The Good Lie

Fleeing the Sudanese Civil War in 1987, a group of children walk 700 miles to a Kenyan refugee camp; 13 years later, now grown into young adults (Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Kuoth Wiel), they are allowed to emigrate to the U.S., where a Kansas City employment agent (Reese Witherspoon) tries to find them work while they try to adjust to their new lives. Written by Margaret Nagle and directed by Philippe Falardeau, the movie suffers some narrative awkwardness in the early scenes, but rights itself in time and goes on to build quiet power through artful understatement. Witherspoon is top-billed (and probably helped get the picture green-lighted), but the real stars are Oceng, Duany and Jal, who portray with poignant clarity the hope, frustration and confusion of immigrants in a strange new land.