• Ethan

The Good Liar: Predictable plot, but great acting makes up for predictability and dark themes

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

The Good Liar sparked some opinions that made the movie highly controversial with its extremely dark themes and highly disturbing scenes entailing teenagers. Reviews all around the world stated that it was "oddly violent for the concept", and honestly, they were right. The movie is about an older woman (Helen Miren) and an older man (Ian McKellen) who meet on a dating app. All is going well until suspicions start to rise against Roy Courtney (McKellen) for not telling the entire truth about his past life, his swindling business, and his true intentions with Betty (Miren) while trying to scam her. The question is, should Betty really trust Ian as much as she has been, or does she have...different plans? First off, the movie was quite predictable as someone in my family had already figured out a big part of the story 30 minutes in, so there really was no enormous surprise until the last 10 minutes of the movie. When you already know what's going to happen, movies tend not to be as great anymore, but the cast and acting saved that. Miren and McKellen give two spectacular performances, putting themselves into the positions of acting as both the offender and the attacker so well, making you believe that this disturbing story is believable. As well as the life-like aspect of the film, the remarkable cast was a great choice because everyone played their role so perfectly, that in the end, it came together so well that only one person (Betty's grandson's partner) really seemed out of place. The plot was very intriguing and captivating from start to end with lies being spewed every which way, so even with its predictability, the movie will keep you baffled as to what really happened until the end. As for content appropriateness, The Good Liar ended up with an R rating for quite a bit of swearing (including the f word and s**t many times), violence ( a man is purposely pushed in front of a train, gunshot wounds, and a fight scene), brief nudity and sexual content involving teenagers (towards the end of the film). For an age rating, I would say that 14+ is an appropriate age (but 14 and 15-year-olds should definitely watch this with an adult). I give The Good Liar 4 out of 5 stars for having an excellent plot that keeps you engaged, but the darker it got, the more it took away from the main storyline about the two characters and their attempts to deceive one another.

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