306 user 137 critic

The Good Liar (2019)

1:11 | Trailer
Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.


Bill Condon


Nicholas Searle (based on the novel by), Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay by)
826 ( 195)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Betty McLeish
Ian McKellen ... Roy Courtnay
Russell Tovey ... Stephen
Jim Carter ... Vincent
Mark Lewis Jones ... Bryn
Laurie Davidson ... Hans Taub (1948)
Phil Dunster ... Roy Courtnay (1948)
Lucian Msamati ... Beni
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson ... Vlad
Tunji Kasim ... Michael
Spike White ... Hans Taub (1943)
Stella Stocker ... Frau Schröder
Daniel Betts ... Herr Schröder
Nell Williams ... Lili
Celine Buckens ... Annalise


Career con artist Roy Courtnay (Sir Ian McKellen) can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (Dame Helen Mirren) on-line. As Betty opens her home and life to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life. Written by New Line Cinema

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Read between the lies

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, and for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sir Ian McKellen and Jim Carter appeared in Richard III (1995), which was co-written by McKellen. See more »


The modern double-decker buses featured in some of the establishing shots of London were not around in 2009 when the film is set. See more »


Betty McLeish: And that umbrella looks as though it's seen better days.
Roy Courtnay: That's seen me through the war.
Betty McLeish: Yes, on the losing side by the looks of it.
See more »


Crack It
Written by Dan Wilberforce and Jeryl Wilton
Performed by Cutline
Courtesy of Ninja Tune
See more »

User Reviews

A Masterclass in Great Acting
6 December 2019 | by tm-sheehanSee all my reviews

My Review : The Good Liar my rating 8.5

No Spoilers as usual from me except to say the trailers of The Good Liar give us only an inkling into the complex maze the plot reveals and that it's a master class in great acting from Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren.

I think it's the finest performance from Ian McKellen since his Oscar nominated role in Gods and Monsters in 1999 and I'm not surprised that Bill Condon the director of this film also directed Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters.

In The Good Liar Ian McKellen is cast as Roy Courtnay who meets Helen Mirren cast as Betty McLeish on a mature age dating site it soon becomes apparently clear that Roy's motives are not honourable in any way shape or form it takes us a lot longer to reveal Betty's true motive. In the meantime we meet Betty's hunky handsome protective Grandson Stephen perfectly played by Russell Tovey who seeks out to find out all he can about his Grandmother's new border and boyfriend.

Jim Carter who plays Mr Carson in Downton Abbey is very impressive in the very different role of Vincent the best friend of Roy Courtney and "business associate " it's a great ensemble cast and this film has some great plot twisters and surprises that at times may seem a little improbable but that didn't bother me a bit.

It's the performances of McKellen and Mirren that are sublime, subtle and mesmerising the range of these two actors is astonishing when you think back to characters like Helen Mirren in The Queen or Catherine the Great and Maria Altman in Woman in Gold then Ian McKellen as Gandalf or James Whale in Gods and Monsters and King Lear to see them together in a film for the first time ,they have appeared on stage together in 2001 in Dance of Death on Broadway.

I must mention the great score by Carter Burwell it's perfect and gives great atmosphere to the emotional and suspenseful plot I really like his scores and this is up with his previous film scores for Carol, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing ,Missouri and In Bruges.

I really enjoyed The Good Liar go see it and don't let anyone tell you the outcome of this complex story.

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UK | Germany | USA


English | German | Russian | French | Spanish

Release Date:

15 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good Liar See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,605,051, 17 November 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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