in a way, for lack of a better word

Now on to religion. I think Gervais hit on 2 issues that are very germaine. One how can an 'all good God' be responsible for the good and the bad. Very hard for anyone to explain although people try with that oldie 'everything happens for a reason'. Also explores an honest reaction to a 'god' well tourting people for eternity.

Of more interest to me though was the potential consequences of becoming focused on an afterlife at the expense of this life. The character played by Jonah Hill represents an all too real condition. People who place less value on their life, this life, because everything will work out in the afterlife or that is the real life. This can create HUGE HARM to individuals, society, and the planet.
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75 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Dusty White VINE VOICE on November 1, 2009
Format: DVD
This film plays out like a British reality TV show. It just feels a bit off, but bear with it. That is part of its charm. Around 37 minutes into it (if memory serves), "WHAM!", it follows true reality and goes completely off script. That's all I can tell you. But here's why you really need to see this movie:

It's pure genius. The whole of it has a rather laid back feel, and the pacing is more a nice leisurely stroll through the park on a warm Autumn day than a Jason Bourne movie or the latest Transformers (both of which I enjoyed, but have nothing more to do with this review). This film draws you in slowly. For some of you it may seem a bit dry and boring, even pedantic at first--stay with it! This is the evolution of personal existence. This is real life as it happens. We go through our days performing our daily rituals and fulfilling our self-imposed duties and then we see something shiny and we pick it up, and suddenly the world starts to find color. This shiny new thing could be a relationship, or a new hobby, a passion for something we did not believe we could have before--or in this case--lying.

The point of this film is (naturally) to entertain us, but just underneath is a series of layered messages and thoughts to ponder on our own lives and the society we live in. In much the same way foreign films tend to attract a certain demographic, this film, feeling a lot like a film foreign to Americans (in pace and structure) is meant to attract people who want to THINK while they are being entertained, rather than wait for glimpses of Megan Fox in a wet bikini (and who doesn't want to do that?). This is truly a film worth owning, and it is a film worth watching a few times (spaced apart by a few months).
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55 of 73 people found the following review helpful By birdthing on February 19, 2010
Format: DVD
I loved this movie. It's sweet, and funny and really quite brilliant. It is about an imaginary world where no one can lie (and no one has ever been able to lie), and what happens to the very human, but kind-hearted man who first becomes able to. Though his intentions are mostly altruistic (remember, I also said he is very human, so he also does things to benefit himself), he inadvertently causes some big problems in his world. It's all very funny and sweet.

Yes, there are some strong references to the idea that religion is completely made-up, for the purpose of comforting people and calming their fears of death. For someone who can actually *think* about religion, instead of being a knee-jerk reactionary or dogmatic follower, it provides some terrific things to think about.

If your religious faith is so frail that it cannot stand the idea of a fictional story in which someone makes up religion in order to make the world a better place for the people they care about, then I'd have to say that you don't have much in the way of actual faith to begin with.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brent Butler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
"The Invention of Lying" is a thoughtful movie that requires the viewer to pay attention, and to do some thinking, to appreciate many of its jokes and themes. Now, its also got some instant laugh concepts, but the funniest parts are where you have to put some mental gears to work to figure out where it is going.

For example, in a world where no one lies, every film made is a historical documentary ... and fairly boring ones to boot. The writers did a marvelous job of projecting how the absence of lies would fit into many aspects of society, from advertising to product names ... from personal interactions to business decisions. In the process they came up with a marvelously humorous take on where our society constantly misleads people for all sorts of reasons.

When Ricky Gervais' character learns to lie, he is able to get ahead in unfair ways, but even so he does not totally abandon the high ground ... he just sneaks down from it in some appropriate places, and a few inappropriate ones. However, he often abandons what could become the fruits of his lies because achieving his aims in those ways is ultimately unsatisfying to him.

Much criticized has been the relatively short section that deals with religion. When Ricky Gervais' character lovingly tells his dieing mother a story to comfort her in her last moments, he is overheard by nearby doctors and nurses, who want to know more about what he told his mother, which by definition in their world must be the literal truth. I think what people have failed to see is that this section of the movie does not make fun of religion, but it does spoof certain man made beliefs about religion.
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