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True Lies Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    Let others recharge that tired Die Hard formula. Cameron invents a new kind of family therapy that saves your marriage and the world. [15 Jul 1994 Pg. 01.D]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The director, James Cameron, is a master of action (he worked with Schwarzenegger on "Terminator 2"), and when he's doing his thing, no one does it better.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    As the perfectionist creator of bravura set pieces, Cameron is still the leader of the pack. [14 Jul 1994 Pg. F1]

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    True Lies is so eager to give you a giddy good time that you're more than happy to let it work you over. It's a likably disposable pop cocktail.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    One of the best things about True Lies is that it's genuinely funny.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    Much of the appeal of True Lies comes from the smooth grafting of battle-of-the-sexes comedy onto a high-tech action picture.

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  • See all True Lies reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Exciting mix of thrills, comedy; older teens and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this entertaining thriller combines an action blockbuster (that means lots of big explosions) and a screwball comedy about a married couple who are both hiding big secrets. The wife is contemplating an affair and ends up being pressured to pretend she’s a secret agent, while the husband is the real deal, a suave superspy who has convinced his family that he’s actually a boring computer salesman. Not only does it deliver plenty of excitement, it also has some astute things to say about honesty and ennui in marriage. The wife performs a risqué striptease in her underwear, and there’s a good deal of swearing. Also expect plenty of violence, including gunfights, car chases, some graphic hand-to-hand combat, and even a nuclear explosion.

  • Families can talk about honesty. The main characters lie to each other throughout most of the film. How does their relationship change once they start telling the truth? Do you think it’s plausible for a secret agent to hide his dangerous activities from his family?
  • How does the film portray terrorists? Made in 1994, after the first Gulf War, but before Sept. 11, the villains are Arab extremists, though it doesn’t identify where they come from or touch on religion. Do you think the media’s views about Middle Eastern militants have changed since then?
  • Is it acceptable today to demonize people from the Middle East? WorldWar II-era films often made Nazis the go-to bad-guys -- can you think ofother groups that have served that role?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Honesty is the best policy in this film about a married couple that is hiding big secrets from each other. Their relationship is much improved once they both end their charades and tell each other the truth.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main characters are a husband and wife who both have much to hide from each other; she is involved in a flirtatious near-affair and ends up pretending to be a secret agent, while he actually is a real spy who has convinced his family that he’s a dull computer salesman.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lots of action, including explosions, car chases, shootouts, fistfights and even a nuclear explosion. Though there’s little blood or gore, the hand-to-hand sequences can be intense -- the muscular hero dispatches several villains by snapping their necks.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A bored housewife, pretending to be a secret agent who is pretending to be a hooker, performs a sexy striptease in her underwear. Some characters discuss gender relations in highly sexist terms.

  • language false4

    Language: Lots of swearing. Everything from “f--k,” “s--t” and “a--hole” to “d--k,” “bitch” and “p---y.”

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A few references to well-known musicians. Car logos are often visible, including a classic Corvette that plays an important role in the plot.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking and smoking. A pack of cigarettes plays a key role in the story. One character is captured by terrorists and given a truth serum.