THE GOOD LIAR – A Review by Cynthia Flores
After watching the trailer for this film, you may think you know what it’s all about. Fortunately for us, you haven’t a clue. The director/producer Bill Condon of The Good Liar is the man that won an Oscar for writing 1998s’ Gods and Monsters. That same film garnered an Oscar nomination for Ian McKellen, who is starring in this new film opposite Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The Good Liar marks their first time together on screen, in this smart and suspenseful thriller about the secrets people keep and the lies they live.
The film tells the story of consummate con man Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen), who has set his sights on his latest mark. The recently widowed Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), worth millions. Wicked Roy means to take it all. From their very first meeting, Roy begins plying Betty with his tried and true manipulations. Betty, who seems quite taken with him, is soon going along for the ride. The only fly in Roy’s ointment is Betty’s grandson Steven (Russell Tovey). He is leery of Roy’s intentions and very protective of his grandmother. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes. Revealing more insidious deceptions that will take them both through a minefield of danger, intrigue, and betrayal.
The Good Liar is an intriguing look at the dark side of human nature with a glimmer of macabre humor. It’s a gripping tale where so little is what it seems to be. The director is quoted as saying, “It’s a thriller with a Hitchcockian feel, weaving in elements of mystery, crime, and a human drama. And at its heart are two beautifully complex characters played by two of the greatest actors of all time, at the top of their form, who can keep you guessing like a classic whodunnit till the very end. It’s all wickedly fun.”
I give The Good Liar a B+ rating. It’s a fun night at the movies for anyone who likes a good, as Aretha Franklin would say, “Who’s zoomin who” film.
Directed by: Bill Condon
Written by: Jeffrey Hatcher
Selig Rating B+
Running Time: 1hr 49min
Drama / Thriller
Wide Release: November 15th
Starring: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.