Movie Review: ‘The Good Liar’

December 18, 2019
By Ili Farhana

This is a movie about Roy and Betty. Roy is charming and Betty is sweeter than sugar. The start of the movie was light with a hint of what’s to come. We badly wanted this movie to be a light-hearted movie about two widowers falling in love and going on an adventure together. Well, The Good Liar turned out to be quite an adventure, with a very dark twist.

Consummate con man Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), worth millions.  And Roy means to take it all. From their very first meeting, Roy begins plying Betty with his tried and true manipulations, and Betty, who seems quite taken with him, is soon going along for the ride.

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.

Legendary actors Helen Mirren (Oscar winner, “The Queen”) and Ian McKellen (two-time Oscar nominee, “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “Gods and Monsters”) star together on screen for the first time, in this smart and suspenseful thriller from New Line Cinema about the secrets people keep and the lies they live.

“The Good Liar” was directed by Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Gods and Monsters,” from a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher (“Mr. Holmes”), based on the widely acclaimed novel by Nicholas Searle.  The main cast also includes Russell Tovey (“The History Boys,” “Quantico”) and Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”). The film was produced by Greg Yolen and Bill Condon. Richard Brener, Andrea Johnston, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Anjay Nagpal, Jack Morrissey and Nick O’Hagan served as executive producers.

The creative filmmaking team included director of photography Tobias Schliessler (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Mr. Holmes”), production designer John Stevenson (“Burton and Taylor”), editor Virginia Katz (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Dreamgirls”), and costume designer Keith Madden (“Patrick Melrose,” “Mr. Holmes”).  The music was composed by two-time Oscar nominee Carter Burwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Carol”).

With a cast and crew this solid, you know you’ll be taken on a good movie ride. So good that when we walked out of the cinema hall, our shoulders still felt heavy from the unexpected turn of story. But don’t let this hinder you from watching ‘The Good Liar.’ A good ice-cream fixed our ‘heaviness’, it should work with you too.


Photos by Chiabella James,  courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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