Tim Roth (Planet of the Apes) and Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones's Diary) star in this riveting psychological thriller with shocking twists, "sharp dialogue and a cynical intelligence" (Chicago Tribune). Also starring Chri... more »s Penn, Michael Rooker, Ellen Burstyn and Rosanna Arquette and charged with unbridled suspense and powerful performances, this "absorbingly crafty murder mystery" (Entertainment Weekly) delves into the murky depths of truth and deception and delivers a stunning final scene that will jolt your spine with chills! James Wayland (Roth) is nota typical murder suspect: he's fabulously wealthy, a Princeton graduate and has a genius-level I.Q.But Detectives Braxton (Chris Penn) and Kennesaw (Michael Rooker) sense that there's more than meets the eye when they interrogate him for the brutal killing of a beautiful call girl (Zellweger). As their search for the truth takes a suddenly dangerous turn, Braxton and Kennesaw realize that Wayland is a master manipulator, cleverly using their darkest secrets against them in a lethal, winner-take-all game that ignites a powder keg of deadly motives and shocking revelations.« less
"A supurb roster of actors, headed by Tim Roth, bring to life this horrifying glimpse into the human mind and the psychoses of two individuals as the story behind a murder is uncovered. In the grand tradition of the Usual Suspects, the characters in Deceiver change dramatically from the intriguing beginning to the exciting end. Highly recommended for any lovers of mystery and psychological thrillers!"
A Schizophrenic Thriller About Epileptic Behaviour
Mr. Cairene | Cairo, Egypt | 08/24/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Deciever aka Liar is caught in a real Catch22. On the one hand it wants to play mind games, to prove how opaque our first impressions really are. On the other it wants to be a drama about the moral impotence and bottled up rage of men. We don't know enough about the cop Braxton(Chris Penn) or his partner Kennisaw(Michael Rooker) to care about either their gambling or marital problems resprectively. The opacity ofcourse is deliberate. If you want twists and turns then you must have mysterious characters doing inexplicable things. Well there goes the drama. The lack of character development allows the film-makers to do complete 180s with the plot, but any resulting suspense is academic with none of the viceral impact of say Se7en. Credibility is a vital element when it comes to thrillers. Even when they're set in space we have to believe that the film-makers know as much as we do, that they are on the same ride as we are. But in Liar the Pate brother cheat, they give us flashbacks that are meant specifically for the audience. I believe they did this to avoid the supposed monotony of the one room setting, but the flashbacks all but destroy the film. If they can see beyond the characters' lies, it means that Liar is nothing more then manipulative mental masterbation where they provide the audience with red herrings to a solution they already know. As a frame of reference lets use Roman Polanski's underrated 1994 film Death & The Maiden. That film was set in a single location and used no flashbacks, but its characters were so well written and acted that it generated more genuine suspense in a single scene then Liar does in its entire running time. Another film, 1995's masterful The Usual Suspects justified the use of flashbacks by having a character tell a story and then let the director realise his story visually. Did I even mention the film's laughable tendancy to treat Epilepsy as if it were the demon possessing Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Its a shame really because the film is technically remarkable(lots of shadows, darkness and gold light). It also waists the brilliant Tim Roth, who as the rich, bitter, manipulative and epileptic suspect James Walter Wayland gives a preverse and powerful performance. Had the film been as clear eyed and sharp as Roth's performance we might have really had something here. Considering that Liar is ultimately about manipulation, it might be cleverly ironic that its authors would lie to and manipulate the audience. It would be cleverly ironic if weren't so incredibly frustrating."
THE WRATH OF ROTH
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 12/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tim Roth gives a mesmerizing and commanding performance in this exceptional thriller. Roth plays the suspect in a brutal murder of a prostitute. He is brought in for lie detector test by detectives Chris Penn and Michael Rooker. Roth proves to be an exceptionally good liar, and a cat and mouse game ensues. Seems like our policemen have their own secrets, too. Penn is in debt to a bookie (played by a malicious Ellen Burstyn) for $20,000. Rooker's wife (Rosanna Arquette) is having an affair with her obstetrician. Somehow the extremely rich Roth knows all of this and uses it. Renee Zelweger portrays the murder victim, and although she's not used a whole lot, she has some compelling scenes and evidence of her talent is blossoming. Directors and Jonah and Joshua Pate have some effective camera angles; only the movie's ambiguous ending leaves one a little disappointed. But Roth's performance is great, and you should enjoy the tension. Rooker and Penn are also outstanding; Rooker is one of our most underappreciated actors."
Watch "The Offense"
nelagoney | Kansas City, MO United States | 08/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Admittedly, I watched this movie when I thought another one was coming on the TV, and haven't seen the DVD or VHS versions, but I kept watching, since I like some of the "tough guys" in the movie, especially Tim Roth.
It's a pretty good movie, unless you keep watching it, and realize that it's a scrambled version of the old Sean Connery film "The Offense", where a suspect (who may or may not be the murderer) "turns the tables" on the cops and has an altercation with the interrogating policeman (I won't ruin the end of "The Offense", but it's more gripping, in "The Offensive" than "Deceiver", in my opinion).
Apparently Sean Connery cut a deal with his studio to make a few "artsy" movies (including "The Offense" and "The Wall") if he made a bunch of James Bond movies.
"Deceiver" is pretty ok, and I kept watching, but "The Offense" is the source, and better. Presumably there were sources for "The Offense" though, but I don't know them.
Check out "The Offense", and prepare to be "offended"!!!"
Pate bros 2nd joint rolled with creeper
Hogarth Hughes | Rockwell, ME | 03/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The cool thing about watching movies constantly is that you see so many bad ones that occasionally a movie as slick as this plays out. The cast is top notch, as is the directing by the Pate brothers, whose other credits include "The Grave" and the short lived but cool TV show "GvsE". Plenty of twists and turns abound in this movie that centers around Roth(in one of his best performances) taking a lie ditector test from two shady cops(Rooker and Penn) to find out if he is a murderer. A film that relies on character development and suprises that pays off in the end with something to think about, this is a good one. It would be nice to see on DVD but is not yet released on that format."