Movie Review: Mirren and McKellen can’t carry “The Good Liar” past average

On paper, two greats like Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen should be able to read a phone book together and garner half a dozen Oscar nominations, and “The Good Liar” comes close to that level of story excitement, with a bland tale about deception that never really uses the abilities of the film’s stars to it’s full potential.

McKellen stars as Roy Courtnay, a con man with a shady past who meets Betty through an online dating site. When the former finds out the latter is loaded, he tries to develop a scheme to con her out of her millions. Along the way, a couple of unpredictable twists an turns take place and neither of the two can be sure of what’s taking place.

Watching McKellen and Mirren in this film is like watching Tiger Woods play putt-putt golf. Yeah, they play the game as well as anyone but the field of play is so small we can never appreciate their true abilities. Director Bill Condon shoots an okay movie, but I never got really invested and at times was borderline bored. As for the mystery, you’ll figure it out by the end if you haven’t just by watching the trailer.

But, anytime we get a chance to see two acting giants like these work together, its not all bad. We get a couple of chuckles here and there, and we do have a couple of well shot sequences that take place in flashbacks. We almost wish the film spent more time there.

With lesser talents, this could have been a bad film but a heavy lift by everyone involved makes “The Good Liar” an average outing at the movies.

The Good Liar

GRADE: C-

Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes

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