What You Need To Know:
L.I.E. is a movie that does not hide the depiction of sinful sexual activity, nor does it sugar coat the homosexual tendencies of the young boys. Director Michael Cuesta provides the audience with insight into a world that should not be excused nor celebrated. While dealing with these issues, the movie also depicts lying, theft, drinking, smoking, and difficult relationships, and contains excessive foul language. While the distributor contested the NC-17 rating, the content of L.I.E. is so abhorrent that it should not be allowed in theaters
(PaPa, HoHoHo, A, P, LLL, VV, SSS, NN, A, D, M) Pagan worldview containing strong homosexual content & behavior, including pedophilia; 103 strong obscenities, 5 mild obscenities, 11 profanities & two occasions of boys urinating; one man has heart attack in diner & dies, boys fight on two occasions, man hits boy, & man shot dead; movie both depicts & implies sex between man & woman, as well as implies sexual relations between old man & boy, many sexual relations implied between one old man & several young boys, teenage boys talk of sex & condoms, one boy speaks of fornicating with sister, boy tries on lipstick, implied masturbation, & graphic video shown to boy; woman shown in thong underwear & bra, full rear male nudity, boy shown in underwear; alcohol & tobacco use shown; and, stealing & lying.
L.I.E. is the story of a 15-year-old boy, Howie Blitzer (Paul Franklin Dano), as he struggles with a difficult time in his life. The movie opens with an explanation of the title, which stands for the Long Island Expressway, the place in which Howie’s mother was killed. Suddenly, the audience is drawn into Howie’s world of dangerous friends with bad habits and a difficult home life, as well as the normal struggles that come with being a teenager. L.I.E. kicks off with this group of boys shown robbing middle-class houses in the serenity of Long Island. It appears that they break into these homes purely for fun; however, they turn out to be experts at the job. Two of the boys, Howie and Gary (Billy Kay), are best friends. It is apparent that Gary, the real rebel of the group, has dragged Howie into this scene of disturbing behavior.
Gary confides in Howie that he wants to rob a house belonging to a man named Big John, but does not reveal the reason. The two break into his home and steal two guns from the basement, nearly escaping an enraged John Harrigan (Brian Cox). Howie realizes that Big John and Gary are not strangers to one another, and he soon finds out that his best friend has been trading sexual favors for money with this older man. This world of homosexuality and pedophilia fascinates Howie, and he begins to wonder about his own sexuality. He sees Gary as more than a friend, and understands that he needs to live outside the boundaries of his father and those at school to be able to feel free. Howie cuts classes to spend time with these so-called friends and never communicates with his father or his girlfriend. Although his father attempts a relationship with him, Howie is too affected by another woman in the house. Neither Howie nor his father is over the mother’s sudden death.
Meanwhile, Gary has figured out a way to escape from Long Island and run away to California. The plan is for Howie to go with him, but Gary leaves by himself. Howie is left to suffer the consequences of stealing from Big John. A primarily mental sexual relationship occurs between the two after a number of encounters. When Howie’s father gets busted by the FBI and taken to jail, he feels truly abandoned, until Big John steps in to help. In an awkward way, he fills the void left by Howie’s father.
L.I.E. is a movie that does not hide the depiction of sinful sexual activity, nor does it sugar coat the homosexual tendencies and thoughts of the young boys. Director Michael Cuesta provides the audience with insight into a world that should not be excused nor celebrated. While dealing with these issues, the movie also depicts lying, theft, drinking, smoking, and difficult relationships, and contains excessive foul language. While the distributor contested the NC-17 rating, the content of L.I.E. is so abhorrent that it not only deserves the rating, but also should not be allowed in theaters.