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The Good Liar | 2019 | R | – 6.6.6

content-ratingsWhy is “The Good Liar” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some strong violence, and for language and brief nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a rape scene between teenagers, a few kisses, and a dance club scene with topless women and several cleavage revealing outfits; a teen boy rapes a teen girl, several scenes of violence with knives, guns and a meat mallet ending in bloody wounds and death, and a man is pushed in front of a speeding train to his death; and discussions of Nazi war crimes and at least 13 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


A con man (Ian McKellen) marks a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren) he finds on the Internet as a target for a lucrative swindle. As he begins his exploitation, though, he finds more than he expected. Also with Russell Tovey and Jim Carter. Directed by Bill Condon. A few phrases and sentences are spoken in German without translation and others are with English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:49]

The Good Liar SEX/NUDITY 6

 – A flashback shows a teen boy entering a teen girl’s study and she asks if he loves her, he says he is fond of her and tells her to stand and touches her hair and then aggressively kisses her for several seconds as she struggles and he pushes her hard behind a dressing screen; from overhead we see his shoulders move as if thrusting and hear the teen girl cry and scream and a close-up of her face shows painful grimaces; the camera cuts away and the teen boy walks away from the camera, tucking in his shirt as the girl’s voice narrates, saying that she would have to change her dress (rape is inferred).
 Two women in a topless bar wear only skimpy underwear and platform high heels as they dance beside poles without much movement (their bare breasts, abdomens, backs and legs to the hips are seen); many other women in the club wear deeply cut V-necklines that reveal cleavage and a few women wear skirts ending at mid-thigh. A woman wears a V-neckline that reveals cleavage.
 A flashback shows a 15-year-old boy dancing with a teen girl and he stares at another teen girl’s bare knees, but she quickly covers them with her skirt; the boy tries to kiss his dance partner aggressively and she shouts and pushes him away. A man kisses each of a woman’s hands in one scene and one of her hands in another scene. A man kisses a woman’s cheek and says that he loves her. A man kisses his partner (another man) on one cheek.
 A man manipulates a widow into inviting him to live in her home so he can steal her money and when in her bedroom (they are both clothed), she tells him, “If you want sex, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass,” and he does not protest. A woman says that money is a taboo subject “like sex.”


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The Good Liar VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – A flashback shows two agents enter the apartment of a man: one agent and the man struggle over a knife as the other agent enters pointing a gun and the man cuts a bloody line on the other agent’s throat, tosses him aside and all three struggle over the gun until the man gets the gun and shoots both agents (off-screen) and leaves; a replay of the shooting shows the two agents shot, a close-up shows one agent in a pool of blood with his face cut to bloody ribbons and chunks, and the other agent with a bleeding arm (we see a bandage on the arm later).
 A woman tries to leave a house and a man grabs her, she hits him in the eye and he shouts in pain, knocks her down, pulls her back by her feet and sits on her back while choking her; she bites his hand and he screams and falls off to the floor with blood on his hand, she kicks him in the groin and he screams when two other men enter the room and approach him slowly; we hear the man groaning, shouting and screaming in pain from outside the house.
 A man follows another man into a subway and shouts in his direction, and the second man sticks a belt buckle into one of the other man’s eye causing him to scream and bend over until he is pushed into the path of an oncoming subway train; we see sparks fly and women scream and we do not see the victim again.
 A butcher pounds steaks flat with a metal meat mallet and a man enters and argues with him until a third man grabs the butcher by one hand and pounds it with the mallet, causing bleeding and screaming; the pounding continues as the camera follows the first man outside (we see the butcher later with a bandage covering most of his hand).
 A woman enters a room, cuts up a portion of carpet with scissors, leans forward and groans as she cuts her hands on carpet tacks, she reaches under the floorboards into dust and cobwebs to retrieve a locket (we see blood in both palms) and a man later cleans her hands with a towel and kisses both hands (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details).
 A hospital scene shows a woman seated in a corridor, not moving, and a man bent over on an exam table. In a room in a hospital a man sits slumped in a wheelchair and a close-up shows his lined, twisted face, with the lips drawn down on one side (the result of a stroke), and his eyes vacant as he drools while he drinks water with a straw placed into his mouth (we hear that he is mute and nearly paralyzed from a beating).
 Two men become angered in a business meeting and leave. Police raid an office where men are making a business deal and a man collapses to sit on a window sill to hold his chest in pain as two other men run outside and down a street, followed by the police, while the others inside drink a toast in the meeting room (please see the Substance Use category for more details).
 A man and a woman see a film in which a theater stage burns completely in flames while Nazis in the foreground shake as they are struck by machine gun fire (no blood is seen). A flashback of WWII Berlin shows the Brandenburg Gate standing in the center of several blocks of rubble from demolished buildings. A large photo in a museum shows Hitler Youth burning books. A man in an apartment shouts into a cell phone, and throws it to the floor hard, smashing it apart.
 A man goes to a woman’s house and finds her waiting for him with the entire house’s contents removed; she tells the man about her past and that her father was charged with treason and executed, her mother committed suicide, and her sisters were killed by a bomb, as the man gasps and looks horrified. A woman’s grandson tells her in front of her male friend that the man’s cover identity was actually killed in 1948 by a Nazi; after a brief argument, the woman accepts her friend’s excuse about having to flee Nazi Germany under an assumed name after hunting down Nazis for war crimes. A man and a woman argue. A woman argues with a younger man twice. A man argues with several other men in a few scenes. In a flashback, an older man berates a teen boy after two teen girls shout at him in another room. A woman tells a man in her home that he does not always “hit the toilet seat.”
 A woman screams in her kitchen late at night when she sees a shadow of a man at a door’s glass panel; a man enters the kitchen, checks outside with a flashlight, but no one is there. A woman collapses on her kitchen floor and a man gasps; the camera cuts to a doctor telling her that she had another stroke and may have only a year to live. A man slumps with apparent knee pain, then later limps with a cane several times, groaning and gasping up some stairs. A man pretends to have pancreatic cancer, gets a ride to a hospital and then leaves on foot.


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The Good Liar LANGUAGE 6

 – About 13 F-words and its derivatives, 3 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (Cossacks, dodgy, greedy, old), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Good Lord, For God’s Sake). | profanity glossary |


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The Good Liar SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man shakes a plastic 30-day organizer of pills and a woman laughs (no one swallows any pills). A man sits in a chair and pours the last inch of light-colored liquor into a short glass and drinks it and it is implied he drank the full bottle as he seems a bit unsteady and sways as he stands, a woman pours a glass of wine and sips, a woman and two men sip wine with dinner, a woman pops a champagne cork and pours two glasses that she and a man sip from, a woman in a restaurant sips a large martini, two people drink short glasses of whiskey in an office and in a home, six men and a woman sip vodka in a meeting room, two men hold glasses of wine in an office, a few men and women hold cocktails in a nightclub and a man sips his drink, four men toast with champagne (we do not see them drink), untouched glasses of wine are shown on a restaurant table and a couple has untouched glasses of wine on their table, two men and a woman hold glasses of wine and the camera cuts away as they lift the glasses toward their lips, a full wine bottle is shown on a table and another bottle is on a desk, and an unopened champagne bottle is seen in an ice bucket. A man smokes a cigarette outside, a man smokes while standing on a sidewalk, and a man smokes a cigarette on a porch twice as well as in a car and in an apartment.


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The Good Liar DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Online dating, exploitation of women, vulnerable senior citizens, relationships, trust, betrayal, rape, secrets, lies, truth, false identities, WWII crimes, DNA evidence, revenge, money, greed, violence, murder, death.

The Good Liar MESSAGE

 – WWII crimes are still coming to light in the 21st century.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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