The Good Liar Review: Mirren and McKellen Eye-Fucking Isn’t Enough

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The Good Liar Review: Mirren and McKellen Eye-Fucking Isn’t Enough
by Suzette Smith

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Chiabella James

The Good Liar is likely the most bonkers film I will see this year. What begins as a cautionary tale about the dangers of grandma’s online dating unfolds into a baffling series of reveals, all of which support the twist that we already gleaned from the trailer: Roy (Ian McKellen) is trying to double cross Betty (Helen Mirren) and take her money… but she’s not that easy to trick! How all that happens, though? I could never have predicted it. What a septuagenarian mine cart ride!

Most of The Good Liar is totally silly, doublecross-y fun, filled with shots of Mirren and McKellen in cool outfits, raising their eyebrows artfully. But if you’re hoping that the two greatest actors of the Silent Generation eye-fucking one another over a dining room table is the reason to see this film, I regret to inform you that their roles as “ordinary people” mean the actors rarely peacock their dramatic flair. I wanted peacocking! (They do physically fight, though!)

In the film’s final third, a series of flashbacks uproot the spy vs. spy elder flirting and try to cram in some actual motive. But this sudden, heavy seriousness drags everything down, and ultimately, The Good Liar is too serious for a movie about hot elders trying to pretend they don’t speak German. (Old people all speak German. You can’t trust anyone. Lock down Nana’s finances, and then lock them down again.)



The Good Liar is now playing at various theaters.

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