The Good Liar
in ,

REVIEW: Mirren and McKellen give life to standard crime drama The Good Liar

Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellan), aka The Good Liar, is a bit of a cad. Well, he’s more than a bit, he’s a career con artist who makes a living swindling people out of their money.

Together with his partner in crime Vincent (Jim Carter), Roy concocts elaborate plans to relieve those who still believe a too good to be true, get rich scheme’ is well, legit.

Roy now has his sights set on the recently widowed Betty (Helen Mirren), who is all alone in the world, save for her grandson Steven (Russell Tovey). Steven is suspicious of Roy from the moment he lays eyes on him. And rightly so.

But Betty is having none of it and, despite much eye-rolling and murmurs of protest from audience members, Betty appears to be taken in by Roy.

Right from the start, we know Roy is not a nice man but is that all there is to the story?

Should I watch it?

Based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Searle, this is a very nice, very solid British drama. With the likes of Mirren, McKellen, Carter and Tovey at the helm, you know you’re in for something special before you even sit down.

Betty, always bit wide-eyed, fragile and dewy is the perfect foil to the hard as nails, cold as ice Roy who lets his guard down the second he thinks he’s not being observed.

The audience gets to see this from the movie’s opening minutes so we’re never in any doubt that Roy is up to no good. We’re just not really sure how.

The writing is tight and, while the story unfurls at a glacial pace, it somehow manages to keep your interest.

But only just.

If nice, sold British dramas are not your thing, then give this one a miss. However, if seeing Gandalf as a bit of a shit trying to take Helen Mirren for a foolish old woman tickles your fancy, then you need to see this one today.

I quite enjoyed it, and it’s full of twists and turns and even some flashbacks but I am unlikely to watch it again.

3 stars

Running Time:  109 minutes
Release Date:  In cinemas now
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter

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Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.