The Invention of Lying

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The Invention of Lying

Ricky Gervais (2009)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Following the lukewarm reception for Ghost Town in 2008, Ricky Gervais applies his low-key brand of comedy to another high-concept Hollywood movie, only this time he co-writes and co-directs for the first time. The award-winning comedian stars as mild-mannered scriptwriter Mark Bellison, whose life trundles along in a world where lying has not yet been invented. However, people are not only unable to lie, they suffer from verbal diarrhoea, too. This allows for a stream of easy gags - Mark's date with love interest Anna (Jennifer Garner) is a masterclass in excruciating embarrassment - which start to pile up until the moment when Mark's new-found ability to spin a yarn elevates him to godlike status. The story is rather convoluted, but Gervais carries the film with apt assuredness and, as co-director, he allows a great supporting cast (including Rob Lowe, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill) to shine. It's not on the same level as TV gems like The Office or Extras, but it does provide some hilarious - and at times satirical - comic moments.


In a world where everyone always tells the truth, a failed documentary writer learns how to lie. Since no one else knows what deception is, his most ludicrous inventions are taken at face value, making him a huge success - and ultimately leading to him starting his own religion. Comedy, starring Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner.

Cast & Crew

Mark Bellison Ricky Gervais
Anna McDoogles Jennifer Garner
Frank Jonah Hill
Greg Louis CK
Anthony Jeffrey Tambor
Martha Bellison Fionnula Flanagan
Brad Kessler Rob Lowe
Shelley Tina Fey
Doctor Jason Bateman
Nathan Goldfrappe Christopher Guest
Jim the bartender Philip Seymour Hoffman
Cop Edward Norton
Richard Bellison Shaun Williamson
Man at the door Stephen Merchant
Director Ricky Gervais
Director Matthew Robinson (3)
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 2 Oct 2009