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Movie Review: The Good Liar *Spoiler free*

The Good Liar.
When you see that Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are staring in a movie together for the first time you really don't need to know anything else about the movie before deciding to go see it.

That was the case with The Good Liar. I was looking for a film to go see with my partner on her birthday, this was showing. That's really all we needed but it didn't hurt knowing that the premise was a hustler attempting to relieve a rich widow of her fortune.

Like any good hustle movie, you know going in things are not going to be as straightforward as the initial outline describes. You'll probably work out pretty early where the story is heading. Despite that the film does a good job of putting in enough doubt along the way, so you're never quite certain the end is going to be exactly what you think.

This is quite possibly the first time I've seen Ian McKellen play just a regular person without superpowers or magical abilities. As you'd expect he easily sells his character, Roy, as a somewhat heartless con man who is able to turn on the charm, and a gammy leg, effortlessly when needed.

Helen, of course, has no trouble being the gentle widow, Betty, who is very open to helping where she can, as she builds a friendship with Roy.

The small supporting cast all play important roles that help establish who Roy and Betty are, with standouts being Russell Tovey as Betty's over protective grandson, Stephen, and Jim Carter as Roy's partner in crime, Vincent.

Overall it's a fairly enjoyable film that is really only let down by the third act where you get quite a lot of exposition describing what you've just seen but from the perspective of how the hustle went down. Which is actually pretty standard for this kind of film but there's no real sleight of hand that you missed. It's all about explaining the motive, which isn't touched upon at all until the final act.

In the end I felt the big hustle was incredibly convoluted to the point where I kind of thought there must have been an easier way, with fewer parts to go wrong, to achieve the same result?

That aside, it's an interesting ride, and I'd certainly pay to see both Ian and Helen in another movie together (crossing my fingers for something with a bit more comedy but I'll take drama any day too).

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