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The Good Liar Review

Updated on June 19, 2020

The Good Liar (2019) review

This crime drama was riveting and intriguing. Full of twists and surprises, this was an exceedingly entertaining film. The grand arc of the story was a little predictable, but there were plenty of surprises along the way to keep the film suspenseful. The acting was superb, both of the main characters were at the top of their game. The locations were a visual treat, spanning all across Europe. The overall story was simple yet intricate. This was a true masterpiece of a film.


The Good Liar (2019) was written by Jeffrey Hatcher and is based on a book of the same name by Nicholas Searle. It was directed by Bill Condon and stars Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. Roy (McKellen) is an elderly seasoned con artist. Together with a business partner he makes a living from conning elderly widows out of their fortunes. Through a dating service he meets Betty (Mirren), a retired teacher who lost her husband a year prior. Roy starts to con her, but little does he know that this wouldn't be a normal con job. He was about to get more than he bargained for.


It is going to be hard to talk about this film without spoilers, but here we go. So there was a big twist in this film, and I mentioned that it was predictable but that might not be fair. I made a prediction toward the beginning of the film and it just so happened that I was correct, but it was a well disguised twist that most people won't see coming.

The casting in this film was almost like cheating. You can cast Mirren and McKellen together in just about anything and it's going to be a fantastic movie. They have an amazing chemistry that shines on the screen. Individually they are phenomenal but together they are a powerhouse.

The theme in this movie is trust and betrayal. The lesson is simply this - don't ever think you really know someone, because you never know what darkness they are keeping locked away.


I would recommend this film to anyone who loves mystery, intrigue and some excellent acting

Cast trivia

  • First feature film collaboration for British stage and screen legends Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.
  • Screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher previously wrote Mr. Holmes, directed by Bill Condon and starring Ian McKellen.
  • Ian McKellen and Jim Carter appeared in Richard III, which was co-written by McKellen.
  • This movie marks the 4th collaboration between Writer and Director Bill Condon and Ian McKellen, after Gods and Monsters, Mr. Holmes and Dance of Death.


Production trivia

  • The film was released in the UK on November 8, 2019 and in the US on November 15, 2019.
  • The film was shot in England and Germany.
  • The Good Liar had a budget of 10 million dollars and the total world gross is 33.8 million dollars.
  • The Charing Cross station used in this movie is the closed Charing Cross station on the Jubilee line. It was used in Skyfall.

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