Lie to Me (2009–2011)
5 user 1 critic


Dr. Lightman and Dr. Foster search for the truth in cases involving a devoutly religious high school student accused of killing a teacher, and a congressman accused of having an affair.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Cal Lightman
... Dr. Gillian Foster
... Ria Torres
... Eli Loker
... Bonds
... James Cole
... Mary Cole
... Gerald Cole
... Emily Lightman
... AUSA Hutchinson
... Principal Castle
... Congressman Zeb Weil
... DNC Chairman Baldridge
... Ron Foster
... Jacquelin Mathis


Dr. Cal Lightman teaches a course in body-language and makes an honest fortune exploiting it. He's employed by various public authorities in various investigations, doing more when the police etc. fail to go the extra mile. Today he finds out the truth about a murder involving high school-kids and/or - staff. And why Congressman Zeb Weil would rather resign under false accusations of having paid for sex than divulge his purpose in the bordello. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

21 January 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Surround)|


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Radical Honesty: Eli states that he practices "Radical Honesty"; Radical Honesty is the name of a self improvement program developed by Brad Blanton that challenges people to give up their addiction to lying. The Radical Honesty technique includes having practitioners state their feelings directly and in ways typically considered impolitic (the technique is sometimes confused with the person having functioning autism or Asperger's due to the practitioner's brutal honesty). See more »


Eli Loker calls Lightman to tell him that Jacqueline Mathis is in custody at the "2nd District". They go to the Philadelphia Police Department's 19th District in the next scene. See more »


Dr. Cal Lightman: Truth or happiness, never both.
See more »


References Rain Man (1988) See more »


Brand New Day
Written by Ryan Star and Max Collins
Performed by Ryan Star
(Main Title Theme)
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User Reviews

Everyone lies
6 June 2010 | by See all my reviews

As far as unusual angles for a cop show go, Lie to Me is most certainly a winner: a series about a man who specializes in telling whether a suspect is lying or not, based solely on body language and so-called "microexpressions". That it works is essentially down to three things: it's based on a real person (series consultant Paul Ekman), Samuel Baum's writing is precise and entertaining at the same time, and the cast is very impressive.

Leading credentials belong to Cal Lightman (Tim Roth), founder and leader of the Lightman Group, an organization that is hired by various government agencies and/or private companies when cases get - you guessed it - complicated. Working with him are psychologist Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams), who tries to focus on the human side while Lightman is very cold and rational, and Eli Loker (Brendan Hines), whose penchant for "radical honesty" isn't as charming as he'd like to think (when coming late for work he calmly admits he got drunk the night before). While working on a delicate matter (a minor who's facing the death penalty for allegedly killing his teacher), Cal also hires airport security officer Ria Torres (Monica Raymund), whose track record indicates she's a "natural" when it comes to spotting lies.

What sets the show apart from any other cop show (except possibly the CSI franchise) is its staggering attention to detail: as Sherlock Holmes used to say, all the clues matter, and no other series highlights it more. Whether it's an eyebrow twitch or a seemingly casual shrug, nothing escapes Lightman and his team (see the highly entertaining teaser sequence), and that makes for a fascinating watch episode after episode (plus, it's intriguing to see guest actors deliberately pull off what normally is considered completely involuntary). Also, on a writing level, the show isn't afraid to explore delicate subjects, often with surprising results, as this episode's cases show (the second one involves a politician suspected of paying for sex).

More than anything, however, the show really stands alone thanks to Tim Roth's sardonic central performance. Not that the other three regulars aren't up to it (Hines' earnestness provides a nice contrast to Williams' warmth and Raymund's youthful energy), but it's the leading man's uncompromisingly quirky work that gives the show its admittedly weird heart and show (just watch the scene between Lightman and his daughter). Besides, it's a pleasure to finally hear a British actor speak with his own accent, as opposed to Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) and Damian Lewis (Life): it adds that extra dimension to a character who is already memorable.

The truth (pun not intended) is all in the details, and based on the pilot, Lie to Me has everything going for it. A brilliant program, worth watching over and over again.

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