The Good Liar is a movie only worthwhile for excellent performances by two of the best actors around in Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, it’s too bad the plotline, and third act specifically, wasn’t better.
The Good Liar
Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Crime
Warner Bros. | R – 110 min. – $35.99 | February 4, 2020
Date Published: 02/19/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 2.75/5
Plot Synopsis: Career con artist Roy Courtnay (IAN MCKELLEN) can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (HELEN MIRREN) online. As Betty opens her life and home to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
Quick Hit Review: The Good Liar is, to nobody’s surprise, a master class in acting with two amazing actors with Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. In reality, it’s these giants that keeps the movie afloat through a passable suspense-drama, that is, until a third act where the twist, which anyone should see coming, is revealed.
But it’s not the twist, where Mirren’s Betty also has alterative motives, but the reason behind it wasn’t set up, I like any sort of crime-caper movies to lay breadcrumbs for the audience to piece together. However, here, it comes out of left field, and beyond that, is rather convoluted. This is major spoiler territory, but Betty’s con relied on matching up on a dating website with McKellen’s Roy. Sure, she, with the aid of Russell Tovey’s Stephen, does some major research into his past and present, yet it just doesn’t quite work. Have to wonder if the audience were in on Mirren’s side, perhaps it would’ve played better.
As I already mentioned, the saving grace is seeing McKellen and Mirren going toe-to-toe with one another and shared some genuinely great chemistry, even within the confines of each playing the other. They each give near stellar performances and probably are the sole reasons the movie was worth watching, not to mention getting made in the first place.
The Good Liar was helmed by Bill Condon, the director behind Dreamgirls and Mr. Holmes, which also starred Ian McKellen in the titular role. The film is based upon the novel written by Nicholas Searle, which I imagine the twist might’ve worked in print more than in action and I think with some adjustments, this might’ve been an entertaining long-con crime-drama, instead it features two great performances set against a rather subpar plot.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Pretty light on features, there’s a behind-the-scenes featurette, A Perfect Match: Inside The Good Liar (13:01) and some Deleted Scenes (12:41).
Previews: Richard Jewel, Doctor Sleep, The Goldfinch
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Lionsgate releases The Good Liar onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. This is generally a dark movie, both in terms of tone (especially the third act) and the actual look where even daylight scenes aren’t exactly vibrant. However, black levels look great and detail is sharp and very well defined throughout.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
|The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is perfectly suitable for a movie that is almost strictly dialogue driven with most of the depth comprised by Carter Burwell’s finely crafted score, as most Burwell scores are. Otherwise, the bulk of the audio is outputted through the center speaker, with the fronts and rear channels also being utilized for some ambient noises.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
The Good Liar is a movie only worthwhile for excellent performances by two of the best actors around in Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, it’s too bad the plotline, and third act specifically, wasn’t better. The Blu-ray release does offer up great video and audio transfers but is limited on the bonus features.