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Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K., Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill ... see more see more... , Jeffrey Tambor , Fionnula Flanagan , Tina Fey , Christopher Guest , John Hodgman , Nathan Corddry , Jimmi Simpson , Jason Bateman , Martin Starr , Donna Sorbello , Ruben Santiago-Hudson , Stephanie March , Alton Fitzgerald White , Philip Seymour Hoffman , Edward Norton , Roz Ryan , Michael Patrick Gough , Arnie Burton , Ashlie Atkinson , Bobby Moynihan , Shaun Williamson , Stephen Merchant , Cole Jensen , Conner Rayburn , Lisa Paige Robinson , Matthew Stadelmann , Dreama Walker , Rachel Harker , Tate Ellington , Ken Cheeseman , David Pittu , Nada Despotovich , Joe Badalucco , Celeste Oliva , Patrick Stewart

"The Invention of Lying" takes place in an alternate reality in which lying--even the concept of a lie--does not even exist. Everyone--from politicians to advertisers to the man and woman on the stree... read more read more...t--speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards. In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and Mark begins to realize that things are getting a little out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as, well, gospel. With the entire world now hanging on his every word, there is only one thing Mark has not been able to lie his way into: the heart of the woman he loves.

Flixster Users

39% liked it

666,353 ratings

Critics

58% liked it

182 critics

DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

Stats: 13,999 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (13,999)


  • December 30, 2013
    In a world where everyone tells the truth (even when unprovoked - a nit at which this and many other reviewers have picked), Mark Bellison discovers that he can lie and uses that superpower for good...for the most part.

    The love story arc of Anna figuring out what she wants in ... read morea mate is well-paced with a nice moment of her defending the chubby kid who got ice cream smashed in his face by the better-gened kids. Mark's weepy moment of describing a Kindergartener's conception of Heaven to his frightened, dying mother is lovely, but the rest of his Christian scripture is a bit slapstick, and I was disappointed that the movie didn't make more of a comment on spiritual solace, the truth and lies of religion, and Truth's partner: Consequences.

    Ricky Gervais does his cheeky hosting bit in the proselytizing scenes, but he actually gets rather endearing and emotional throughout the movie. I do love seeing PSH in oafish comedic roles, and I'm digging Louis C.K.'s Above Average Schmo schtick more and more. Jennifer Garner is also requisitely frosty and vapid, then tender and sweet.

    I especially dig Anna's deleted scene monologue of her appeal, which says so much about real-life Millennial women, female romantic leads in movies, and Anna's own character who just comes off as flatly bitchy at first: "In fact, there are very few things in life I care that much about. The only things I have to offer myself, or anyone else are my good looks and my affected sense of quirkiness which artistically inclined men interpret as intellect. I think my best trait is the fact that I've made very few mistakes. Socially, academically, financially, romantically. I take very few risks and therefore lead a relatively happy, light-hearted existence. Mostly though, I am a kind, sweet person with the potential of genuinely becoming a vital and interesting human being the day I take the energy I expend on hyper-self-reflexivity and apply it to actual action in the reality of my life."
  • January 13, 2013
    Amusing if not exceptional comedy, Gervais has yet to make a movie that is anywhere near as enjoyable or original as one of his many TV shows.
  • September 13, 2012
    Oh dear this looked ok from the trailer. Thought it would be a mix of Liar, Liar with Bruce Almighty. Unfortunately n where near as funny as those two. In fact for a comedy apart from the main plot running through the film, it tries to be a bit too serious for a comedy. As a resu... read morelt not that much to laugh at here. I expected a lot better and was let down.
  • June 24, 2012
    The Invention of Lying is a terrific comedy directed by the great Ricky Gervais. This is a smartly crafted film with great acting and it has a wonderful script and story. If you want a fun little comedy, this is the film to watch. Ricky Gervais is always a pleasure to watch, and ... read morein The Invention of Lying, he gives a great performance. I very much loved the film, the cast was well chosen, and each brought something great to the screen. This was a refreshing comedy, compared to others who rely on vulgar, crude content, which is ok, but gets tiresome after awhile. This film relied more on traditional comedy elements to make you laugh, and most certainly did that. The film has plenty of charm, and Ricky Gervais definitely knows what can make you laugh. He is one of the best comedic actors out there, and if you're tired of the same old Adam Sandler garbage, check out Gervais' work. The humor is good, and it was lots of fun from start to finish. The film was slow at times, but what kept me interested was the cast that gave good performances. This is a fine comedy, and there should be more comedies like this that should be made. Gervais is a great comedian and he should make more films. His humor is actually funny. I just wish studios would give him more opportunities to make films because he is very funny. Unlike so many other "comedians", Gervais is always fun to watch on-screen. The Invention of Lying boasts a great, funny performance by Ricky Gervais, an engaging story and a great plot, and that's something lacking from many of today's comedies. If you're tired of unfunny comedies that try too hard at being funny by introducing crude content to try and make you laugh, give The Invention of Lying a view, this is a very funny and well done film.
  • January 7, 2012
    A really clever well written film.
  • December 20, 2011
    It might not be a film that does what it says on the packet and it's premise is essentially a one trick pony. But Ricky Gervais' accidental romantic comedy is funny at times but has good intentions and is overall. A warm, light hearted movie.
  • September 21, 2011
    I'm not the biggest Ricky Gervais fan. I didn't;t like the Office, I can't stand his stand up and his laugh goes right through me. That said, I did like Extras and I'm looking forward to his new sitcom and now I can say I liked The Invention of Lying. It's not laugh out loud funn... read morey, I did laugh, titter and smile but I didn't 'lol'. To be honest, I though there was a lot more to it than it been just a comedy. It is an excellent idea. This could have been a 90 minute film full of cheap shots, Liar Liar comes to mind (no review from me of yet as I haven't been able to get past 30 mins over 3 attempts). Instead, it raises very clever questions about society, the way we think and the way we treat one another. It asks quite big questions about religion for a light-hearted Hollywood film and it questions peoples values, attacking vanity in particular. All in all, this is quite an anti-Hollywood film. That's probably what I like about it the most, it takes the piss without anyone realising. Could I be changing my mind about Gervais? As long as he keeps up doing what he did at the Golden Globs last year, probably not, but if he continues writing great stuff like this then yes, definitely. The Invention of Lying is sly, brilliantly conceived and well executed and was a very nice surprise. I think the only criticism was the 'romantic' bit. It was handled fairly well but an unhappy ending wouldn't have gone a miss. Maybe I'm just a miserable sod. Post-production annoyance though with the fact they have blatantly air-brushed Ricky Gervais's head on the poster to make him look less fat, completely contradicting the films message! Doh!
  • fb535316333
    July 23, 2011
    fb535316333
    The high concepts this movie chooses to explore deserves better. The "who gets the girl" plot fails to uphold a truly intriguing premise that barely touched the surface of its own connotations.

    Even as a nonsensical comedy it fails to deliver, what with the whole "no lying" humo... read morer completely losing it's zing after the first 15 minutes of non-stop insults.

    Just an overall disappoint from all stand points.
  • fb732260458
    May 12, 2011
    fb732260458
    A so-so comedy with a quite interesting premise that unfortunately gets placed in the passenger seat in favor of cheap Rom-Com cliches.
  • May 4, 2011
    "Hi, I'm Bob I'm the spokesperson for the Coca-Cola company. I'm here today to ask you to continue buying coke. Sure it's a drink you've been drinking for years, and if you still enjoy it, I'd like to remind you to buy it again sometime soon. It's basically just brown sugar water... read more, we haven't changed the ingredients much lately, so there's nothing new I can tell you about that. We changed the can around a little bit though. See, the colors here are different there, and we added a polar bear so the kids like us. Coke is very high in sugar and like any high calorie soda it can lead to obesity in children and adults who don't sustain a very healthy diet. So that's it, it's coke. It's very famous, everyone knows it. I'm Bob, I work for coke, and I'm asking you to not stop buying coke. That's all. It's a bit sweet. Thank you."

    The Invention of Lying is one of the most original films I've seen for a long time. From the brilliant mind of Ricky Gervais, comes a film set in a world where nobody lies, until a loser (Gervais) invents lying and soon becomes the most coercive and compelling man in the world. After a "little white lie" that he expresses to his mom on her death bed, the whole world is looking up to him, expecting great quality of him, and his ideas.

    The casting was very unusual, it starred Ricky Gervais as Mark Bellison, Jennifer Garner as Anna McDoogles, Louis C.K. as Greg, Rob Lowe as Brad Kessler, Jonah Hill as Frank, Jeffrey Tambor as Anthony, Fionnula Flanagan as Martha Bellison, Tina Fey as Shelley, and Christopher Guest as Nathan Goldfrappe. Even though it's a quirky cast, it was well executed.

    Normally, I wouldn't discuss the script, but I'm giving myself an exception. The script for this film was one of the funniest I've ever seen. It's not flawless, but it's good enough to keep the audience well entertained. Sure it's incredibly predictable, but who cares?

    Obviously, the acting cannot be taken seriously. As for Ricky Gervais, I don't care if he plays the same role in his films, he's downright hilarious! This is one of the most underrated films of all time. It's at least good for a one time watch.

Critic Reviews


Jonathan F. Richards
November 22, 2009
Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com

There are cycles of inspiration and rebirth, but the barbed promise of the early going loses its way in choices aimed at sentimentality rather than, as Harvey Kurtzman memorably put it, humor in a jug... Full Review

A.O. Scott
October 5, 2009
A.O. Scott, At the Movies

It's bogged down in too many squishy romantic-comedy pieties. Full Review

Michael Phillips
October 5, 2009
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

I think the first half hour would be almost impossible to sustain because it is so inspired. Full Review

Anthony Lane
October 5, 2009
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

The last third of the movie is as bad as anything I've seen this year, with the laughs trailing off, and half of the supporting characters, the zestier ones, being airbrushed from the frame. Full Review

Trevor Johnston
October 4, 2009
Trevor Johnston, Time Out

That a great comic idea does not necessarily make for a great screen comedy is the lesson for first-time writer-director-star Ricky Gervais as he comes unstuck. Full Review

Dana Stevens
October 2, 2009
Dana Stevens, Slate

Despite the ambitious scope of its premise, this confounding, disappointing and, in the end, depressing movie is content to devote 80 percent of its screen time to wondering who gets to kiss the girl. Full Review

J. R. Jones
October 2, 2009
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

The romantic plot, involving his unrequited loved for Garner, is soured by her character's unconcealed shallowness. Full Review

Tom Charity
October 2, 2009
Tom Charity, CNN.com

The movie never surpasses the gleeful hilarity of the first 25 minutes, when it allows us to imagine just how crushing and soulless this nakedly Darwinian universe would be. Full Review

Joe Neumaier
October 2, 2009
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

The movie is smart and silly. Full Review

Betsy Sharkey
October 2, 2009
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

[It] does have its moments -- most of them courtesy of Gervais and his very specific brand of self-deprecating, always equivocating comedy -- just not nearly enough of them. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

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Facts


    • Mark Bellison: The world is going to end unless we have sex right now.
    • Greg: If I could do anything? Anything at all? I would touch a girl's boobs.
    • Bob: Hi, I'm Bob I'm the spokesperson for the Coca-Cola company. I'm here today to ask you to continue buying coke. Sure it's a drink you've been drinking for years, and if you still enjoy it, I'd like to remind you to buy it again sometime soon. It's basically just brown sugar water, we haven't changed the ingredients much lately, so there's nothing new I can tell you about that. We changed the can around a little bit though. See, the colors here are different there, and we added a polar bear so the kids like us. Coke is very high in sugar and like any high calorie soda it can lead to obesity in children and adults who don't sustain a very healthy diet. So that's it, it's coke. It's very famous, everyone knows it. I'm Bob, I work for coke, and I'm asking you to not stop buying coke. That's all.It's a bit sweet. Thank you. Share this quote
    • Brad Kessler: We both know that one day you're going to lose your looks.

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The Invention of Lying Trivia


  • which of the following actors did not have a part to play in Ricky Gervais 'invention of lying'  Answer »
  • Which actor did a cameo in the movie The invention of Lying?  Answer »
  • What is the first lie that Mark tells in The Invention of Lying?  Answer »
  • Who cameos as the cop in The Invention of lying?  Answer »

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