Review – The Good Liar

Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen remind us why they are considered acting royalty with this rollercoaster of a thriller that may not be as clever as it thinks, but is entirely enjoyable all the same.


Set in London in 2009, we meet Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) and Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellan) on a first date having met on a dating website.

Roy is a charming old rogue of a conman setting out on a plan to try take Betty for all of the money that her husband left her when he died, whilst also trying to scam some businessmen in a property investment deal.

By the time (very quickly indeed) he has conned his way into living with Betty, much to the dismay of Betty’s suspicious grandson – played by Russell Tovey (someone who is well known to British TV audiences but less so on the big screen) – things may not be as easy as he had planned…


Even from the opening of the movie we get playful glimpses of each of them slightly misleading their own dating profiles about their drinking or smoking, all setting a tone about the nature of deception within this film.

The film is directed by Bill Condon (who actually previously directed McKellen in Mr Holmes) and is based on a novel of the same name by Nicholas Searle, with the screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher.

This is a rollercoaster of a thriller that is engaging throughout and hugely enjoyable – mainly through the dual lead performances of Mirren and McKellen. This is what keeps your attention, and in honesty when they’re not on the screen something does feel lacking.  They both thrive in the roles, and also the sense of duelling between the two makes it a delightful experience.

The film may not have as many unpredictable twists as it thinks, however the performances of these acting heavyweights makes it entirely worth watching in terms of new movie releases.


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