At the New Yorker, Anthony Lane finds much to fault in Ricky Gervais’s The Invention of Lying, including Gervais’s treatment of religion in general and Christianity in particular:

So he does, and “The Invention of Lying” promptly lurches into another gear, with Mark [Gervais’s character] finding fame—first local, then global—as a Moses figure, with a hint of John the Baptist. The difference is that those men believed what they foretold, whereas Mark makes it up as he goes along, scribbling nostrums on whatever comes to hand. “Everything you need to know is written on these pizza boxes,” he declares to a crowd of people gathered outside his apartment, telling them of a mysterious “man in the sky” who controls their destinies, and promising them eternal ice cream if they behave well on earth. Audiences here should be reminded, at this point, that Gervais found his fame on the BBC, with “The Office” and “Extras,” and that the execration of religious faith, specifically Christianity—plus a reflex sneer at the fools who fall for it—has, in the past decade, become the default mode of British cultural life. It makes sense, I suppose, for Gervais to use his film to air such mockery, if spiritual belief genuinely strikes him as a lie like any other; the plan would carry more weight, however, if he didn’t use the rest of the film to air his transcendent belief in Ricky Gervais.

Read the entire review here.