• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

The Good Liar – Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen Unite on Screen at Last!

The Good Liar is directed by Bill Condon, and is based on Nicholas Searle’s novel. It stars Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren.

Elderly Roy Courtnay is a man in London in 2009 who has been committing cons over the course of his life, and he finds his next target in the form of Betty McLeish, a widow who has a fortune estimated to be worth over £2 million. Courtnay eases into an apparent relationship with McLeish, much to the dismay of her suspicious grandson, but will his con succeed? And is everything the way it seems between the two?

Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren are two fantastic entertainers, and seeing them united in a film is worth the price of admission alone. Their scenes together steal the show here, even if the overall film tries to reach a bit too far with its past histories and plot twists.

No one can deny that the sequences between McKellen and Mirren are what’s truly worth the price of admission in The Good Liar. When these two interact, there are plenty of entertaining moments, from the laugh-out-loud hilarious to the ones where you question their true motives, never knowing what might be lurking around the corner. The tonal shifts are certainly enough to catch any moviegoer off guard, but they only add to the charm of the film.

The problem here is that the movie, while I won’t deny that the specifics of the circumstances kept me guessing, has a fairly predictable outcome with a major plot twist more experienced cinephiles will likely see coming. The biggest issue is the motivations for these twists and for who Courtnay truly is, while entertaining, are just too much to cram into one movie, and it feels like the movie, with a running time shy of two hours, is simply trying to reach too far and do too much.

The Good Liar isn’t the best film you could go see in theaters these days, but you could do a lot worse too. The performances and chemistry of Mirren and McKellen make the movie, and are the reason to watch it. Moderately recommended.

Rating: Three stars out of four.

DISCLAIMER: All images in this review are the property of their respective holders, including Warner Bros. Pictures, Bron, New Line Cinema, and 1000 Eyes. For promotional use only. All rights reserved.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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