Release Date: November 15th, 2019
MPA Rating: R (for some strong violence, and for language and brief nudity)
Runtime: 1 hr 49 min
Directed By: Bill Condon
Written By: Jeffrey Hatcher
Starring: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, and Lily Dodsworth-Evans
Based upon a novel written by Nicholas Searle, The Good Liar, set in London a decade ago, tells the story of a con artist and his latest victim. Ian McKellan plays Roy, the con man who meets a wealthy widow, Betty (Helen Mirren), and convinces her to fall for his scam.
The story begins with Roy and Betty meeting after they chat over a dating website. The two meet for dinner, and grow attracted to each other, although one more than the other. Soon, Roy moves in with Betty and begins his scheme. The only problem for Roy is Betty’s grandson, Steven (Russell Torvy) who senses that something suspicious is happening.
Roy seeks the help of his friend Vincent (Jim Carter), who together convince Betty to place her finances in the same account as Roy’s. Vincent pretends to be Roy’s financial advisor and the ploy works. Eventually, Roy will disappear and her account which is joint with him, will be drained. At least, this is what his plan entails, but there are complications along the way.
The Good Liar, although aiming for a Hitchcock tone, has some very enticing qualities, but lacks the suspense factor that would send it over the top. What I mean, is that the movie basically does not leave much to the imagination, and discloses what you need to know without letting you use much deciphering to come to your own conclusions.
Even with this dysfunction, The Good Liar still delivers a very watchable movie that mainly is aimed towards an older, or more seasoned audience who appreciate a good story. Having McKellan and Mirren on the same screen together should be enough to draw an audience. I for one appreciate seeing more seasoned actors with good chemistry, work together to tell a story.
Yes, the movie does not have a major wow factor to it, but it does deliver entertainment. The younger generation will likely not appreciate the skills of the two legends on the screen, as they interact while having a cup of tea or a flute of champagne, but for those of us who seek the finer things in life, this film will be pleasing.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars