In a word: Engrossing


     This is a great movie, with shades of Agatha Christie and John Grisham creating a plot with so many twists and turns that keep the viewer lasered to the characters while anticipating what comes next in every scene. For people who like mystery, this is a do-not-miss film.

     The irony is that this film may not draw appeal among the bread-and-butter movie goers, the massive count of youths and millennials who keep the film industry thriving. The usual come-ons are absent.  There are no sex scenes, no nudity. No one uses the “F” word as a perennial adjective. Guns and bombs are not going off in every other scene. No Sci-fi or super natural. There is a scene or two involving struggles and one killing, but the story does not surround those events as the basis for the storyline. What does emerge will surprise everyone.

     The main characters are not a young hot woman and a sexy jock, nor politically correct mixed races as we often see today. Rather, the story encompasses two lonely British people in their late 70s, a widow and widower deftly played by Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen who meet up after responding to social ads, hopefully in search of a mate. What transpires from this encounter, was totally unpredictable to (I’m sure) most of the audience. While I will not ruin it for the movie goer, suffice to say that there was far more to the meet-up than what could have been anticipated. Those profound and crafty revelations continue to emerge throughout the film to the very end. When it’s over, you know you’ve been witness to one of the greatest movie mysteries in ages.

     Mirren and McKellen should not only be Oscar nominated for best acting, they should be admired for playing their difficult mental and physical roles so adroitly, particularly at those ages.  I’m sure the movie will be nominated for a Best Picture award, as should the director Bill Condon and writers, Nicholas Searle and Jeffrey Hatcher.

     Movie reviewer, Johnny Oleksinski, of the New York Post, writes:

     “The fun of “The Good Liar” is that, just when you think you’ve got a proper handle on what’s going on, your reality is completely shattered.”

     Movie reviewer, Kenneth Turan, from the L.A. Times, writes:

      “Through it all, however, Mirren and McKellen never waver. Smooth at being smooth, their conviction always convinces us, and their ability to register multiple subtle changes of emotion is consistently impressive.”

     I could find no serious fault with the movie.  Give it a 10 out of 10.

     The Good Liar (2019) – IMDb

5 Responses to A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE GOOD LIAR” -10. M. Frank

  1. Helen Bennett November 17, 2019 at 2:51 pm #

    I’ve never seen you give a “10” before! You gave a 9 and 9 and a half to Judy and Harriet. So now you’ve got three actresses vying for Best Actress! I will see it this week. I love the stars, so I wouldn’t miss it. (One of the movies I am showing in the Winter session stars Ian McKellan too, “All Is True.”)

  2. Donald November 17, 2019 at 8:27 pm #

    Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen have been excellent in everything I’ve ever seen them do. Last week you predicted another actress will get the Oscar. It sounds like she will have to bow down to Mirren. This is also the first “10” I’ve seen you rate a move. I now have to go see it.

  3. John McGuire November 18, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    Helen Mirren is all one needs to know to expect a great movie. Good review, Marshall.

  4. Charlie Greene November 18, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    We saw it yesterday and totally agree.

  5. Helen R. Frigo November 22, 2019 at 10:40 am #

    We too, look forward to another Helen Mirren movie, when it comes out on DVD. “The White Crow” is out on DVD, about Rudolf Nureyev?, the ballet dancer who defected from the Soviet Union. But the dancing was not as good as in “White Nights”, where Mikhail Barisnykov? is also terrified of the Soviet Union. “Mao’s Last Dancer”, again, for those who enjoy dancing, is also historical. Husband looked at me and said: “we are so lucky to have been born in this country”. But if you haven’t see Tom Hanks in “Bridge of Spies”, yet, notice the policeman on his porch saying he was on Omaha Beach at D-Day fighting those people. Yet it was Nazis, not Commies, that were shooting at him. 7 million Soviets died fighting the Nazis, which prevented them from being able to kill even more Americans. Commies also rescued our astronauts in space after the Challenger disaster.