The Good Liar (2019) Movie Review

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher (Screenplay) Nicholas Searle (Novel)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones, Laurie Davidson

Plot: Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.


Tagline – Read between the lies

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tense Thriller

Story: The Good Liar starts as we meet Roy Courtnay (McKellen) a con man that has mark out his latest target, a widow Betty McLeish (Mirren) who he gets to romance getting close before presenting his plan with his partner Vincent (Carter).

Betty is happy to welcome Roy into her life despite her grandson Stephen (Tovey) not being as welcoming, only for this job to become one that will finally put Roy against his toughest match.

Thoughts on The Good Liar

Characters – Betty is a widow teacher that has always been smart with her money, with her only remaining relative being a grandson that always makes sure she is safe, she is looking for companionship with Roy and wants to remain her own confident self while making decisions with her money. Roy is a conman that is always working on his latest scheme to steal people’s money, he targets wealthy widows with Betty being the latest target, he always presents himself as a kind gentleman and even with the deals he is doing, he does have a violent side to him which he only shows when he needs to, making him a very dangerous man. Stephen is the grandson of Betty, he is always wanting to make sure she is safe and not being taken advantage of, not taking to fondly to Roy. Vincent is the partner of Roy, he is there for any final deal playing the person that will broker the deals, he does try to play into the human side of Roy too.

PerformancesHelen Mirren and Ian McKellen are absolutely brilliant together, seeing the two legends dominate the screen through the film. Russell Tovey and Jim Carter do well through the film to try and keep up with the legends too.

StoryThe story here follows a veteran conman that is still working on his cons with his latest target being a widow, worth millions, only this time he is meeting his match. This is a con man story that shows how one man has turned it into an art never fearing the job will go wrong, but Betty isn’t going to be an easy target. The big problem with this story comes from the fact you know this needs to have a twist and you are just waiting to see if you can figure it out before it is revealed, luckily it is a wonderful twist which can make the story revisited to pick up on the little clues being left through the film. It might not break the wheel with how everything unfolds because it is one where he learn and want Roy to get what he deserves through the film.

ThrillerThe thriller side of the film plays into the conman mindset being explored through the film, we are kept guessing, while we don’t need to have too many intense scenes.

SettingsThe film uses the locations to the advantages, with busy life of London, which Roy enjoys, to the quiet life which always makes him uncomfortable.


Scene of the Movie – Underground meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – You are left waiting for the twist to happen.

Final Thoughts This is one of the thrillers that can be enjoyed, it is smart, slick and has two legends of the industry shining through the film.

Overall: Entertaining Thriller.

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